Rihanna Top Caribbean Grammy Nominees with Five
The 53rd Grammy Awards to be presented in Los Angeles on February 13, 2011 will see ten Caribbean artists, including the late great Gregory Isaacs, up for year’s Reggae Grammy Award.
Barbadian pop princess Rihanna is dominating the nominations. She’s has been nominated in five categories; for Record of the Year for ‘Love The Way You Lie’w/ Eminem, for Song of the Year, Best Rap Song, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration and for Best Dance Recordingfor ‘Only Girl (In The World).’
Reggae Grammy Nominees
The nominees vying for the Grammy for Best Reggae Album include the late Gregory Isaacs for “Isaacs Meets Isaac,” on King Isaac Music, collaboration between South African-based Reggae singer/songwriter, King Isaac; embattled sing-jay chanter deejay Buju Banton forBefore the Dawn, on the Gargamel Music, Inc. label–recorded before his arrest in December 2009. This is his second nomination for two consecutive years. His 2008 album Rasta Got Soul was nominated in 2009. This is his fifth nomination. He has never won.
There is also veteran artiste/producer Lee “Scratch” Perry, who won his first Grammy in 2003 for the ‘Jamaican E.T’. Perry’s entry is ‘Revelation, on Megawave Records.
Producer Bob Sinclar teams up Jamaica’s rhythm twins, Sly (Dunbar) and Robbie (Shakespeare) on ‘Made in Jamaica’ on Yellow Productions/Universal Music France. This is the rhythm twins’, (Sly and Robbie) second nomination. The first is for One Pop Reggae, Sly & Robbie & The Family Taxi; on Phase One Communications/Taxi Records labels.
To round out the Reggae category there is Andrew Tosh, son of legendary Wailer, Peter Tosh with ‘Legacy An Acoustic Tribute To Peter Tosh’ [Box10/Tuff Gong]
The other nominees are Jamaican Sean Kingston, who is up for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical for ‘Island Queen’ and Trinidad-born queens NY base rapper, Nicki Minaj, for Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group for her collaboration with Ludacris on ‘My Chick Bad’.
Reggae artiste/producer Stephen Marley, son of Bob Marley has won five Grammy Award trophies. This is a record for the Reggae Grammy category. Stephen has won three Grammys as a member The Melody Makers and twice as a solo act for his solo debut project ‘Mind Control’.Source: CaribWorldNews
Gyptian ordered to rest; exhausted after 60-day tour
According to a published report, Gyptian’s manager, Ivor Ruddock, responding to rumors about Gyptian’s health issued a clarification statement that the Reggae star is suffering from dehydration following a 60-day tour of Europe and Africa.
After a 60-day tour across three continents, a heavy promotion and interview schedule after arriving in New York City from his two last performances in Tanzania, Gyptian reported feeling faint and was taken to a hospital in the city.
On completion of the last show he again complained of feeling faint and having stomach cramps. He was rushed to the emergency room. A doctor prescribed medication and ordered him to rest in order to rehydrate since he was severely dehydrated.
Gyptian via his management team apologized profusely to his fans in Barbados. Expressing how very grateful he was for all the concern the fans have shown. The press release stated that he was renegotiating a date with the promoters to complete his obligations (to) his fans. Gyptian went to Jamaica to rest and consult with his personal doctor and dietician. He will rest then return to work in good health. Source: Jamaica Observer.com
Buju now free to perform at Miami concert
Judge James Moody overturned a previous decision by Magistrate Judge Anthony Porcelli not to grant Buju Banton permission to perform on January 16 at reggae show in Miami, Florida.
BANTON… to perform alongside other top reggae artistes…Banton had applied for permission on November 23 to perform at the concert, originally scheduled for December 26, but Porcelli dismissed the motion on the grounds that the artiste was a flight risk.
Judge James Moody, on overturning the ruling noted that the issue had already been addressed when Banton was released on US$250,000-bail in October. ”It is therefore ordered and adjudged, the defendant’s appeal… is granted; the defendant is permitted to work… as outlined… as long as the security measures referred to in the affidavit (Dkt #195) are provided,” stated Moody’s written ruling.
David Oscar Markus, the singer’s lead attorney said the ruling will allow Buju to earn the US$20,000 monthly to pay Albert of Florida Agency of Investigations for his security detail. He also thanked Judge Moody for letting Buju work. Markus took a parting shot at the government for opposing his client’s need to make money to pay his expenses but cited the fact that they had no problem paying a ‘convicted drug dealer’ and IRS scammer $3.5 million for setting people up.
The convicted drug dealer and IRS scammer Markus referred to is Alexander Johnson, who gave evidence against Banton during the artiste’s trial in September. Johnson stands to earn more money from the government if Banton is convicted. The trial ended in a hung jury. A second trial is scheduled for next year February. Source: Jamaica Observer.com
Dennis Brown compilation hits Billboard Reggae chart
The Crown Prince of Reggae and most influential stylist in reggae music, the late Dennis Brown continues to, like Bob Marley, the King of Reggae music, receive more international recognition after his death than when he was alive.
National Public Radio (NPR) the US equivalent to the BBC in the UK listed Dennis Brown among the world’s 50 ‘great’ voices in its section entitled 50 Great Voices.
