Best News & Current Affairs Blog (2011 & 2012) and Jamaican Blogger of the Year (2011) at The Jamaica Blog Awards.

Rihanna’s “Man Down” : The Jamaican Reality

Bajan born sensation Rihanna has finally released the much anticipated video for her single “Man Down”. The video, shot in Portland Jamaica, has been the subject of some amount of criticism. Individuals have complained that it is a negative portrayal of Jamaican life and the culture. I’m compelled to lend my humble opinion to the debate.

There comes a time when those of us who lead comfortable lives in our gated communities, and who seldom venture beyond Half Way Tree or Liguanea must come to the realisation that there is so much more to the Jamaican society. There are garrisons, ghettos and slums. There are rapists, murderers and dons. There are people what are deading befront dem fambily, befront dem madder and dem bredder. There are pit latrines and areas with no electricity or piped water. There are shacks, board houses and rampant poverty. In fact, 20% of the population live below the poverty line; that’s some 540,000 people. This is the Jamaican reality for so many. And according to STATIN and the PIOJ, the vast majority of this country is rural. Not urban. Not “UPT”. Rural.

Now Rihanna’s video.

The lyrics of the song are subject to interpretation, as it could have been understood to mean she “shot” a man down who was ‘looking’ her. That is, she turned him down. Or it could mean she was some bad gyal who shot a bwoy for offending her. The video chose to depict the latter. Considering the retro reggae and dancehall vybe to it, Jamaica was a fitting setting for the video shoot.

I’m dismayed that people are saying it casts Jamaica in a bad light. My limited powers of interpretation detected an effort to depict Jamaica in the 1970’s – 80’s. From the retro dancehall scenes and merinos to the zinc fences, I saw the garrisons of West Kingston in the 80’s. A time when rival political entities battled for the streets of Kingston. A time when, by all accounts, women were raped and subjected to the will of men who “ran” those streets, if you will.

And I’d go further to suggest that this still happens in 2011. I remember doing outreach in some of these communities and I was shocked out of my wits at the living conditions there. I couldn’t imagine living like that, but there are people who live like that. That’s their reality.

The National Integrity Forum, chaired by Professor Trevor Munro, airs an advertisement on local television every night during Prime Time News and this ad calls for the dismantling of garrison politics. There are three scenes in the ad:

  • The first depicts a woman pulling her daughter to be “given” to the don with the stamp : Sexual Abuse and Intimidation. Did we see this in Rihanna’s video? Think about it.
  • The second scene shows a woman being turned back by “thugs” with the stamp : No Freedom of Movement. Again, did we see depiction of Rihanna being held against her will? Think about it.
  • In the final scene, shots ring out and a little boy, doing his homework, takes cover. Is that little boy the man down? I wonder.

I hope you’re seeing the links I’m seeking to create.

The National Integrity Forum depicts this reality in 2011 and Rihanna’s video conversely does the same. How is it a problem? Our own see and acknowledge these realities, where is Rihanna’s fault? I see none.

I’ve also considered if the fact that Rihanna is Bajan born factors into the criticisms. Now, hear me out before you dismiss it. Bajans are alleged to believe their society and culture is superior. I’m not saying this allegation against our friends down south is true, I’m just saying it exists. So could it be that because a Bajan dares depict Jamaica in that “negative” light we take offence? I mean, look at Junior Gong’s “Welcome to Jamrock”, I didn’t hear this kind of criticism and I struggle to recall something good being said about Jamaica in that song.

I can’t recall.

Movado has some video when he’s on a gully side, clearly in the middle of a garrison, and no one said anything.

Etana has videos depicting the harsh reality of August Town, and no one said anything. Why not? Is it that only Jamaicans can criticise Jamaican culture? Have we forgotten the movies ‘Better Must Come’, ‘Dancehall Queen’ and ‘Shottaz’? Have we forgotten “walk and live, talk and b2mbo%laat dead”? How quickly we forget.  There is a certain and steady hypocrisy in this and I reject it.

