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Rap youths fined VT1.2 million with 12 cattle

Hip-hop has a long history of stirring up controversy, and many songs around the world especially United States were banned hit rap songs than any other genre could hope for.

But how a small nation like Vanuatu deals with discriminatory rap song is interesting to follow.

A rap song has been stirring up tension between two communities in Port vila, namely Tongoa and Tanna over what is termed as ‘extreme profanity’.

An audio possibly recorded by three youths on a smartphone and shared among other youths around Port Vila through Bluetooth and other Wireless connections, has irritated people from the Tanna community who were offended by the lyrics.

The rappers calling themselves ‘East Coast’ spits behind a hip-hop rhythm calling on ‘Tannese’ as people from Papua New Guinea not wanted in Vanuatu and must return back to PNG, and then continues to draw negativity towards their cultural ways and their establishment in an urban environment.

Their intention and what instigates the idea to curse at Albert and Enoch is not known to us, but if it’s done to refute an ill-business among the youths and their encounter, then it is wrong to blame the whole island.

Vanuatu has 82 islands with diverse culture, but respect for one another is paramount throughout the islands and in mixed community setups in the urban areas, where most inter-island issues are deal with by the chiefs and their council.

The chiefs and Police that intervened to calm the tension have resolved to penalizing the 3 youths to a fine of one million two hundred vatu (1.2M) with twelve cattle and other root crops, hence an outside court settlement was achieved.

Rap associated with hip-hop is a foreign cultural idea originated as a music genre from the US several years back in Vanuatu has eventually absorbed by the youth.

“A UNICEF sponsored rap music video by Confliction on water and sanitation awareness”

As a tool to express their feelings and disseminate information whether on health, climate change or life, with positive influence on our society and most wishes that whatever the outcome of the council’s decision on rapping or hip-hop, it should be in the best interest of harmonizing our local and foreign culture.