International Reggae star, Gramps Morgan has dispelled the myth that one has to smoke weed or ganja in order to do Reggae/Dancehall music and has called for the cleanup of that image of the genre in the country.
Gramps Morgan made this call at a ceremony hosted at the African Regent Hotel, Accra where he was appointed as the international ambassador of PANAFEST 2017 on Tuesday, May 23.
He said the Reggae/Dancehall genre has gained a negative reputation because of artistes whose lyrics and messages are about smoking weed, violence, vulgar words, disrespectful lyrics about women among others.
The Wash the Tears hitmaker who is a member of Grammy winning Reggae band, Morgan Heritage, said there was the need to teach Reggae/Dancehall artistes in the country that they are depicting a wrong image and stereotype of the genre.
Speaking to Showbiz on the sidelines, the Where has Mama Gone singer pointed out that although he is a Reggae artiste he has never smoked weed or drank alcohol in his entire life.
“You don’t even need to have dreadlocks to be a Rasta. I know Rastafarians who do not have dreadlocks. The first thing you have to do is to have love in your heart.
“ It’s a religious movement but people get caught up in the hype and fall prey to pressure to be and act like the people they see on TV,” he said.
Gramps Morgan attributed the negative trend in Reggae/ Dancehall music in the country to peer pressure and the need of artistes to act like others they see.
“Everyone has their own understanding of what it is to be a Rastafarian and when it comes to the music, we have to let the youth know that they just need to be free to sing positive songs with clean lyrcis and they do not all have to be gangsters,” he said.
Touching on PANAFEST, the Down By The River singer said there was the need to open the doors to people of African descent in the Diaspora to visit the continent and even return to the motherland.
He added that Ghana has a wealth of talent and human resource that should be nurtured and encouraged to grow to aid in the development of the country.
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