Finally, Rihanna’s video, in my opinion, portrays nothing that didn’t or doesn’t exist in the Jamaican reality. For those of us who live “uptown” and take offence to the depiction, travel below Cross Roads, spend a night in a garrison community and read Professor Brian Meeks’ works on Jamaican politics and society in the 1970’s and 80’s. I’m sorry to report that Rihanna’s Man Down is simply the Jamaican reality… for many… far too many.


49 responses

  1. Fuju

    Great Job!!! I totally agree with you, its ok if Jamaicans do it but not if outsiders do it…hypocrisy!!!! I think they feel less judged when ppl from home do it tho… Neway thats not my basis for not liking the vid… I thought the plot of the vid could have been better it was the last minute of the vid coupled with the first bit of her actually shooting the man (Orane) that actually correlated with the lyrics of the song, and I was disapponited becuz its my fave on the album …*sigh* for those J’cans who can’t accept their reality tho

    June 1, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    • I can appreciate that. At least you don’t think she depicts something that doesn’t already exist here. Thanks for your comments.

      June 1, 2011 at 10:11 pm

  2. KristinaNeil

    FINALLY!!! Someone with an ounce of common sense! For a second i was beginning to think that i was the only sane and intelligent person on my TL! Sas criise let me soak this in..*soaks in*…so I would really love to know how Rihanna shooting a man for raping her is portraying Jamaica negatively…Last year may, the Shower Posse, the horrendous crimes and “corrupt” politics neva done give that impression to the outside world??? And if you wanna get technical how u know that the man in question isnt some tourist from Barbados? How do you know what the underlying allegory of the story is? You dont…rape is common to the Jamaican society and if anything the video is showing how beautiful Portland is…I never know tht it have nice nice grotto looking thing

    June 1, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    • Thanks for your thoughts Kristina! I just think it’s hypocrisy and we somehow have a problem becuz it’s Rihanna.

      June 1, 2011 at 10:30 pm

      • KristinaNeil

        Yea…as well as the Jamaica vs Barbados feud

        June 2, 2011 at 7:52 am

  3. i have no problem with the video other than the depiction of rape.

    i watched it and didnt see anything uniquely Jamaican that would or should bother anyone just because it was shot here. it looked like any other video done here … jelly coconut, rum bars, ppl splashing in the ocean, ppl walking and smiling and kissing other people

    as for the Jamaican reality referenced in the vid, its one that no one wants to accept. as much as people can, they try to separate themselves from that which they believe is outside their world. the video i suppose shows the darker side of things that people want to pretend doesnt exist. its one of the other Jamaicas that the complainers dont live in and never have to experience. unfortunately when showcased to the world like in a music video, you dont get the chance to decry that reality. you dont to defend your non-ghettoness. you dont get to say im not from that Jamaica. you dont get to have a reason to do nothing.

    June 1, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    • That’s exactly what I’m saying, we’re getting carried away and making it appear as if this video portrays something that is foreign to us. I too wondered about the rape scene, I’ve always wondered about those things whenever Rihanna depicts them in her video, considering her own personal experience with domestic violence. Love the Way You Lie stunned me, cuz I never expected her to lend her talent to a song accepting domestic violence but I guess it’s just music. Thanks for your thoughts. Keep reading.

      June 2, 2011 at 7:59 am

  4. R.

    I completly agree with you post, however I’m going to go out on a limb and switch sides to the ignorant Jamaican public.
    I imagine they’d say, “Rihanna is an artiste that when she makes a video, you’d expect bright flashing lights, expensive cars, big houses, & all that ‘bangarang’ if you will.”
    She is an international artiste, why not try to use Jamaica for a more UPT purpose?
    An artiste like Junior Gong, is jamaican, & therefore would be expected to sing of weed and guns and the likes of you. Different artistes portray different things based on preferential choice.
    The song Man Down, is no doubt fitting for the slums of Jamaica and such, but why can’t Rihanna or any other international artiste use it as a place to film a video for a song like Jay Sean’s Down , or End Of The World (2012), showing the clubs & expenisve lighting and what not?

