Dancehall singer I- Octane is speaking out against criticisms over his new single “Banga Fone.”
The Hot Rass singjay released the hard-hitting new track and visual last weekend, and almost immediately, some dancehall fans called him out for supporting criminal activities. In an interview with The Star, I-Octane talks about his music and how, in reality, his music life is separated from his personal life. Octane says the song should be consumed as just art, and he is in no way supporting criminals in an era where crime is rampant across the island.
“Sometimes we sing say we a floss when we really deh home,” Octane said. “A lot of yute sing say dem rich and dem nuh really have no money fi true. Nuff man sing say dem a gangster but dem nuh really involve inna nuh crime,” he said. “A man say ‘banga phone raaay’, it nuh mean him a call people and a try nothing. As artists, we’re just being creative. We’re not glorying people’s actions or telling them to go and steal people’s money and those things.”
In the music video, you have females on their “Banga Fone,” with papers looking like they are making calls. Dancehall artistes are shouldering more of the blame for the crime wave across the island these days, especially when it comes to criminal activities involving minor kids. Perhaps I-Octane could be more cognizant of this, or maybe artists are unfairly targeted.
Just over a week ago, Children’s Advocate Diahann Gordon Harrison, insinuated that Vybz Kartel was somehow to be blamed for juvenile delinquency amongst many of the island’s youth, which led to Kartel taking a social media to address the issue. Attentions are now being turned to I-Octane on this same subject for his single “Banga Fone.”
What does this really say? It says that artists have a lot of influence over their audiences, whether they would like to agree or not. The “Banga Fone” singer says, “A great leader is a great follower. A child shall lead the way, so me nah take the yute dem credit, dem inspire me to tap into this sound. We have more type of dem vibe deh coming to the people dem.”
With that said, we do hope; artistes will be more careful in the content that they put out because the kids are listening.