Posts from — June 2008
By: Brittany Somerset, Intrepid Reporter, Manhattan
Elvis may be the King, and Beenieman may be the self-proclaimed, “King ofthe dance hall,” but Capleton is the Emperor, as well as the emissary of BoboShanti enlightenment. His performance in the heart of Babylon, at BB King’s in Times Square, New York City, on Sunday, June 15th, was positively electrifying. Capleton and the David House Crew burned a fire so hot BoBo Kings almost spontaneously combusted. Capleton was supported by special guest artists Jah Thunder and Culture Knoxx. All three artists were backed by the five-piece ensemble, The Prophecy.
BB King’s was dank and stank with the smell of sticky icky, wrapped in the cloying scents of strawberry, blueberry, vanilla and honey blunts, that thankfully cloaked the rancid smell of bidis.
Capleton’s radioactive, neon orange outfit was brighter than the neon lights of Times Square and perfectly accessorized his high-octane, off the Richter scale activity on stage. The consummate performer, he mesmerized the crowd, moved with the dexterity of a mountain lion, and shined like a solar flare. He practically did jumping jacks throughout his radiant, 1000watt set. The fire was burnin’ red hot underneath Times Square. Not even the rattling of the subway trains running underground nearby could eclipse the energy Capleton exuded as the audience roared with approval. It was a very fortunate crowd who were able to experience the euphoria of dancing in the dark with the dancehall diaspora.
Capleton elicited a huge forward from the audience when he said he didn’tlike it when he came to “foreign” (lands), and heard people calling each other “dog.” He said, “Dogs piss up yuh yard inna Jamaica, so mi nah wah hear peoplecall each udda dat.” He said he’s not a dog, but rather he’s a lion.(Maybe that’s why Snatcha Dogg changed his name to “Snatcha Lion”!) He said, “Call im ‘Snoop,’ leave out di ‘dog’. Call im ‘Daddy,’ leave out di ‘Puff’!” These hilarious remarks were greeted with screaming cheers of approval.
In between tracks, he took time out to extol the virtues of vegetarianism and racial unity. He also expressed his controversial views against “chi chi men”, child molestation, and oral sex, all considered equal acts of perversion within the boundaries of Bobo Shanti society.
Capleton performed his entire catalogue of hits like “Slew Dem,” “Tour,” “Jah Jah City,” “Love Potion,” “Good in Har Clothes,” as well as his new tracks “Toppa Tings,” and “Gimmie Di Ting,” released on the Truck Back label. The enthusiastic crowd chanted along with every single word, with their lighters and hands aloft high above their heads. He gave a stellar, two-hour performance worthy of Sumfest in the intimate underground venue. He did an unprecedented 5 encores. The crowd just would not let him leave.
Capleton’s manager, Queen Claudette Kemp, looked as regal as ever. Shawne Lee, AKA Miss Black Empress, and Lady Saw’s DJ Missy represented the lovely ladies in attendance. All three beauties proved that wearing alluring yet humble attire is always more attractive than wearing batty riders.
For those of you who missed Capleton’s amazing performance last night, he is playing again on the 29th of June at Hammerstein Ballroom.
