Life mimics art?
Vybz Kartel

Dear Editor,

Not all parts of our culture is good for us, and that's my opinion.

The debate over whether or not our culture/entertainment plays a role in 'badmanising' young men of this country has been a long and exhaustive one.

It does not take a genius to understand the strange symbiotic links between our practices, lack of social responsibility, and music to see just how detrimental some aspects of our Jamaican culture have been.

I was raised in two well-known ghettos, and like many other young people, I was exposed to gutter politics, gunmanship, and donmanship, none of which, thankfully, I subscribed to.

But there has always existed an appetite to defend one's self, and nowhere more prominent has this been given a mainstream voice than in our treasured music, particularly the dancehall genre.

Through dancehall, many young men found a medium to throw off the shackles of poverty, but sadly, too many of them took the subculture of the gun lyrics with them.

It is argued that the antisocial gun lyrics spat out by the likes of Super Cat, Vybz Kartel, Popcaan, 6ix Boss, Ninja Man, and many others has nothing to do with the attitude and behaviour of their listeners.

I beg to differ, since it is proven that life mimics art.

Our entertainers are great at what they do, no doubt, but it should not be at the social expense of everyone else. Some of these artists are partly responsible for how many of our young men treat women and how they respond to authority.

In the said vein, they are, to some degree, responsible for the impact of their lyrics on crime. Yes, I said it. There is no denying the link.

We are a people of tradition and culture, and since music is a massive part of who we are, how then can anyone deny the inescapable link between parts of our culture and what our people have become?

It is also an established fact that culture is manifold, and of such powerful resonance that it is carried over into the everyday life of the people. The way we talk and the lingua we use among our peers is unique, but the flip side is that the hatred and disrespect for life are also present.

Unfortunately, misguided young men only pay attention to the hyped-up part of the music that glorifies the gun and the slaughter of their very neighbours.

I am urging the Government to have a look at how we can start fixing some of our biggest problems by looking at the cultural links between segments of our music and our social response, particularly in relation to crime.


Ninja Man<strong></strong>

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