Brown’s music charted on iTunes and Amazon charts. Charting three places on Amazon *#1 with Love and Hate, *# 3 with Milk and Honey; and *# 4 with Bless Me Jah. On iTunes chart Love and Hate (Brown’ signature concert opening tune) charted at # 3.
Digital sales account for one-third of global music sales and iTunes is the dominant online music store in the US, while Amazon is fourth, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) Digital Report 2010.
Brown’s latest VP Records compilation The Crown Prince of Reggae: Singles 1972 to 1985 debuted at #10 on Billboard Magazine’s Reggae Album Chart. This is his second album charting on the Billboard charts. His 1982 A&M Records album ‘Love Has Found Its Way’ peaked at#36 on the Billboard R&B Album chart and the single ‘Love Has Found its Way’ peaked at # 42 on the Billboard R&B Singles chart.
BUJU BANTON’S LIVE BEFORE THE DAWN CONCERT
Sunday, January 16, 2011 is the Martin Luther King holiday weekend. In the reggae community in Miami, the most highly anticipated concert is Buju Banton Live on stage for one night.
The Before the Dawn Concert named after Buju Banton’s 2010 Grammy nominated album that was released in the fall while he was incarcerated, will be held at the Bay Front Amphitheatre in downtown Miami; and will feature Banton and other prominent reggae artistes. The concert is a family event with kids under twelve being free and is being produced by Rockers Island.
This may be his very last show on American soil as the dj’s second drug trial begins in February 2011. If convicted he could face over 30 years in prison.
This concert, his first in eleven months, will showcase Buju, the Gargamel, a 2011 Reggae Grammy nominee. A list of acts from top Dancehall, Reggae, Hip-Hop and R&B artistes will be added. Music will be by New York’s’ Hot 97 finest, Massive B with Bobby Konders, Jabba and Shotta and the Host of the night.
Tiana at #1 In Belize
Dancehall/reggae female sensation Tiana’s hit single “No Man Can’t Talk Bad Bout Mi” which has become a female anthem in several countries such as Trinidad, Barbados, UK, Belize, Gambia, Jamaica and various European countries has been climbing on various charts in Jamaica and internationally.
‘No Man Can’t Talk Bad Bout Mi’ has been in the #1 spot for three weeks on Wave Radio’s Starlight Saturday’s Top Ten Count Downin Belize. The show is hosted by Evolution Sound one of Belize’s top sound systems. The song also recently made its debut on the prestigious OutAroad.com Top 20 Hot Singles Chart.
Meanwhile the video for “No Man Can’t Talk Bad Bout Mi” debuted at the #1 spot on CVM’s Hit list Show and Jamaica’s #1 Video Count Down Chart.
Tiana is currently shooting six videos in a collaborated effort by Miami based director Shutah of Shutah Films and Carlington Wilmot…Two of the videos are medley projects that will be released Source: OutAroad.com
Pamputtae New Video and Singles
With the success of the top ten hit single ‘Slim vs Fluffy’ w/ Spice in 09, female deejay Pamputtae is dropping new singles to rock the dancehalls. She recently shot a video for, Bad Mind, a single which she will be releasing in two weeks. Pamputtae has another new single, ‘As the Party Done.’ Pamputtae has emerged as one of this year standouts among female artistes. Source: OutAroad.com
Half Pint does Hawaii
Reggae singer Half Pint is set to do six shows in Hawaii in Honolulu, Maui and Oahu. Pint, whose music is an integral part of the dancehall, has built a huge fan base in the Pacific islands with hits that include Greetings, Winsome, Landlord, Substitute Lover, Just Be Good, Victory, One In A Million and Level The Vibes. “I like to perform in Hawaii. The people there love reggae, the island vibe is always nice,” he said.
His last studio CD, No Stress Express, was released internationally in March 2008 and distributed though Essential Music/Universal Music Group.
Unity, a single and video from the CD that features Jack Maness from Long Beach Dub All-Stars, did well for radio and video shows worldwide. The singer is also currently recording tracks for his next album slated to be released early next year. Source: Jamaicagleaner.com
Half Pint- Hawaiian tour going well
By Ra-Umi Alkebu-lan
With three shows done so far namely The Shack (Waikiki), Haleiwa Joe’s (North Shore) and Board Riders (Kailua) in Honolulu, Oahu, reggae Superstar Half Pint continues to show that he is one of Reggae’s most loved and enduring artistes. The artist hold an iconic status in Hawaii, and his songs, which are very popular on the islands enjoy constant rotation on the many radio stations there.
The tour has been very successful to date, backed by the 8 piece band Guidance which includes Drummer, Bass player, Rhythm and Lead Guitarists, Trombonist, Trumpeter, Saxophonist and Keyboard player along with back up vocalist Mindi.
The dapperly dressed Pint rocked the audience at the very first show held at The Shack with hit after hit. He entered the stage with his trade mark song “Greetings” to thunderous applause. He skanked and pranced on stage, during an hour long set which included three encores. His workman like performance made a mark with the locals and visitors alike on the Island.
The appreciative audience showed their love for his music with applause after every song. Hits such as Winsome, Substitute Lover, Hold On, Crazy Girl, Level the Vibes, One In A Million and the very popular hit Cosmopolitan Girl were just some of the songs that Pint used to captivate the audience.