    June 2, 2011 at 8:16 am

    • I don’t accept that because Junior Gong is Jamaican then he must sing about weed and guns. If that is true, then our own artistes are fuelling international stereotypes and we shouldn’t get offended when international artistes tap into that. We are the ones selling our country that way, we must take responsibility for that.
      As to the expectation of bright lights and clubs and “UPT”, we have to be mindful of the feel and vybe of the song. The interpretation of the lyrics…all these things factor into where one decides to have the video shoot. We have sold our country as a place of slums and crime, as you said our own artistes do it, why are we offended when others agree with us?

      June 2, 2011 at 8:27 am

  5. ThisDude

    Its clear Jamaicans don’t wanna fully open there eyes to some problems the country faces. seems like there more ashamed of the negative sexually aspect of it, than gun slinging, and all the other negative BULL…. Cause as with Queen Ifrica “Daddy don’t touch me there” People attacked it, saying it shouldn’t be played on air waves because it display something negative, yet those kinda things happen in Jamaica. I also think that its just because Rihanna is an INTERNATIONAL artist, they will take concern towards it, cause last year when Drake came and did his Find Your Love video, i heard people attacking it saying it brings a negative message with the whole bunch of weed smoking.. I mean JAMAICANS do shit like that, BOB MARLEY SMOKED WEED!!… yet we want him as an National Hero ehh?

    June 2, 2011 at 8:25 am

    • That’s how divided we are as a country, we don’t even realize that there are different realities. We sit happy and content in our own little world and think that’s all there is to Jamaica. Then there are some of us who don’t want to see the realities. These videos hold up a mirror and say look, this happens in your country and seeing this, offends us.

      June 2, 2011 at 8:33 am

  6. ThisDude

    Couldn’t have said it any better , Mr. Editor.. Well Said…

    June 2, 2011 at 8:43 am

  7. Tonian Lindo

    I personally don’t have a problem with the video but I can understand where people are coming from or going with both debates, and nobody is denying that Jamaica has slums, ghettos, and a high crime rate, its not the way things are people, its the way we see things and just accept and allow them to continue. So because its the Jamaican reality and our artistes do it, then an international artiste should tap in and continue?? No. For the more sensible debates I’ve seen no one is denying that this is a Jamaican reality, what they are saying rather, is we don’t need to continuously perpetuate this stigma we should try to while we can, nurture Brand Jamaica.
    For me though the video is just cheap art, I mean where else could she go to get more authentic with reggae? Who the hell outside of the Caribbean knows of Barbados really? Why would she shoot a video there, what beach would she use, the strip along the airport? Uhmm fail. LOL.
    BTW I’ve been more concerned about the actual violent message sent through the video as in she killed a man because he raped her…how abt that message for young girls? Is that any good? That should have been our number one concern, and not how it portrays Jamaica, as if there is a Jamaican flag in the video. For all I know only Jamaicans have been playing narcissts and thinking the video is all about them when it aint. A MAN raped her and she killed a MAN, right now we the only ones debating this MAN’s nationality.

    P.S. You been doing a great job with your blog Ricardo. I hardly read blogs so when I read you know its good!

    June 2, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    • Excellent thoughts Tonian. I agree, what we should be doing is discussing the how artistes are perpetuating the reality instead of discussing how to change it. I was simply upset that people were saying that she is depicting Jamaica in a negative light. It was as if people were suggesting that those things don’t exist and even if they do exist, we shouldn’t discuss or highlight them.

      And P.S. : Thanks for that P.S. 🙂

      June 2, 2011 at 12:49 pm

  8. Christina

    When I first saw the video, I myself was thinking that it highlight Jamaica in a bad way. I don’t see the big deal still cuz it’s just a video and the world done know our lifestyle and culture.

    June 2, 2011 at 1:14 pm

  9. -stands and applaud-
    THIS. Right here.. Is a wonderful blog.
    I must admit that at first i thought that Jamaica was being negatively portrayed by the video. But through this blog. I’ve gained knowledge..

