Monday, 14 March 2016

Jamaican/Bashment Music Banned In Croydon? We Are In 2016, Right?

The headline on the Croydon Advertiser read like something I'd have expected happened until the 90s at the very latest:

How is that even allowed in this day and age? A type of music that's commonly associated with participants securing a wine, daggering or bussing gun finger is related to crime and violence? That's what they're allegedly saying. The owners of Dice Bar were told “not to play bashman or John Paul”, translation: bashment or Sean Paul. We don't "bash" man, uzimi? And the only John Paul I know was the pope and I swear my man's reasoning with his peer Jesus while Selassie, Peter Tosh, Jacob Miller and Bob Marley bun him out?

"We had a flyer which said R&B, garage, house, bashment and hip hop and I was advised to remove the word bashment because chart and commercial music is considered safer," said Dice Bar owner Ryan Seda.


I clocked this sort of genre-erasure thing from a while ago. There are two types of parties: "hip hop, r&b, house/grime/trap" parties and "hip hop, bashment, afrobeats... soca, club classics" parties. If you're black, you know the subtle difference. Some (read: I) say the former attracts mixed/pretentious crowd. The latter is for people from the ends, mainly African and Caribbean, who are more likely to listen to OnTop FM than Cap*tal Xtra. Our "city raves" are in the virtually unused-on-the-weekend east side (Aldgate/Tower Hill) 'cos the west end aka hell's kin isn't for us anymore. And even EC's had its heyday, 'cos a lot of those places don't get late licenses anymore.

It's a sly way of saying "We play urban music not black music" aka "We entertain black men, but preferably in mixed sex and ethnicity groups, and definitely not too many." Most clubs have a more the merrier type vibe with woman as they attract men, some of the extremely "upmarket" clubs extend their discrimination to the ladies (for example). But man dem are welcomed when we bring sand to the Sahara. Pree the catch 22?

I understand some clubs want to entertain a certain clientele and their club-goers like it, and that's cool. They can do what they want with their establishment just like I have the freedom to burn them out! Equal opportunities and that. But to say a whole area can't play a particular form of music is something from the dark ages. We back to the days when "Yardie gang" headline for any "black-on-black" crime was order of the day then, yeah?

And it's like they feel they can get away with this kind of thing because of that kinda thing. The higher ups spent at least two decades de-humanising Jamaicans and (I believe) they upped the ante in the 90s so they could enforce entry restrictions. You know, after they used Jamaicans for the post-World War rebuild, there had to be an end to free movement. We were alright when we were part of the Commonwealth; they raped our land and human power, now Jamaican's have to apply for a visa like anyone else.

I'm not even sure if this will get much traction as it deserves because they've singled out a particular nation. A nation some people may believe are victims of "their" own actions. You know, the minority represent the majority. It isn't a black thing, it's a Jamaican thing. Divide and rule in full effect.

I mean, think about it; they say they want "commercial and chart music", but "no John Paul" (again: Sean Paul). One of the biggest chart stars 10 years ago. Beenie Man, Baby Cham, Mr Vegas, Gyptian and others have charted too. They weren't supported by "Yardie gangs" only. Nor was it just Jamaicans. A compilation called Dancehall Reggae Anthems sold 120k+ copies in the UK last year. Once again, they weren't bought by "Yardie gangs" laundering drug money or holding their "spray and pray" weapons to the heads of those with iTunes accounts. They are the normal buying British public.

Omi "Cheerleader" isn't a bashment song, but he's Jamaican. 2nd biggest single of last year. Can they play that? Major Lazer, Rihanna, Pia Mia, R. City, Krept & Konan, Lethal Bizzle and Justin Bieber all scored their biggest hits in the past twelve months using bashment but they aren't Jamaican. They included in the ban too?



As I said, some people are more likely to agree because "Jamaicans" have a history of "committing violent crimes". That's a narrative amplified by the mainstream media. But what about those in the majority who don't commit crimes and like wining to bashment? Like, most clubs where it's played on most weekends. What if you aren't even Jamaican, live in Croydon and like a bit of bashment with the regular dose more commercial music? They have to go out of the area with its dying nightlife anyway? And what if the authorities enforce this in other areas? What if they extend this to other genres because they got away with it this time? They want to ghettoise music? How will they set which areas don't get what type? Imagine, certain areas won't have particular types of music in a city/country that boasts of its multicultural society? A country that has benefitted from the inclusion of music from different cultures, especially Jamaican. In a liberal country in 2016?

I'm not saying there aren't people who listen to bashment and commit crime, people who commit crimes listen to most forms of popular music including "chart and commercial". There is no link between crime and the music they listen to. This isn't just about Jamaican music, this is about authorities taking the piss. As I said, I don't expect to hear bashment in every club, like I don't expect to hear rock music in any club (apart from Song 2, Wonderwall and Smells Like Teen Spirit), but for music to be banned from an area is absolutely ludicrous.

Free up Bashment. Bun the government. Bun your Westfield. Viva Graneries.

Sorry not "sooorrr-reee"



Other sources: Evening Standard, Guardian, The Voice, Noisey

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