O’Neil Richards | 'Graduation Gown'


O'Neil 'Dippozit' Richards is a musical talent like none you've heard in a long time, if ever. His music is described as thought-provoking and for varied reasons. An artist that speaks as he's inspired and not based on the slang of the moment.

But afta di graduation, comes the noose roun yuh neck call tuition...fee. And even with di piece a paypa, yuh prospect nuh get greata. Its a great frustrata. Fi di competent who nuh have di paypas, Yet...  O’Neil Richards - Graduation Gown

On first encountering the title ‘Graduation Gown’, our first impression came with a measure of curiosity. We felt we were geared to listen to something in the line of Khalid’s ‘Young Dumb Broke’. And we were right to a very considerable extent; both songs agree on the themes centered on the education systems, in modern Western and Westernized societies, and where they fall short of delivering on expectations. It is worthy to note that whereas Khalid’s song seats comfortable in the Pop genre, O’Neil delivers ‘Graduation Gown’ on the saddles of Reggae. 

‘Graduation Gown’ is unwavering in its thematic approach. It lyrically confronts a harsh reality as prevalent in almost every modern society, going as far as accusing the education systems of not getting youths equipped with skills necessary for surviving their societies after graduation despite the high expectations, student loans, and huge expenses accrued. And how does this suit the title, you might ask? Here is the answer: the lyrics of the song say that poverty is dressed in a graduation gown. Do you agree with this? We think this is one tough meat to chew on. 

It will be best to tell you upfront; this is one song you really should listen to. 

You simply can’t get enough of this song as far as the lyrical content is concerned. The song is weighted with such messages that can only be the outcome of intense observation and in-depth reasoning. It appears the standard record time for a song is inadequate to give vent to all that O’Neil has to say. 

The instrumental accompaniment of the song is very suiting. It leads the rhythm of the song pleasantly, flowing into the interlude and rising with the tempo. It becomes theatrical where needed, conveying a suiting mood as intended in the message of the lyrics. 

The vocal quality is as honest as Reggae vocals come; unpatronizing, confident, and prophetic. It is one which beckons on you to listen with intent rather than be swayed. Apparently, this quality of listening with intent is a trait demanded of ardent Reggae lovers. 

Overall, this is one song whose theme is capable of sparking some discourse, by virtue of its directness. It is a legendary song that finds relevance across many contemporary cultures. The merit of the song lies in its lyrical quality. It strikes the consciousness so hard that it dwarfs every other quality of the song, making them appear like background accompaniment. This song is very much recommended both for the youths and for policymakers in every affected culture.

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