Barbados minister condemns Jamaican-style dancehall lyrics
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — Home Affairs Minister Wilfred Abrahams has criticised a musical video featuring two of the island’s prominent entertainers with pro-gangster explicit lyrics that deliver death threats to gangland informants.
“Irresponsible to the highest order”, Abrahams said as the viral music video featuring Lil Rick and Peter Ram drew public outrage and condemnation with some blasting the video they view as an apparent local copycat of gangster rap styles in Jamaican dancehall and American hip hop that was released a month ago.
While the video contains violent and obscene language, images of guns, hearses, and the word murder, it is the unmistakable declaration of death on informants and the glorification of guns and gun violence in a supposed war that has gripped the attention of viewers.
In the opening, Lil Rick sings: “Shoot straight like Messi from Argentina, with a big f**** gun singing sweet like Selena. Gunshot clap out and skin you out like Sabrina ’cause you like to inform and run chat pon social media. Ya idiot, nobody ain’t ‘fraid for you, me neither. We shot you up to pieces, lef’ your body ‘pon de freezer like meat so when them violate, just know wha’ we pulling up with…”
The chorus goes on to list popular gangland weapons, even “the old rusty rife with the knife ‘pon the tip’, as he promises “gunshot like a storm” in tit-for-tat retribution for past slayings.
“I accept there is artistic expression, but it must not be irresponsible, it is irresponsible to the highest order,” Abrahams told the online publication, Barbados TODAY, adding that he is prepared to recommend to the Government that it sends the strongest possible message to artistes and the people of Barbados that this is not okay.
He said the Government’s priority is to stamp out gun violence and made it clear that, “Government does not condone the use of illegal firearms in any form or fashion.”
Radio talk show host and former journalist David Ellis, who commented on the video on his show, said it was unacceptable.
“When you look at the video they have the guns showing off. While other people ’bout here fighting hard to reduce the incidence of violence in Barbados, they are promoting violence that can take the life of anybody, not just a policeman.
“If we are not careful somebody at a much higher level will get taken out, because of what is going on around here, but it is a double standard,” said Ellis, who also questioned whether any Barbadian artistes who have been getting financial support from Government to cope with COVID-19 challenges performed in the viral video.
He said if this was the case, public funding should be immediately cut.
Media reports said that both Peter Ram and Mole are part of the Ministry of Education’s Anti-Violence and Peace campaign which was launched in public schools in 2018.
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