The recent killing of William Knibb High School student Khamal Hall by his classmate over a stolen guard ring has sparked a series of debates about the illicit practice.
Once again, segments of society are pointing the finger at dancehall music as the catalyst for this current trend. The practice has become very prevalent in recent times, especially among the youths and several emerging artists, with some paying up to J$200,000 for the coveted piece of jewellery.
However, dancehall artiste Rytikal recently freed of a gun-related charge in the local court, has come out in defense of the music, pushing back against those narratives. In an almost five-minute-long video now making the rounds on social media, the “Chosen” singer, seemingly in a militant mood, said,
“Me hear dem a say music a cause dis and cause dat, music a mek the juvenile dem a put on guard ring a school. Move oonu b**bocl**t which music a mek youth a put on guard ring, eeh yah idiot? Which music? A crime and poverty and all type ah death and sump’n mek man a put on guard ring caah him nuh wah dead, f**k duh oonu bout music. Man sing bout guard ring is because a wah him experience and know seh if him put on a guard ring it might guard him. Man sing reality most times inna music but anuh mus fi dem reality dem a sing, dem might seet an sing it and then might even a motivate demself fi go get a guard ring now.”
Meanwhile, in a recent interview, Audrey Steele, the acting principal at William Knibb, said students’ wearing of guard rings has become a severe challenge in schools.