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Music and More | Events make memorable music

Published:Friday | March 30, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke/Gleaner Writer
Agent Sasco
Professor Nuts
Torches blaze at Yeah Yeah Yeah Wednesdays in January this year.
Vybz Kartel

As important as they are for income generation, attracting visitors and selling products from liquor to shirts, events are such fleeting. As hard as it may be to grasp for those of us who went to Sting year after year for an extended period, unless it is restarted, there will come a generation of young music lovers inside and outside of Jamaica who have absolutely no memory of going to Jam World to see the Boxing Day marathon,

They will, however, be able to hear Bounty Killer jibing Beenie saying "ova Sting dem couldn't please dem audience", or Kartel demanding that Mavado "no do no more damn Sting". Sting is not the only event that is honoured by inclusion in lyrics; in whose lines about the humorous drunkard Jimmy Bascombe, who is into the practise of "tief and sell". Jimmy steals a cylinder of cooking gas, sells it to someone, steals it from them and sells it to someone else. He is serious about stealing it from that person too, as "mi a go a Sunsplash an it a go wid mi/Cause mi haffi mek a money offa couple whitey".

For smaller, but, as sites of production and performance of Jamaican popular culture no less important, events, there is much to choose from, from Assassin asking about 'dem guy deh' who would never go to Bembe or Spectrum, both in Kingston, to check for a lady to Elephant Man deejaying about the joys of Blazay Blazay in Manchester. All those events are mere memories now, with the mention in songs most likely meaning nothing much to those who never knew of them as parties or concerts. For while the mentions are fine, there is always the matter of context which an entertainer cannot stop and do on record or live.

However, there is always the new generation of events to put into a tune, from Aidonia's Yeah Yeah Yeah party to Yeng Yeng, but it would be great if there was a concentrate effort to say what it is about and why it is important.

As much as we generate cultural products which attract large crowds, unfortunately, we as not as good at making them mean something beyond the moment and extending the life as an income generating product. Would it not be great to have a Sting documentary with the songs incuding the event's name as part of the soundtrack?