Monday 19 August, 2019

A view from the outside: A word to Chronixx from a 'media man'

Chronixx performing at Reggae Sumfest 2019. (PHOTOS: Marlon Reid)

Chronixx performing at Reggae Sumfest 2019. (PHOTOS: Marlon Reid)

With Karyl Walker

People have expectations. Will they love you. No guarantee - Chronixx

Some years ago, while I was the Crime/Court editor for the Jamaica Observer, I happened to stumble upon a strange situation that left me uncomfortable.

Sitting in the company’s lobby was a young, aspiring Rastafarian artiste who apparently had made an arrangement with a female colleague reporter to get a feature. The young man looked quite forlorn.

I was drawn to his presence by my co-worker who marshalled the front desk.

“Karyl,” she said, “Oh God man, the youth sit down there long time now and …. don’t even come out to him. It nuh look good.”

I was livid. No one, whatever their status in life, should ever be treated that way. So I stormed into the newsroom, accosted the reporter who had the man waiting at her leisure and told her in no uncertain terms to attend to the artiste and stop treating people with disdain.

She was under the pressure of work, but heeded my advice and saw to the young man’s needs.

Several months later, that same artiste came to prominence. 

“How me fi trust and me nuh certain?” 

Big tune. 

“That song bad man. A who sing it?” I asked a colleague one day.

“A youth name Chronixx,” was the reply.

It turned out it was the same young man who I saw languishing in the lobby.

Now Chronixx is a big star. He is rated among the best that Jamaica has to offer in the field of reggae. But for some reason, he seems to not want to interact with the Jamaican media. Maybe he still holds a grudge because he had to wait hours for a write up when he had no fame or fortune.

Chronixx (right) poses with fellow entertainers Dexta Dapps and Koffee after Dapps' Sumfest performance.

At the recently-held Reggae Sumfest festival, Chronixx declined to speak with us. After his scintillating performance on Festival Night One, the singer went to his vehicle and drove out of the venue, but took a beeline to witness Dexta Dapps and other remaining entertainers on the lineup.

Here is the question.

Chronixx, how come when you never ‘buss’ you were willing to sit hours waiting on a reporter, but now you ‘arrive’ and you ah snub we? Remember, it was the Jamaican media and people who first endorsed you and presented you to the world as our favoured son.

You did the same thing some years ago on the lawns of Jamaica House at Shaggy’s benefit concert. I was there. Your entourage surrounded you and, with a look of disdain, said “NO MEDIA.”

It is interesting that an artiste who sings so much about Africa and extols his love for people of African descent would be so haughty when dealing with his own people. Yet we see you pandering to the millionaire overseas journalists most of whom, by the way, are not of African descent.

None of us Jamaican media workers are mega millionaires. We do not own the media houses and are struggling to survive like everyone else. I grew up in a place called Red Hills Road which has communities similar to De La Vega City and Ensom City. Some of us even lived on ‘capture land’ behind zinc fences. We are of the same cloth. Speak to us, your people. We all hold you in high esteem and we are proud of the work you have done and continue to do.

We have no expectations and we love you. That is guaranteed.

If it is that you, Chronixx, have decided that the Jamaican media is not worthy of your time whenever your busy schedule allows you to be home, then say it and maybe some of us will return the favour. 

It is common knowledge that when Jamaica endorses an artiste, the world follows suit. 

Remember your roots. 

It must be said that Chronixx is not the only artiste who has adopted this stance but, at present, he is the most popular one.

Big kudos must go out to Protoje, Etana, Koffee, Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, Spragga Benz and all the other artistes who took the time out to come to the media tent after their performances at Reggae Sumfest 2019 to break words with the Jamaican people via the conduit of the local media.

Chronixx, me Karyl Walker am your biggest fan. You are a great artiste. But speak to us lowly humans. 

Lastly, after attending the Buju Banton Long Walk To Freedom Concert and Reggae Sumfest 2019, I am yet to get the chance to hear you sing 'Capture Land' live.

Left, Right Jah soldiers a come.

That is my view from the outside.

Karyl Walker is a multi-award-winning journalist who has worked for Loop Jamaica, the Jamaica Observer, the RJR Communications Group and Nationwide Radio among other media entities. He now resides in South Florida.The opinions expressed in this column represent the views of the writer and not necessarily that of Loop News.

 

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