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Shaggy laments negative image of Ja

Richard Johnson

Tuesday, December 31, 2013    

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THE negative image of Jamaica, in particular Kingston, is affecting Shaggy's ability to promote his charity concert to an international clientele.

'Mr Boombastic' told journalists at the weekly Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange yesterday that just the mention of Kingston as the venue for the major event drives fear into many.

"There are some people that I linked overseas, because we travel the world and buck up rich people all the while. Some of them I have invited down to Jamaica for the experience. The biggest problem for these people once they hear Kingston, they start [to] fret, as sad as that is," he said.

Shaggy said he tries to convince these persons that it is safe for them to attend, by explaining that he lives in Kingston and raises his three daughters in the city, but this does precious little to reverse the mindset.

"I have a very wealthy person coming for the event who is sending an advance party. This person is worth millions and is sending an advance party to come down and set up everything first, including security. They don't want any of our security, they want their own, just because they are scared of coming here. I have convinced him to come, but he's taking every precaution -- coming in on his boat, he's not even staying in a hotel. He's coming just for the show, but I'm gonna convince him to stay longer...," Shaggy related.

He accused Jamaicans of airing their 'dirty laundry' in public and, as a result, earning a bad reputation.

He added that he feels more at risk in Trinidad than he feels here at home.

"Mi a go deh fi years, and once I hit there, mi can't walk there, can't do dis, can't do that. You always hear that Trinidad is the place where you come to carnival and party, while Jamaica is the place where everybody a kill everybody. I have been to many other places where the crime is heavier but, yet still, because we are the flagship of the Caribbean, and we are Brand Jamaica, and we are the 'boasiest' set a people in the world, wear the brightest colours and gwaan de baddest, so that sometimes puts us in a negative light," he noted.

The diamond-selling artiste further said that, for his part, he tries to put a positive spin on this negative outlook on Jamaica by launching his albums here, and even named his 2011 album Summer in Kingston.

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