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D fist and di V

Published:Sunday | September 13, 2015 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke
A Jamaica Labour Party and People’s National Party supporter.
Ninja Man
Bounty Killer
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With tussles over candidate selection, the two major political parties assessing their respective readiness (one publicly more put together than the other) and the third party excusing itself from the poll, the time for national elections draweth nigh once more. In the absence of a fixed election date in Jamaica, it is always up to the party in power to 'call it' when it feels it the most opportune time for them to win.

However, while politics is played over the politics of the election date, the long-time attitude of Jamaican popular music performers towards matters of voting has long been at best skepticism, and, at worst, abhorrence. In between, there is voting abstinence, all caused by an overwhelmingly negative perception of the Jamaican political process.

 

polarisation

 

For while the country has come a long way since the more than 700 people killed in the undeclared civil war of the 1980 election campaign (the persons to whom former Prime Minister Michael Manley dedicated en masse his book Struggles in the Periphery), there is still the polarisation that puts people at odds as 'born JLP' and 'born PNP'.

Closer to the time when persons were shooting at each other over politics, instead of shooting off their mouths and cavorting together in the streets, Ninja Man advised the Jamaican lower socioeconomic class, "Remember vote, nuh fight. Don't do it!"

The song Nah Go Love It starts with a take-off of Love of The Common People (a song by Jamaican singer Eric Donaldson, well known for a slew of Festival Song victories, which include Cherry O Baby). Ninja Man reworks the original lyrics to deejay:

"We living on free food ticket

Not a money in mi pocket not a cent mi no have

But a whe mi a go do, mi nah go rob

Living in the land of a common people

Living in the ghetto mi no know whe mi a go do

Cause politics a pass tru

Dis ya one ya brand new ... "

He then expresses his personal displeasure at the prospect of conflict over politics between erstwhile friends:

"Nah go love it, nah go love it

De Ninja nah go love it

Nah go love it Seaga nah go love it

Nah go love it Manley nah go love it

Cause PNP shot a Labourite Nah go love it

A Labourite shot a PNP nah go love it ... "

Then, reminding the usual victims of their common place in the big scheme of things, Ninja Man goes to race:

"That's why I calling to the citizens of this little island

I waan yu memba say de whole a we

We a black Jamaican

Let us live in love and unity

And let us live as one

An nuh get up every day with politics fliction ... "

And at one staging of Sting, when an election was in the offing, Bounty Killer put the common plight of those who would make the election headline in bloody fashion in another way. In a flash of his Poor People's Governor persona, Bounty deejays, "Don't make them steak mash up yu chicken back relationship."

The introduction of Nah Go Love It states Ninja Man's intention of longevity for the song, saying, "Dis nah stop play all months an years after election day." Fortunately, the fatal circumstances which led to the song have receded into near insignificance.