Take a surf over to www.chronixxmusic.com and have a look at the work of Chronixx. I decided to surf over to his site to satisfy my curiosity on this new chart topping reggae artiste and see what was all this kerfuffle about. The banner on his site stood out like a hand raised in the air in defiance of racial oppression . The banner said “The Dread and Terrible Project” celebrates a year!
Dread and Terrible. I thought that was Interesting. The banner had a scroll explaining what the phrase meant and it stated it was a year ago that Chronixx released independently his first music. His first musical effort was done unconventionally and managed to earn over 14, 000 sold units and over 2 million streams worldwide. Chronixx, from the very start seemed to be anti-status quo. His music and lyrics is testament to that. Chronixx was never one to speak the language of the status quo either. He was not the usual mouthpiece, neither was he the messenger of words that many wanted to hear.
Whilst everyone and their ma was fawning over the visit of the POTUS Chronixx made a subtle statement:
….”City too busy. Everybody is distracted…somebody have to watch the gates….” ( Chronixx Twitter account)
Distracted they were, some calling the visit historic while the average Jamaican excited to see their favourite country flex their political power and Presidential trappings all over the corporate area. It was exciting times but Chronixx was having none of it.
Two days into the visit it was alleged that Chronixx posted the following on his social media page:
“This man…Still have a criminal record in The United States and we glorifying some waste man!”
This seemed to have angered a lot of his “readers” and there was social disruption. Calling his words “disrespectful” and “out of line”, his naysayers, headed by the lovely Minister of Youth and Culture Lisa Hanna, was seen in her video response asking her ‘friend’ Chronixx to quote ‘call me, you hear Chronixx..” hand gesticulating to make it look light hearted.
At the outset I asked the question what did Chronixx do wrong? Why is the Minister quick to respond to a Chronixx statement and not to other pressing issues that relate to Jamaican youths? Was this old grapes coming to the fore again? Is this the new distraction for our people to hide the obvious anti-climatic visit of a sitting President ? Chronixx it seems was the sacrificial lamb. how dare he speaks ill of our hallowed visitor , especially one from foreign?
Chronixx spoke his mind. He was exercising something called ‘Freedom of Speech”. The POTUS has been called and referred to in worse terms by his own politicians, members of his own party , fellow black men and members of the opposite side in the US Congress and Senate. He can handle any criticism, and he has done quite well and frankly he does not need Lisa Hanna to come to his defense or anyone for that matter.
The Freedom of Speech that we are alluding to , and no one in this part of the world really understand, is a borrowed American term. Chronixx is a young man who speaks, like his generation in straight, non decorative , to the point language. His message was heard by those who understands him and shares his views on the futility of the visit. Those who disagree can go ahead and make all the references they want. But what everyone seems to miss is that Chronixx was never one to feign affection by sweetening his lips. The secret to Chronixx life and for those that listen to him is his honesty, something you cannot fake.
Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving. As he sees it , he sings it. The Chronixx disciples would understand that. The Lisa Hanna quorum doesn’t. How many of us when given the chance has ever spoken against the status quo? How many of us are unable to say what they really want to say for fear of repercussions? How many of us are suckers for pretty talk and are so called “gracious hosts’ that you cannot even speak your mind on something that hurts you financially or otherwise? How many of us really exercise their freedom of speech? How many of us actually exercise their freedom of conscience because with freedom of speech is freedom of conscience.
Jamaica , let me tell you a little secret. Listen carefully. The world has changed. Despite our refusal to think so the world has changed drastically. We may not like what we hear all the time, but language reflect “Freedom of Thought’ . Change your thoughts and you will change the world.
Those that do not agree with me or even Chronixx for that matter can say so and I encourage the freedom to comment exercising our freedom of speech. But i also hasten to remind you that Freedom of Speech is like oxygen to the American – it is an American ideal that a lot of us Caribbean people are trying to exercise and understand . Some of us are still afraid and ignorant and use Facebook and other social media as a cloak and dagger to hide and speak your mind. Great. But all big changes of the world come from words, the spoken word , backed by a clear conscience and the power of the soul standing in defense of the words.
How silly we all are. Caribbean people never use the liberties they have. They demand freedom of speech and never use their freedom of thought. Chronixx is showing us what happens when thought collides with speech. Its powerful. Its gets attention. If we could only exercise this right when we are voting or when we see our ‘waste politicians’ wasting our time and resources, what a different place Jamaica would be?