Dancehall’s Path to Justice

he common expression ‘the message is in the music’ is taking on a wider tone in new music releases which have hit popular streaming platforms in recent weeks.  Dancehall is once again paving the path to justice through its genre.

Reggae and Dancehall star Busy Signal has addressed the issue of criminals on Yeng bikes with his song “Yeng Yeng” and Konshens addresses the unprecedented rate of child killings, the murder of women and rape through his song “Jungle Justice.”

 According to the Jamaica Constabulary Force, areas such as St. Andrew North and St. Catherine North have seen an increase in reported crime rates while attacks against women and children are at an alarming rate with the level of violence especially brutal.  Both Busy Signal and Konshens understand that one of the best ways to address these issues and more is through music.

Busy Signal lyrically describes a scenario in his song in which he keeps watch of men on bikes while he sits in traffic.  These men have a penchant for robbing motorists; even people on foot.  Taking to Instagram Konshens stated “enough is enough.”

In years past, Dancehall icon and mentor Bounty Killer used Dancehall to advocate for poorer communities via songs such as “Down In The Ghetto,” and Baby Cham lamented life surrounded by violence with “Ghetto Story.”

Experts agree that change can come through music.  According to SCL Health, music has the ability to change our moods and perhaps change the way we view a situation.  The United Nations says “the combination of the right lyrics, rhythm and instruments can build a group identity, stir strong emotions, engage audiences and amass people to take action.”

Hopefully the action taken by fans and friends of Dancehall, especially songs that have a strong message in the lyrics, leads to a reversal in the upward trend of violent crimes.