May 14, 2021

Popular disc jock-turned-artiste ZJ Liquid says he believes a more humorous approach to serious social issues could be key to reaching Jamaica’s youth.

In a recent interview with THE WEEKEND STAR, the Life in the Ghetto deejay explained that the ‘beatdown’ method of getting youth to turn away from wrongdoing does not seem to be working. He says that artistes in particular should find fresh, innovative ways to get to their target audience. Over the past few months, he has been teaming up with 90s dancehall artiste Badda General to shed light on various issues, using a humorous storytelling technique.

“We address the taxi and bus driver dem weh a go hard pan the roads. We address the man dem weh a abuse women, the paedophiles weh a watch the likkle girls dem. We address violence itself and we a do it in a way weh it connect with the people dem because a dem we wah reach,” he explained. “We just did a track called Current Events JA wid Wayne Marshall and we a talk bout the Trafalgar Road shooting weh happen earlier this week. We are role models as artistes and things stay a way and somebody affi a tell di yute dem say ‘Jah know, dis anuh the way fi do things’. But instead a we a get up every day and say ‘Yow, unu puddung the guns a wah do unu?’ and make dem feel like constantly it is an attack against them, we should be trying to give dem advice and reason wid dem and make dem understand. That’s what these storytelling songs have been doing.”

Based on the comments and reactions to the singles, ZJ Liquid believes the technique has been yielding positive results. He said that is one of the main reasons he and Badda General decided to draw on Wayne Marshall for the latest release. “We kinda did a pree Wayne Marshall vibe a good while now and we like the way him a deliver fi him message innu. He’s been doing some presentations on his page a talk bout the shottas dem of late, but him a use comedy and a warn dem and a tell dem say dis and dat nuh right. It drop right into weh myself and Badda General a do,” he said. “The whole storytelling vibe has been working and we notice say his fans love that vibe and so we make the links and he did the hook and we know the people dem a go love it because him give it di right message in a jovial and comical way.”

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