Words by Jesse Serwer
November is Drug Awareness Month in Jamaica, and the campaign has what some may consider a surprising spokesman: the late Gregory Isaacs. The Cool Ruler, who passed away last October from lung cancer, battled a well-documented drug addiction throughout his career, during which he was frequently arrested for cocaine possession. Shortly before his passing, Isaacs spoke candidly about his addiction, warning children about the dangers of drugs for a PSA now airing on Jamaican TV stations. Part of the sales from the new double-disc compilation Gregory Isaacs – The African Museum & Tad’s Collection Vol. II, released last month, will go to the Gregory Isaacs Foundation’s anti-drug campaign and charitable giving program, run by Isaacs’ late wife, June Isaacs. Watch the PSA, followed by a clip of Isaacs performing his classic musical PSA “Hard Drugs” at Reggae Sunsplash in 1990, below.