Reggae artist Chronixx has come out in support of Virginia reggae artists SOJA amid staunch criticism from Jamaicans after their recent Grammy win for Best Reggae Album.
Many have shared that they don’t accept the band’s music as authentic reggae music, and the conversation has continued as artists within the Jamaican reggae and dancehall space share which side of the fence they sit on.
Among those who have shown support for SOJA is Chronixx, who shared a lengthy post on his Instagram Story where he said the band was great and even big up some of the members.
“Soja been one of the best bands in America for years. Overall one of the top reggae bands in the world for years. So You shouldn’t have to be a fan to show respect,” he began.
Chronixx went on to say that SOJA has supported his career before any of the local Jamaican music legends.
“Don’t mention me on some post trying to discredit honorable people who doing what they love. Dem man Ya been blessing us and sharing their platform with us for years…..consistently. Bring nuff a wi on the road before we got opportunities open for any of the native Jamaican music legends. Wah wrong wid some men?” he questioned.
Chronixx statement on SOJA / IG
Several Jamaican artists like Konshens and Tanya Stephens added commentary to what Chronixx said as they pointed out issues in reggae music that needed to be fixed.
“Me no agree 100% with Chronixx wid di part bout sharing ‘their’ platform but thats another story. why should the world love us and appreciate us and uplift us and HONOR us when we dont do that to ourselves!! We tear down an degrade and belittle each other 99% a di time, To see everybody so enraged is funny to me. Mek sure unnu pack rouna youth view awards and EME awards and Irawma awards etc build up our OWN ting an stop stress ovah ppl tings,” Konshens said, referencing the various local award shows that celebrate Jamaican talent.
“Worry bout getting BOB pan a money note instead a di whole heap a politician an criminals weh unnu a call hero. Congrats to spice for destroying the RED CARPET, best dressed in my opinion. And by the way that band SOJA i had to negotiate legally for use of the name SOJAH when me an me bredda did name suh years ago so dat should tell u how long they been around,” he ended.
Konshens comment on SOJA / IG
Tanya Stephens also had words for fans of the music as she called out their lack of support when it matters, which is a hindrance to Jamaican artists growing and promoting the genre.
“The weird thing is… Jamaicans want to dictate what get’s honored without affecting the process in a tangible way. Any artist ever go gold inna Jamaica yet? No matter how 2 million ppl scream fi an artist 50k a dem nah buy shit but talk the loudest,” she said.
International dancehall artist Kranium was quick to share that there was disunity among the artists, and they do not support each other but are surprised when the music does not collectively progress.
“Most dancehall artist are groupies for another genre than them own circle them won’t even be a special guest fi them own or attend them own people events one bag a gal dem but complain bout things that they didn’t share a post, comment, cheer on but talk when shit hit the fan,” he said.
Fans were not feeling the opinion of any of the artists; however, one fan stated that Chronixx’s approach reminds them of colonization.
“Love you bad @chronixxmusic but this post reminds me of the gentle Tainos that welcomed the Colonizers to our island. The rest is History. #knowyourpasttoknowyourfuture,” one person said.
Tanya responded, “actually he is right. There’s no comparison between the Tainos and artists. Nobody stops us making music and people listen to what they love. Every year we cement Jamaica more and more as the bad mind capital of the world. Not a good look or feel,” she said.
The reactions of fans were mixed, with some agreeing with Chronixx partially and calling for others to continue to support local artists.
“I agree with this post! Respect to them! Reggae artists aren’t supported here in Jamaica. A out inna the world dem haffi Mek dem bread. Jamaicans not even buy music lol! I grew up noticing this and that’s why I decided to not “burn” cds of my favorite artists BUT buy their original work. Put Unu money where Unu mout deh!” one music fan said.
Another one, however, disagreed, “Chronixx, I love u, but dont speak for us. And their music is trash and sounds like what it is, white people cosplaying us. UB 40 is white and performs good music, but u don’t hear them making a mockery of reggae and by extension rastarianism. Bye.”
“And that doesn’t change that we are being pushed out of the genre we created because of white money and influence,” another person said.