Most reggae/dancehall artists have at least one marijuana anthem in their catalog, but Devin Di Dakta and Ikaya are going the opposite route.
The Dakta and Ikaya joined forces to record a anti-smoking single “Future Come First” featured on the Talk Di Truth Riddim, produced by NotNice. The song is in support of the National Council on Drug Abuse’s (NCDA) Talk Di Truth: Youth and Ganja Public Education no-smoking campaign and educational tour, an initiative by the Ministries of Health, Education, Justice and National Security.
“We want to get up close and personal when we educate these young, impressionable minds and anything that is threatening your education is threatening your future,” Ikaya said. “Your future come first. Try get high grades not high grade. I definitely believe that music is arguably the best vehicle to reach the youth of our nation. Where words fail sometimes, music often speaks. Entertainers have a powerful grasp on the youth and can influence them. It’s a role that we should take seriously as the voice of the voiceless.”
The dancehall singer says she got involved with the initiative to help teach young people healthy habits such as no smoking. The 2013 Jamaica Secondary School Survey found that 43 percent of students admitted that marijuana was too easily accessible. The Jamaican government has been moving to decriminalized use of the plant and that could make it even more accessible, so the initiatives like these will go a long way.
“I witnessed firsthand the harmful effects of smoking through my grandfather, so I feel obligated to educate Jamaica about the health dangers of smoking not only to help save lives, but to also honour my grandfather’s life,” she added. “As young people, your brains are still being developed and at that stage, studies are showing that the damage from smoking has dangerous effects on the brain, including memory loss, which we all know prevents us from retaining information being taught in school.”