Du'Rite calls for end to violence

Du'Rite calls for end to violence

Saturday, December 14, 2019

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Reggae artiste Du'Rite believes that the factors driving gun violence in Jamaica has morphed from political to sociocultural, a move which signals a dangerous threat to the security of the nation.

“First time it was politics, now it's something darker and sinister. Violence is commercial, it's a business and the artistes, who should be leaders, are glorifying violence in their songs, and only telling half the story,” said Du'rite, whose real name is Dwight Officer.

“Artistes can sing about violence but dem not singing the reality, dem a big up certain areas and nah talk what people go through day in, day out, the terror, the nightmares. Man ah go work and ah come from work and dead, children and old people terrified and can't sleep at night, youths getting so used to gunshot that they can tell the type of gun and caliber of the shots, that is the reality. Artistes must sing about that too, change the youths dem meditation, sing better songs because violence is becoming a way of life here in Jamaica” he said.

Last week, it was reported that the murder tally was 27 more than the corresponding period last year as of December 7, according to figures released by the Jamaica Constabulary Force. The year 2018 registered 1,287 murders, down sharply by almost 22 per cent from the 1,641 murders observed in 2017.

Having grown up on March Pen Road, St Catherine, where he attended Spanish Town Comprehensive High, he described music as his saviour. He pointed out that having lost close friends to gang wars, he could have easily been led down the wrong path. But when he migrated to the United States of America in 2006, he pursued music and got an opportunity to make songs.

In 2016, he recorded Bloody City, a song he is promoting as part of his four-song No Hope EP which will be released on his Du'rite Music label in 2020.

The EP contains other songs such as Mama Don't Cry, Sun Come Shine, and title track, No Hope.

Based in Florida, he has found it challenging to break into the local scene. He said that Jamaica is highly competitive and that he has had to work twice as hard because he is not in Jamaica to push his songs as much as he would want to.

“My goal is to go far in this music, and so challenges will not stop me. I will keep pressing,” he said.

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