'Bad idea' - MAJ head says Golding should not have met artistes over Gully-Gaza issue
Published: Friday | December 11, 2009
THE LEADERSHIP of the Media Association Jamaica Ltd (MAJ) has levelled stinging criticism against the Bruce Golding administration for hosting a high-profile meeting at Jamaica House with feuding dancehall artistes Adidja Palmer (Vybz Kartel) and David Brooks (Mavado).
Prime Minister Bruce Golding and other Cabinet ministers met with the controversial artistes on Tuesday in an attempt to reduce tension between the so-called Gaza and Gully factions.
Kartel heads Gaza, while Mavado leads the Gully clique.
Chairman of the MAJ, Gary Allen, rebuked the Government, saying the meeting at Jamaica House was unfortunate.
Making a presentation to the Human Resources and Social Development Com-mittee of Parliament on Wednesday, Allen said the association was disappointed with the move.
The committee had invited the MAJ and the Press Association of Jamaica to discuss the impact of music with violent content on youth.
"Calling singers and DJs to Jamaica House to reason with them about toning down the rhetoric, cutting down the hostility in the lyrics and making statements to fans about all the venom that was being spewed last week that it was really not serious, that, Mr Chairman, we find unfortunate and, in our view, it is not the example that we would endorse," Allen said.
He contended that "our artistes and musicians need to know that we expect better from them".
Committee member Shahine Robinson commended the ministers who met with the artistes and the media for highlighting a united front between the two dancehall factions.
She said a young constituent who was loyal to one of the groups was now showing support for the two after seeing a show of unity by Kartel and Mavado on television.
"While we credit the ministers who met with them, we have to credit the media for showing that positive side," said Robinson.
But Allen warned that those in authority should be cautious about the signals they send to the society.
He recalled being invited to Jamaica House in the "height of the Rampin' Shop, ban-the-music-and-chastise-the-media issue".
According to the MAJ head, Spice, the female DJ co-sings in the Rampin' Shop, was present at the meeting.
"I remember that this young woman, who sang this most vulgar, demeaning, outrageous song, was, in the presence of the prime minister and at least one other minister, commended for how talented she was," Allen said.
"And, when she spoke and declared that as an adult she needs to have her space to express herself creatively in the way that she expressed herself in that song, there were many who agreed and assured her that she has a right to that space," Allen explained.
Chiding those who supported her, Allen said: "No one told her that the material she was pervading was a shame on women and that it should not be emanating from her mouth in public, in private, nor should it be emanating in recording studios. If we send the wrong signals, we will have the results to show for it."
( l - r ) Vybz Kartel, Mavado