By Lesroy W. Williams
(Basseterre, St. Kitts) – In an age where gangster lyrics seem cool to many youths, Freddie McGregor has advised artists who promote gun lyrics, vulgar lyrics and violent lyrics to be aware of the fact that their music is contributing to the negative influence of youths and antisocial behaviors.
“Personally, I don’t like the gun lyrics and dirty lyrics of some artists because to me those things should not find any place in society,” Mr. McGregor said at a press conference at the Royal St. Kitts Hotel and Casino on May 30. “Life is so much more than being a thug.”
Freddie McGregor, his son Chino, Laden, Singing Sweet and Bushman, along with national artistes, performed at the “Double Trouble” Peace Concert held at Carnival Village on May 31.
The large crowd that gathered at Carnival Village to see Mr. McGregor, an internationally acclaimed, Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and producer, was well-behaved as they chanted along with him some of his hits such as Push Come to Shove, Just Don’t Want to Be Lonely, I Was Born A Winner, Uncle Sam, and Big Ship.
Mr. McGregor has been moving people with his lyrics for over 40 years and he has been influenced by the sounds of Stevie Wonder, the legendary Bob Marley, Alton Ellis, Ken Boothe, Bob Andy and many others. His albums include Masterpiece 1997; Signature 2000; Anything For you 2002; Heart Is Willing 2003; Comin In Tough 2005.
It has been a while since Freddie has released a new album but he said that he would be working on one shortly. This album is estimated to be released around February, 2009.
Daniel “Chino” McGregor is following in the footsteps of his father, Freddie McGregor. He started his professional career in 1997. He is a singer, writer and disc jockey. He writes, co-writes and produces tracks for artistes such as Daville, TOK, Wayne Marshall, Elephant Man, Kiprich, Delly Ranx and his father, Freddie. Chino has such songs as Girls Dem Straight, Redbull and Guinness, Buss It Pon Dem, Inna Di Club and Ghetto Whisky.
More importantly, Chino hopes to continue in the line of his father in keeping his lyrics clean, and free of violence and vulgarity. He said that he wants to contribute toward changing the culture of violence in society, especially as a young man coming out of Jamaica where violence is rampant.
“Gun thing no mek it. Yuh can’t carry gun go supermarket,” Chino said.
He said that he is a part of the “Save the Music Campaign” that is trying to clean up the music, especially Dancehall, by promoting positive lyrics.
Chino’s new album “Unstoppable,” will be released in September.
Dwight Duncan, better known as Bushman, hails from St. Thomas in Jamaica. His name in Afrikan means medicine man and, literally speaking, he is the musical medicine man. His first album Nyah Man Chant was released in 1997 and earned a five-star rating all over the world. His album Total Commitment was number seven on the US album charts. Two other albums for Bushman include Higher Ground and his latest Get It in Your Mind.
Bushman, with his natural talent for singin,g is an outstanding artist carved from the same musical tradition as Bob Marley, Dennis Brown and Luciano.
Some of the national artistes who graced the stage included Jah Fire, Rico, C Jay, Lex, Sudi Pop, Rico, S.M.I., Simburgers and Natural Mystic.
According to Mr. Romeo Parris, Manager of Club Kactus, the motive for the concert was to promote positive lyrics by positive artistes and to expose the talent of our national artistes.
“We don’t want St. Kitts to become like Trinidad and Jamaica with respect to the violence and crime,” Mr. McGregor said. He told the crowd at the concert:
“In these times, we have to keep our eyes wide open, stay focus, respect our parents, and respect the things in life that we should respect so that we can move forward. St. Kitts is too small and too nice and we don’t want the gangster thing around here.”