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MILLSY'S MIND: Somebody stop Mr. Vegas please Featured

Archive Written by  Millsy Thursday, 27 May 2010 04:00 font size decrease font size increase font size 0
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The world of entertainment is exceedingly shallow. And dancehall is no different where its champions worship on the altar of bling and excess, a world where one hit song can generate millions of dollars and ensure that its creator lives a fabulous life of excess so decadent that it makes your teeth vibrate.


But every now and then, the reality seeps in that it is all a charade, a horrible peppermint façade where we pretend that everything is hunky-dory in happy happy land with copious weed and big-breasted, booty-shaking girls while the country goes to hell in a handcart. But every now and then, there is a eureka moment.

That moment came for dancehall again this week when Oneil Edwards, a member of the dancehall group, Voicemail died, finally succumbing to his injuries 16 agonizing days after he was viciously shot five times.

I did not personally know Oneil, in fact, I had only spoken to him three or four times during my masquerade as a reporter. But he appeared to be a stand-up guy, he even engineered a temporary ceasefire when I had pissed off Bugle with a story on my site two years ago, and that’s why it must be galling to his friends to see his name being bandied about in so shameless a fashion in the name of a soundbite, or a two column space in a national newspaper.

Read this quote from a Yasmine Peru article in today’s Observer, and see if you can spot what I am getting at.

"It's just real sad," Vegas said. "Craig, Alaine, Natel and I were at a video shoot for a tribute song to Oneil. It's a remix of the song Can't Even Walk, produced by me and Mikey Bennett. Craig had just done an interview and told the reporter that Oneil was doing better and five minutes later I got a BB message that Oneil was dead. I don't know what to say ... maybe my faith in God just wasn't strong enough," a sorrowful Mr Vegas related.

After reading that bit of drivel, I had to cover my mouth to stop from retching up my morning breakfast of eggs and a ham sandwich. Then I had a good laugh when I read Macka Diamond’s quote, some inane drivel about a dream with her and Kartel and mashing up a stage show. I had to wonder if she were simply overwhelmed by the occasion or she had lost her mind.

Normal people, faced with crippling grief over the death of a loved one, usually utter meaningless platitudes, bawl their eyes or descend in a sadness to deep for tears. or sit in silence, searching for words that dance just beyond their ability to quantify their grief. But these entertainers, they are a work of, for want of a better word, art.

If I were their publicists, I would be proud, in fact, so proud I would be forced to wipe a solitary tear away from my left eye in quiet homage to the sort of shameless PR that I have been often accused of dabbling in. It is the Big Kahuna of PR. For here you are in a national newspaper talking about the death of a colleague, and not only are you able to express your grief, but you are able to expertly slide in a blatant bit of PR on your own career. It’s priceless. Well done. Golf clap. Bravo.

Far be it from me to say that Vegas is not saddened by the loss on Oneil Edwards, but I would have been more impressed if he had done the unnecessary thing, the gracious thing and refused to comment, or simply offered condolences to the family and friends of the slain entertainer. How can you find the time to interject that “the remix of the song Can’t Even Walk was produced by me and Mikey Bennett’? Who the hell does that?

And what was that part about him questioning his own faith? “Maybe my faith in God wasn’t strong enough”. Um, I’m sorry Mr. Vegas, but this isn’t about you and your little neuroses. Come on, good God man, get a hold of yourself. Almost 100 persons have died this week as the country has done through a violent social upheaval not seen before in its history, and there are numerous people, stumbling around, dazed, missing pieces of themselves, trying to make sense of a tragedy so huge that it boggles the imagination, and yet you can find time to talk about yourself.

Who does such a thing? This youth is so bad, there will come a time when not even his imaginary friends will want to hang out with him.

Oneil’s death provides us all with the opportunity to look life in the face and know it for what it is, a random series of events, a mad carnival that will end with your inevitable death. It is a shame that someone we know has to die so that we can value life more. But c’est la vie. There is a greater story unraveling here, and it is the story of how these young men got to this dark place, a state of mind which can only be called ‘dying on the brain’ where they are consumed by a terrible bloodlust that inspires them to shoot sleeping children and weeping mothers. The question is how can we stop producing more of these young ‘trigger men’ who are losing lives that they had learned to value lightly in the first place.

But that is for another article, let’s go back to the shallow world of entertainment where its champions are more interested in commerce than humanity, no matter what sort of drivel comes from their mouths. Maybe the problem is me, maybe like my friend, Big Rallo, I just cannot stomach this ‘entertainment biz’ anymore. There is a famous saying that goes: “If you look around the table and can’t tell who the sucker is, it’s you.”

RIP Oneil. Heaven for climate, hell for company. See you on the other side. Hopefully.

Read 3710 times Last modified on Saturday, 29 May 2010 23:30

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