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By NAN ET Editor

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. June 4, 2021: There is no denying that gun violence is an epidemic that is not simply a Caribbean problem but a global issue, especially in the United States, where ease of access to guns is a fact of life. But for several Barbadian artistes, a song on guns, murder and revenge, released in April that recently went viral, has gone terribly wrong.

If the intention was art imitating life, then the singers and producers have scored a naught. The song titled ‘Trojan Riddim Barbados Dancehall Mix’ video, has drawn strong criticism from Barbados government and the public alike, and even temporarily led to the announcement by one corporate sponsor that it would be cutting ties with one of the artists.

The 16-mins music video, which now has over 127,000 views on YouTube, features several artists including Lil Rick, Peter Ram, Mole, Reigning Bashment Soca King SK, Mad Dawgz, Brutal Cranstar, Leadpipe of Sometimes fame and Chef Din, in a pro-gangster explicit song that speaks to delivering death threats to gangland informants. The song is produced by Dwain “Dwaingerous” Antrobus.

Lil Rick sings at the top: “Shoot straight like Messi from Argentina, with a big f**** gun singing sweet like Selena. Gunshot clap out and skin you out like Sabrina ‘cause you like to inform and run chat pon social media. Ya idiot, nobody ain’t ‘fraid for you, me neither. We shot you up to pieces, lef’ your body ‘pon de freezer like meat so when them violate, just know wha’ we pulling up with…”

Both the country’s Home Affairs Minister and Prime Minister have denounced the video as glorifying violence.

But in his defence, Lil Rick yesterday said he is “totally against crime and violence.” In a statement, his first since the brouhaha, he said, that “it was never my intention to promote or incite violence in any way.”

His comments came after telecommunications giant Digicel Barbados first announced it was cutting ties with soca and dancehall artiste Leadpipe, who was also part of the song and then reneged on that decision.

The video, released in April, comes as Barbados has seen a mounting homicide death toll in the last three years that has featured gang warfare over turf or control of the illegal drug and weapons trade and predatory attacks by armed individuals and groups followed by reprisals. Eight people were slain for the first five months of the year, among them Police Sargeant Newton Lewis who was gunned down as he was responding to an armed robbery in his Rose Hill, St Peter neighbourhood.

For the artists, who are now working over time to distance themselves from the video and their involvement in it, the case of art imitating life and artistes imitating gangsta rap and dancehall blindly has gone horribly wrong.

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