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Artists get 30 years in Jail for Gun Lyrics

Posted by Diesel 
Artists get 30 years in Jail for Gun Lyrics
July 05, 2013 07:46PM
It's looking like 2013 will serve as a huge test of endurance for Jamaica's Dancehall culture. This year the islands ever so popular art form has seen the likes of countless pressures from the government. What started early this year as a crackdown on… street dances, high power sound systems and late night events, has spiraled into the government’s proposals of a new bill that many feel will destroy dancehall. The bill is called the Anti-Gang Act and it calls for violators to be jailed if found guilty in a court of law.

What makes this bill so threatening to the dancehall culture is that one of its clause states that no artist, promoter, selector, producer, will be able to promote GUN LYRICS and/or big up DONS, GANGS, GANG LEADERS, etc.. It sounds simple! But it's really not simple at ALL. If an artist records a song about guns and badness, it would be consider a violation of the law and they could be sentenced to 5 - 30 years in jail. Artist such as Bounty Killa, Adiona, Kartel, and others will be forced to change the content of their songs, which many are saying is a violation of freedom of speech. Producers are not exempt from such penalties either, the penalty for producing gun and gang glorifying content, will also results in an extensive jail sentence. The act goes as far as targeting promoters who stage event that feature hardcore artist toasting gun lyrics and gang big ups. They too could also see the inside of a jail cell for many years. This may mean that Jamaica will lose great annual shows such as Sting and World Clash.

So what will the effect of this anti – gang bill mean?! Well in my opinion... the decay of dancehall! It will be the change of everything as we know it, and the start of a government "Take Over". Once they succeed at censoring dancehall via producers, artist, radio, and promoters, they will try and take it further. What is to say that they won't turn around a say.. " NO more songs about sex?" If this Act is passed... it will kill dancehall's night life, lessen the income of many artists, promoters, producers and take the joy from Jamaica's music culture.

I am NOT against drawing a line and the fight to reduce crime on the Island, but there has to be a better compromise. Jamaica's crime rate cannot be solely blamed on the music. The county's governmental parties and parents of its children have to bare some of the blame. Dancehall music should not be considered the countries source of understanding right and wrong; therefore the penalty of 5 - 30 years in jail is totally unfair. The government may be treading a thin line of hypocrisy here. There are other things in the island that one could argue contribute to the country's citizen being violent (ie. cartoons, movies, Hip Hop songs). Will these other element face the same pressure being placed on dancehall? This is a HUGE social issue which could create an up roar if the law makers don’t consider ALL possible out comes in advance. I hope the government is prepared for the back lash....
Re: Artists get 30 years in Jail for Gun Lyrics
July 05, 2013 07:47PM
Re: Artists get 30 years in Jail for Gun Lyrics
July 06, 2013 06:45AM
Doubt this goes over in JA --- legally, socially, & certainly not in the tuffest neighborhoods.
Re: Artists get 30 years in Jail for Gun Lyrics
July 06, 2013 07:06AM
I agree with Papa Ray, this law seems unenforceable. There's been a series of interesting legal things down here in the last few weeks including this, a public smoking ban (which seems a little extreme, slapping people with criminal records for smoking cigarettes in public. the fine that takes effect on the 15th is 50,000 JMD, compared to the fine for being caught with ganja which is $100 if just posession or $5,000 if being smoked). I think slapping people with criminal records for smoking cigarettes when there's real crime to worry about is asinine.

On the plus side, the supreme court recently ruled that police need to have probable cause to search your vehicle. Which, at least in theory, means an end to random stop-and-search procedures that anyone who's spent much time in JA is well accustomed to (i.e. stopping you at a roadblock and making everyone get out of the car even if your not being suspected of anything)
Re: Artists get 30 years in Jail for Gun Lyrics
July 06, 2013 08:13AM
I remember when they banned any kind of 'bad language onstage' years ago. They made several artists examples, but it backfired & boosted their careers insted.
Re: Artists get 30 years in Jail for Gun Lyrics
July 06, 2013 10:19AM
Iam willing to bet they will be enforcing it on a few artist, but they certainly will not be able to stop it all.. While I was on the island tho, every street dance that I did come across was playing some nice reggae, always good vibes.. Except for down in the Boston jerk centre.. Music had a nice vibe but most people down there weren't putting off the same vibes... Drugs n rum vibes.. It was just nice to not hear pure slackness dancehall.. Made me very happy to hear the real stuff blasting from speakers
Re: Artists get 30 years in Jail for Gun Lyrics
July 06, 2013 11:58AM
Quote

I am willing to bet they will be enforcing it on a few artist, but they certainly will not be able to stop it all..

And I am willing to bet that the proposed law never gets enacted, at least not in the 'version' that Diesel has reported. And, to that end, do you have a link regarding the proposed bill Diesel? My guess is that the notion of an artist getting "30 years for gun lyrics" is fantasy-world internet style.....
Re: Artists get 30 years in Jail for Gun Lyrics
July 07, 2013 10:00PM
Daniel I posted the link to the article that I read from Irish and Chin. I didn't do any more research, I just saw the article on Facebook thought it was interesting and reposted it here. I think tomorrow when I have time I'll look into it more and post the full bill proposed. Im curious about the promoters going to jail for putting on shows.
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