Today’s topic on Hidden Gems is the song “Operation Eradication” by the singjay Eek-a-Mouse.
I grew up listening to Eek-a-Mouse and have always wanted to see him perform live whenever he visited my hometown. Sadly, that never came to pass. But his music remains in my head as I try to sing along to his hits like “Ganja Smuggling,” “Wa-Do-Dem,” “Noah’s Ark,” “Sensi Party,” and many other songs.
As fun as his music is, Eek-a-Mouse was very serious when he released his song “Operation Eradication” from his 1981 classic album “Wa-Do-Dem.” The subject of “Operation Eradication” was the Eradication Squad formed in 1981 and its failed attempt to dismantle the marijuana problem in Jamaica. As a result, the Eradication Squad was a death squad that killed innocent people. In one lyric of “Operation Eradication,” Eek-a-Mouse sings about the police’s mistake and “kill pure innocent one.” The “innocent one” happens to be Eek-a-Mouse’s close friend DJ Errol Scorcher. Even though there are other earlier songs about Operation Eradication, Eek-a-Mouse’s song is a song that grieves his loss and the resignation of seeing violence and not able to stop it without getting killed.
Eek-a-Mouse’s “Operation Eradication” is one of several songs of the 1980’s that reflect exactly what is going on through personal experience and loss in Jamaica. It remains relevant today because there is almost no change for the better since the 1974 passing of the Suppression of Crime Act. “Operation Eradication” indeed stands the test of time.