In Response to the editorial “Solidarity is What We Need”
by M. Peggy Quattro
February 14, 2008
Greetings! In response to this editorial above, which was a bulletin posted on MySpace by Lloyd Stanbury, I hereby agree with several points he adeptly brings to our attention. The image of Jamaica as a corrupt and violent society is constantly being presented to the world. Every country has degrees of these elements, but the Land of Reggae, the Land of Wood and Water, the Land of One Love, has taken a turn for the worse.
Since the beginning of Dancehall in the late ‘80s, when lyrics were degrading women and praising the gun culture, the seeds of destruction were sown. Playing our part in the media, Reggae Report chose not to support or encourage this new type of performance. No where near the quality of Dennis Brown’s “Love Has Found its Way” or the driving call to “Get Up! Stand Up!,” early Dancehall artists brought in such sleaze as “Wicked Inna Bed,” calling for “Bam Bam…Lick a shot on mama-man’s head.” The media helped make performers, such as Shabba Ranks, a so-called star. What followed was an audience trained to think this was the new direction of Reggae music.
Bob Marley said it best: “You have to be careful of the type of song, and the type of vibration that you give to the people…because ‘Woe be unto they who lead my people astray.’” Continue reading
Solidarity is What We Need
by Lloyd Stanbury
February 14, 2008
The Jamaican music industry, and by extension the wider Jamaican society, have been moving in a direction to destroy themselves, as evidenced by the increased lack of respect, love and harmony being displayed between our brothers and sisters. We should all hang our heads in shame when we consider that Jamaica has created so much poverty and hate among its people despite being a country and people blessed with an abundance of human and natural gifts.
It is indeed amazing that despite the worldwide demand for the talents of our musicians, sportsmen and sportswomen, the attraction of our beautiful island, our wonderful food and trend-setting fashion, we still remain a poor and under-developed country. Maybe if we were to stop fighting each other and against each other we would be much better off as a nation and together reap the benefits of our very valuable natural and human resources.
The tendency of some of our artists and music producers to revel in tribalism, war and disrespect of each other, combined with the promotion of disunity, does not help our situation at all. It is full time for us to take a stand against music and musicians who constantly promote disrespect, violence and tribalism among our people. It is also time for persons involved in the music industry to do their part in building a better Jamaica by working closer together rather than against each other. We should not continue to be the silent majority while our people suffer and our beautiful country is washed down the drain.
Reggae music has helped to liberate and build confidence in millions of people around the globe, yet at home some now try to use it to do the opposite to our own people. Music supporters, as well as the makers and performers of music, all have a role to play in reversing this very negative trend. I am not for a moment trying to give the impression that only the music makers and their fans have to make a contribution to rebuilding and reclaiming Jamaica. I am however urging those of us in the music industry to do our part. Music is the food of life.
“Look at me, I ain’t your enemy
We walk on common ground
Don’t try to fight your brother
What we need – SOLIDARITY”
These are words from “Solidarity,” a song from Anthem, the first GRAMMY-winning Reggae album by Black Uhuru in 1985.