No one can deny the love Protoje has for Jamaica; his song JA is what made me a fan of his music. It was probably that same love for the nation that propelled him to make Blood Money. Check out the video below!
Blood Money has a simple riddim that seems to melt away until it becomes background noise once Protoje begins speaking. It is clear that the goal is for you to focus on his words. No fluff required. I was only reminded of the riddim when Protoje cuts off into indiggnant 😉 silence leaving me with nothing but the outro: a reminder of the fire I was so eloquently served.
The song opens with “A nuff drugs money deh a Cherry Garden.” ‘Cherry Gardens’ here serves as a symbol for the wealthy Jamaicans who are some of the most corrupt people on the island. This track was released a few months after the controversial Kahjeel Mais case so it was hard not to draw parallels. This case proved that with enough money and connections, one could commit illegal and unethical acts and emerge scotch free. In situations such as these, poor persons are left to suffer in the aftermath with the limited resources they have. Blood Money is an excellent portrayal of this recurring cycle of injustice.
I would be remiss if I ended this post without mentioning Taj Francis’ artwork which is featured in the above video. Two images stood out to me: The picture of the Half Way Tree Clock Tower burning and the image of the Redemption Song statue as it melted before my eyes. These two visuals matched perfectly with the theme of the song. They represent the beauty of Jamaica which will be reduced if the corruption which plagues the island is left unchecked.
All in all, this was a fabulous song. Protoje once again managed to do everything right!
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