New York’s West Indian Day Carnival has been a tradition in the city since the 1920s. Immigrants from Jamaica, Trinidad and various islands throughout the Caribbean held private celebrations in Harlem with music and food from their native countries that soon became public affairs. After undergoing several evolutions over the years, it now exists as one of the largest cultural gatherings in New York City attracting visitors from across the globe Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway.
However, in recent years gun violence has marred the festivities casting a cloud of justified concern. Grammy Award winning Jamaican Reggae artist Beenie Man has been a regular participant in the Labor Day Carnival and Parade since the mid ’90s and says his experience has been overwhelmingly positive. But he feels that artists need to take more responsibility for maintaining a level of decorum on the Parkway.
Watch his interview with TheUrbanDaily.com where Beenie Man cautions today’s Dancehall artists to take the necessary steps to ensure their own safety, as well as their fans.