Radio bosses, disc jocks stifling Jamaican music

Published: Friday | December 20, 2013 Comments 0

Larry Film, Guest Columnist

Obviously, after the triumph of Tessanne Chin, many Jamaicans are rejoicing. However, even though I share the joy of her 'Voice' victory, this points to an open wound. Radio disc jocks in Jamaica are as a big a failure to Jamaican music as are our leaders to the citizens of Jamaica.

I'll go out on a limb. Radio stations like Zip 103, Hitz FM and Links FM have talented disc jocks but their act of ignoring 'fresh and positive talents' is what is causing our music to suffer on the world stage. The people of Jamaica aren't getting the chance to hear fresh voices/talent with fresh ideas, lyrics because the disc jocks aren't playing them.

Instead of feeling happy for Tessanne, many local disc jocks should be embarrassed to know that she was here all along and they didn't give her enough air play. Instead, we hear the same 'wine-up, wine-up' songs every day.

I've seen where disc jocks posted on FB and other social-media networks that Jamaica's music is on the decline because Kartel is in jail, How absurd! First of all, Kartel is indeed one of the most lyrical geniuses dancehall has ever seen, but he's not using his talent to propel the music; he's just using it to keep relevant and manipulate the youngsters who are mostly ignorant. Youngsters who grew up in broken homes afflicted by absentee fathers and overworked mothers.

Vybz Kartel has never sold copper, bronze, silver, or gold, much more to sell platinum or, like the big man, Shaggy, diamond. Kartel has never been nominated for a Grammy, so there's no accolade to suggest that he is helping dancehall music.

Musical giants

Jimmy Cliff, Burning Spear, Sly & Robbie and others like them are who you call giants in music. These artistes aren't getting the attention on Jamaican radio like the 'rups-rups' music we hear every day.

A woman like Tanya Stephens, who has no equal when it comes on to the topics she addresses, or the clarity with which she delivers, gets little or no attention from most of the disc jocks on the radio stations.

I think the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica needs to come up with some stipulations that would force the disc jocks to cover a wider range of Jamaican artistes who are doing uplifting and educational music. Also, greater time should be offered to the airing of new and upcoming talents, not just to artistes who tell women to "kack up, bruk it dung, dash out dem h" and other trash.

Disc jocks should then be monitored, and if it is found that they aren't abiding by the regulations, they should be suspended or expelled.

Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and larryfilm101@gmail.com.

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