Saying he agrees there is cause for concern, Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth Stephen Lashley has added his voice to the raging controversy surrounding the recently-released music video Blows, performed by Rameses Brown and Lady Essence.
In a statement yesterday, Lashley also said while he recognized the right of artistes to freedom of expression, they must also be socially responsible.
And he warned that “where there is an overstepping of the bounds of decency and there is negative public response, then they [the artistes] cannot be upset when the consuming public expresses its views”.
He emphasized that even though artistes may choose to depict “generally unacceptable or lewd behaviours in their music videos or songs”, they must be prepared for the public’s response to their product.
Brown’s video went viral on social media last weekend, but not necessarily for the right reasons, as its name became synonymous with the harsh “blows” it got from the viewing public.
Widespread criticism of its lewd content eventually forced the artistes to pull the controversial video content, amid promises by their management that an amended version would be issued shortly.
However, Lashley said the video not only provides an “opportunity for discussion of what we as a society will accept” but also reveals the tremendous impact music and music videos can have on the wider public.
“Artistes, whether or not they acknowledge it, are role models in our society, and there is a public expectation that they will live up to that responsibility. I believe that the producers should accept the concerns raised and address them in future productions,” he advised.