Dancehall / Feature

Jah Cure Reflects On Recording Music In Prison Before Incarceration In Europe

Jah Cure

Weeks before his arrest in Europe, Jah Cure says he is the first person ever to “make music from prison and hit No. 1 worldwide.”

In a hyperbolic monologue on Instagram Live, Jah Cure declared that he was the first artist to record music illegally in prison and top charts across the globe. The reggae singer who was broadcasting from somewhere in Europe said he needed to let fans know about his accolades and why he is who he is.

While serving time in the early 2000s, Jah Cure released some of the biggest songs of his career, from “Longing For” to “True Reflections.” According to the singer, no other artist in the world achieved this feat before him. “Before Instagram come in, me a do the world the greatest justice,” said Jah Cure. “I want the world to know this, don’t forget that I’m the first person in the world… I Jah Cure is the first human being on Earth (the planet) to make music from prison and hit No. 1 worldwide. Please write this down… I’m the first human being to make music illegally in prison.”

Since making this statement back in September, Jah Cure quickly found himself in a world of legal troubles in Europe. The lovers rock crooner was arrested in Amsterdam on October 2, 2021, for allegedly stabbing a promoter name Nicardo ‘Papa’ Blake during a dispute. The singer was later charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault. If convicted, he could be sent to prison in the Netherlands for up to 15 years.

In his video rant, Jah Cure went on to squeal on himself and the warden who helped him, dropping their name and location in the process. The singer also admitted to lying to authorities and misleading them to believe that he had recorded the music prior. “First human being – any other artist do it after me,” he continued. “Mi hit No. 1 how much countries with ‘Longing For’ and I did it again with ‘Prison Walls’ (True Reflections) many places.”

The Grammy-nominated artist went on to tout “Longing For,” the first track he recorded from the inside as his biggest song to date. He proceeded to namedrop a number of international artists who have told him that it’s their favorite track of having been heard singing it—namely, Chris Brown, Drake, French Montana, and Keri Hilson.

While he has undoubtedly broken many barriers and is certainly the first reggae artist we know of to find such great success from behind bars, it remains unvalidated whether it is objective to go as far as to say Jah Cure is the first human being in the world to record music illegally in prison and top charts worldwide. Not only have a number of hip-hop acts recorded music while serving time from as early as the 80s under uncertain terms, but we would also have to question which charts qualified the statement that the singer went No. 1 “worldwide.”

Surely the best of his discography had to have topped some charts in various countries, but if one should interpret his statement as one that suggests the universally understood standard that is the Billboard chart, it would render the claim false. That does not take away the fact that “Longing For” and “True Reflections” are timeless and massive hits that entered numerous charts across multiple territories. It’s just a far cry from going No. 1 across the world.

Jah Cure’s album True Reflections… A New Beginning, which arrived after his release from prison in 2007, peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart. He earned his first No. 1 album on the chart in 2015 with The Cure, which also landed him his first and only Grammy nomination to date. He topped the chart again with his most recent album, Royal Soldier, in 2019.

Many fans are under the impression that Jah Cure’s rant and burning desire to set the record straight as he suggested was his way of educating those who might think Vybz Kartel was the first to do it. Interestingly enough, the incarcerated deejay would have had more supportive evidence had it been him laying these claims. Vybz Kartel is not only the first dancehall artist to go No. 1 on the Reggae Albums chart during incarceration, but he also remains the only one to get Gold certification by the Recording Industry Association of America during his prison stint as well.

Though Jah Cure is no longer recording from behind bars, he is still recording nonetheless. The singer previously revealed that he is aiming for a Grammy with his recently completed upcoming album Undeniable, which comprises ten love songs. A release date for the project is yet to be announced.

Jah Cure’s attempted murder trial is set to begin January 2022. He will remain behind bars pending the outcome of his trial.