With three more shows to go, Pint declares “I am determined to continue to do my best for the fans on this tour. Hawaiian band Guidance led by lead singer Keith Batlin was the opening act.
Stevie Face Busy
Singer Stevie Face’s single ‘Thank You for Loving Me’ topped the New York and South Florida reggae charts and spent several weeks a top the music video charts in Jamaica. He’s had #1’s on fourteen music charts worldwide.
The singer is busy abroad as well; StanDrea Multimedia Communications recently arranged an interview for Face on ‘This is reggae Music’ w/ Tony Carr on WPFW in Washington DC. He has shows in the UK, France, and Toronto, Canada.
Stevie Face will return to Jamaica for performances in a New Year’s Day concert in St Thomas, and the annual Rebel Salute stage show.
Manager, Computer Paul told Stan E Smith of 2010 Entertainment that Stevie recently participated in Donovan Germain’s Penthouse Music tribute album to Beres Hammond—the project scheduled for release early next year.
Ninja Man’s bail hearing coming up December 15
Incarcerated dancehall deejay Ninja Man who last performed at Sting in 2008 has revealed that he wants to be out in time for the 2010 staging of the highly anticipated event. That is up to the judge. Ninja Man returns to court on December 15 for another bail hearing. Ninja Man has been behind bars since March of last year along with his 20 year old son and two others. The men are being charged for murder, conspiracy to murder, shooting with intent and illegal possession of a firearm in connection with the death of a 20 yr old man. Source: Yardflex.com
Tony Anthony’s ‘Torn’ atop chart
Tony Anthony, the multi-award-winning Jamaican reggae singer who resides in Toronto, Canada’s song Torn, the first single released from his debut album, Million Chance, topped the Jamaica Music Countdown Top 25 Reggae Singles chart on hot 102FM.
Torn is currently # 3 on the Caribbean Top 30 music charts and debuted on the South Florida reggae music chart. It spent eight weeks at number one on Canada’s Rebel Vibez Top 10 charts.
Tony Anthony’s Million Chance album is also creating a huge buzz worldwide, and it recently went to number one on the Jamaica Music Countdown Top 10 album charts. It is currently number six on the South Florida reggae album chart and number five on the New York reggae album chart.
The second single released from the album, titled Bad News, is already receiving regular airplay and has just debuted on the New York Top 30 reggae chart and the Jamaica Music Countdown Top 25 reggae singles chart.
At the recent 2010 Canada Reggae Achievement Awards, Tony Anthony won the award for Best Reggae Vocalist in Canada. His Million Chancealbum is available on iTunes, Amazon, Napster, MP3.Soundquake.com,
Busy Signal for performance in Gambia
The Gambia Observer featured international Jamaican reggae dancehall star, Busy Signal. On December 10, 2010, Busy did his first live musical concert in Africa.
Signal also performed live with his band at the Independence Stadium in Bakau on December 11, 2010.
Supporting acts were artistes from Jamaica, England and The Gambia including the most celebrated reggae-dancehall star, Singateh aka ‘Freaky Joe. The highly anticipated event is brought by Planet World and supported by Africell, one of the country’s leading GSM providers. Source Gambia Times
Several artistes Lent their voices to World Aids Day concert
World AIDS Day concert began on December 1, 1988. The World AIDS Day theme for 2010 is ‘Universal Access and Human Rights’
According to published reports several Jamaican artistes lent their voices in support of World Aids Day (December 1) organized by the Jamaica Ministry of Health and the National HIV/STI. The concert was held at the National Heroes Park in Kingston. Artistes who performed at concert include Tifa, I-Octane, Ce’Cile and Chino.
The purpose of the concert was to raise money, increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education. Source: YardFlex.com
Bounty get back him passport
Bounty killer was given the green light to travel when he appeared at the Resident Magistrate court before judge Lorna Shelly Williams in Jamaica. The entertainer’s passport was seized as part of his bail condition when he was offered $500,000 bail on November 27 on a charge of unlawful wounding.
The charge stemmed from his arrest in September following an alleged incident at his Oakland apartment in Kingston, where he reportedly attacked his 19-year-old lover, Raquel Smith using a hammer, a gold chain and mosquito zapper to beat her.
On Wednesday, his attorney Christopher Townsend presented the application for the variation of bail to Resident Magistrate at the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court.
However, Shelly Williams told the attorney that she would peruse the document and inform him of her decision on Friday. The deejay, whose really name is Rodney Price seemed ‘cross, angry, and miserable’ due to the long wait before the matter was called up, had his bail extended until Friday. Price will face trial on January 11 Source: YardFlex.com
Toots’ daughter Leba Hibbert debut album ‘Intoxicated’
Having honed her musical craft for years as lead singer of the trio 54-46, then later as a backup singer for her father, veteran reggae artiste Toots Hibbert, singer Leba Hibbert is set to whet musical appetites with her debut solo offering, Intoxicated.
The soon-to-be-released album will feature fifteen tracks, most of which were written by Leba. Although not willing to divulge much about the project, she did mention that among the tracks are All I Want, the title track Intoxicated and Let it Go. There is also a cover of Gladys Knight’s Neither One of Us.
