Macka Diamond joined Foota Hype as the second Dancehall entertainer in less than two weeks, to speak out some of the intimidation tactics and physical attacks many Jamaican artists have had to endure, at the hands of unscrupulous overseas event promoters.
Macka Diamond was responding to fans on Tuesday following her revelation on Saturday about being battered with a piece of lumber by a Dancehall icon, in her early days as an artist, when she bore the moniker Lady Mackerel.
The Bun Him artist told her fans that they should not concern themselves with who the perpetrator was, as “it’s not artiste alone abuse people” and then pointed to an incident in the Cayman Islands where a promoter had held her at gunpoint.
“Suppose I had told the story about the promoter in Cayman that back his gun in my face nearly kill me. U all need to stop. It is about abuse not who did it. I have already forgiven them. Love you my diamonds,” she said.
Two Sundays ago, Foota had relayed his own experience as well as that of other artists being threatened with violence or chased with weapons by rogue event promoters.
The selector said that while most promoters were upstanding people, there were others who have tried to exploit Jamaican artists by commissioning their services and then use intimidation as a tactic to escape paying.
The self-proclaimed viral king, had also said some of their own Jamaican compatriots have been guilty of the same shenanigans, based on his own experience.
His comments had come following news that Reggae singer Jah Cure had been arrested in Amsterdam for stabbing an event promoter.
Foota, in his IG Live monologue, had started by expressing apologies to the promoter on behalf of the Jamaican musical fraternity and also on behalf of the Grammy-nominee, contending that promoters were duly appreciated by him, as they were responsible for artists becoming wealthy.
With the intricate details still not known, Foota said that although he and Jah Cure were not on speaking terms, he was showing solidarity to the Telephone Love artist, as he suspected that it might just be a case of exploitation.
“Jah Cure…Now if yuh notice inna recent times, me and Jah Cure nuh too good, zeen. Caw more time him move a way weh mi nuh like. Great artiste, but sometime yuh a move like yuh head chip off…,” Foota said.
“Big up to all the promoters across the world. But in dis case, a don’t know wha gwaan wid Jah Cure an dis promoter yah, but mi a guh tell oonu di truth now. In dis case, until mi know di true story, mi kinda deh ova Jah Cure side, zeen,” he added.
“People, memba dis a nuh no fren ting. Mi an Jah Cure nuh talk; mi an him naw par. Him do whole heap a foolishness weh mi nuh agree and gwaan like him ego bigga dan everybaddy else. But yuh si inna dah case yah, di reason why mi a guh gwaan stay on Jah Cure side until mi hear di full story.”
Foota then went on to explain why some overseas promoters have scammed artistes and got away with their skullduggery.
“Cause some promota sometime like to disrespect entertainer, one; becaw yuh nuh deh a yuh yard; two; yuh deh inna fi dem care until yuh leave, and three; dem have dem likkle shatta fren dem or tugz fren dem weh deh roun dem inna dah zone yah, weh yuh naw no power, or dem feel like yuh nave no power, an das why mi a guh gwaan easy ova Jah Cure side until mi hear di full story,” Foota re-emphasized.
“Mi inna situation multiple time weh promoter nuh waan pay yuh, and promoter waan chat to yuh anyhow, like yuh a some regular bwoy, like yuh a dem pickney or true dem tinkin mout fren wid dem tinkin gramma mouth, dem come an a gwaan like dem bad – waan diss yuh. An me know mi wouldn’t teck it,” he added.
Foota’s statements also corroborated Macka’s story about offensive weapons being drawn on artistes, who simply wanted to be paid their just due. Some he said had even been beaten.
“A nuh likkle it a artiste get bax, get kick dung, get gun back pan … suh where dis is concerned, based pon experience and based pon how me know some promoter try deal wid artiste like artiste a nuh nobaddy, mi a stick to Jah Cure side fi now… Mi caan be hypocrite…. Regular mi haffi bun him out but mi a hold mi own wid di artiste,” the Calabar High School old boy said.
“Mi memba one time dem rush Elephant (Man) ova one place. Ele haffi heng out pan di winda. Elephant deh mussi 20-odd floor up inna di sky, and haffi climb through di winda and heng on pon di ledge outta door an dem a look dung di whole room fi try kill Ele. Mi guh a England aready and promoter rob mi; nuh pay mi mi money,” he recounted.
The lamentations of Macka and Foota are not new at all. In July 2019, publicist Maria Jackson warned in an article titled Jamaican Artists Need To Be Mindful Of Unprofessional Event Organizers Overseas, that unprofessional show promoters were having a negative impact on the Reggae/Dancehall industry “for some time”.
She said that she had, in the past worked with promoters in France and Sweden, who “were extremely unorganized and unprofessional”.
Jackson also noted that many artistes, particularly upcoming ones and “old school veterans trying to make a come-back”, oftentimes overlook “some very important steps in the booking process just for the opportunity to perform and be paid”.
Among the atrocities which she said were committed against artistes by trifling overseas promoters were them not being paid after performing; the promoter being unable to purchase return ticket for the entertainer after the show; the artiste being given sub-par accommodations and no food being provided for the artiste.
She also said that it was imperative that the artiste ensure there is a signed booking agreement covering everything the artiste requires, prior to the show being announced.