When Capleton said “A Rasta ting, yuh know” as a feud erupted between Norris Man and Sizzla on his ‘A St. Mary Mi Come From’ show held in 2007 he had no hint of the Rasta warfares that were brewing among entertainers.
From verbal exchanges to physical disputes and artistes walking out on others on stage, Rastafarian artistes have been causing controversy among themselves. Viewed as conscious and lyrically uplifting, there is a perception that Rastafarians should not be engaging in violent acts among themselves and other entertainers. Instead, these artistes should be setting an example for others to follow. However, over the past year or two, these same entertainers have found themselves in the midst of controversy.
Lutan Fyah raised hairs on some Rastas at ‘Reggae In The Valley’ when he made disparaging comments about his fellow Rastafarians. Lutan Fyah commented on-stage: “Big up Rodney. Him is a man weh tun nuff yutes inna millionaire. Mi nuh see no Rasta weh a buss nuh yute.” After which Luciano and Anthony B, who were scheduled to perform, left the venue without doing so.
Lutan Fyah says he currently has no disputes with other artistes in the industry. “Rasta nuh really feud, a negative vibe jus’ spill off. Wi nuh have any ongoing fight against Rasta. I and I nuh have no beef wid no man, I is a vegetarian,” commented Lutan.
As for the statement he made at the show, he says he does not think he was wrong for making such a statement. He says he is not concerned about what they have to say regarding his statement as he merely stated his own opinion.
His statement angered other Rastafarians such as Capleton, who later told the STAR “First an foremost, wi nuh waan people feel seh Rasta a build no negative vibes toward people. A warrior jus seh som’n weh him nuh fi seh an him haffi sort out dat. If me neva strong, to di vibe weh a gwaan, me woulda leave an nuh perform to. Everybody know how much youths Rasta buss over di years. A man nuh haffi literally tek a yout into the studio, cause youths emulate we. An mi never feel good seh Anthony B and Luciano did haffi leave di show an nuh perform due to dat either,” he said.
It would seem that the Rastas have developed a bad-man mentality in their behaviour and their image. From Munga calling himself the ‘Gangsta Ras’ to acting as such on stage. This was seen at Capleton’s own show ‘St. Mary Mi Come From’ when Norris Man was attacked on-stage by persons after he insulted Sizzla.Norris Man made a fuss when he believed Sizzla tried to rush him off stage. A throwing of words began when Norris Man commented: “Run di riddim, mi a bad man! A mi name Norris Man.” After a tussle on stage, Capleton had to come on stage reminding the artistes: “A St. Mary mi come from, a love mi seh, a unity.”
Another feud is going on between Munga Honourable and Deva Brat. The two battled it out on stage at Stone Love’s anniversary held at the Mas Camp. Deva Brat went on stage during Munga’s performance singing Talk Dem A Talk and pushed someone off stage, to which Munga responded by hitting him. However, the most recent clash was between Sizzla and Jah Cure at ‘Original Jam Jam’. The two allegedly got into a dispute backstage for unknown reasons.
A peaceful people
Despite all the fueds, some still believe Rastas are peaceful. “Rasta is a peaceful set of people. Wi a nuh gansta, wi a Rasta. Wi a nuh bad man, wi a good man,” said Lutan Fyah. He says those Rastafarians who sing about violent lyrics are doing so out of their own experience and not based on the Rasta experience.
Bass-C of TOK supports the statements made by Lutan Fyah. He says Rastafarianism speaks about peace and love, while Rastas may have their differences, he says they do not have to display it publicly. It is, therefore, contradictory to see Rastas fighting against each other on stage or otherwise. As a result their fans may follow their actions.
Popular dub poet, Mutabaruka, says he is not pleased with the behaviour of some persons who have taken on the Rasta name on to themselves. He especially has a problem with those in the industry who are involved in feuds and who have violent lyrics.
“Obviously, is a contradiction. The music has gone a different way. These people coming up claim dat dem come from the ghetto. They have these feelings and project it like is normal behaviour,” said Mutabaruka.
He sees their behaviour as being on an individual level as most of the Rastas in the music industry come from ghetto areas, but not all of them react in a violent way. He cited I-Wayne as one of the many new Rasta artistes who has been delivering positive music to the people.
Mutabaruka says one cannot be both a Rasta and a badman. He says many of these “badman entertainers” are merely living out their “craziness” on stage and then pin it on the Rasta name. He says it is unfortunate that these persons are being highlighted in the media or otherwise, as they are only destroying the fabric of society.
He says feuds are nothing new in the Rasta community as Bob Marley and Peter Tosh had their own disagreements. However, these disagreements did not materialise on stage.