Popular reggae star, Chronixx is never one to mince words and the internationally regarded singer stayed true to form as he spoke about incarcerated dancehall star, Vybz Kartel during a recent interview when delving into the issue of violence being illustrated in Jamaican music.
The Spanish Town Rocking singer appeared on VICE Magazine’s Noisey documentary which chronicled the singer’s rise to prominence while following him in his home city of Spanish Town as well as explored the state of the local music scene. In the interview, Chronixx addressed the media’s tendency to highlight negative issues involving today’s younger generation without highlighting their good contributions to society.
“A man will write an article about how bad this generation is all the time,” he said. “But how many articles will you see about the good? We have become a very negative driven people. Vybz Kartel has done a lot of good things in life, I must say so. It’s just that we pull the negative out of each other and we pay people for the bad.”
He then addressed Kartel, insisting that he has done good things musically and otherwise, but pointed out his often hardcore, violent lyrics and how he became a ‘cannibal’ over time.
“Gangsterism, cannibalism, because Vybz Kartel over time became a cannibal,” he said. “When you listen his music it was very cannibalistic. It became so pleasant to the human like there is a thing in us that craves chopping up people and beheading people and cut out a man inside. There’s just something in us that loves that.”
“When you see youths react to a song that says ‘Go and kill everybody,’ ‘Kill dem all and done.’ You know, and everybody get excited.” he added.
Predictably, Kartel’s fans went at Chronixx on social media, with one saying, “Di man get fight more than every artiste in this world. The man behind bars and a run it and dem still a try fight di boss. Free di music daddy,” while another said “Chronixx, you can’t walk in Vybz Kartel shoes. You are below the food chain level. You think your song Who Knows is nothing? Bwoy, mi not even a go disrespect you ’cause you are a lost cause. Yuh not bad like him finger tip.”
The documentary also featured fame poet, Mutabaruka and Kartel’s former protege, Popcaan who both spoke to Kartel’s continuing relevance in Jamaican music, with the former suggesting Kartel was rebelling against the system, but fell victim to a system embedded with the same ills he was accused of and eventually convicted of committing.
“The same system that was in place during slavery is the same system that is in place now,” Mutabaruka said.“Vybz Kartel is rebelling against the system, but the things that’s he’s charged for and he does, is part of the system that. because that’s how the system maintains itself. The system maintains itself through crime and violence.”
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