    Too much about me, Wonderful Post ! 😀

    June 2, 2011 at 5:57 pm

  10. G

    Did anyone notice Gaspro sign in the video? Free advertising for a local business. 6 = 6 + 6 = 12 (if thats how the saying goes, if u didnt get the reference nevermind your just slow)

    BTW Jr. Gong’s welcome to Jamrock got bad reviews by “The Man”.. they wanted sunshine and beaches.

    Im pretty sick and tired of all the crap music videos coming out on the Jamaican scene. Its normally about walking down some street with a million people in your entourage, with a few girls on the side shaking ass, some guy chopping a coconut or sugar cane.

    Jamaican’s shame tree very tall.. So im not surprised people are overreacting.

    After watching Fast Five and the intl news.. Brazil also has major problems with crime, etc.. but i dont care. I want to see some Brazilian ass with my own two eyes.

    Everyone agrees its the best Fast & Furious made to date.. Yet almost every normal looking person had a gun in the movie.
    Has it damaged the image of Brazil? IDK.. but im still getting me some before the end of the world next year

    June 2, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    • You have like a million thoughts going on here all at once. I’m not sure what part of the comment I should comment on so I’ll ask, you’re a virgin?

      June 2, 2011 at 11:29 pm

      • G

        lol, WTH kinda comment is that?

        No im not, but im no pornstar either.. so if you know someone.. +1

        June 2, 2011 at 11:43 pm

      • Lol! Any specifications? Or just random people?

        June 2, 2011 at 11:49 pm

  11. Pingback: Thank You ! : 10,000 Hits « Veritas

  12. G

    Well beggars cant be choosers, so i’ll work with anyone below 160lbs.

    If she has a really bad weave scratch her off the list as well.

    June 3, 2011 at 12:03 am

    • I’ve deployed my scouts! You’ll be contacted in 24 – 48 hours.

      Meanwhile, Rihanna’s “Man Down” doesn’t depict anything that doesn’t exist in Jamaica and you’re right, wi shame tree TALL bad!

      June 3, 2011 at 12:07 am

  13. Harris Cunningham

    Positive message yes! … Those with eyes to see, love and care for the poor and
    downtrodden…those with ears to hear, warning to the chauvinist, wicked, oppressive and violent.

    June 4, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    • Thanks for your thoughts man, keep coming back!

      June 4, 2011 at 1:26 pm

  14. Rainny

    Many of the comments above are misleading… First of all, THERE WAS a Jamaican flag in the video.. A guy was dancing, wearing that flag… Second of all, even if there was no flag, there are several authentic scenes or images that is purely Jamaican and no where else… Man going to dance and dancing in sync with others and busting blanks… you name it.

    Secondly, there was a image of a man carrying around a gun and Rihanna stood beside him laughing it off as if its natural for “rude bwoys” to be out in the public with guns in the public’s eyes.

    Third of all, the raping and the killing of the man is just the icing on the cake… Add up all that and tell me if it doesn’t present negativity about a place.

    And look here… The Jamaicans who is upset have a right to do so because just recently crime rate is going down and we are trying to completely turn things around and then Miss Rihanna come put us 3 steps back.

    Last but not least… It wasnt the Jamaicans who started complaining about it, it was the American parents who was trying to get the TV channels to pull it because its too “violence” and it so happened that, that “violence” video was shot in Jamaica so of course make will make the connection “violence – Jamaica”… Stereotyping.

    June 5, 2011 at 2:40 am

    • First of all, thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it 🙂 I’ll allow those who made the comments to respond to the accusation that their comments are misleading. You made the point that there are several authentic scenes are purely Jamaican and I’ll start there. Jamaica was the logical choice for the video, considering it had a reggae/dancehall vybe to it. That is our authentic culture, why should she shoot a song with a reggae vybe somewhere else? That is what we are known for. That is our culture.
      As it relates to the drop in our crime rate, that’s a superficial assessment. Do you think the “drop” in our crime rate made any dent on our international ranking as murder capital of the world? It didn’t. The international community probably doesn’t even know there was a drop. Our tourist arrivals have not fallen since Man Down premiered. There is no evidence it is having any negative impact on the country and I maintain it is the Jamaican reality.

