Brutalize me with music!
Oh yes, they will drink jump, prance, misbehave, put their butts out, show off their navels and all, in the name of culture and entertainment and it's all good because it's just harmless music and they are just having fun, clean fun-they say.
Hence, my caption, above, extracted from Bob Marley's "Trench Town Rock" corresponds to my own thoughts on music entertainment. Music and entertainment is good of itself but when it is used strictly for pleasures of the flesh, sex or for indulging in alcohol and drunkenness, then it becomes a potent tool of the devil.
Do you think it's by accident that the Maternity Ward of the Princess Margaret Hospital performs more deliveries between the end of the year and January than at any other time? No, these are carnival babies conceived at a time when we put our guards down; too drunk, or too high to be in control of our faculties to make the proper calculated decisions. The result is unwanted pregnancies which later results in increased delinquency, poverty, and crime- not necessarily in that order.
So what you find is that the youth are actually brutalized by the music they listen to and it obviously has an effect on lives and undesirable behavior. Dancing used to be an embrace between the sexes where partners glide, swirl and twirl in rhythmic patterns on the dance floor. This is something of the past. Dancers, who prance, wave and gyrate on the posterior, are now the in-thing. Ladies "cock-up" their rear and guys advance to have their crotches caressed.
Do we still wonder what is wrong? Well, it's one of the devils' final tools to speak to the now- generation in particular to be defiant, aggressive and adopt satanic worship through markings of the skin as in tattoos, heavy metal and so on. How happy is he as he conquers the world with this tool that everyone loves-music. Through the internet, their cell phones, iPods, pads, iTunes, in an iworld. The symbiotic connection between technology and music is no accident. Souls are ripe for the picking!
At the recent OECS Song Writers Workshop held in Dominica a few weeks ago, I was alone in trying to create a gospel song, something spiritual paying homage to the Creator who has blessed us with all that talent. I was told by our music mentor that Gospel was a "hard sell" (bluntly what he meat was, it is not salable) as most gospel artistes are inspired and come up with their own material.
So if this is true then it must be that music today is mostly uninspired and just about commerce. Artistes sell their souls and their values to achieve greatness. Ironically I might add that at the said workshop, we prayed and thanked the Creator for inspiration and the talents He had bestowed upon us, yet out of the 15 compositions we created, we failed to do one song in His honour.
So today musicians are becoming an endangered species as the drum machine replaces the human element of the drummer, or the sequenced keyboards provides the horn tones, or musical pattern and tones are repeated by the push of a few buttons, the human feel or entity is eliminated and the music become void of emotion. Hence, we react to stimuli which appeals to feet and not hearts.
About ninety- eight percent of all compositions are about a woman's anatomy, or love that exists in the form of lust really; exposed private parts are in full focus in the music videos. Indeed sex sells and we are ensuring that it does.
When Marley said "brutalize me with music" it was a metaphor for using the art form to sooth the hate, pain and oppression spoken about by "Rastafarians'during that era.
In a world which is faced with global warming, climate change, starvation , war, hate/discrimination, violence, unemployment and lack of spirituality, can't we find a space on our secular albums to address one of these fundamental issues or is it just left for the calypsonian once every year?
It is so refreshing to hear a Bouyon song admonishing the youth to focus and respect their elders as in Nayee's composition which is utilized as a theme for the local Youth Vibes and, to be frank, there are a few others though the tempo and vehicle used are not suitable to get the message to be absorbed nor are the youthful DJ's inspired to play these.
Still more need to be done because music instead of being done to sooth the soul and for reflection, most of all should be used for soul searching and praise to our God. Failing this self glorification will only lead to our own destruction as the great musician Satan gloats, at how he is able to use the arts to brutalize souls, mentally and spiritually, for his kingdom. For it is really not enough to relegate the Creator to acknowledgements to the back cover of CDs when we remember or call out his name in interviews since it is politically correct or fashionable to do this.
Now that we have just completed the Africa Week celebration, we would do well to reflect on how we can stop this brutality inflicted by our music choices, at our political campaigns, as marketing and promotion tools to make profit or just to have another sewo, and how we can bring about spiritual change in the nation.