Reggae and dancehall artistes may be known for lyrically potent music and occasionally voicing their views on the ills of society on stage before introducing one of those powerful tracks. I-Octane, however, feels the need to do more and has decided to make an emotional plea to stop the crime and violence in his home parish, Clarendon, in particular.
I-Octane, who grew up in Sandy Bay, a small community east of May Pen, admitted that while crime was present when he was growing up, it has taken a dangerous turn.
“Crime nuh new, it deh everywhere but it wan’t so dominant or so visible. As a Clarendonian representing the parish it is not a good feeling to see it ah get so overwhelming,” he explained. “Now whenever I go out there and engage in any conversation, the first thing I am being asked is how me feel about it and weh me ah guh do to help ease the crime situation in my home.”
Root of the problem
I-Octane says that more needs to be done to find the crime-causing source.
“Life is something that can change at any moment but there is always a root. We now have to find the root of the problem, whether it may be poverty, politics, lack of employment or a matter of greed or people taking vengeance. It has to be found and fixed,” he said.
The entertainer did not get into any finger-pointing but said that in any country the government should always do more to curtail issues like that being experienced in his parish.
“That’s why the people elect a particular party to run the country, because at the initial stages they lay out a plan that convinced the people, and it is they, the people, who have the power,” he said. “Putting a ZOSO or establishing a state of emergency is a good plan but when set in place the officials operating it must be responsible and understand what it is for. It is for the people and so they need to work with the people.”
Then, the Lose a Friend lyricist moved on to urge his peers and Clarendon residents to join the fight against crime: “Me have to say to people of Clarendon stop the killing; all that violence not necessary. Just love yourself; life is the greatest thing and the greatest job as an individual is to stay alive and survive. Why rob, kill, and shoot innocent people and two weeks after the same thing reach you? I can’t tell a man fi just sit down at them yard for better but find a better solution in getting financial support and improving quality of life.”
In closing, he said, “No crime, no violence is a good thing anywhere. This is not just Clarendon, but for the country it is not positive as it is affecting everyone and it is not a good look, especially with us being at the centre of global attention.”