Leba who has worked with the likes of Sly and Robbie, Jimmy Cliff, Pam Hall and reggae artiste Turbulence, says the new album will be everything that music lovers love and expect it to be. The album was produced by Leba Hibbert and Charles Farquharson. Source: jamaicaobserver.com
Leona Lewis and Craig David make it onto wealthiest Brits list
Singers Leona Lewis and Craig David have made it onto the rich list for British celebrities under 30. The pair, both living in the US, polled in the top 20 on the list complied by industry experts for ‘Heat’ magazine.
Former X Factor winner Leona Lewis came in at number six with an estimated worth of 12,533,000 (GBP), while 29-year-old Craig David came in at number 11 with a respectable 9, 00,000 (GBP).
Harry Potter stars, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint topped the list with a combined total of £85,293,000 – Radcliffe came in at number one with a fortune of £45,660,000.
Heat Editor Sam Delaney said: “The Heat’s rich list is proof that not all mega rich people are corrupt, cigar-chomping fat cats. . .” TheVoice.com
Tune in to Stan Evan Smith Weekly Entertainment News / Commentary & Reggae Report on radio & the internet online:
WNSB Hot 91.1FM @ 2:15pm EST Sunday ‘Caribbean Connection’ w/Lady Cham 1:00pm-4:00pm streaming Livewww.westindiantimes.netVibes24/7 Virginia Beach VA
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Read Stan Evan Smith Weekly Entertainment News / Commentary & Reggae Report Online:
Entertainment Writer, Westindiantimes.net (Virginia Beach VA)
Senior Music Writer, Jamaicans.com. Blog (seebreeze) (Fl.)
Contributing Editor, Everybodys Magazine (NYC)
Music Writer, Jahworks.org (Oakland CA)
December 17, 2010 No Comments
November 14th – 20th 2010
Gregory Isaacs Substance Free
The late Gregory Isaacs’ latest released album, Substance Free (Vizion Sounds label) was, according to published reports done in 15 days straight. Isaacs’ family has requested that the track ‘My Salvation’ be Gregory’s anthem on Jamaica radio stations, as well as being played during the state funeral to be held at the National Indoor Sport Arena in Jamaica November 20th.
Gregory recorded 1 track per day and each track in a single take. He also is reported to have kept his promise and commitment to the family to go substance free during the entire recording period, no substances of any kind. Gregory commented on completion of the album that it’s his first album without a love song.
Richie Stephens’s debuts on Billboard
Singer Richie Stephens earned his first ever charting album on any Billboard album chart with his latest CD Reggae Evolution which debuts at 39 on the Billboard Reggae album chart.
The 16 track Reggae Evolution features collaborations with Maxi Priest, Beres Hammond, Saba, Assassin and Mutabaruka. Stephens has only charted once in 1993 with Body Slam w/ Patra on the Billboard R&B Singles chart. Body Slam peaked at # 83.
At the time Stephens was signed to Motown Records. He also sang lead on British group Soul II Soul’s 1992 single Joy, which peaked at # 12 on Billboard’s R&B singles chart.
Monty Alexander Presents Reflections on Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra
CaribPR Wire, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Nov. 8, 2010:
Renowned Jamaican-born jazz pianist, Monty Alexander, will reflect on the legendary Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra at a New York City show. Alexander, Jamaica’s acclaimed Commander of Distinction, will present his “King Cole and Mr. S” reflections from November 23-25th at the legendary Birdland Jazz Club, 315 West 44th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues in Manhattan. Show times for the three night shows will be at 8:30 and 11 p.m., respectively. Of course Alexander will also pay tribute to his roots by including some of his upbeat reggae-themed pieces for patrons attending the shows.
Tony Anthony Tops Chart for the First Time in Jamaica
Canadian based multi-award winning Jamaican reggae singer Tony Anthony, is living his local dream as his song “Torn” is currently #1 on Richie B’s Top 25 Reggae Singles charts on Hot 102FM in Jamaica, and #2 on Stampede’s Streets Charts.
His debut album “Million Chances” number 2 on Richie B’s Top 10 album charts, “Torn”, is the first single released from and for the past few months has been on regular rotation on radio stations across the island, so much that it is also sits. “Torn” has also gained popularity in other countries; it is now # 15 on the Caribbean top 30 music charts and spent 8 weeks at number one on Canada’s Rebel Vibez top 10 charts.
The album is also creating a huge buzz worldwide; it just made its debut on the South Florida and New York reggae album charts and has garnered a lot of interest in Europe. Earlier this year the album debuted at number five in the Netherlands’ reputed Reggae Vibes magazine Top 50 recommended albums. The second single released from the album “Bad News” is already receiving regular airplay and great reviews.
Gyptian 2010 Soul Train Award Best Reggae Artist-
The Soul Train Awards, like the UK’s MOBO (Music of Black Origin) honors the best in Black music and entertainment. Sean Paul won the first Best Reggae Artist category award in 2009. The Nominees in the Best Reggae Artist category award were Gyptian, Damian Marley, Gramps Morgan, Mr. Vegas and Vybez Kartel. Gyptian won the award for Best Reggae Artist at the 2010 Centric Soul Train Awards. The win was not surprising as Gyptian has been the most successful Reggae/dancehall artist in the US this year and he also received momentum from winning UK’s MOBO award in the same category a few weeks ago. Gyptian is the odds-on favorite to win the Reggae Grammy.