June 16, 2008 3 Comments
By Brittany Somerset, Intrepid Reporter, New York City Carifest C.A.R.E.S. But Eek-A-Mouse Doesn’t. When asked at last week’s Carifest CARES (Compassionate Artists Recognizing Entertainment Solutions) press conference what Carifest meant to him, Eek-A-Mouse replied. “It doesn’t mean (expletive) to me” He then changed the subject entirely and went off on a tirade, dissing all the “white people who control reggae, like Ace Of Base, Matisyahu, (whose name he repeatedly mispronounced and called Matissaweh), Sean Paul and Shaggy; bitterly blaming them for his inability to get signed by a major label. He even he included the late, great, reggae founder Bob Marley in his racist rant, citing that he had a white father. “They nah wan no black people to run reggae music. They wan Sean Paul and Shaggy; A true. Matissaweh jump inna di business and starts selling all dem records deh, and now mi cyan sell none, and mi cant sign me, so mi wonder wagwann. Bloodclot! All dem white boys get money from reggae music and me cyan get none. Toots and the Maytalls, Dennis Brown, get nuttin and here comes Massassahoo, here comes UB40…” he angrily repeated himself, getting visibly more amplified by the second, as shown in this video of his spiteful speech: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gz2-SHGlYs Music transcends race. If Eek-A-Mouse can’t get signed or earn money, perhaps its his attitude, not his skin color, that’s holding him back. Perhaps that and his paranoid dementia. Ace of Base aren’t even reggae. Team Legendary Promoter, Alfonso D’Niscio Brooks told Eek-A-Mouse’s management and agent that, “Unless he issues a public apology to Carifest, it’s affiliates and it’s supporters, his performing at Carifest will not be allowed and I will expect a complete refund.” Mr. Brooks further emphatically stated, “I can’t condone or promote his negative behavior. Carifest C.A.R.E.S is about Love. Racism and/or prejudices will in no way be accepted. Carifest has a very diverse audience and will not alienate anyone. I mean it when I say we will represent only good vibes! Carifest is not the platform for negativity.” Stay tuned to find out if Eek-A-Mouse recants his racist remarks or if the show will go on with out him.
June 16, 2008 No Comments
By Brittany Somerset, Intrepid Reporter, New York City Saturday, June 14th, New York, NY. It was a slammin’ Saturday night in the state of New York with so many parties to attend to and so little time. The 11th Annual Jamrock Reggae Festival, the Sean Bell tribute concert, and the Richie Spice concert were all in full effect well into the wee hours of Father’s Day Sunday morning.The 11th Annual Jamrock Reggae Festival, dubbed “Jammin’ In The City,” took place in monsoon-like Manhattan. The event was scheduled to start at 10pm, however it was almost washed up, due to the raging thunderstorm that racked the city. Most Caribbean folk do not like to get their hair wet; however, despite the pouring rain, the die-hard reggae massive was not to be deterred as they arrived soaking wet, but with their spirits up, ready to hear the likes of Etana the Strong One, Assassin, Ky-mani Marley, Beenieman, Mr. Vegas, and Demarco. Surprise last minute additions to the line-up included world famous, critically-acclaimed singers, Wayne Wonder, and Da’Ville, who replaced Sanchez, who unfortunately had to cancel his appearance due to a scheduling conflict.Held at the multi-tiered venue, Hammerstein Ballroom, in Midtown Manhattan, the floor seats were half empty; however, the balconies were full. Da’Ville’s performance was divine, Etana’s was effervescent, Vegas’s was vivacious, Ky-Mani’s was cool, Assassin’s was awesome, Wayne’s was wonderful, but Beenie was bored.Beenie, who almost always closes the show at festival events, due to his power to keep audiences lying in wait for him, was cradling a broken arm in a sling. Always a master of showmanship, he gave a spirited performance; however, he asked the crowd and the promoter, “Can I go home now?” after almost every song, to which the crowd enthusiastically shouted, “No!” After asking the crowd at least three times if he could go home, he addressed the promoter and stated, “You have to do this show earlier next time, I want to go home.” Within five minutes of Beenie’s completed performance, you could practically hear crickets chirping in the empty theater as everyone cleared out in record time, and tromped back into the drizzling rain. Meanwhile in the outer borough of Brooklyn, Sen I Sennon was performing at a Sean Bell tribute concert that appropriately took place in nightclub 1080 on Fulton Street. Sean Bell, the martyred poster child for police ineptness, second only Amadou Diallo, was tragically gunned down while leaving a nightclub after his bachelor party. Sen I Sennon, modeling Color Heritage clothing, performed with Jahspa and Teyazawan.After the Sean Bell tribute, the reggae music fans flocked over to Flatbush, to catch roots reggae artist Richie Spice’s 4AM performance at Caribbean City on Empire Blvd. Spice naturally sang all of his hits from his VP album, “In The Streets to Africa,” to a jam-packed audience, who boisterously sang along, word for word.While the damp, bedraggled vibe at Jammin’ in the City was more like yawning and stretching in the city, the Flatbush party popped off by comparison. It was sardines-in-a-can-crowded at the crack of dawn. Hundreds of people broke night while singing, “Na na na na na na na…”Let’s hope all those pro-active partygoers, who were up bright and early, remembered to call their Fathers and wish them happy Father’s Day.
June 15, 2008 No Comments
By Brittany Somerset, Intrepid Reporter, Manhattan, New York Forget Carrie from Sex In the City. On Wednesday, June 4th, there was a Cari-Fest in the City, at the Carifest CARES: Keep A Child Alive launch party and benefit at 40/40 on 25th Street, and the Sumfest launch party at Negril on West 3rd Street.The launch for Carifest CARES was attended by scheduled performing artists Matisyahu, Caution, Kayla Bliss, Meta & The Cornerstones, Uriel Hamilton and Midnight. Joseph Israel greeted the crowd via a pre-recorded message played on 40/40’s many flat screens. He offered his regrets at not being able to attend the event because he is currently on tour; however, he will also be performing at this year’s Carifest. Lee Scratch Perry did not attend; however, his new album’s producer, Andrew WK, did.Carifest, an annual, New York-based, Caribbean diaspora celebration that combines food, crafts, and a concert, will also include a charitable theme this year: “Carifest CARES: Keep a Child Alive (KACA)”. Keep a Child Alive is a non-profit organization founded by Leigh Blake, in response to the desperate cry for much-needed AIDS-combating medicines in Africa.Marie Davis, a woman living with HIV, gave a powerfully poignant speech to the evening’s attendees about the need for HIV and AIDS testing within the community. She stated, “The African and African- American community is the largest community living with HIV and AIDS, yet we are the least frequently tested voluntarily. Too often, I hear people, especially parents, say they don’t want to get tested because they are afraid to know if they are infected, or not. If you are a parent, you have a moral obligation to find out of you are living with either HIV or AIDS, so you can protect your children.” Her speech was met with thunderous applause from the rapt audience. She also stressed the importance of the use of condoms, and explained the difference between HIV and AIDS, emphatically stating that they were not the same thing.People living with HIV and AIDS can prevent or delay some of the more serious symptoms and complications, if given anti-retroviral treatment (ARV) medication. These medicines are easily accessible in the United States, but are virtually non-existent in Africa, where the AIDS pandemic has reached its peak, killing tens of millions of people. That is where Keep A Child Alive comes in. According to KACA, ARV medicines can miraculously prolong the lives of those dying from AIDS. KACA forwards 100% of their donations to this cause, and supports 14 clinical and orphan care sites in 7 countries. According to KACA, there are over 15 million children worldwide who have lost one, or both, parents to the AIDS pandemic.To learn more about what you can do to help this cause, contact , or attend Carifest CARES on Sunday, July 6th, at the USTA National Tennis Center, in Flushing, Queens, from 5pm until 11pm.Meanwhile, across town, at Negril, media, friends and Jamaican government officials came together to support the launch for Sumfest, an annual concert event which takes place in Montego Bay, Jamaica on July 13th-19th.Sumfest organizers, Johnny Gourzong, Executive Director, Robert Russell, Chairman, Sydney Reid, Director of Sites & Services, and Marcia McDonnough, Promotions Director, were at Negril to answer questions from the media about this year’s upcoming event. The organizers were joined by Jamaican political bigwigs such as Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, Carole Guntley, Director General in the Ministry of Tourism, Basil Smith, Director of Tourism, David Shields, Deputy Director of Marketing, and Donnie Dawson, Deputy Director of Tourism. The Jamaican politicians attended alongside their New York-based counterparts like Guillermo Linares, Commissioner of Immigration Affairs, and Genieve Brown Metzer, Jamaican Counsel General to New York.Despite the withdrawal of former Sumfest sponsors, Red Stripe, due to what they expressed as a disdain for the increasingly violent and inflammatory lyrics in dancehall music, the show must, and will indeed, go on. If the love and support that was apparent at the jam-packed launch was any indication of the support for the actual event, this year’s Sumfest will be just as successful as before, without sponsorship from Red Stripe.If you were unable to attend the launch parties, there is still plenty of time to get tickets to either, or both, of the events. Between Carifest CARES and Sumfest, it will certainly be a memorable Summer-fest of Cari-fun.
June 6, 2008 No Comments