Sunday, February 5, 2017

Crime Well Dread Lets Face It; Can Our Music Make It Better?

One of the most loved Caribbean island is hemorrhaging from the effects of violent crime and many, especially women have expressed fear, not only for their lives but the lives of their children. Many artistes over the years have expressed through music their own views and concerns about this problem as it continue to linger, one such is Sophia Squire. 



During her formative years, the Spanish Town based, mother of two, gained notoriety as a solo act after the release of the hard hitting track, Ra-Ta-Ta-Tat that echoes the cry of the people affected by the crime monster, "everyday its the same will it change." A long standing, existing problem of gun fighting in Jamaica confronted by a concerned citizen, mother and artiste who opted to offer words of wisdom to perpetrators saying, "wise up and realize that di system nah go work wid you bad vibes." But her plea seem to have fallen on deaf ears as less than a decade later that very problem not only still exist but have escalated.

Sophia Squire is just one of many advocates to speak on these issues offering her own interpretation of what could be the root cause of an escalating problem along with some words of advise here and there. But for some unknown reason many of these songs seems to have failed at seem catching the attention of the authorities looking to quell the problems they face. As the years go by, the artistes continue to sing and illustrate their concerns visually, relentless in their efforts to get messages out, "we can't take it nuh more" Sophia Squire sings on another track called, "Love Like Rain" in which she seek to spread a message of love and unity as a solution to the problem. Her voice, her song and her messages are reflective of a common cry among affected families. Was any attempts made to curb the problem? Yes, of course, several as a matter of fact, but never a systematic process proven to reduce crime in the long term.


Imagine having to watch your children leave home each morning for school while you spend the rest of the day worrying if they will return. Imagine being told that your daughter has gone missing or your son was stabbed to death while travelling home from school for his cell phone.  Imagine living in a society where every single home is grilled from top to bottom and as if not enough wired with security cameras and guarded by fierce dogs, even when one cannot afford such luxury. 

"Yow mi nuh know whey fi do nuh more" resonates with many frustrated women who are unable to provide for the family and having to worry about their children's safety. It is this type of frustration that leads to desperate measures.  This is the problem a nation face, how can the issues resolve? What can the people do to end the violence? Are we listening to each other?  Do we love and care about each other? Why are we hurting our women and children? What about our moral values, are they indicative of what we expect of our leaders?  As we recognize black history month we are privilege to have had among us great people of whom have bestowed on us guidelines from which we can use to navigate ourselves toward a better future and artistes like Sophia Squire who continue to lend their voices to current issues. The way forward is coming together and work toward reducing crime in Jamaica Land We Love! 


"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure" ~Nelson Mandela~

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Sophia McKay