Dancehall star Chronic Law, who was the most streamed artist on YouTube in Jamaica in 2022, insists that his gritty catalog does not primarily contain violent content, but rather songs about self-awareness and protection.
In a recent interview, ‘Faada Dawk’, as the St. Thomas native is sometimes called, offered the perspective on his less ‘conscious’ songs after Let’s Be Honest podcast host Jaii Frais raised a point about the content of a number of his tunes, describing them as ‘violent.’
“Inna your brain yuh call it violent,” the Law Boss responded. He reasoned, “Mi sing ‘bout self-awareness and self-protection.”
The artist, whose real name is Akeeme Campbell, further explained that: “A dat alone we a talk ‘bout if yuh really fi pree it inna real life – self-awareness and self-protection… Yuh neva hear mi seh mi jus’ a chop somebody. Mi affi get a cut first.”
Confirming that his untrusting ‘Faada Dawk’ persona, evident in songs like his 2021 single Nuh Trust Nobody, is not an act, the 29-year-old pointed the finger at his personal experiences, which are often the source of his so-called ‘self-awareness’ and ‘self-protection’ songs.
He revealed: “Nuh time [mi nuh trust people]. Mi nah go put on a show and gwaan like a nuh him dat [Faada Dawk]. A him dat. Mi nah guh even guh roun’ it… A wa yuh guh through create somethin’, yuh see wa mi a seh? Mi nuh know ‘bout a nex’ man but a di pain wa me guh through create da yute ya now, and him cyaa change. Him too damaged.”
Further shedding light on how his music may have shaped the public’s perception of him, Chronic Law, who had been quizzed about his first flight for a performance or tour, relayed that a significant number of people thought he wouldn’t have been able to fly for nefarious reasons.
“Nuff people think we cyaa fly… Yuh have people weh have we as real criminal weh seh, yuh know, even though we a do music, dem think we a wanted man,” he shared.
Interestingly, Chronic Law still maintains his association with Montego Bay-based Dancehall group, 6ix – which is led by Squash, despite the group often being the subject of police interest. That dynamic, which took root while the Law Boss himself was still a full-fledged member of the group, did little to sidetrack his ascension to stardom, even as it fueled rumors that he, and other members of the group, had been involved in criminal activities.
According to him, “Dem [the pressure from the police] mek it betta fi me, yuh zeet, ‘cause di fight mek it crazier, yuh zimmi? Di fight gi mi more topic and dem ting deh. Mi tell yuh, me sing ‘bout wa mi guh through, so, mi like when dem do dem ting deh.”
Though he maintains his loyalty to the Montego Bay-based group despite its troubles, Chronic Law has primarily been independent and even now owns his own record label, 1Law Entertainment/1Law Records.
The star additionally shared a sobering perspective on that early pressure in his career, indicating that he understands why the security forces or powers that be initially sought to apply it.
He reasoned: “Mi understand fi dem ting to ‘cause dem nuh believe inna changes, yuh know dem way deh? Dem nah guh believe seh dem yute ya get di break ya now and jus’ start change and do music. Yuh done know, di whole a wi have family, di whole a wi know people. So, you might have a cousin weh did bad, me have a bredda weh did bad… dat nuh mean seh mi and him a di same ting, yuh zeet?”
The Hillside singer has been been consistent with his stance on self-protection. In fact, his highly controversial song, the aptly named Self-Protection – released in 2020, drew similar concerns about whether or not he had been condoning violence.
Chronic Law had explained to OnStage: “Me nah tell nobody fi get no illegal firearm fi dem self… a whole heap a fight out deh inna real life innuh. You have legal firearm you can get, don’t? So, if you can get one, get one cause it necessary some a di time ‘cause memba innuh, some a di time people jus’ see yuh wid your tings an’ want it. Yea, and the wickedest ting a when friend become enemy to, so a whole heap a ting out deh and you haffi protect yourself.”
In a separate interview, he reiterated his position that he remains an advocate for self-protection. “I would say to my critics that it is an individual’s choice how they interpret Self Protection, whether it be positive or negative. For me, my protection first comes from The Most High God and myself, to use wisdom in everything,” he told Jamaica Star.
In 2021, Chronic Law was the second most streamed artist in Jamaica on YouTube, after Vybz Kartel. A year later, in 2022, he ascended to the top spot, with Skeng, Masicka, Squash, and Kartel following behind.
His most streamed songs include Empty, Bless Me, Still A Bleed, Walk With Faith, Corrupt, Hillside, Plastic Smile, and Count My Blessings.
Watch Chronic Law’s full interview on Let’s Be Honest below.