WATCH THIS: Cham “Lock Down” Official Music Video

Cham Links with Bolt, Speaks Truth to Power

“Lawless!” says dancehall legend Cham at the top of his latest tune, shouting out his own brand and reaffirming his rebel mindset. “You know how long we nuh go outside?” Speaking for the voiceless people of Jamaica is what Cham does best, and on “Lock Down” he gives voice to a rising sense of restlessness and frustration. Dancehall culture has always been a much needed release as well as an economic engine and a means of communication and community building. But even without street dances, the art form allows artists like Cham to speak truth to power. In this case, the same Prime Minster who held elections in the midst of the pandemic—and hired dancehall artists to voice dubplates in support of his candidacy—and has now instituted a total lockdown. The song “Lock Down” was produced by Usain Bolt, who’s been known for breaking records in track and field competition since the late 2000s. More recently he’s been focused on making records in the studio. Famous athletes sometimes dabble in music as a hobby or a vanity project, but the world’s fastest man has become a legitimate force in the dancehall arena, as Bolt’s new Clockwork riddim clearly demonstrates. The hardcore juggling released under the A-Team Lifestyle imprint features such top talents as Vybz Kartel, Teejay, Charly Black and Christopher Martin—with Cham being the latest addition to the star-studded lineup. The artist formerly known as Baby Cham blazed a trail throughout the 1990s and 2000s with Jamaica’s iconic Madhouse productions, going on to collaborate with the likes of Alicia Keys, Rihanna and Damian Marley. His first collaboration with Bolt is a track entitled “Lock Down” — not to be confused with Koffee’s song of the same name. Check the visuals and get ready for an exclusive IG chat with Bolt and Cham today on @vibemagazine hosted by Reshma B Video After The Jump… 

As you might expect from an artist who reps the motto “Lawless,” Cham is not holding back his true feelings about life under curfew. “I don’t give a fuck [No!],” he declares at the top of the tune. “We need a little fun before we go back and ah work.” But don’t get it twisted — Cham’s argument goes deeper than fighting for the people’s right to party. “Caan get fi hustle so we revenue shrink,” he spits on the track. “Yo man de people dem a get push to the brink.” Never one to shy away from speaking truth to power, Cham also reminds Jamaica’s political leaders — who have a tendency to blame the social and economic issues on dancehall — that they asked people to come out and vote last September. “Election keep, how them say a pandemic?” Cham queries. “Me nuh trust the numbers; me feel them ah edit. So them can claim say a dancehall a spread it.” In a recent Instagram post, Cham addressed the controversy surrounding the tune. “What’s the plan leaders?” Cham stated. “That’s all we are asking.”


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