Bob Marley vs. Vybz Kartel: Jamaican hypocrisy.

Bob Marley and Vybz Kartel
Bob Marley and Vybz Kartel

Jamaicans love their reggae and dancehall music.  They should, reggae is great music, likewise her younger offspring dancehall.  This little island has created such a huge musical genre that transcends all borders and boundaries.  However, as huge as reggae and it’s child dancehall have become, Jamaicans can be just as hugely hypocritical when discussing the superstars of the two genres.

Listen to most Jamaicans discussing Bob Marley or any other cultural Reggae artists and you will hear of promoters and supporters of peace, love, equal rights, justice, and everything positive. You will hear of great artists whose music are meant to trigger actions that will make this world a better place for all mankind. Jamaicans will tell you how their music is meant for us to resist Babylon and all Babylonian systems.  It is meant for us to fight against oppression, discrimination, injustice, Government brutality, and all other ills of the world.  In other words, reggae is an influential genre with extreme influence on those who hear and love the music—so influential that most Jamaicans will tell you that reggae played a major role in Zimbabwe gaining her independence and the ending of apartheid in South Africa.  They are correct. That is what Bob Marley, Dennis Brown, Peter Tosh, Sizzla, Capleton, Garnet Silk, and many other great reggae artist’s music is meant for; it is meant to influence change, positive change.

On the other hand, when you listen to most Jamaicans discussing Vybz Kartel or any other dancehall artists whose music can be deemed violence prone, these artists are no longer supporters or promoters of the things they are singing about.  They are simply reporters of the streets, the garrisons, the ghettos.  They are just product’s of their environments who are making music about what is happening in their environments.  So although the lyrics might sound like they support the shooting and killing of people, it is really not; it is just letting you know that people are being shot and killed.  A song about gunning down someone has absolutely no influence on the listener, it is just music.  Songs glorifying gun violence by Vybz Kartel, Mavado, Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, Sizzla, and others are meant to have no impact on society.  There is absolutely no correlation between the high crime rate in Jamaica and the high rate of violent music being released in Jamaica.  If by chance there is any correlation, it is the high rate of crime that forces entertainers to sing about filling people with lead including women, children, and the elderly.  In no way does the violent music contribute to the crime rate.

So when a reggae or dancehall song is positive it has great influence and the artist is a supporter and promoter of the message within the song.  When a reggae or dancehall song is negative it has no influence and the artist is just being a reporter.  Hypocrisy at it’s best.

In most Jamaican’s rationale, this song influences people:  Bob Marley – Get up, Stand up

 

In most Jamaicans rationale, this song does not influence people:  Vybz Kartel – Garrison

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9 Comments

  1. That’s what make reggae/dancehall so powerful, there’s a story to the words, 🙂 that all ppl can relate 2! However there’s different kind of reggae/dancehall lovers, those who understand patwoi (dont really know how to spell it) 🙂 , and the lovers who , going by there lifestyle, dont understand patwoi and can only pick up keywords( words they have heard b4) ! Reggae/dancehall is the BEST!! 2me, however rite/wrong is in my heart, a song cant convince me 2 do wrong/ rite, nor it make a final decision 4 me! It may help me b more conscious! Not everyone see it so, some are frail-minded and do what they want to really do and give it a reason! However when this reggae/dancehall lover hear the sweet sounds,LOVE IS ALWAYS ON MY MIND, I now know how 2 b’have!! :-), dont ever stop or change,only 4 the better!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 #bless

  2. For the love of reggae/dancehall music motivates to youth so that they can stop bad things and focus on their future like on the other motivating speech of ‘Vybez’ writen as follow…” SO MI SEH PULL UP YO PANT’S AND
    PUT HI PON YO WAIST AND TUCK IN
    YO SHIRT, AND DON’T BLEACH YO
    FACE INNA MY DAYS THAT MI A
    MEDITATE SO MI STUDY FI DI TEST,
    MI NO PROCRASTINATE… SCHOOL
    YOUTH UNUH PANT’S TOO TIGHT
    THIS A NO, NO, NO, NO, DANCING
    DYNAMITE MECK YO MOTHER
    PROUD, YUH NO SI HOW SHI FIGHT…
    SCHOOL GIRL LISTEN TEACHER TALK
    UNUH SKIRT NO FI MECK SO SHORT
    DON’T BREAK UNUH MOTHERS
    HEART… REMEMBER FORCE
    RIPE GET OLD QUICK NO NEED TO
    RUSH GROWING UP YOU WILL GET
    THERE!
    #LEAVEITTITHEIRIMAGINATION
    #ENJOYYOURYOUTH
    #FORCERIPEGETOLDANDTIREDQUICK PANT’S
    #SCHOOLLYRICS #VYBZK” this message give alot more to poeple who are still learners and tells the truth we must not rush things which they will stil came in the future
    .
    .
    .
    #ThankYou

  3. Rubbish! Reggae comes from the ghetto.Reggae has both a local and universal appeal.To make a distinction Reggae is English Dancehall is Patois.You do not study in Patois,you do not read the news in Patois,you do not sign a contract in Patois, you do not sign treaties in Patois, you do not have a marriage contract in Patois.Clearly Patois is local and English is universal therefore for someone that would like to be Jamaicas Ambassador to the world you write in English and present yourself to have a universial appeal without losing your soul. Dancehall is therefore unpolished and does not need extensive work to be composed. This is the reason why Marley is currently the number one Artist 34 years after his demise.

  4. When talkIng about Bob’s music,it’s not only Reggae, he is a Songwriter in Level with the best in the World, his music is Covered by great musicians. Vybz is not mentioned when it comes to music,so please don’t comper him to dancehall music.

  5. Ones a legend a true legend where people used to break out of prison for the day to see him live and return in the morning to continue their sentence plus he brought world peace to so many who gave up hope, the other…. exactly no comparision a man that talks about killing people then bleached his skin because he thinks it cool to fit in kmt shit don’t mention them in the same sentence

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