“Do radio deejays contribute to the state of popular Jamaican music?” That’s the question being posed at the next community forum and panel discussion hosted by the Coalition to Preserve Reggae music (CPR), in association with ZYNC TV NEW YORK LINKZ and People of Black Heritage. The forum takes place on Thursday, April 16th in the auditorium at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 777 East 222nd Street, corner of Barnes Avenue in the Bronx from 6:30pm to 10:30pm. The forum promises keen insight into this question. “When we look at what is happening in our culture with our youths and in our community, we’d be remiss not to closely examine everything that has influence whether positive or negative,” says Sheron Hamilton-Pearson, President of People of Black Heritage and one of the organizers. “We are delighted to have CPR bring the discussion to the Bronx especially following on the heels of their successful initial forum at the Billie Holiday theatre on March 4th, where hundreds turned out to participate in the discussion which examined “Could Dancehall be the ruination of Reggae and by extension, the Jamaica brand?”
The last forum revealed concern that Jamaican popular music is exerting a negative impact that needs to be addressed. “There was concern over the sexually explicit and strongly violent lyrics that are being incorporated in popular Jamaican music and then aired on radio and television” Says Carlyle McKetty co-founder of Coalition to Preserve Reggae Music and one of the organizers. Accordingly, many expressed outrage at the crass, course and vulgar sounds being emitted over the airwaves.” “CPR is here to raise the bar in the level of discussion and we intend to facilitate community involvement in discussing these issues and seeking remedies and solutions,” says Sharon Gordon, co-founder of CPR and moderator of the forums. “As stakeholders we are all affected, we must come together and find common solutions.”
An electrifying group of panelists have agreed to sit down and discuss this very timely issue. They are, DJ Roy (93.5 FM); Richie Poo (Royal Radio); Mikey Sterling (93.5 FM); Carter Van Pelt (89.9 FM); Avril Francis (93.5 FM), Spread Love Bobby (930 AM) and Dahved Levy (107.5 FM). To ensure that the discussion stays on message, CPR has tapped an impressive group of industry insiders to serve as Commentators for the evening. They are radio legend, Jeff Barnes, shipping magnet and radio host, Bob DeSouza, radio host, Francine Chin, singer/ drummer/ producer Ed Ed Robinson, journalist Andrea Daley and the well known DJ Prentice.