Days later the debate is still hot in Jamaica about Rihanna’s new video Man Down. Arguments here surround the video depicting violence in Jamaica, while arguments abroad pick at the violence in the video period. I have arguments against both actually.
Firstly the whole Jamaica thing. I have a problem with people saying she shouldn’t be shooting such violence in Jamaica. Why not? We should only shoot beaches and palm trees and sunsets in Jamaica? when I watch the video I don’t see Jamaican violence. I see violence. I don’t get “oh my God those Jamaicans are gonna rape me” I see a man rape a woman. It happens everywhere in the world. It was a dancehall beat, why shouldn’t she shoot it where dancehall originated? You know, when I had a problem with the Drake video and the violence it portrayed everybody told me it was art. So…why isn’t Rihanna’s video art then? Is it because all your friends were in the Drake video? The Drake video upset me so much because what I saw in that video was a man coming to Jamaica, falling for a local woman who was “the don’s” girl and getting shot down because of it. It definitely said to me “don’t take them Jamaican women, they will kill you”
I didn’t get that strong Jamaican reference in the Rihanna video. It is known she is Caribbean, what I saw was her in her natural environment going thru a very unfortunate situation. I didn’t see “the Jamaicans rape her.” Jamaicans love to make everything about us. Its not always about us though. What I saw was a beautiful island. I have gotten many hits to this website from people searching the term “what river is rihanna in” Everybody wants to go rafting on that river. Y’all didn’t see that though. Is no one supposed to come here and film violence? James Bond can’t be filmed here unless its a beach scene? GTFOH with that.
I’m not even going to address the comment I saw about why is it always about beaches and dancehalls when people film here. News flash. Thats what people come here for. The beach and the dancehall culture. No one comes here to go to our posh clubs or visit Norbrook and Cherry Gardens. WTH? They want sun, pretty beaches, fruity cocktails with little umbrellas and authentic reggae or dancehall. People who want flash and glamour go to LA or SOFLA or somewhere. Hell all yall UPT people fly out to celebrate shit like Memorial Day and Thanksgiving as if!
When I read the comments for the video on US blogs, I see no one discussing how bad it made Jamaica look or how they’ll never visit Jamaica because of rape. No one. Come on its not always about us. I buy the “art” concept a little more for this video simply because I didn’t get a strong Jamaican reference from it, I didn’t feel as if it was a Jamaican man who raped her more so than just a man. Jamaica was just the background. All we did was provide the imagery and the acting. Acting. Art.
And to the Parent Teacher Council or whoever keeps giving Rihanna a hard time because the video is too violent. Uhm…. Huh? Let me tell you something Rihanna is not your child’s parent and if she’s your child’s role model you have failed. By the time teenage girls start listening to this type of music and being exposed to this much sex and violence you should have already done your job of teaching morals and values. If your child is exposed to Rihanna before she/he is a teenager, you have failed. In passing or occasional is not enough to influence so before you tell me how you can’t keep them sheltered and they will see it at school, that shouldn’t be enough to erase all the teaching you have done. When I was a child my father took me to watch Dancehall Queen and let me tell you I was traumatized for those few hours. I covered my eyes in some scenes and felt things I knew I wasn’t to be feeling. It was enough to make me remember the experience all these years later but was it enough to influence me? Nope. The morals already ingrained in me by that time overruled whatever it was I was watching on that screen. By then, I could tell the difference between “play-play” and reality. Ask my mom about the time I boxed a boy flat out in his face so hard his mom came to cuss her out because he tried to fresh himself with me when I knew my momma said this was wrong. No maam. I played house and doctor too but my momma told me never to let nobody touch me there!
I can only hope to raise my daughter as my momma raised hers. I’m not planning to shelter my daughter from reality but she certainly won’t be over-exposed. She won’t be in a circle at her 3rd birthday party dutty-whining in braids. Oh no. People say we grew up in a different time and its difficult to keep it from our kids with technology and what-not but I counter that argument with watch your damn kids. You have to stay all up in their business. My momma read my diaries and stayed on my computer. If the bad pickney brought a sexy magazine to school my momma caught that ish as soon as I brought it through the door. Oh I hated her for it then but its how she kept up with what was really going on and knew what to say when. My momma don’t play and I ain’t playing either. Stop asking Rihanna to parent your children. She’s a 23 year old singing about sex and loving it and so am I. That S&M ish is on my “sexy-time” playlist right after some nasty ass Trey Songs. Get. It. Together.
Please note that I am in no way defending the video or advocating whatever message she claims to be sending. All I’m saying is, she grown she can do whatever the f*ck she want. You don’t like it, don’t watch it. It ain’t rocket science.