There will be a seismic shift in the reggae universe as of July 28th, 2007.
Why, you ask.
Well, that is the earliest possible release date for Jah Cure, the singer known for huge hits such as 'True Reflections' and 'Love Is'.
YardFlex confirmed that the singer could be released on this date.
"Jah Cure's earliest date of release (EDR) is July 28, 2007 and his latest release date (LDR) in July 18, 2011," Major Richard Reese, Commissioner of Corrections, told YardFlex earlier this week.
"As long as there are no institutional breaches or any serious breaches committed which warrant a serious investigation before this date, he should be released at this time, on July 28th, 2007."
Jah Cure was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment on April 26, 1999, for two counts of rape, robbery with aggravation, and illegal possession of firearm, all arising from the same incident. He received this sentence at age 19. He will be 27 years old when he is released.
"If he commits a breach while released on EDR, the prosecuting judge would take into account his previous conviction and he could get a longer penalty," Major Reese reasoned.
The Commissioner said he did not know if Jah Cure would come up before the parole board before his release date. One prominent entertainment female personality actually commented: "Why is it that Jah Cure who is a criminal is applauded by members of this society for a heinous crime committed against women? Jah Cure must serve his full sentence, I don't care what he sings, he has not apologized, and any man who could do such a vicious act deserves to remain in prison for a long time. Where do people get off with this 'Free Up Jah Cure!" foolishness?!"
Two years ago, Jah Cure was buffeted by an avalanche of bad press arising from an interview conducted by a Gleaner reporter with his victim. Women's groups were particularly incensed by a follow-up interview where he seemed to be less than penitent about his conviction.
Last year, combination singles 'Nah Build Great Man' with Fantan Mojah hit local charts while the combination with Gentleman, 'Share the Love' hit the top ten of the Choice FM charts in London.
Jah Cure is a very bankable star and his release will start earnest jockeying by promoters and producers in the entertainment fraternity to use his considerable talents. There is already talk that he may appear on this year's Reggae Sunsplash and could provide a shot in the arm for reggae music which lacks a major international star since the death of Bob Marley.