The 2010 Soul Train Awards was taped at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta on November 10 and will be aired on BET at 9 p.m. ET on Sunday, November 28. Gyptian also performed live at the awards ceremony.
Vegas Performs at Train Awards Pre-show Concert –
Best Reggae Artist Nominee Mr. Vegas performed at first annual ‘Soulfusion Soul’ the official pre-show concert for Soul Train Awards’ on November 9 at the Atlanta Civic Center in Georgia. He shared the stage with R&B singers Erykah Badu and Chrisette Michelle along with rapper Rick Ross and Hip Hop icon Doug E Fresh.
Sean Paul Live In Concert
Sean Paul entertained a multitude of screaming Sri Lankan fans on November 13 at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium with some of his biggest hits such as ‘Gimme the light’, ‘Get busy’, ‘and Temperature.’ Source: www.dailymirror.lk
Reggae artiste Gyptian on tour in England.
Gyptian’s tour started on October 14 with him doing 17 shows in Switzerland, France, Denmark, Sweden, Luxembourg and Norway. According to Ivor Ruddock, Gyptian’s manager each concert was over 2,000, except for in Paris which had an audience of 3,000.
He did four shows in the Netherlands, one show with Mary J. Blige in London at the LG Arena, before that at the O2 Arena in London. Reports state that after Gyptian was added to the line-up, there was a significant increase in ticket sales, 18,000 and 23,000, respectively, at each venue. Gyptian, who did sets of 25 minutes at each venue, performed songs such as I Can Feel Your Pain, Beautiful Lady, his new single Nah Let Go, and his international hit single Hold Yuh.
Gyptian’s opening act former ‘Scare Dem Crew’ member reggae singer Nitty Kutchie, has also been doing well on the tour. Etana joined both for six dates. He is in Africa from November 23 for one week, where he will be performing in Tanzania, Nigeria and Kenya.
Mélange of music
Jamaican-American Reggae fusion singer and rapper Sean Kingston won the hearts of Bangaloreans on his four-city tour across India. The 20 plus-year old-prodigy had the Bangalore crowd screaming for more as he performed to a packed audience at Hard Rock Café in a concert organized by Bacardi.
The enthusiastic Kingston, a Miami, Florida born and Kingston, Jamaica raised young man said of his the first time in India, “India’s music is quite popular and is a great place for young artistes to come up. Personally it feels good to come here and do shows for crowds with so much energy.”
The young boy wonder also had the music vibe in his blood being the grandson of reputed Jamaican reggae producer Lawrence Lindo. “Singing since I was six, I found life taking me into the realm of music and it was no surprise that my family supported me all through,” he recalled.
Serani’s Skip to My Luu hits Hot 97
Serani’s dance floor smash “Skip to My Luu,” featuring Ding Dong and Razz n Biggy, has been added to daytime rotation on America’s #1 radio station HOT 97 in New York.
This is Serani’s third single in the last 2 years to make it to mainstream daytime radio in the US with Billboard-charting; the other two were No Games and She Loves Me. Crossover stations in New York, Connecticut, Philly, Boston and Miami are all showing the record some love.
Skip to My Luu was #1 in Jamaica earlier this year and still is a staple at dances across the globe. It crossed into American clubs over the last couple of months and was then picked up by US radio. Skip to My Luu was produced by top tier production trio DASECA.
Jay Z and Rihanna talk about Vybz Kartel
Jay-Z admits that he wanted Vybz Kartel on his last album but couldn’t make it work. In an interview on the Cipha Sounds and Pete Rosenberg podcast Juan Epstein, Jay-Z admitted that he had dancehall star Vybz Kartel in the studio during the recording of his last album Blueprint 3 but failed to get a song that worked.
Jay had him in his Roc The Mic studio; they tried three songs and were going to spend the rest of the day trying to work out which songs on BP3 Vybz would have sounded best on. During the interview Vybz Kartel was described as the Eminem of Jamaica. Meanwhile on the Ed Lover Show (Power 1051 FM) they were curious to know which artistes from the Caribbean Rihanna would love to do collaboration with at the moment. Rihanna quickly replied…“I love Vybz Kartel, love Sizzla too and Beres Hammond.
Nicki Minaj Recording New Song with Rihanna
Nicki Minaj who has already worked with Christina Aguilera, Trey Songz, Will.i.Am, Jay Sean, and Sean Kingston is adding Rihanna to the long list of artists that she has collaborated with.
Nicki is teaming up with Rihanna for Nicki’s upcoming album. They recorded a track titled ‘Fly’ for Nicki’s album ‘Pink Friday’. Nicki wrote on her Facebook page, “I wanted to work with Rihanna for a long time. I’m very proud of her accomplishments; especially since she was born on an island like me.”
NEW MICHAEL JACKSON ALBUM DUE DEC. 13
A collection of new Michael Jackson recordings, simply titled ‘Michael’, will be released on December 13 by Epic Records in conjunction with the Estate of Michael Jackson. A teaser for the project appeared on MichaelJackson.com and was followed by the premiere of the single ‘Breaking News’ on November 8. The never-before-heard song was recorded by the King of Pop in New Jersey in 2007.The cover artwork, an oil painting by artist Kadir Nelson, displays some of the key moments and important people throughout the late legend’s life. Source: www.rap-up.com
Beenie Man & Friends Features 8 Collaborations
Dancehall maestro Beenie Man has tackled a new, and possibly his most ambitious musical project to date Beenie Man and Friends. Beenie will be writing, arranging and co-producing every song on the riddim; he will also be performing on every song on the riddim,”
Riding the success of his hit singles, Rum and Red Bull w/ Fambo and I’m Okay, Beenie is hoping to re-define his legacy as a leader and innovator in the world of dancehall.
