“Why u pressuring the hands dem weh done dem pon jaw? Look how much money reggae and dancehall draw; food vendors bartenders pawty a dem income fi pay bills cuz nuttin nuh politics nuh bring come. Jamaica known round the worl’ as a pawty kingdom. So when the jerk chicken, soup and nuh corn naw self how the light a go stay on inna the place weh we dwell?”
This is the cry from entertainer Bling Dawg on behalf of the dancehall fraternity, for the authorities to take a balanced approach to the enforcement of the Noise Abatement Act, which seeks to protect citizens from noise created by sound systems at night, but which has potential disastrous consequences for dancehall.
Just recently, the police announced plans to step up their enforcement of the law. Commissioner Police Owen Ellington also indicated recently that show promoters who book entertainers who are deemed a bad influence will be denied permits, and that permits will not be granted for dances set for areas with a history of violence.
However, in a song titled Letter to the Government, Dawg urged authorities not to destroy the industry just for the sake of enforcing the law. That, he says, was his primary inspiration for the song that while not yet officially released has been getting steady airplay in the past few days.
“From the other day I see them implementing stronger enforcement on the 2 o’clock lock-off for the dance and the inspiration that me get,” said Bling Dawg. “I just felt like it was a better idea if you write a letter because if you write a letter you have more things you can say than in an eight-bar or 12-bar song.”
Bling Dawg, who had a recent release called Run Out with Bounty Killer, believes the time has come for the stakeholders in the entertainment industry to come together to protect their interests which are under threat. “This is like the whole collective energy for the industry to come together; dancers, singers, producers, sound owners, promoters, even the liquor companies because on a nightly basis they sell a tremendous amount of liquor,” he said. “We’re not bashing anybody but we should have peace of mind to know that we can talk to save our food.”
He is calling for compromise, confident that a solution can be found that everyone can live with.
According to the ‘letter’: ‘Compromise but a nuh every decision weh yuh mek even propa pon the mission, dark only destroy we vision, please just use yuh discretion and rememba a nuh every ghetto relish inna weapon. Some born poor it nuh really hard fi recon the next way fi get rich is fi hitch pon the second. Hand pon the wall weh di clock nuh waan deh pon. Politics a yawd outshine religion but still we find peace tru the dance. Mek we patronize wi own nuh badda sweep tru the dance. Hardship, reality me see it tru mi glance, unuh cutting tourism when unuh locking off the dance. (Pree dat!)’
The entertainer believes the industry needs to speak with one voice in defending the rights of people within the industry. “It can’t depend on me alone. I am just a voice but we need the collective energy of the whole fraternity as a voice,” he said. “Me cyan go inna house a Parliament go talk so I have to put it out in my hub where me can talk as the voice of the people.”