      June 5, 2011 at 6:18 am

    • “there are several authentic scenes or images that is purely Jamaican and no where else… Man going to dance and dancing in sync with others and busting blanks” – this happens absolutely no where other than in Ja? hmm

      anyhoo … i maintain that what was shown in the vid (outside of the rape and murder) are the images shown in most videos done here … beaches, ppl being kissed on the cheek, coconut water, the token rastaman or children in school uniform, the dance

      and we know the americans got all heated but so too did a lot of jamaicans … a lot of whom dont want to accept or hide from the reality of our situation

      June 5, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    • Michael

      Ms. Rainny, Are you saying that Rihanna’s Man Down music video will or can increase the crime rate? So because Rihanna shows guns, raping and shooting in her video, that will somehow influence the crime rate?

      Because obviously the gullible gunmen in Jamaica will watch it and say to themselves, “Oh,she shot a man, let us go kill all women.”

      You see how nonsensical your argument is?

      June 5, 2011 at 2:33 pm

      • Rainny


        Where did this guy come from? We talking about the impact on the image and the light in which Jamaica was reflected and you came here with this statement?

        *Shaking my head*

        June 5, 2011 at 2:47 pm

  15. Rainny

    Superficial?? Really… I suggest you do some research and see where we were dropping on the chart of the murder capital. It does make impact my friend and if you don’t know…

    When tourists are traveling to foreign countries, they check those charts. You are right that tourism hasnt been down, but do they come to kingston? no.

    It is too soon to point out whether the video has any impact on tourist or not and you went to far to say it didnt cause any changes because we dont know and dont have the numbers to prove that. My point was, it will further connect the country to crime. If you stabbed a boy back in high school, would u want anyone replaying a video of you doing it?

    You see, both of you just pointed out that there are several authentications in the video about Jamaica… th reggae and such so that person who claimed that there was no flag or anything to make anyone know its Jamaica is wrong.

    Its reality yes but again the video is misleading. “I shot a man down in central station” Jamaica has any central train station?

    She doesn’t dress like Jamaican either… It’s like a foreigner coming to Jamaica to shot a man freely. Where is the law and order? “Its so American”

    June 5, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    • As fate would have it, I did check Jamaica’s rank on the murder index, we have not fallen below 3rd; despite the minimal drop in murder you offer as proof of change.

      You are playing at semantics, so Jamaica doesn’t have a central train station, that means the video shouldn’t be shot here? The FEEL and VYBE of the song is Jamaican. The reggae is Jamaican, the beat is Jamaican, the song feels Jamaican. Jamaica is the most fitting venue, regardless of us not having a central train station.

      You asked if tourists come to Kingston and I in turn want to ask you if Kingston has any tourist attractions of note, does it? The hotels in Kingston are better suited for business conferences rather than vacation.

      Finally, no, we have heard of no drop in tourist arrivals, the Minister of Tourism usually updates the country regularly on these developments, let’s await a briefing and then we’ll continue this discussion.

      June 5, 2011 at 2:19 pm

      • Rainny

        No sir… We are talking about authentic here, no?

        Have you been to Kingston before? Who said it has no tourist attraction? nor hotels that crater to others than conferences? Hmmm.

        It seems you are out of touch, “bredder”

        June 5, 2011 at 2:50 pm

      • I’m not sure if that was a serious question or not, so I’ll ignore it. The mere fact that you do not realize the hotels in Kingston are ill equipped to attract tourists who are seeking a vacation, usually sun, sand and sea, tells me you are the one out of touch “sisterrrrr”

        If you can name ONE tourist attraction in Kingston, save the Bob Marley Museum, which would generate increased tourist arrivals to the city for vacation purposes; I will publicly withdraw my comments and apologise to you.

