“The Writing On The Wall”
Dancehall Journal, pt6. #Dancehall&ReggaeVSLaw
Is Reggae & Dancehall itself under trial? We have witnessed the rise and fall of one of Dancehall’s most prestigious and successful practitioners Vybz Kartel and with the conviction of Buju Banton, Fippa Mafia, and Busy Signal all in recent times, the question is still left unanswered or addressed.
With the recent arrest of a top executive from the industry’s leading digital distribution company (21st Hapilos), which boast offices both in New York & Jamaica. It’s allegedly that the FBI might be investigating the company as well for federal criminal activities, stemming from the murder charges laid against the company’s top executive.
It’s reasonable to state that the music being produced and promoted is doing nothing to help the current state of affairs by industry players both locally and internationally.
Since news broke of one of the top music executive being arrested by the FBI for murder, we have yet to hear from the company and corporate Jamaica in response to the allegations laid. The company along with popular Jamaican brands have partnered to execute a Digital Music Awards show this Saturday April 19, 2014, which sole aim is to showcase the Dancehall and Reggae Digital Achievements of 2013. With the latest developments however, one would hope the ethical response of these corporate entities, would be is to distance themselves from such an organization and its affiliates given the allegations laid against its operators.
About two months ago a press release was sent by 21st Hapilos in an effort to debunk claims made against them for corruption in the music industry after several issues were to the forefront. Their press release went further in an effort to debunk and categorize the author of the claim as malicious and one who has an agenda of character assassination. Now fast forward to the present developments where 21st Hapilos top executive has been arrested for alleged cynical crimes, wouldn’t this make a perfect script for a James Bond or Bourne Identity movie?
With the decline in Dancehall artists obtaining work permits for the US & its territories and the latest revelations, we are left with more question than answers. Has the FBI’s investigation of 21st Hapilos halted the progress of Dancehall and Reggae on an International level? Is 21st Hapilos a front for criminal elements? What does this mean for the future of Digital distribution of Reggae & Dancehall? And again, Is Reggae & Dancehall on Trial?
We can only wait and see what might unfold but only hope WE as players in the industry can help to create and facilitate and industry that’s profitable and respectable to and of all.
I will end with a popular Jamaican proverb which states “The higher the monkey climb, the more he’s exposed”.
21st Hapilos Though Art Weighed & Though Art Found Wanting.
The following was an excerpt from the Journal of Shuzzr, “The Writing On The Wall”