Singer Frankie Paul takes stand
VETERAN singer Frankie Paul has dismissed the widely held notion that dancehall music promotes crime.
The Cassanova singer turned this position to music for his latest single It's Not Dancehall (Causing Crime).
The track, to be released this month on the Run Things label, is co-produced by the husband-and-wife team of Carlene and Wayne 'Lonesome' Brown.
"I don't know where they got the idea that dancehall music promotes crime. Dancehall has always been about life and fun," Frankie Paul told the Jamaica Observer.
In recent times, several dancehall artistes have run afoul of the law, the most high-profile being deejay Vybz Kartel, who was convicted for murder last Thursday.
Prior to that, Mark 'Buju Banton' Myrie was convicted on drug charges in the United States in February 2011 and is serving a 10-year prison term there.
Controversial artistes Tommy Lee Sparta and Popcaan also have cases before the courts.
Frankie Paul, who emerged during the early 1980s, admitted there are songs that overstep moral and social boundaries, but believes censorship should be left to a regulatory body such as Broadcasting Commission, not the police or courts.
He is concerned that, even though offending provisions were removed from the anti-gang legislation, they remain under the Offences Against the Person Act, and carry heavy penalties for lyrics which the courts deem offensive.
Frankie Paul (given name Paul Blake) was dubbed Jamaica's Stevie Wonder due to being vision impaired at birth. He overcame his disability to become one of dancehall's biggest stars during the 1980s and 1990s.
His hit songs include I Know The Score, Sarah, Head to Toe, Pass The Tu-Sheng-Peng, and Worries in the Dance.
In 1994, he settled in The Gambia after performing at a show in that African country.