He has recruited the dancehall stars on the musical project and produced eight great combination singles, each featuring Beenie Man, with Khago, D’Angel, Ding Dong, Fambo, Deva Bratt, Kantana, Versatile, Cee Gee and Laden.
According to The Doctor “No other artiste in the business has ever tried anything like this before. I am proud.” “The only thing I haven’t done is build the riddim, which was done by Danny Browne.” There is a video for the single ‘Time of My Life’ w/ D’Angel, and a medley video with all the others, ‘I already have the concept in my head, it is going to be sick,” he said, laughing.
“It is something I had always wanted to do, but I just didn’t have the courage to do it at the time. So I just sat down and did it and it all came together. Right now, ah MD time now, Gaza done gone across the world already, now ah MD time,” Beenie Man said.
He has been trying to convince Bounty Killer to participate in the project, but the “logistics of getting him to voice the song is hard.” Serani voice already, Mavado agree to voice, Beenie says ‘it is up to Bounty, Elephant and Kartel if they want to be on it’. His son, Marco Dean lends his voice to the instrumental.
In the meantime, the project has already been released and the artiste says it is getting excellent rotation on radio. Beenie Man is scheduled for a two-week tour of Africa in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa and back to Jamaica on December 1. After that he has a three-city swing through Canada.
Peter Tosh album coming in 2011
The estate of reggae icon Peter Tosh, ‘The Black Prince of Reggae’ may have lost the vote to legalize ganja in the California midterm elections but they are going ahead with plans for a new album and merchandise.
Cory Lashever, manager at Jampol Artiste Management which administers the estate said “It was something that the Tosh family supported and we got them hooked up with the Just Say Now Campaign.”
Having already decriminalized marijuana in that state, the Peter Tosh estate joined forces with key institutions and activists including the Just Say Now Campaign, FireDogLake, — a popular website, Students for Sensible Drug Policy and former police chiefs, judges, prosecutors and a former deputy attorney general hoping to persuade Californians to vote to legalize ganja in the mid-term election.
Jampol the North American- based company manages the estates of The Doors, Janis Joplin and Rick James. Jam develops and extends artiste brands via releasing documentaries, CD, remixes, websites and visuals. During the year, the estate improved Tosh’s Internet presence via the ganja campaign, a new site and social media fan pages. For 2011 the estate plans to release a Tosh album on vinyl and also online. It also plans to start selling new merchandise including T-shirts and books in order to broaden awareness in the US — the world’s largest consumer market.
Jam still sees potential in Jamaican music despite the drop in reggae sales since 2008.” Is the problem reggae or music sales in general? I don’t think it is reggae alone. The sales of recorded music are going down overall,” he said.
Baby Cham’s back in the Game
Grammy Award nominated recording artiste Cham, who has been living overseas, is set to, after being out of the spotlight for some time, make a slew of appearances at various shows this Christmas season in Jamaica.
A dancehall maestro Cham, who is known for mega hits Ghetto Story/w Alicia Keys (2006) and Babylon Boy is booked to appear on GT Christmas Reggae Extravaganza Show in St Elizabeth on Christmas day.
Cham is Santa Clause and the Grinch in one. He plans to bring the dancehall vibe and energy to the people as well as the message with my good friend Bounty Killer; they have settled their differences and are on a path to making hits in the studio once again. The Dave Kelly, Cham and Bounty Killer new studio work have some new hits including Bounty Killer’s new track, ‘The Message’. For Cham it’s going to be awesome this Christmas.
The DJ, who is currently signed to Atlantic records, explains the reasoning behind his hiatus from the music business.” Cham is not into mediocrity, so I am not the kind of deejay who is going to put out 15-20 tunes in a month, no, when we decide to work on a project my fans can know that is pure quality they are getting and not quantity.
Cham is riding high with his latest single Stronger which was recorded in Dave’s Miami studio, on (the Kid Is Back riddim), featuring Bounty Killer and Mikal Roze. He says he will be everywhere this Christmas Weddy Weddy, Passa Passa, even Sting if the money is right. Cham made a guest appearance along with former arch rival Bounty Killer recently, and ignited the Arthur Guinness concert with dazzling performances. He is currently in the US where he is promoting his latest projects.
Don Corleon Records Hits #1 in Japan with “Let’s Do it Again” (J. Boog)
Don Corleon producer for such A-list recording artists as Sean Paul, Rihanna and Vybz Kartel, has renewed his contract with BFM Digital to continue digital distribution and marketing services for his label, Don Corleon Records (DCR). BFM Digital is a leading digital music aggregator and distributor of independent music.
DCR’s relationship with BFM began in 2009 with the intent to strengthen their presence on music services outside of their already established markets of Jamaica and the U.S. By utilizing BFM’s extensive network of distribution channels throughout the World, Don Corleon Records has been able to reach consumers in new markets and open up new revenue opportunities.
