Please allow me to respond to a letter that appeared in the Thursday, 10th September 2009 edition of the Stabroek News, titled "Mavado should not be allowed to perform in Guyana" and written by Norman Brown.
Despite all the bad that is said, it takes one (1) Norman Brown to incur far more danger than 10 Mavados to any society. This is clearly demonstrated when he stated "the government's decision to lift the ban has not been properly spelled out. However, I looked forward to Eric Phillips' contribution on the lifting of the ban. It is the Afro-Caribbean youth that is targeted here. This sort of music is given to them as their music. The government seems to be saying it is okay to tell our young men and women that "deh don't know da meanin, when meh seh marrow paste on da ceiling", obviously inferring to what he perceives as an attempt by the government to use the 'negatives' in Mavado's music in a disadvantageous way to Afro-Guyanese.
But then again, it is the same government that allows "Rum till I die' 'Mo rum fuh me' 'Yuh cud bring it in a bottle, yuh cud bring it in a flask' to be delivered to their Indo-Guyanese supporters and we all know the spin-offs from this.
And it is this same government that banned the delivery of "deh don't know da meanin, when meh seh marrow paste on da ceiling" from Afro-Guyanese, who are perceived to be supporters of the Opposition, and using Norman's logic, they shouldn't have in the first place. It is convenient for Norman to lay blame at the feet of Mavado and his colleagues for highlighting conditions they have not created, whilst absolving himself, as I'm sure he is a parent, and those in the sphere of politics of any what-so-ever. If a child listens to Mavado music and becomes violent as a result then complicity had to be the order of the day on the part of his/her’s parents. How many guns did Mavado make available to his listeners Norman?
Norman Brown should also tell us how are the artistes to be blamed for the irresponsible actions by a few of their followers around the globe? Especially when both of whom he referred to denounced such behaviour publicly.
Have you ever visited or lived in Albouystown Norman? Such music is often the only avenue of escape for folks who have to grapple with the division, misinformation, etc thrust on them by irresponsible politicians.
Norman's inference to the opening line in "Im So Special" to further give validity to his point is also an indication of his ignorance on the subject, which is even further highlighted by his reference to lines from Mavado tunes that were done, and on the airwaves before he was banned from Guyana which itself clearly runs in contradiction of the basis of my earlier argument that worldwide acceptance has brought about a change in his lyrics.
In the world of music, particularly, Jamaican sound systems, a '45 special' is usually a customized tune that is redone by an artiste at the behest of and to the specifications of the particular sound system. Hence, Brown's attempt to infer to what he perceives as Mavado's reference to an instrument of violence gives further credence to the concerns of the management of another Jamaican artiste which centered around the inaccurate portrait of Buju Banton being painted by certain organizations in the U.S over a song done since 1992 and was being used by Gay Rights organizations to make their case for the cancellation of Buju's current 'Rasta Got Soul' U.S Tour, rather unsuccessfully.
As I stated earlier much has changed since Mavado was banned from Guyana in terms of his lyrics and worldwide acceptance. 'Overcome', 'On Da Rock', 'Even if we leff de gully', 'Ah Suh Yuh Move', 'Hope and Pray', 'Fall Rain Fall' etc are all testimonies to that fact. Added to that is last Friday's collaboration with multi platinum superstar Alicia Keys which saw the production of a reggae single for her impending album. I hope Norman Brown and others see my point and quit playing politics with our music and in the mean time he could also tell us how have 'we', Afro-Guyanese, benefited from the actions of politicians purporting to be acting on our behalf.
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