Why does the word murder get used so much in pre-digital dancehall and old reggae?

For example, this Barrington Levy track https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmdhqRgRsmE

Is there any reason or significance?

  • Could it be a reference to this? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Murder_Music Or perhaps some anti war or anti violence message?
    – NPN328
    May 27, 2015 at 17:02
  • Hmm, possibly could have some influence on this but I am more thinking about late 70s / early 80s era.
    – andymacd
    May 28, 2015 at 14:43

1 Answer 1


Murder means "serious business". A reggae performer of that era once explained it like that in a radio interview on a London radio station back then. So not literally murder, but a colourful word for "something to be taken seriously".

But there are other possible meanings, depending on context : See also: https://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090320003325AAvq3f9 https://www.reddit.com/r/reggae/comments/216l56/why_do_reggae_artists_use_the_phrase/

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