Jamaican police authorities are convinced that violent lyrics from Dancehall music and crime are connected in Jamaica.
The country’s High Command would be willing to support a detailed study of the link between violent dancehall lyrics and crime, according to police commissioner Dr Carl Williams.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Jamaica Police: Dancehall Lyrics Influence Criminal Activities” quote=”Jamaica Police: Dancehall Lyrics Influence Criminal Activities” theme=”style3″]
“If you speak about violence, sing about violence, and you are violent, then there must be some correlation there,” the police chief stated during a session with Jamaica Observer journalists at the newspaper’s headquarters on Tuesday, April 19.
The police commissioner also pointed out that when anti-gang legislation was being promulgated the police had lobbied for a provision that would address this concern.
“We did consider it seriously when the anti-gang legislation was being discussed. We did make connections between some people who were deeply involved in crime and the kind of lyrics that they espoused or listened to, and we made the argument successfully for an inclusion of a clause in the law,” Dr Williams stated.
“The truth is that a lot of the people who are involved in violent crimes who are singing about these things, are actually involved directly or indirectly. We know of a particular person who was one of the most prolific [with] anti-police, pro-gun lyrics,” he further added.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Jamaica Police: Vybz Kartel, Mavado #Dancehall Lyrics Influenced Violence Among High School Students” quote=”Jamaica Police: Vybz Kartel, Mavado #Dancehall Lyrics Influenced Violence Among High School Students” theme=”style3″]
Head of the Criminal Investigation Branch, Assistant Commissioner of Police Ealan Powell stated that at the height of the rivalry of violent lyrics between Vybz Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, and prominent dancehall artiste Mavado (David Brooks), the tension which escalated among their [Gaza and Gully] fans even impacted high school students.
“In almost every school, not just in Jamaica, but in many of the Caribbean islands, there were two gangs. His demise led to a significant de-escalation of these activities. If it had continued can you imagine where we would have been now? The lyrics went hand in hand with those kind of practices,” Powell asserted.
In what has become one of the most talked about murder trials involving a Jamaican dancehall act, who many would argue was at the height of his career at the time, Palmer was in 2014 sentenced to life in prison for the 2011 murder of Clive `Lizard` Williams.
The trial, which saw diehard supporters in the streets calling for the deejay`s release, was the longest in the country’s history.
Vybz Kartel, who had already served three years behind bars, was put away by 10-1 jury vote and will serve 35 years before being eligible for parole. He has appealed the verdict.
The “Speedometer Bun Up” entertainer and his three other co-accused were charged with killing Williams over guns which the victim allegedly stole from the deejay and his cronies.
According to the Jamaica Observer, many Jamaicans will never forget text messaged evidence presented in court in which Palmer is said to have described in shocking detail how he and accomplices “chop up” Williams “fine fine” and disposed of the remains.
Shawn Campbell, another then rising dancehall artiste known as ‘Shawn Storm’, Kahira Jones and Andre St John were handed down lesser sentences.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Jamaican Authorities Convinced Dancehall Lyrics Influence Unruly Behaviour” quote=”Jamaican Authorities Convinced Dancehall Lyrics Influence Unruly Behaviour” theme=”style3″]