Dancehall Artiste Mr. Vegas is not in agreement with some of his peers, who are blasting Prime Minister Andrew Holness’ statement that some Jamaican music influences crime.
The entertainer is tackling Cham’s recent video which listed the “top reasons” for criminality in the country as poverty, insufficient opportunities for youth, illiteracy and poor leadership.
As far as Vegas sees it, Cham and others who are like-minded are playing blind to their influence on the youth.
“He gave four points but he refused to accept responsibility that our music, that our lyrical contents in the music – we as influential people – he failed to point out that of course it is also impacting society when it comes on to crime and violence,” he said. “Why is this so? Because we are influential. Why is this so? Because we place images in the youth dem mind and when we place di things dem inna di youth dem subconscious that a weh dem a go gravitate towards.”
He gave examples of how Artistes, through their music, have influenced human behaviour.
“When Vybz Kartel sing him song bout clarks, every youth wanted a clarks or most youth wanted a clarks… That mean seh if every youth want a clarks when dem listen to Vybz Kartel Clarks song…the same way if Vybz Kartel sing a song bout gun, killing, whatever, youth a go gravitate towards it as well… It’s just like bleaching. Di man dem seh bleaching good. Bleaching acceptable now. Of course, boom, we see everybody start bleach.”
He continued, “Look at a thing like even oral sex. We used to sing against dem thing deh inna music. We used to seh, ‘Hands up, gyal from yuh know seh yuh never bow’. Used to go dance and hear Beenie Man seh, ‘All a di man dem weh know dem nuh bow, put up unno hand and seh yow’… Now we hear girls inna music a sing seh dem waan man do this to them. Man inna music a sing seh dem waan do this to girls and it is acceptable so the influence weh we as celebrities have yuh cya pussyfoot around that.”
He further contested Cham’s points by saying that not all criminals are poor or unemployed, pointing to Khanice Jackson’s killer who was a mechanic. He also mentioned Mavado’s son whom he said had money and opportunities.
“Mavado a one a we, him have money, now we a go seh a poverty? Is not poverty why Mavado son inna prison. Mavado a mi bredda but what happened? Why this continue to be the case?… We cannot just blame poverty for what is happening because nuff a di youth dem weh a go round and a kill people dem have money…”
While Mr. Vegas said he understands and relates to Artistes making music that mirrors their life experience, he said ignoring their influence on crime only gives criminals a pass.
“We haffi stop beat around the bush. We haffi come forward and seh, ‘Listen to me, we nah influence unno fi go tek up nuh badness’.”