Chronixx warns politicians, corporate Jamaica about exploiting local culture
It has long been the practice of politicians to use the music of entertainers as a means of injecting energy into their campaigns and political rallies, but according to Chronixx, he does not take kindly to the use of his music for political rallying.
"What politicians do is exploit the cultural evolution, which means, I recently see a PNP ting wid a version of my song playing in it. I can condemn that outrightly because I don't support the People's National Party any at all. And I don't support the Jamaica Labour Party any at all, not even on my deathbed," Chronixx told The Sunday Gleaner.
Fellow 'reggae revivalist' Protoje had a similar experience. Blood Money, a song that speaks about tainted funds being used by corrupt persons to carry out businesses and pay for lavish lifestyles, was played at a recent People's National Party (PNP) conference. Ironically, his response to the circumstance was less indignant, than, full of mirth.
"It's funny because it's the same public I'm talking to. I'm assuming the people playing the song are saying they're on the other side, which isn't accurate. Once I make music and put it out there, it's for the general public, and they [politicians] are part of it, but I'm not keen on the wagonist nature," the Who Knows singer said in a past interview.
"Recently, a politician asked me if I would do a song for his campaign. why? Because that's power. But we nuh work with politician. As a matter of fact, nuh politician nuh call mi fi do nuttin," he said. "Mi fi call you because you are being paid with my tax money to work for me. I don't work for politician. I pay you."
Referencing teachings of Haile Selassie through the book, The Wise Mind of His Imperial Majesty, Chronixx said: "His Imperial Majesty have the most spiritual outlook as to how humanity can move forward. In this day and age, we can't become too caught up in our nationalist mentality, which is Jamaica diss, Jamaica dat, and America diss, America dat. Really and truly, we have to think of ourselves as members of a global community.
"I don't like to blame the government," the singer said, "but we are Rasta, governed by universal laws, which is greater than any government."
The Sunday Gleaner, asked the entertainer to place himself in their shoes for a moment and share what he would do were he a policymaker in the Jamaican government. His response: "I am a policymaker," he said.
"I am one of Jamaica's most prominent policymakers because I am an artiste, and it is artistes who shape the cultural evolution of people, not politicians. I consider myself a part of the policymaking of Jamaica because I have the powerthe asking power, the spending power and the creative power - to help to direct the consciousness of every single Jamaican, which means, if I would like to see Jamaicans think more in a certain way, all I have to do is sing it, and dem will do it, because we are Jamaicans. I can talk the language of Jamaican people."
Corporate Moral Responsibility
Chronixx not only candidly shared his thoughts on politics, but also offered a word to all corporate entities locally. During a recent press briefing for his Chronology Caribbean Tour at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, the artiste implored corporate entities to consider their consumers' culture.
"I always use my opportunities to charge the people of Jamaica with embracing your culture. It was not the easiest thing to wear locks 50 or 60 years ago. The greatest Jamaican icon in the world is a Rastaman. The philosophies that govern Jamaican people are Rastafari spiritualism. You haffi embrace it 200% because that's the only way it's going to survive," he said.
"It is a part of the moral responsibility of every single corporate entity in this country to embrace the culture of the people. Yuh cannot sell your products to a people and act as if those people are culture-less. Them have a taste, them have a flavour, them have a fashion, and it's not for you to exploit, and it is not for you to just walk in and profit off it," he warned.