In the wake of growing online speculation, dancehall star Mr Vegas has denied that his recent anti-skinbleaching track ‘Black And Proud’ is a diss against Vybz Kartel.
Speaking at the Amsterdam Reggae Festival this weekend, Vegas made it clear he’s not criticising Kartel but everyone who tells people it’s cool to bleach.
In his recent track ‘Cake Soap’ Kartel speaks of people being able to make themselves look cool by bleaching their skin, and claims the process can be achieved by facewashing with the island’s famous laundry product “cake soap”.
Skinbleaching has become a hot topic in JA. Many people say they use lightening creams without harm and they like the cosmetic effect, which can make black skin look less black. Various creams are used and people have been known to use them on babies which greatly concerns doctors. In adults they can have harmful side-effects including vulnerability to sunburn and acne.
The manufacturers of Cake Soap have denied their product lightens skin.
Vegas says the purpose of his song ‘Black And Proud’ is to educate people, especially young Jamaicans, about the dangers of skinbleaching both physical and psychological.
“The younger kids are thinking it’s cool to bleach out their skin to get a different complexion.” In the Caribbean sun, skin can be damaged by the practice. “Whether you’re born black or white God loves you that way”, he says. “If you look in the mirror and say I don’t like how black I am that means you don’t love yourself – and you can’t love someone else if you don’t love yourself.”
“I’m not sending any message to Vybz Kartel”, insists Vegas. “He’s a very intelligent person and he knows what he’s doing. Whatever he’s doing it’s working for him. If you can do something that works for you and makes you some money then good luck to you.”
Words by Reshma B (www.reggaegirlabouttown.com)