Dancehall star Demarco is ruing the fact that fatal attacks similar to those exacted on several black rappers in the United States could happen in Jamaica if Dancehall artists do not curb the recording of violent songs.
The I Love My Life artist was speaking with veteran radio announcer Richie B on The Bridge 99FM, about his no-gun songs plegde which he made earlier this week, when he made the observation.
“It naw guh affect yuh until it reach pan yuh doorstep… Look wha a gwaan wid di artiste dem a America. Wi don’t want dat reach a Jamaica; an a dat soon reach; a dat it a guh reach to, because di man dem a try fi get more and more graphic fi who can get more graphic paa song an who can diss who. An den it a guh start get physical and den wi nuh want wi artiste dem a dead like how di artiste dem a dead a America. Wi nuh want dat,” Demarco told Richie.
“And I admit that I was wrong all these years a sing dem type a song deh, An mi waan move forward and be more positive,” he added.
According to the Hip-Hop magazine XXL, since 1987, an astonishing number of US rappers have been murdered, with many of their cases left unsolved.
“In the 35 years between Scott La Rock’s shooting death in the Bronx in 1987 and Takeoff’s murder in 2022—one of the most recent cases of a hip-hop murder—we’ve documented 91 rappers who have been killed, about two per year and sometimes more,” XXL reported.
Slain rapper Takeoff was laid to rest today after heearlier this month outside a Houston bowling alley. No arrests have been made, according to CBSNews.
When asked how difficult it was for artists to move away from gun songs that give them much “forwards” at stage shows, Demarco said that for him, despite recording these types of tracks, they have never been part of his public performances.
For his other compatriots, he cited the lyrical content of Sean Paul and Shaggy as examples, pointing out that there were a lot of other topics to sing about.
“No, meck mi tell yuh dis. Mi sing whole heap a gun song. And a swear pan mi life, yuh si every performance weh mi eva do, none a dem song deh nuh inna mi performance. A two gun song mi eva sing inna my performance: Duppy Know who fi Frighten and Sort dem out. All a dem odda song deh, mi neva sing dem pon stage. Neva. Caw although mi do dem, mi did a do dem becaw mi want fi stay like wid di younger yutes dem an dem ting deh. But mi a look inna myself an a seh: ‘yuh know seh dis wrong’” the Fallen Soldiers artist said.
“There is whole heap a topic fi sing bout. As mi seh guh back to di Sean Paul and di Shaggy dem. Look pan di stage weh dem deh pan. A gun sing bring dem deh? No,” he stated.
When asked by Richie whether his anti-violence stance is the same in his dual roles as an artist and as a producer, he replied in the affirmative.
“Of course. If dis is mi stance as a artist, why mi a guh put out a gun song from somebody else? Mi naw guh do dat,” Demarco said.
He noted too that consumers of music have a big role to play in influencing the content that artists record, and should fully use this power.
“An another ting, di artiste dem, dem nuh fi get di blame fully. Di fans, yuh si di fans, a oonu have di power. Because if there is no audience fi killing song, wi naw guh sing dem,” he argued.
“Suh oonu have di power. Without di fans there couldn’t be any DeMarco enuh. A di fans dem elect wi and meck wi buss. Suh if oonu look inna oonuself and seh ‘wi cyaa do dis no more, becaw nuff a oonu out deh have family and friends weh fall victim to gun violence. ‘oonu fi stop it’ seh wi nuh want it no more, an a bet yuh every artiste stop,” he added.
Continued Demarco: “Look when one-drop did a run di place. Mi si artiste weh neva sing one drop inna him life haffi guh pon one drop riddim and sing bout good stuff and sing bout upliftment and dem ting deh. Yuh hear Bounty Killer, Elephant Man deh pan one drop riddim. Suh wi need fi clean up di music man… I will neva sing anodda gun song.”
According to Demarco, he has numerous unreleased gun songs, but would be re-writing and re-recording them replacing the negative words with positive ones.
“Wi naffi sing bout killing. And wi can sing bout it and still have style. Still have di metaphors dem and di doubel-rhyme dem and all a demy ting deh, caw mi have whole heap a dem kind a somg deh too. And mi know nuff artiste a seh ‘Jah know Demarco, yuh know seh mi with yuh dawg but mi have about a hundred song mi have load up fi put out enuh’. Me too, but mi stop dem,” he said.
“Di whole a dem a get erase or dem a get do ova. And mi skill enough fi flip di song dem and turn dem in a positive way. Caw a dat mi a do couple a dem right now.
When asked about the response he has received from his colleagues, in relation to his new stance, Demarco said that persons with whom he has recorded unreleased violent collabs have expressed worry, but that he has recommended that the songs be re-recoded to express positivity.
“Mi si couple people a bawl, caw some people all weh mi a do feature wid a seh ‘a wha dis’. Mi a seh ‘it caan go’. Meck wi do one different song weh uplift di people dem. Mi naw support none a dem ting deh,” he explained.