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OK den, murdah music lovers!
This is Movado, War In The Air, on the Israel riddim.
I guess I have to say something about the Gaza vs Gully war. I know many of you have followed JA music for a long time, like me, may not have the energy to follow “music politics” anymore, so here is a brief summary:
Gaza is the nickname for the Portmore area outside the center of Kingston and Gully is Gully Banks in the Cassava Piece community (Constant Spring area) in Kingston. And yes, Gaza it’s named from the Palestinian Gaza strip. To give a hint of what’s it is about.
Movado is from Gully Banks, hence his nickname Gully God, part of a group of artists known as Alliance and Vybes Kartel is from Portmore, leading the Portmore Empire group of artists.
Now, there has been a long lasting conflict between Movado and Vybes Kartel, their 2008 Sting clash can be seen on youtube. A clash which, by the way, was real lame despite the massive hype both before and after.
Since the feud between Bounty and Beenie has kept them in the business for 15 years, feuding is now seen by JA artists as _the_ way to stay in business. Because of this there hasn’t really been any reason not to have a feud, and the Alliance vs. Portmore feud has been going on for a few years now.
This is all well. We long timers remember many such feuds, all the way from Prince Buster and Derrick Morgan in the 60ties, Prince Jazzbo and I-Roy in early 70-ties (Jazzbo: Gal Bwoy I-Roy :) ), Shabba and Ninja in the 90-ties, Bounty and Beenie and so on. Great entertainment of course and a central component of dancehall culture.
However, the feuds have over the years gone from fun and friendly teasing into not so entertaining insulting. People have complained about that. With the Gully / Gaza conflict the situation has gotten into a new dimension. The Gully / Gaza conflict seems to be leading into a full scale armed conflict. People are definitely killing each other, but at this point it seems to be difficult to tell it apart from the regular gang wars going on in Kingston. If it’s regular gang/community conflicts or if it is really about the Movado/ Vybes Kartel feud is difficult to say at this point. However, JA authorities and the church are taking actions, it seems they are expecting this to get really out of hand soon.
When I write this a peace initiative is under way with planned handshake between Movado and Vybes at Half Way Tree. But really, it would be good for JA but not good for Movado and Vybes and who knows how they will prioritize that conflict?
Perhaps you would argue that Movado and Vybes Kartel would not have been able to create this conflict in a more stable society, but when I hear about this conflict it sound to me a lot like soccer hooligans. There will always be people that don’t understand (or want to understand) that what happens on the soccer field is not for real, that it’s not a real conflict they are watching. And there will always be people that take it as an excuse for beating each other up. Since hooligan fights, even armed in some countries, is an established part of for example the European society, why should you be surprised something similar happens in JA?
By the way, another similarity… A Canadian couple got beaten up by Gaza supports in JA because they had a mixtape in their car playing Movado. Vybes response was "I cannot be held accountable for every Gaza fan who takes music too far.” That is _exactly_ how the soccer industry has defended their unwillingness to deal with the problem they have created!
Anyway, if this conflict gets worse I think we actually have the first Music War is in the history of humanity! (As you may know, there are examples of soccer wars already: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Football_War)
I wish I hade something less cynical to say about this conflict, but plenty others do, so… But I’d like to pass on a message to Movade and Vybes Kartel since it seems they feel they shouldn’t be blamed for what’s going down:
If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem.
Besides, it can’t be said better then it’s done here by The Gleaners Ian Boyne:
Gully me seh? Gaza mi seh? Music me seh! But then on the other hand I’m too old to really care.
It’s not called Murder Music for nothing, although those who coined that term didn’t have the slightest idea how right they were.