(CMR) Coming off the heels of the highly successful virtual event,Verzuz, dancehall heavy-weight Shaggy has called on US authorities to reinstate travel visas for the iconic deejays, Bounty Killer and Beenie Man.
Shaggy, whose real name is Orville Burrell, used his Instagram page on Sunday to encourage the Jamaican government, the U.S. Ambassador and the United States Embassy to begin discussions on the matter, which he says is of great importance, particularly to brand Jamaica.
According to Shaggy, the Verzuz musical battle event which pulled in a large crowd, in addition to big international corporate names like Apple Music, Spotify, SiriusXM , Ciroc and others highlighted the global demand for Jamaican musicians.
“We saw the likes of Spotify, YouTube, SiriusXM, Facebook, iHeart Media,Hot 97, Apple Music, Pandora, Revolt, Ciroc, Tidal plus countless stars and corporate entities, all on board to witness what was considered the best Verzuz yet! According to the organizers, Swiss Beats and Timbaland, fans worldwide were greeted with a cultural experience of epic proportions as best as it could be delivered in these COVID times. This was a boost to our spirits, our tourism, our economy, our music, and most importantly brand Jamaica,” said Shaggy as he sought to advance his position.
“But let’s not forget that both of these artists, these two legends, these two ambassadors of our country our music, and our culture, still cannot travel, “added Shaggy.
Shaggy stressed the need for a conversation on the matter noting that it was time for the US Ambassador and the United States Embassy to at least start having a dialogue on the matter, tagging the entities in his post.
The Grammy-winning entertainer took direct aim at the Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, and the minister with responsibility for culture, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange to take on the matter, noting that it was something that was good for the culture, music and the economy.
Beenie Man re-shared Shaggy’s post as a sign of solidarity captioning it, “THIS IS WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO, IT IS FOR, “said Beenie Man using the hashtags #theculture, #jamaica, #dancehall and #reggae
In May 2010 Beenie man, whose real name is Moses Davis, was among several dancehall artistes who had their visas revoked.
The U.S. Embassy at the time gave no reason for revoking the visas.
It was understood that, Beenie Man and others, like Mavado, later had their visas reinstated.
Other Jamaican acts who have in the past lost their visa include
Bounty Killer, Aidonia, Vybz Kartel, Sizzla among others.