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These Urban Charity songs...

Don't get me wrong I rate these artists for donating their time for good (their real motives always remain a question), but does that mean they can subject us to really bad songs? Like really bad ones?

From the foul-mouthed, opportunist Bob Geldof's Band Aid tune 'Do They Know It's Crimbo' from the 80s, the remix in 00s, the US return dub 'We Are The World' to the breast cancer one last year which featured a slew of female artists from Leona Lewis, Natasha Beddingfield to Miley Cyrus, Mary J Blige, Beyonce, Keyshia Cole, Mariah Carey...

(In case you missed it 'cos it wasn't a big thing in UK)

Shaggy & Friends for a hospital in Jamaica.

Combined with the concert and auction, it raised a lot of money, fact remains...

They're always so corny! Corny on purpose like that's supposed to make us gravitate to the cause. Why can't they make normal, credible well-written songs with a message but with normal arrangements and a normal touching instrumental? These always make you cringe as soon as you hear it. The lyrics are cool but arrangements and chord progression are always similarly annoying. Too forced and generic formula for my liking. If I asked you to name top 10 songs that touched your heart, you wouldn't even think about these charity songs.

It seems like the rise of this new UK urban movement has meant we are being subjected to ones by them. Now we all saw that Young Soul Rebels at the MOBO's last night, right? Was that the highlight or most :/ part of the show?

Not gonna lie, it's kinda catchy but as journalist Chantelle Fiddy pointed out

@ChantelleFiddy: Ok, I'm gonna put this out there: I got soul but I'm not a soldier. WTF does that mean?

WTF = Wipe The Floor (What The F*ck)

It will serve its purpose, but it's generic as fiddly-dee

Now I see this:

Don't Shank, Just Skank

I have one question: where did they dig up MC Neat from?

On subject of the song - How I interpreted this song was: one guy made a tune then got a bunch of popular funky artists to rework their popular lyrics or embrace the skank culture by getting three artists to ad-lib or rework their skank to suit the Stop Killing theme. Sounds like a win-win right?

It is genius! Yeah, I said it. Know why? It's perfect reverse psychology. Hear me out man! It reminds me of that advert (Haribo?) where the kid throws a tantrum then his mum imitates him leading the kid to shut his mouth!

"Parent's the real warning to the kids is: stop killing or else we will have to put up with these songs for longer!" could have been the tagline for this.

But you know what happened? I thought "Lemme go check out this site to see wha' gwarn." The point of the song (to gain awareness)worked.

Whilst there I found video interviews from artists Donae'o + Zest & DJ Twist talking about knife crime, but more importantly the reason behind the charity. Not nothing big like one of their friends got stabbed repeatedly to death - the type of charities which make the local news - but the guest editor, a teenage girl, talking about what's coming up this month (and asking people to upload vids of that silly skank). Read how they formed through 18 people brainstorming and thought "I ridiculed x LOL'd at the song but in reality these people are walking what a lot of people talk about".

The site is on Bebo (the yuteman #1 social-network site), so it's hitting the target market without looking mad corny or forced - it's youths talking to youths not some reformed gangsta who at most rode a small bird (did time in prison) with his picky head telling people how it was back in his days.

Whether it works or not, I don't know. Can't see how a song will stop someone carrying a shank. Hopefully they got good ideas behind to follow the song, but at least they are trying.

If you're interested, check the site

This post will kind of continue in the above post


  1. I disagree with you on the point that these charity songs are poorly written. I believe they are much better to what they typically write or sing on their own. I think to make your point you should have used other mediocre videos than those two above which would stand out if your analyzing such a topic as this.

    I appreciate your opinion though some people may not find them appealing. I think most Jamaicans found the Shaggy video very appealing and thought provoking, and the song with the American stars was simply fantastic - each bringing their own flavor to the song.

  2. Thanks for your comment.

    However, I don't think they are poorly written at all, they get the message of what they are promoting across. I just think they all sound corny and generic like "X + Y is how to make these types of songs".

  3. And I didn't single out those two like they are the only exapmles, they are the most obscure examples that people may not know. Everyone should know 'We Are The World' and 'Do They Know It's Christmas'


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