WEDNESDAY, JAN 18: Reggae artist and former prisoner Ronae Burgess has released a new Album titled Good Ova Evil that he hopes will help the island’s youths to avoid a life of violence.
The artist, also known as Slanger, speaks of his own experiences of being incarcerated for murder and how he has now turned his life around. He hopes that the album, produced in part by Near Future Records, will serve as a warning to those youngsters who are getting caught up in gang violence.
One song, Prison (No Bed of Roses) speaks of the hardships he experienced while behind bars for 15 years at Westgate prison.
“The song is about how it is in there — I wanted to let the public know what it is like so youths don’t find themselves in there. You have officers checking up on you every 15 minutes. There are no tennis courts, there’s no swimming pool there — some people that believe that.
“Like the song says it’s no bed of roses.”
Burgess, who was released from Westgate’s Transitional Living Centre in 2009, is currently employed by the hospital working with surgical outpatients. He created an album in the year of his release called Transitions which he gave away for free. His current album is on sale for $20 and some of the songs have been getting airtime on the local radio stations.
Burgess said that his favourite track is the title track Good Ova Evil.
“It’s all about the two paths you can take in life, the good and the bad. At the end of it there is a reward if you do good, good shall come, but if you do bad you know what the end result of that will be as well.
“Youths coming up need to think about the choices they make — you can only do things for so long and get away with it — but we also have to think about the consequences and the effect it has on others. Being selfish effects a lot if other people. We just need to take the right path — there will be step backs but the goal is to stay on the good path.”
He said that the album is all about positivity and real life experiences. It features production from Detrimental from Near Future Records, mixing by Lenky Boy and backing vocals from Tristie and SweetSess. It also features a collaboration with successful Jamaican artist Brammer who Burgess’ sister helped her brother to connect with while he was in prison.
Good Ova Evil is on sale at Dub City Records on Court Street Hamilton, Lime Lite Barber shop, Camp Hill, Warwick, Haywards Liquors, Middle Road Warwick and the Duchess Boutique at the clock tower mall in Dockyard.