        June 5, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    • Michael

      Then could you CLEARLY explain what you meant here:

      “And look here… The Jamaicans who is upset have a right to do so because just recently crime rate is going down and we are trying to completely turn things around and then Miss Rihanna come put us 3 steps back. ”

      How did Rihanna put ‘US’ 3 steps back? Did crime rate magically increase after her video? If you haven’t notice or maybe you yourself should take your own advise and do some research, Jamaica is still on the 10 ten of the “Murder Capital of the world” list. That decrease in crime rate is not significant enough for a change in our image.

      So that point of yours is invalid.

      June 5, 2011 at 2:59 pm

      • Rainny

        LIME Cay Beach, Through Kingston and Port Royal

        Devon House which has lot of history
        You also listed Bob Marley Museum

        Tuff Gong Studio

        Hike to Blue Mountain which can also be started through Gordon Town

        “Dogs bobsledding” Probably a bit outside of Kingston since its up the hills in St. Andrew

        Port Royal, which can you have to access through Kingston

        As for the Japaneses and some Americans… The special night life – Passa Passa and more.

        I didnt look these up. I was personally asked about them by Americans who wanted to travel through to Kingston and seeking company to stay safe.

        The authenticity of Jamaica which you can only find in Kingston is an attraction himself.

        There are several more if you asked me and lately there have been more and more tourists braving Kingston.

        New Kingston has several hotels but minus the beach.

        As for you Michael… Rihanna put us 3 steps back with the negative image of a man been gun down then left in a pool of blood.

        Look here.. My point is, it could have been approached better. She came because “Jamaica is authentic to those kind of things” is not good enough reason.

        June 5, 2011 at 3:16 pm

  16. not sure why this argument is raging since the post was to point out that people should be paying attention to the negatives that actually exist in our island rather deny they exist.

    whether the vid was shot in jamaica or elsewhere i dont think i rape and murder were appropriate. no town, village, city, country wants its darkest moments to be highlighted. i dont think that the rape/murder scene makes jamaica look any worst than it already does or than any other place where it happens. and i dont think that the “negatives” or more authentic scenes of Jamaica will affect the country’s image. and i think that was the point of the post and most other comments.

    btw Rihanna’s comment abt “Jamaica being authentic to those kind of things”, was that in reference to the music/beat of the song or the rape/murder? id like to think it was the music because if she is saying that rape/murder are authentic to Jamaica then its irresponsible and a completely different issue that the one being discussed

    June 5, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    • Rainny

      You made a good point there… and as I said, it could have been approached better.

      And I can’t see how people dont expect people of a country where a video shows rape, murder been done there in an international video not to feel any way about it.

      The video pulls on some emotions so those reactions are natural. No body would glad show a video of rapes and murders been happening in their country and think its gonna be positive unless you are trying to send a message to clarify something using those scenes.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:55 pm

  17. Hey thanks for stopping by my blog! You already know I agree with you based on my post

    not everyone is gonna see it that way. So it go

    June 6, 2011 at 1:19 pm

  18. Jenna

    Before reading this article, I actually thought that the whole Man Down music video had indeed drawn Jamaica into a more negative spotlight, but the points that you have put forward are really worth looking into; they are in fact the Jamaican reality.

    Excellent article. Continue to write and give good insights on controversial topics.

    5 stars!

    June 8, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    • Thanks for taking time out to read and comment 🙂 Feel free to subscribe so that you’ll be notified of new posts 🙂

      June 8, 2011 at 7:32 pm

  19. Thanks for providing this entry. I really enjoyed it. Keep up the awesome work, man!

    June 11, 2011 at 10:48 pm

  20. Ann

    I agree with your blog to a wide extent. I am a Jamaican living overseas and there are people here who hear your accent and automatically look down on you. Some people find everything about Jamaica inferior- the food,the people,the style, the homes and the schools. While this video won’t actually make Jamaica worse that it is, it only feeds the stereotype that a tourist landing will be raped and shot on spot(people actually think that). Live abroad for a little while and you will be appalled at the stereotypes. I’m happy to hear that the average murder toll has decreased but if we want that to continue, we have to try to eliminate as much negative energy as possible. This was not a good idea on Rihanna’s part. We have to market Jamaica and I think Jamaicans have a right to be ashamed because it is those same people who look down on us that we need to travel to Jamaica and exploit our greatest resource…Tourism. I know its long but BLESS! and good article btw 🙂

