3 Reggae/Dancehall classics inspired by incarceration

Stevian Francis

2 months ago

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Reggae and Dancehall music is often used as a medium of expression about good and bad experiences, and the topic of incarceration and reformation has also found its lane within the music as a source of inspiration and caution. Here are three classic releases inspired by the respective situations.

True Reflection” (Prison Walls)Jah Cure

Jah Cure

An emotional reflection about being a reformed individual following time served, SiccatureJah Cure” Alcock‘sTrue Reflection” (Prison Walls) was a smash hit in 2007 about his impassioned declaration of growth by the then-incarcerated singer. The track, which was recorded under the supervision of prison officials through a music program, gave Cure his chart-topper while he awaited his release.

JailBusy Signal

Busy Signal

One of the most notable releases from Reanno “Busy Signal” Gordon’s extensive catalogue, “Jail” sees the Dancehall star deliver a sobering, punchline-filled description of life behind steel bars underscored with the commitment to reform.

While this dancehall classic preceded his 2012 incarceration in the US for absconding bail stemming from a 2002 offence, the composition of the 2008 hit was just as potent as it became an anthem for reformation and commitment to giving up activities that would create the possibility of being locked up.

54-46 That’s My Number-Toots and the Maytals

Toots Hibbert

This 1968 release details the false imprisonment of the group’s lead singer, Frederick Nathaniel “Toots” Hibbert, for marijuana possession in 1966 after reportedly being set up by a promoter. 54-46, Hibbert’s actual prison number during his detainment, was used as the main reference to the single as he turned his experience into one of the group’s most successful releases.