Slyngaz denies being a ‘guzu man’
While some of his contemporaries have found overnight fame by singing about the 'choppa' lifestyle, inclusive of Mark X cars, girls and guard rings, Slyngaz is gaining visibility by adding obeah to the mix.
References to dead cows on rooftops, duppy-filled guard rings and obeah men on retainer permeate the 23-year-old's music, and his music videos have showcased occult rituals like the beheading of chickens. But even though Slyngaz refers to himself as a "guzu man" in songs like Meech Lifestyle, he denied any involvement in obeah practices when contacted by THE STAR.
"I'm not a obeah man," Slyngaz said. "I keep my personal life aside from my lyrics. My lyrics are not representative of my life but it's what I see and hear via the media. It has become a trend to sing about obeah and dark things in dancehall so I'm just matching up with what's happening."
While he steered clear of calling it a strategy, Slyngaz isn't unique to using shock value to attract attention. Skin bleaching, both real and fake, has been employed by acts like Vybz Kartel, Spice, Blak Ryno and I-Maroon. Fake contact lens brought the spotlight on Alkaline and fake relationships have come and gone like RT Boss and Mackerel.
Does Slyngaz intend to eventually ditch the obeah tactic?
"As the popular trends in dancehall advance, I adjust, as long as the people are entertained by whichever trend," he said. The end goal of his efforts is to "make local music get equal attention and support as international music".
The inevitable conversation of the influence his music has on youth looms. His music video for the song Obeah Man was released in February and sees a group of children singing " all a mi dawg dem a obeah man". Slyngaz said that he does all types of music, adding: "I think the youths need more home training and positive influence from home."
Indeed, Slyngaz has released other material, but he only started picking up traction with songs like Bloody Sacrifice, Witchcraft, Big Choppa (featuring Northcoast C9) and Fully Spain Town.
Given name Adrian Hanson, the St Elizabeth native was raised by his father and late mother whom he said supported his music endeavours. He started recording songs while attending the St Elizabeth Technical High School and decided to pursue a full-time music career in 2018. He has since established Musdawka Entertainment which is helping to bring other acts like Geenick, Leo, NFL Gad and IV Gucci to the fore.