    June 17, 2011 at 3:09 am

  21. Can some of u guys STOP saying Jamaicans and say SOME Jamaicans. I am Jamaican and its not all of us that feel THAT way abt the video. That pic u displayed at the top of ur page, the one under the pic of Rihanna..SMFH Most Jamaicans DO NOT live like that. Gated communities, -laughs- stop putting the idea in people’s head tht THAT is what we expected Rihanna to show in her video. I honestly did not like her vid bcuz it degrades us, MY OPINION. She has a vid with rastas and the gettho and Jamaica REALLY does NOT look like that. When most people think of Jamaica, they think about weed, guns,poverty and Rastafarians. And then, for Rihanna to do a vid like tht to make those people THINK they now av a PROVEN point. Jamaica is just like any other country. We have poor people bcuz those people did NOT take their education seriously is school. I dnt live in the Gettho, but i do have few family members that do. And they are in that situation bcuz dem waste too much DAMN RASSCLAAT TIME at skl. Its not the countries fault. The Gov, aint depriving no one of their education.

    June 18, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    • First of all, thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my post, it is appreciated. While you are entitled to your opinion, I’m afraid it is grossly misguided.

      I cannot understand how portraying something that exists or existed (arguably) constitutes being degraded. There are ghettos and slums in Jamaica where people face the very realities Rihanna depicted in that video, that is a fact. If we want to discuss whether she should have depicted what exists, that is another matter entirely, but let us not suggest she created something that isn’t there.

      I take strong exception to your comment which suggested that ALL persons living in a low socio economic situation are in that position because of a lack of ambition, that is simply not true.
      The Govt is not depriving anyone of education? How many Jamaicans can afford tertiary education? How many Jamaicans can afford the costs of books, lunch, uniform, bus fare etc etc etc? The Govt has not created an economic or social environment within which people can achieve their full potential.

      Finally, you conceded that you do not live in the ghetto and I’m afraid your comment betrays your ignorance of the reality, the very harsh reality, that so many Jamaicans face.

      Rihanna’s “Man Down” is the Jamaican reality.

      Thanks again for sharing.

      June 18, 2011 at 9:32 pm

      • Ron Yam Pan

        you speak the truth, and i agree with everything you say…
        Rihanna’s man down depicts reality and i think it’s a wake up call for everyone..

        nice blog you have here, thanks for sharing……….

        July 15, 2011 at 9:11 pm

  22. Zianna

    Seriously? Rihanna shaping public opinion of Jamaica?

    You can’t be serious, I can find at least 50 reggae productions suggesting gun use. I can come up with at least 100 reggae songs that have derogatory expressions of women and sex. For the record… Rihanna loves the Jamaican culture and I really believe she intended no harm.

    August 26, 2011 at 11:14 am

  23. summer lady

    Even if people are saying it sheds a bad light on Jamaica, it is the reality. There are some who won’t know as you rightly said, but as for those who live in the garrison…and some may not even live in the garrison but had been in similar circumstances which the video depicts. We ought to stop being to hush hush about the realities that we live in or some of us just like to turn a blind eye to it and pretend as if all is milk and honey. Needless to say, i am a bit dismayed that it is someone from a different nationality who got it out there but its already done…the least we can do is accept that this is the Jamaican reality and stop criticizing Rihanna and turn up our noses as if the video is doing us injustice. Dim reality but it is reality. 😦

    December 3, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    • Thanks for your views 🙂

      That’s really all I want, for us to understand that this is the reality in our country.

      An uncomfortable reality, but still the reality.

      December 3, 2011 at 12:54 pm

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