IRAWMA 2011 heads to T&T
The 30th staging of the International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA) will take place in Trinidad and Tobago on May 2011.The producers of IRAWMA — Martin’s International and Associates (MIA) Board of Managers said more than twelve other countries were reportedly vying for the rights to host the event which is now in its 30th year.
According to Ephraim Martin, President of MIA, “there could be no better time for the annual IRAWMA to be hosted in T&T than next year at a time when Chutney music will be introduced as a world music category in IRAWMA. Over the years several sons and daughters of TNT were awarded at the annual IRAWMA in various cities. Some were named to the Hall of Fame/Lifetime Awards, among them Roaring Lion, Lord Kitchener, Black Stalin, Calypso Rose, David Rudder, Super Blue and Mighty Sparrow who was also named Master of the Caribbean in 2009.”
One of Trinidad’s favorite sons, Machel Montano, has been among the top winners for the past three consecutive years at IRAWMA which was held at the Apollo Theatre and York College Performing Arts Center, in New York
According to Martin, in the days ahead the nomination ballot will be issued to Caribbean/Reggae and world music experts worldwide to start their nomination process which must be returned by the January 15, 2011 deadline. In a few weeks there will be an official launch to give further details on the 30th IRAWMA.
Yendi bags new American Toyota campaign
Jamaican beauty Queen Yendi Phillips is featured in the new North American Toyota campaign, shot by film director Hype Williams. This commercial is one of several Jamaican, regional and international projects being undertaken by Yendi who was placed second at the Miss Universe in Las Vegas last August.
Phillips resume include the Pepsi Refresh commercial (the US) and the Sprite campaign (India) She’s been a special guest on the Food Network show Throw down with Bobby Flay and has been host/presenter of Movie Hang Time and Digicel’s Rising Stars in Kingston
Phillips is in hot demand globally and Yendi Phillips has been booked for appearances, event hosting, speaking engagements, commercials and film roles. She has been travelling to the wider Caribbean and the United States to complete these assignments.
Yendi was a finalist at Miss World 2007 in China, prior to her dramatic success at Miss Universe. In Sanya, China, Yendi was the only contestant to make all five fast-track competition finals. Yendi’s runway work and her covers and editorial credits include several Caribbean and international publications, such as Skywritings magazine, Caribbean Beat magazine, Woman & Home, Fair Lady, Buzz, Collage, Soul, Basia, Ocean Style among several others.
Jamaican female producer ‘The Wizard’ on Nelly Furtado’s album
Nelly Furtado is set to release an eclectic collection of remixes showcasing versions of her latest Spanish singles including Manos Al Aire, Bajo Otra Luz, Mas and Fuerte. Made to cater the tastes of DJs and Dance club fanatics, Mi Plan Remixes is sure to take over clubs and dance charts around the world. The Wizard is currently working on another remix for the pop superstar as well as production for local reggae/dancehall artistes.
Diana King on Jazz & Blues line-up, album drops 2011.
Diana King has been confirmed for the Jamaica Jazz and Blues festival next year. The singer, known for the 1990s mega hit ‘Shy Guy’, announced her inclusion on the ‘Jazz’ line-up during a reception for R&B singer Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds atop the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston, Jamaica.
King’s latest album, ‘Warrior Girl’, is now only available in Japan — where she just completed an eight-show promotional tour. She stated that the album is currently being ‘tweeked’ for Jamaica and the rest of the world, with a release date set for March 2011.
She explained that Warrior Girl has been her most challenging project to date as she wrote and produced more than 100 tracks, from which she chose 20 for the album.
“Warrior Girl’ showed me that producing is not easy. I built a studio in my house and produced the album from there. There are no collaborations, it’s just me on tracks that represent how I was feeling at the time… but it gave me great joy,” King said, adding that the music on the album is everything mixed with Reggae. “That’s my style… so why change it,” she quipped.
Tune in to Stan E Smith 2010 Entertainment Reggae News Report: on Radio/internet:
WNSB Hot 91.1FM @ 2:15pm EST Sunday ‘Caribbean Connection’ w/Lady Cham 1:00pm-4:00pm streaming Live www.westindiantimes.netVibes24/7 Virginia Beach, VA.
WGUN 1010AM @ 3:00 pm EST Friday-Saturday ‘SupremeCaribRadio’ w/BarryD 2:30 pm-4:30 pm streaming Live www.biggunradio.com/ Narcross, Atlanta, GA.
CHRY 105.5 FM@ 10: 40 am Monday ‘Rebel Vibes’ w/Carrie Mullings 10 am- 12 pm streaming Live www.chry.fm & Roger’s Digital Cable Channel 94 Toronto, Canada
WPFW 89.3 FM @ 12:30pm ETS Sunday ‘This is Reggae Music’ w/Tony Carr 12am-2:00 pm streaming Live www.wpfw.org Washington.DC.
ONE CARIBBEAN RADIO 97.9 HD2@ 9:40 pm Thursday “The Eclectic Mix” w Chip Smith 9:00pm to 12 Midnight streaming Live www. One Caribbean Radio.com Brooklyn, New York
Read Stan Evan Smith Weekly Entertainment News / Commentary & Reggae Report: Online:
Music Writer, Westindiantimes.net (Virginia Beach VA) Senior Music Writer, Jamaicans.com. Blog (seebreeze) (Fl.)
