Why don't we just hand over Jamaica to Popcaan and his ilk?Thursday, April 29, 2021
The dancehall entertainer popularly known as Popcaan, formally Mr Andre Sutherland, is threatening — an empty threat, if you ask us — to end his aptly named 'Unruly Fest' concert, complaining bitterly that he is being harassed by the St Thomas police.
Popcaan ranted and raved on Twitter after being charged with alleged breaches of the Road Traffic Act on Sunday and is scheduled to face the Yallahs Traffic Court on June 3, 2021, a report in Tuesday's edition of this newspaper said.
“Not even feel like me a keep Unruly Fest a St Thomas again!!! Why am I being targeted by St Thomas police in every move I make? Me really just tired a oonu, and a go just breeze St Thomas for my own good. Hope my people will see things from my side. Peace and love,” he wrote in his Twitter vent.
So what terrible act of oppression and persecution could have caused the entertainer to want to abandon the annually held concert into which he has invested so much time, resources, and effort?
According to a police report, the deejay was travelling with a convoy in a section of Bath, St Thomas, when he was stopped. Here are the charges:
· driving an unlicensed motorcycle
· driving without insurance coverage
· having no valid certificate of fitness
· having no registration plate affixed
· driving without a helmet
· driving with no side-view mirror
· failure to present a driver's licence
The police also said they charged a member of his entourage with possession of an offensive weapon. He, too, is to face the court on June 3.
We can only draw from the failure of Popcaan to contest the charges on Twitter that the police's account is factual. But even assuming that the lawmen made up the charges against him — which should come out in the trial — that could hardly be a reason to give up on an event which is said to be a boost to the economic activity of the parish of his birth.
Moreover, the one-night event is said have done well in drawing international acts such as Canadian rapper Drake and American singer Tory Lanez as well as local favourites, including Sanchez, Capleton, Bounty Killer, and Beenie Man.
Popcaan has done well for himself with hits like Ravin', Unruly Rave, Only Man She Want — which reportedly entered the Billboard R&B Hip Hop songs chart — Party Shot, and Dream.
We would really love to hear from Popcaan what is his real motivation for wanting to give up his brainchild? Without greater clarification, we can only assume that he considers himself above the law and ought not to be stopped by the police carrying out their duties.
We can see why the police would want to stop a convoy to ascertain that it was operating in accordance with the law, especially at a time when the country is under siege from COVID-19.
Regrettably, there is a history of entertainers behaving as if they are little gods who are untouchable and objecting strenuously to being held to account by law enforcers. We hope that Mr Sutherland is not one of them.
Jamaica cannot be handed over to people who feel they have a right to operate under their own rules, feeling free to flout regulations, and seeking to become a law unto themselves.
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