In this installment of Our Stories, recording artiste RP Tuff Heart talks about peace for feuding communities …For many people, Jamaica is pictured as an island paradise – white sandy beaches, a beautiful and vivacious culture, rich and wholesome food, and attractive people. And while that image is not far from the truth, if the lens is focused on the inspirational stories of ordinary Jamaicans, you’d find a sharper, richer and truer image of the Jamaican experience…this is Our Stories!
Meet Dowayne “RP Tuffheart” Morrison
War! Gun Fire! Expletives…those are the visuals that painted the upbringing of this Jamaican recording artiste. Dowayne, who grew up in the community of Sherlock in Kingston, recalled spending many nights patrolling his community in search of enemies from neighbouring communities. Tough talk and gun violence became constants in his life until one day all the violence ended.
When I sat down with the fusion artiste, he explained how a personal decision by each resident led to the restoration of peace in a troubled residential area in Kingston.
1.Why did the violence end between Sherlock and Brook Valley?
‘Cause the community join peace, so eventually one order. Me and dat person who use to have ‘fliction from school days, dem seh we have to stop dat. Suh we can’t war again and push nuh violence against we one another ‘cause the whole community now team up and seh it is peace. At the end of the day the peace really needed, I see a lot of people dead.
2. So you really believe the community wants peace?
Yea because there’s a lot of time mi see seh it can turn out in war and di people dem gang up back again, and (promote) peace. Dem a preach it so 3 years 4 years now it a go well. So mi a focus on mi music ‘cause I have chance now to focus on my music without have to look out and a wonder if something ago happen to me, defend the community.
3 So when was the last time you patrolled the community?
Couple years now…as mi seh the music ting pick up so I start to go places and do things. I’m on TV. So eventually all these things did have to cut long time.
4. Okay let’s talk about your music. How would you describe yourself as an artiste?
I have a variety of styles weh mi use like Hip Hop, RnB, Dancehall…
5. So you’re a fusion artiste?
Yes. Fusion. Mi woulda seh mi fuse all the music. I listen all types of music, my vocabulary contains all of these melodies, sounds and styles so eventually I use them up in my music. I realise seh more time mi do a melody, mi hear back a song and mi see where mi really get the melody from ‘cause the melody is exactly like that.
6. If you can identify the purpose of your music, what is it?
…to uplift the youths dem, wise dem up and teach them. I preach to di youths dem to rise up out of the ghetto and mek something out of your life. Try to setup your vocabulary.
7.What is your message to “hothead” teenagers who may seek thrills in crime and violence?
Stay in school, get a good education so when time you really step out in the world you can really help yourself.
Great advice RP Tuffheart and thanks for sharing your story!
Here’s RP Tuffheart hot single- Kindness for Weakness
Our Stories is a feature which sheds light on real, social issues in Jamaica through the inspirational stories of Jamaicans with lived experiences. Ar you a Jamaican with a story to share? Contact us [email protected].