The sexually explicit and violent lyrics for which deejay Vybz Kartel - one half of the Gully-Gaza feud - is known affect how Jamaican teenagers think and view themselves, according to a recent study.
Numerous young people between the age of 10 and 18 have spoken of the negative influence of Kartel's lyrics and music videos on them, communication specialist and former permanent secretary in the ministry of energy and mining, Marcia Forbes said her research had found.
Forbes, who put the issue in the context of the vicious Gully-Gaza feud between Kartel and his arch-rival Mavado, said the research showed that the deejay had power over what teenagers thought about and how they viewed themselves based on his lyrics. (See page seven for the full article) "One girl was delighted with herself because she met Kartel's standard by having a tight "pum pum" and not one that "placka like mud", as he disparagingly described vaginas with lax walls/ insufficient muscle tone," Forbes said of a girl who "used Kartel's lyrics to validate herself and her sexuality".
One boy, she said, explained that the deejay's Tek Buddy song of some years ago was good because it gave power to men.
"To this boy, the song showed that men were taking back power from women who were usurping men's roles," Forbes said, reiterating that "teenagers really listen to Kartel".
Last week, the police cracked down on several vendors at school gates in Kingston, who were selling badges depicting images of Kartel with what are believed to be two chrome 9mm pistols, bearing the words 'Calabar Empire', and another showing the entertainer holding what appeared to be a firearm to the head of an image which bears the resemblance of Mavado, and has the words, 'Mi murder people inna broad daylight'.
The deejay has distanced himself from the pins, insisting that he did not authorise the pins to be made and neither would he derive any financial benefit.
And principal of the Edith Dalton James High School, Ray Howell, last week lashed out against the sale of badges, saying it would sow seeds of division among schoolchildren.
"We are very concerned about what I call the 'G culture' in schools - the Gully, Gaza, gun, ganja and graffiti. This is the worst disease that has come into the school system in my 37 years of teaching," Howell told the Observer.
Forbes said when young people were asked whether music videos reflected mostly real life or mostly fantasy, over 80 per cent said reggae music reflected mostly real life and almost two-thirds expressed similar sentiments about dancehall.
"So we see that the vast majority of those in the survey of 447 adolescents believed that our two indigenous music forms really reflect life," Forbes said.
SOURCE: Jamaica Observer
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