“Struggles weh mi face, man haffi give thanks inna real life, inna real life…”
This song has been soaring along the airwaves for the last few months here. I always know when a song has really broken through to mainstream Jamaican culture when the bar up the road from my house starts to play it on repeat for at least twenty minutes.
Vershon’s first hit single has made a huge impact. I’ve said before that music is the pulse of Jamaican society, and “Inna Real Life” solidifies that point. Vershon sings about struggles that many face in Jamaica: watching your family go hungry because you’re just barely making ends meet.
For Jamaicans, tough economic times looks like eating white rice and canned mackerel or curried chicken back for dinner; Vershon sings about this.
He speaks about keeping a smile on his face while inside he is full of turmoil as he deals with his daily struggles. Many Jamaicans (and humans in general) connect with this.
Christianity and religious faith play an enormous role in Jamaican daily life. Vershon’s line about praying and holding onto faith in spite of the hardships he’s facing really hits home.
Speaking of music as a way to connect, one of my fellow PCVs has started a really awesome tradition with her students called “Music Matters Fridays.” Jessica takes her love of music and uses it to connect with her students about topics that matter to their lives. It’s a great way to get students, especially older students, thinking critically about social topics, which is the first step in getting them to improve the way they write about those topics. Read more about Jessica’s cool program here on the Peace Corps Jamaica Facebook page (and “like” the page while you’re at it!).