Reggae star draws government ire in Jamaica

"At first they were trying to fight it in Jamaica, but now it's the biggest thing," Cham says. "The radio started playing it like probably two weeks after they said, 'No, no, no.' The fans were letting them know that it was the biggest song in the street. But that's how it is in Jamaica, they tend to draw a curtain to the real things going on."

"Ghetto Story" isn't Cham's first song to draw the government's ire. Both of his earlier tracks, "Desperate Measure" and "Ghetto Play," were banned, as was Bounty Killer's "Anytime," which Cham wrote with longtime producer buddy Dave Kelly.

NEW YORK (Billboard) - Reggae star Cham's hot new tune "Ghetto Story" explicitly describes the poverty raging through Jamaica, and has been banned in its homeland.

"The government wrote me," Cham says regarding "Ghetto Play." "I was saying to give me the country to run for a day. And they said, 'We need to stop the bashing of the government.' That's not bashing, it's just showing up the government. There's no free speech there. They say you have free speech, but it's not free speech."

Cham's gritty video for "Ghetto Story" features him rhyming into a cell phone and children enacting his verses of sticking up store clerks and sleeping on foam squares. The entire video was shot in about a day. Then MTV came calling, airing the clip on "Direct Effect" and "MTV Jams." Cham also tapped Akon for the "Ghetto Story" remix, which recently went to radio.

Aside from the "Ghetto Story" single, which originally debuted in Jamaica last November, an album of the same name is slated for an August release on Atlantic. - By Hillary Crosley



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