JARIA on Assassin’s Red Stripe Performance

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JARIA) notes with concern that the performance of Jeffery “Assassin“ Campbell was abruptly discontinued at the recently held ‘Red Stripe Live’ concert, due to a misunderstanding on the part of the promoters.  We wish to express dissatisfaction with respect to the artiste’s performance being prematurely terminated as a result of a perceived violation of the rules of engagement by Red Stripe.

Red Stripe has since apologized for their action. JARIA notes however, the apology did not clearly indicate that Mr. Campbell in fact lived up to his contractual obligations, including his participation in two Red Stripe Representative supervised rehearsals.  While the apology is a step in the right direction, enough has neither been said nor done in an attempt to repair any damage which may have been done to the artiste’s reputation. We wish to recommend that if Red Stripe, or any other sponsor, has concerns about the lyrical content of an impending performance (following observations of the rehearsals), that it should communicate such reservations to the artiste immediately and unequivocally.

Further, JARIA is reminding all sectors within the Jamaican society that tolerance of competing views is the hallmark of a vibrant democracy and artistes have the distinct right to express their views through song within the confines of the law and the canons of decency (neither of which, in the estimation of JARIA, was breached in this case).  The fact is that Mr. Campbell has been one of the many artistes within the industry who has consistently acted in a professional manner. 

Nonetheless, JARIA wishes to commend Red Stripe’s initiative which targets at risk 18-24 year olds who have a passion for the music industry and wish to pursue a career in that field. The concert which was a part of the broader programme, Diageo Learning For Life, Project Artiste, was held on Saturday, March 28 at Sabina Park and featured a range of artistes.

 Indeed, JARIA appreciates the involvement of Red Stripe and all public and private sector companies in supporting the continued growth of the Jamaican music industry.

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