Posts Tagged ‘Dancehall’

 

Happy New Year to one and all.

Normally at the beginning of the year I would be at pains to compile a year in review blog. The closest I will come to saying “New Year, New Me” is to deviate from that annual rite. I am starting the 2017 “reasoning” with the views of someone else. Not a 100% sure how the etiquette goes but this is the first guest blog featured on “Reasoning With The Cunning One.”

What follows are the Guinness Stout inspired words of one of my greatest friends Mr. Ricardo Perkins who explores, in brief, the tensions between the society at large and the police with dancehall music and the dancehall space. As the cliché would have it…the views expressed do not NECESSARILY represent the views of the management of “Reasoning.”

 

“I have always been a great fan of Bounty Killa; by no means does this translate to him being the perfect role model. However, one must acknowledge, the awesome talent he is and the many times that he has stood up for what is right: and by doing so have made most of us proud! There is no doubt that he loves dancehall music, and there’s absolutely no doubt that dancehall is important to the PEOPLE OF JAMAICA.

If you are from what we call a ‘garrison’, you know that ‘corna dances’ mean that peace is upon us. Persons can move more freely with a reduced fear of being caught in the right place at the wrong time. Maybe, this perspective has biased me and has forced me to think about the (maybe little good) in something that was laden with negatives. What am I talking about- one of the best performances I have ever seen! And it was FREE! On December 29 (3am) Bounty ignited the crowd at the weekly PepperSeed. After about a 20 mins wait to apparently call some police for the show to continue, the permission came and the Killa flourished- with some of what I think are his greatest music, those from the 90’s. The crowd was moving, the performer having fun, no worries as we all enjoyed ourselves. I am sure- Beenie man fans (in fact, I think he was in attendance), Kartel fans, Movado fans were present, but this night we were all attuned to the Killa. Then midway the flourishing, the bad news came- police are back and they want the music stop! Terrible idea. I mean really terrible idea.

Let me first be clear- I despise the noise abatement act and its particular quest to put a dent in dancehall, maybe, because it is too ghetto. But, I won’t get much into that because that is another debate. Back to the Killa- and the moment I applaud. He refused to stop performing…and yea, yea, he should respect the law, the police, blah blah blah… All this is true, but we should be willing to accept what he was saying, shouting angrily, crossly, miserably had many truths. Picking out a few; “offica a chrismuss, mek we hav some fun”; “offica, we nah do nutten wrong”, “offica, a tings like this why people nuh coordinate with unu”. All of this while continuing to perform as patron relish at the graceful distaste shown to not just the police that were present, but POLICE. In the midst of this ‘angry’ outburst aimed at the police qua killer of peaceful vibes lie some truths. The need for police to actually be attentive to situations, and be willing to adjust where the gain would be much more that the lost and missed opportunity.

I can only imagine the ‘forwards and pull-ups’ the gentle police officer would have gotten if he had come on stage and said something like “people listen up- the time pass and unu haffi leave, but guess what- a chrismuss and we affi be kind to one anotha. Turn to u bredrin and sistren beside u a sey merry christmuss and mek we work together to change the new year. We all in this thing together. So u see tru a christmuss, unu hol da 25 mins ya- Killa u see you, the poor people governa, dem ppl ya listen to you. So me waa u tell dem fi stop wid the bag a foolishness and stop kill the ppl dem. U know waa me know unu a video- tek the supe numba- don’t start type enu, we know unu nuh waa ppl think unu a informa, so just record the video and when nuh baddy nah look ( but show u pikney dem) write it down and call me when unu know anything- see it ya, Bounty a me witness, me nah go call nuh name when unu shout me. Gwaun tru Bounty and mash up the place. But memba 25 mins. We agree to that?

Can you imagine what would have been the reaction of the crowd and the possible gains in the right direction for the police if it had gone this way instead of Bounty force performing, resenting the police, while speaking out against the many bad things going on, including the recent rise (or at least reported) crime against females? Imagine that video going viral, many getting the number of this Superintendent- it might not be a lot, but it would be a step in the right direction. Of course, there would have been icing on the cake if the police buss two lyrics.

This incident should call us to reflect on what we can do moving forward, it is clear that we need innovative ways fighting crime. And if we are serious, we must be willing to give people more opportunities to have the feeling that we are in this together. Maybe allowing a peaceful dance attended by ‘big people’ is a step in that direction. The fact is, we are really in this together. But I guess- the question is, of how much more importance is stopping a little noise in areas where little-to-no-persons are gravely affected match up to an actual desire to fight crime.

Big up the Killa, the people that stuck it out, the police for doing what is their current job, the soup man, the jerk man, the man dem whey a park, all hustlers.  Peaceful New Year! ”

 

 

Ricardo Perkins is a Graduate of Kingston College and the University of the West Indies. He is also a Jesuit and is currently studying Philosophy and Applied Ethics at Loyola University. He also states his claim to fame as dominating “The Cunning One” on the basketball court.

No matter how badly some “go against the grain” people moan and groan, the 64 day trial of the most polarising figure in Jamaican music since Bob Marley back then has been THE single most watched story for 2014. Many of us spent days at the edge of our seats getting the latest updates from our favourite courtroom source. Special mention must be given to the likes of Ms Live tweet aka Emily Crooks, Dara Smith, Anthony Miller and (can’t leave out the Fortis) Abka Fitz-Henley. These people truly brought this courtroom into our respective living rooms.
So what has this Kartel Trial taught me?

1. Whatever praise we wish to heap on our current commissioner of police, it is patently clear that a level of unprofessionalism at best, and corruption at worst still reside in some sections of the force. So many examples emerged, notebook(s) lost, almost seemingly “embellished” evidence etc. but what really solidified it for me was the scant regard which arguably the most important evidence was treated. Really? Officer dem really so desperate for free nights that them use the evidence whilst in custody. Even more than Kartel, the ineptitude of some of our Police officers was on trial and some judgement need to be handed down quickly

2. There is large section of society that no matter what the evidence was wanted Kartel to be locked away and the key to disappear like the plane… (too soon). No matter if the defence was able to raise the most gaping holes in the prosecution case “di bwoy fi get lock up.” Not a big fan of the convicted either but I am not 100% sure if I feel comfortable with how all aspects of this case went. At the same time I think he did it so it’s like arriving at the right answer in a math equation with the wrong “working out.” Either way people must look into themselves and decide is Kartel the root of all evil and by extension is dancehall the root of all evil

3. On the other hand and even more disturbing at times is the #FreeWorldBoss crowd. The “I don’t care if he did it as long as mi artiste can do road and buss two chune” crowd. Can’t even put properly into word the degree to which this crowd irks me. It started with “free buju” maybe even “free jah cure”. If a man does a crime I think that outweighs my love for their music and they should suffer the consequences of their actions. It saddens me that LIVES (cause most people forget that there were two cases) don’t matter to some as much as a “bubbling tune” from di teacha.

4. Unemployment or underemployment must be higher than reported. I might be exaggerating, but the amount of persons who had the time to in the streets whether in support of or anti-Kartel was mindboggling.

5.When the old people tell you watch the company you keep, or you reap what you sow, they know what they are talking about. This case was sad as I honestly saw no good guys. Lizard was not a saint. We accept that a life is a life and the loss of any life is sad but His death and the conviction of his alleged killers should sound a warning to all. You can’t live in folly and escape negative repercussions.

Now it’s time to sit back, wait on the circus to continue as there will be sentencing, appeals perhaps a law suit by Shane Williams and endless coverage and social media conversation. My only hope is that everyone’s interest in Justice and fairness does not die out with the cooling off of this story.