Blame the Entourage

© The Jamaica Gleaner
Genre : Society news
Contact details The Gleaner
Principal country concerned : Column : Music
Release/publication date : 2014
Published on : 23/03/2014
Source : The Jamaica Gleaner

Following Vybz Kartel's conviction for the murder of Clive 'Lizard' Williams, veteran dancehall artiste Mr Vegas is calling for artistes to desist from associating themselves with large entourages.

According to Mr Vegas in an interview with popular United States-based hip hop radio station Hot 97, entourages can be the recipe for disaster and may get artistes into problems which could normally be avoided.

The Heads High singer says he does not travel with more than three persons and that is one of the reasons he stays out of trouble with the law.

"If it was up to me, I would turn up to an event alone," Mr Vegas said.

The veteran believes entourage members sometimes incite violence in an attempt to get respect from artistes, in the process dragging down the object of their attention.

According to Mr Vegas, entourage members are normally 'yes men' who boost the egos of entertainers.

Negative energy

He also believes entourage members tend to feed off negative energy.

"So if somebody dis Hebrew, they will be like 'yow deh bwoy deh dis yu Hebrew, mek mi dun him fi yu'," Mr Vegas said.

Vegas also pointed out that entourage members sometimes take their own initiative and attack persons on behalf of artistes, because they feel they are defending their mentor.

On occasion, those actions are misinterpreted by those who have been attacked. They, understandably, attribute blame to the artiste affiliated with their attacker.

"The fact that you and Mr Vegas is beefing (feud) somebody around you wants to be cool ... and might want to dun di bwoy fi yu," Mr Vegas said.

The artiste also showered praises on iconic dancehall artiste Bounty Killer, who he says has been able to control his entourage.

Reggae artiste Fantan Mojah is known to travel with a massive entourage, much like fellow reggae artistes Capleton and Sizzla Kalonji.

Fantan, however, defends his entourage as comprising decent people who are conditioned to respect his fans.

Show them love

"Mi buss over 10 years now and yu never hear seh mi inna nuh altercation wid people because of entourage. The people are the ones who build us so we have to show them love, I don't walk with violent people and if anybody in my entourage feel like they are going on the road to disrespect people for Fantan Mojah, a di last time mi and dem a par, because mi nuh tolerate the disrespecting of people," Fantan Mojah said.

The Rasta Got Soul singer says nothing is wrong with having an entourage. However, it must be properly socialised by the artistes on how to behave in the public domain as well has how to treat others.

There are examples of artistes who get into trouble because of their entourages.

Sizzla was blamed for the 2007 beating of fellow reggae artiste Norris Man at a stage show. Mavado lost a member of his entourage in 2011 at the Quad Nightclub in New Kingston during an alleged altercation with a police officer. Vybz Kartel was blamed for the beating of popular selector DJ Jigsy in 2007 and dancehall artiste Gaza Kim, now called Kim Hamilton, and recording artiste Black Ryno were accused of ordering the beating of award-winning selector DJ Boom Boom in 2010.

Grammy Award-winning entertainer Beenie Man, also alleges he was attacked by Capleton's entourage during their feud which started in 1998.

DJ Jigsy's response in The STAR perhaps best sums up the way people view the issue.

"Whether is him or his entourage, is still him. Mi jus' lef him to God, because badda man deh a road dan Kartel. Kartel nuh bad. Mi dun wid him. Yuh cyaa hear mi play a Kartel song again. Mi stop play dem, whether mi a play a Bembe or 'round town. Him a tek it too far," Jigsy said.

Former Gyptian entourage member-turned-artiste, Quick Cook told The Sunday Gleaner that entourage members can use creative means to show support for their artistes rather than choosing to show their loyalty through shows of bravado and violence.


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