Supa Laj: the real problem is gang and unemployment
Black Leo strong man Alhaji Turay aka Supa Laj has condemned the Government of Sierra Leone’s recent ban on album launchings, street rallies and gathering of three of Sierra Leone’s heavy weight music groups namely, Black Leo, Red Flag Movement and Dry Eye Crew.
“I understand the government’s position but I don’t agree. That is not the proper way to handle the situation. They (Government) don’t understand where the whole thing started,” said Supa Laj.
Supa Laj described recent developments in the music industry as ‘rather unfortunate’. “(Supa Laj) and Black Leo has nothing to do with it. L.A.J of RFM and Menace-The General of ‘Drink Tae You Alaki’ fame rallied on the same day. Our rallies in the past have been very peaceful. In fact, we are known for pulling probably the biggest crowds in hip-hop music in Sierra Leone. Those other artists were trying to copy us but it turned out ugly,” he said.
He confessed that the ban affected him financially, physically and emotionally. “My fans have been looking forward to this for months, they felt disappointed.”
The US based rapper, who described himself as a Computer Network Administrator by profession and a rapper by hobby, associated the recent clashes between rivalries as a gang and unemployment problem.
“These youths are frustrated with the system. No jobs, no food and no proper shelter, and they look up to music for hope. I want to talk to them through music.”
Supa Laj said he normally finds time to visit youths in ghettos and other places to talk to them. “A small percentage of Black Leo fans are gang members and I want to raise them from that state of mind,” he said.
Meanwhile various artists signed a communiqué on 21st December with the Federation of music stakeholders denouncing the clashes and to ensure it never happened again. Supa Laj said lots of details were revealed in that meeting and he observed that competition and immaturity were other factors causing the bitter rivalries. He said he hoped his fellow artists would stick to the dictates of the communiqué.
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