'Clean up your act!'

Observer senior reporter

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Print this page Email A Friend!

THE lyrical content of contemporary reggae is of concern to two stalwarts of Jamaican music.

Deejay Dennis Alcapone and marketing man Anthony “Chips” Richards are among this year's recipients of the Prime Minister's Medal of Appreciation. Both men, who have lived in the United Kingdom for over 40 years, expressed their opinions in interviews with the Jamaica Observer.

“We are making great moves but when the lyrics become violent and condescending, that's when my ears start tuning out,” said Richards yesterday.

That sentiment was echoed by Alcapone who said the violence and derogatory remarks often expressed in music these days are bound to have repercussions.

“I am aware that we have to grow and evolve and so the music and musical styles must change, so a new generation of artistes is gonna come along. That's why it is important for us to make our mark and live by the seeds we sow. They keep saying the lyrics does not inspire people but I believe it does and the gun lyrics has an impact on the violence in the wider society. The deejays must realise that there is a reason it is called a record, because like a prison record, these recordings stay with them for a lifetime. That's why it is important they clean up the lyrics because the rhythms are so creative,” reasoned the veteran toaster.

He pointed to the incarceration of deejays Vybz Kartel and Ninjaman as examples of how things can go wrong despite the artiste's talent.

“I always love lyrics that are positive as well as fun. A lot of these guys take themself too serious and what we have is two artistes serving life sentence for murder. They were ignorant and just did not analyse the situation before they put their mouth into it. Kartel is a good deejay and so is Ninjaman but they should have stayed with the lyrical protocol,” he said.

Born Dennis Smith in Clarendon, Dennis Alcapone moved to Kingston in the early 1960s to live with his sister and was introduced to the burgeoning music scene.

“I am still touring these days. I have only a short time in Jamaica at this time as I have commitments in Europe in the coming months which I must honour,” Alcapone said.

Richards' involvement in the marketing and promotion of reggae began in the United Kingdom nearly five decades ago. He made his mark with Trojan Records, helping to promote major hit songs like Ken Boothe's Everything I Own which made the UK national chart in 1975.

“In 1971 I was invited by the owner of Trojan Records to get involved with the marketing of reggae in the UK. This was a bad period for reggae as the music was often associated with the dysfunctional behaviour of the Skinheads, who loved the music,” he said.

Alcapone and Richards were among 57 individuals and eight organisations to receive the Prime Minister's Appreciation Award at the lawns of Jamaica House last night.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon