Judge Agrees To Add Two More Charges To Reggae Artiste Mark Myrie/Buju Banton
Jamaican reggae artiste Mark Myrie, a four-time Grammy nominated artiste known to the music world as Buju Banton is facing four charges instead of two at his retrial on February 14th 2011 in the Sam M. Gibbons Federal Court in Tampa, Florida. Judge James Moody, whose rulings have mostly favored the prosecution, again ruled for the prosecution by dismissing a motion by Mark Myrie’s defense seeking to have the new indictment thrown out. Banton, who is on US$250,000 bail is subjected to house arrest.
Myrie’s attorney David Oscar Markus appeared confident non-the-less when speaking to the Jamaican news paper The Jamaica Observer saying “…We are going to trial on Monday on the new charges. That’s okay. We are ready.” Mark Myrie/ Buju Banton had originally been tried last September on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, and aiding and abetting the possession of a firearm during a drug-trafficking offence.
The charges added to the old indictment are possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offence, this despite the fact Myrie never had a gun, was never physically in possession of a gun, was not at the scene of the crime when the other two defendants attempted to buy cocaine from the US government. Further complicating matters is the fact that the prosecution did not prove the original gun charge in the first trial in September 2010.The second charge is using the wires to facilitate a drug-trafficking offence
The prosecution after failing to convict Myrie in September secured the new indictment with the additional two counts in November 2010. Myrie’s first trial ended with a deadlock six/six hung jury in September 2010. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment.
Convicted defendants Ian Thomas and James Mack are expected to testify during Banton’s second trial. They did not participate in the previous trial.
Ziggy MARLEY to launch ‘MARIJUANAMAN’
Ziggy Marley is set to become the latest celebrity comic book author after landing a release date for his ‘MarijuanaMan’ series.
The Grammy Award-winning reggae star has teamed with Image Comics to turn his graphic novel idea into reality. The project chronicles the tale of “a noble extraterrestrial champion, who has arrived on Earth to deliver an important message and at the same time save his own planet”. Marley says, “Marijuanaman represents the hope of the future… the hope that we will utilize all of the power that the universe has given us to save our planet.” The book will be in comic stores in April.
Beenie Man’s new album and record deal
Beenie Man is gearing up for another crack at the Billboard charts with a new album titled The King In Control and record deal with the Universal Music Group through his MD Entertainment and VP Records. It will feature rapper Busta Rhymes and a possible collaboration with Trinidad-born rapper Nicki Minaj
Bridgez, the first lady of the Alliance
BRIDGEZ: “Joining the Alliance has played a very significant role in my life.” Reggae singer Bridgez has joined the Bounty Killer-led dancehall Alliance. Bridgez real name Bridgette Roache, has worked with producers such as Jack Scorpio, Rohan ‘Sno Cone’ Fuller, Stephen ‘Supa Hype’ Davis, Kemar ‘Flava’ McGregor and Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare.
She has a duet w/ singer Lukie D. Her latest musical projects include mixed tape titled Bridgez Crossover and is set to shoot the videos for the songs ‘Fulfill My Fantasy’ and ‘Saving it For You.’
VP Records releases digital EP Changes from Gentleman
German reggae star Gentleman’s fifth studio album in America ‘Diversity’ is out on VP Records. The digital EP, ‘Changes’, which features three hits from ‘Diversity’, was released by indie VP Records on February 22, 2011. The singles ‘Changes’ and ‘Lonely Days’ were produced by Jamaican hit-maker Don Corleon, and the electro-dance fusion ‘To the Top’ w/Jamaican singer Christopher Martin. The ‘To the Top’ video has recorded five million hits on YouTube since its release in July 2010. The digital EP Changes is available on iTunes and VP Records’ own PlanetReggae.com.
Nicky B’s (Nicholas Bennett, son of producer Mikey Bennet) single “Golddigger” w/Elephant Man is his latest attempt at cooking-up sweet sounding music. For 2011 he has collaborations with French rapper Rohff, in a Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor-produced remake of New Edition’s, 1988 mega-hit “If It Isn’t Love” and a European tour with Voicemail in the summer.
Rapper Eve to perform with Lady Saw at EME Awards in Jamaica
Rapper/actress Eve has been confirmed to perform at the Excellence in Music and Entertainment (EME) Awards, set for March 12 at Devon House in Kingston.
Eve and rapper Trina will be inducted as an “International Friend of Reggae“. Eve will be recognized for her collaboration with Lady Saw, which is currently blowing up in Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean. Jamerican comedian Rayzor will also be present at the annual event.
There has also been the announcement that golden-voiced roots singer Jah Cure, the Strong One, Etana and current reggae nominee Andrew Tosh, son of the legendary Peter Tosh will join hip hop’s Diamond Princess Trina as performers at the 7th annual EME Awards.
Dancehall artistes Tifa and Vybz Kartel were the big winners at the fourth staging of 2011 Youth View Awards on February 7th 2011 at National Indoor Sports Centre. Tifa, walked away with four awards and Kartel took home five awards.
The event was hosted by ZJ Bambino and Rocsi from BET’s 106 and Park’s. There were performances from Denyque, Raine Seville, Khago, Munga Honorable, Ce’Cile, Richie and Ikaya. Voicemail won for best group. Voicemail’s Craig Jackson gave a memorable acceptance speech dedicated the award to fallen member Oneil Edwards. He thanked the fans.
Beenie Man Recovering From Hip SurgeryBeenie Man was diagnosed with a hip condition and received corrective surgery to fix the problem. As a result of the surgery, Beenie Man will at home resting and taking a break from the music scene for a short period in order to facilitate the recovery process.
BBC Documentaries on Caribbean island’s influence on British music
On the 30th anniversary of Bob Marley’s death the British Broadcasting Corporation Four on February 11 aired a series of documentaries celebrating Reggae’s impact on British music, culture and society. The programmes show how Reggae came from Jamaica in the 1960s to influence, over the next 20 years, both British music and society.looking at some of the most ground breaking artists to come out of Jamaica and an investigation of how they influenced British musicians.
The series will start with the documentary Reggae Britannia and includes major artistes and performances from that era, including Big Youth, Max Romeo, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Jerry Dammers and the Specials, the Police, UB40, Dennis Bovell, lovers’ rock performers Carroll Thompson and Janet Kay, bands like Aswad and Steel Pulse and reggae admirers, such as Boy George and Paul Weller. A special Reggae Britannia concert was held at the Barbican centre in London on February 5 and the broadcast of this concert will follow Friday’s opening documentary.
Other programmes in the Reggae Britannia series included the broadcast of a special live recording of the 1973 Reggae Concert at the Edinburgh Festival, which featured the Cimarons, Winston Groovy, Dennis Alcapone, the Marvels, Nicky Thomas and the Pioneers. The series also included the Rise Up Reggae Star programme, and three new artistes who seek to ‘rise up’ from obscurity for their chance at success.
The Reggae Britannia series ended on February 19 with the 1977 Bob Marley Exodus concert. The 6 Music news visited Jamaica and attend the Jamaican Jazz and Blues festival and to check out the state of the local live scene. Jamaica is still an important place for British artists to play and record and the island’s musical heritage is as relevant as ever.
Stacious and Mavado off to Europe
Stacious is in Europe for a number of shows as the opening act for Mavado. She scored a huge #1 in 2010 w/ Mavado titled ‘Come Into My Ro
om’. My Room’ earned more 2.5 million hits on Youtube. Stacious also has a collaboration w/Fyakin called ‘Lock Me Down’.
New York Irie Jam Radio DJ Banned Vybz Kartel Music
New York’s Irie Jam radio program host/director and club dj, Dubb Master Chris, announced recently that he will not play any music from dancehall artiste Vybz Kartel during Black History Month. Kartel has generated international controversy for both bleaching his skin and advocating bleaching.
Dubb Master Chris, who is light –skinned, explained “Black History Month is a big deal and we as a people should take every opportunity to celebrate our heritage. I feel if I continue to play Vybz Kartel, an artiste who is now very much known for bleaching his skin, it simply sends the wrong message to my young impressionable listeners” Chris said in an interview with Jamaica Star. Chris, who is against bleaching further explained “…I have a lot of respect for Kartel’s music… (and I) respect his talent. He is a great lyricist… however; at times I am disappointed in the direction he decides to take his audience even though that is his prerogative.” “I strongly believe bleaching is wrong, wrong, wrong! It’s a disgrace. It’s a slap in the face of our heritage, our ancestors and our God. This definitely sends the wrong message to children; I think it leads them to believe that somehow, if they are dark complexion something is wrong with that. It erodes the concept that black is beautiful.”
Chris says he has been playing Vybz Kartel’s music on his radio show since the late 90s with Gal Clown.
Culture Minister Grange to Advocate Bob Marley becoming National Hero
Minister of Culture Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange has announced that she intends to lead the advocacy for the Reggae singer Bob Marley to be declared a National Hero. The order of national hero is Jamaica’s highest honor. Minister Grange told a national radio audience and those gathered at the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston to celebrate the late singer’s 66th birthday that Marley was a “great Jamaican” and that she “supported the idea of making him a National Hero.”
The Minister requested that people who believe Marley should be made a National Hero should formally present their case through letters and petitions and that she would advocate on their behalf. Currently Bob Marley holds Jamaica’s Order of Merit, and as such is addressed, The Honorable Robert Nesta Marley, OM.
The Strong One drops ‘Free Expression’
Etana’s sophomore 15-track CD ‘Free Expressions’ hits the stores in Jamaica, the United States, Europe , the Caribbean and in Japan, one of the largest reggae markets, on February 8. Etana’s album Free Expressions hits the street tomorrow.
The singer who got married in 2010-and has matured-is hoping that Expressions will do as well as and even better than The Strong One. Musically she “refused to be lyrically restricted”; and so, Etana played a greater role in the creative direction and selection of the songs on Expressions. She wrote 12 of the 15 tunes on the album, and was involved the recording and mastering of the tracks. “This time around, I got really involved in the making of the album. For The Strong One there were a team of writers but it’s pretty much all me and my pen in the majority of the songs on Free. That was an experience I enjoyed, and I am definitely more into writing to.”
Stephen Marley & Melanie Fiona Drops ‘No Cigarette Smoking’
Check out the hot new single ‘No Cigarette Smoking’ MP3 by Stephen Marley featuring Melanie Fiona. This is the second single off of Stephen Marley’s forthcoming album, Revelation Part One: The Root of Life (Universal Records ) – April 2011. Also available is ‘ Jah Army’ Stephen Marley w/Damian Marley and Buju Banton.
Bob Marley Headed for Top 10
A new Bob Marley live release, “Live Forever: the Stanley Theatre, Pittsburgh PA 9/23/1980,” is on course to enter the billboard top 10. If it starts in the top tier, it will be Marley’s first top 10 — and just his second ever — since “Rastaman Vibration” peaked at No. 8 in 1976. (“Live Forever” could actually end up as the highest-charting album of Marley’s entire career.)
Marley’s catalog of work “Legend” some of his greatest hits package could have missed the top 10. The album, which is certified as having sold 10 million in the United States, according to the Recording Industry Association of America initially only reached No. 54 in 1984. Last year in the United States “Legend sold 253,000, while in 2009 it moved 342,000
American king of comedy Raymond ‘Rayzor’ Davis has been confirmed as host of the 7th Annual Excellence in Music and Entertainment (EME) Awards which takes place in Kingston on March 12. Davis, a first generation Jamaican who was born in Brooklyn New York, said “I am…honored to be to host of Jamaica’s most prestigious music award show.” “If my mother (who is from Clarendon, Jamaica) was still here, she would be overjoyed that her son… was given an opportunity to host a major event in Jamaica. I have never done anything of this magnitude in Jamaica before.”
Rapper Trina, will receive the International Friend of Reggae honoree award. Previous award recipients were Missy Elliott, John Legend and Akon, reports AllHipHop.com
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Entertainment Writer, Westindiantimes.net (Norfolk Beach VA)
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