Contributing Editor, Everybodys Magazine (NYC) Music Writer, Jahworks.org (Oakland CA)
December 2, 2010 No Comments
November 7th – 13th 2010
Photos of Reggae icons on exhibition in New York
A collection of portraits, performance and personal shots by photographer Kim Gottlieb-Walker are now on exhibition in New York. Through her photos, Gottlieb-Walker charts the rise of reggae with an unparalleled insight into the genre’s most iconic artists.
The images were captured in Jamaica and Southern California in the mid 1970s and many of them will go on display for the first time.
This collection of powerful and pivotal pictures features Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Heptones, Inner Circle and Jacob Miller, Jimmy Cliff, Junior Murvin, Toots and the Maytals, George Harrison, Burning Spear and Third World. The exhibition will close on November 18.
BOB MARLEY AND THE GOLDEN AGE OF REGGAE
Bob Marley and the Golden Age of Reggae [Titan Books, October 2010, $29.95/£24.99] is a new book of rare and largely unpublished pictures to some of the greatest years of Bob Marley’s career, and the history of reggae and dub music.
Through portraits, performance and personal shots, photographer Kim Gottlieb-Walker charts the rise of reggae with an unparalleled insight into the genre’s most iconic artists. Captured in Jamaica in the mid 1970s, never before collected and most never before published, this collection of powerful and pivotal pictures features Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Heptones, Inner Circle and Jacob Miller, Jimmy Cliff, Jr Murvin, Toots and The Maytals, George Harrison, Burning Spear and Third World.
Featuring a foreword from Hollywood filmmaker and former Rolling Stone journalist Cameron Crowe, this deluxe hardback collection also includes commentary from Island Records’ Jeff Walker, and founding editor of The Beat magazine, Roger Steffens.
Sales of Gregory Isaacs’s music down
The sales of the music of late reggae icon Gregory Isaacs are returning to normality following a five day rise in online popularity which surpassed Jay Z and The Black Eyed Peas.
The only top 10 album currently charting for the singer is Gregory Isaacs RIP (Reggae in Peace) charting at #5 in France on the iTunes Reggae Albums chart. He isn’t on Billboard Reggae albums nor within the top10 on Amazon indicating that sales have attenuated as it is linked with charting.
A day after his passing, fans rocketed his music catalogue to chart 17 times in the top 10 spread amongst seven countries including US, UK, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. The most popular album was Night Nurse which is also his signature single.
Digital sales are significant as it accounts for over one-third of global music sales and iTunes is the dominant online music store followed by Amazon.
Isaacs died at approximately 4:00 am Monday October 25 in London, succumbing to lung cancer. The artiste is said to have died peacefully surrounded by his family.
Up to five days after his death Isaacs had higher online search results than popular deejay Sean Paul, rap mogul Jay Z, legendary singer Bob Marley, popular pop group The Black Eyed Peas and popular rapper 50 Cent; according to Google Trends which compiles search data for specific key words over periods of time. His popularity however was less than rapper Kanye West and pop singer Justin Bieber.
South Florida Dancehall and Reggae Music Awards
The South Florida Dancehall and Reggae Music Awards aka the SoFlo Caribbean Dancehall Awards will launches its third Annual Ceremony with 13 new categories added to honor the best in Dancehall and Reggae Music
The ceremony will be held on Sunday, March 20, 2011 at 7pm at the Hollywood Central Performing Arts Theater 1770 Monroe Street Hollywood, FL 33020.
The South Florida Dancehall & Reggae Music Awards, the brain child of non-profit organization, Single Mothers of America, was designed to acknowledge and honor the accomplishments and contributions of entertainers and entrepreneurs of the Reggae & Dancehall arena.
Broadcasting Commission wants payola a criminal offence In move aimed at updating and modernizing Jamaica’s Electronic Media Policy, Dr Hopeton Dunn, and the chairman Jamaica Broadcasting Commission, announced at a press conference in Jamaica last week that the commission would be recommending that payola be a criminal offence under new regulatory amendments now before the Jamaican Cabinet.
Payola is deeply engrained in radio and television industry on the island, staff that supports payola could find themselves in prison if government accepts a proposal from the Broadcasting Commission to have the practice criminalized.
The move is designed to encourage the broadcasting companies to a strong stand against the corrupt practice of payola.” The main point … is that it should not be tolerated…it should be severely sanctioned…including a criminal offence as well as financial sanctions.” Dr Dunn said.
Alaine Signs Endorsement Deal with Telecom Giant LIME
Reggae singer Alaine who recently started her own record label 1Thirty1 Records, is making more strides with a deal with LIME. The You Are Me singer is now officially part of the LIME family, as she recently signed a lucrative endorsement deal with the telecoms giant. Apart from being an ambassador for the brand, Alaine will also be featured in the company’s advertising campaigns and billboards.
No clashes at Sting 2010 – Organizers promoting unity at Boxing Day event
Promoter of the annual Boxing Day event, Sting, Isaiah Laing says there will be some great reasons for patrons to come out to this year’s show. “It will be something really special to see,” he noted.
Known is for its many memorable clashes and violence, Sting this year, promoter Isaiah Laing said will be built on unity, “there will be no clash, this year we might have a powerful collab(oration).”
He noted that no expense will be spared on security and that this year will be no different. He gave a firm promise “we can’t afford to compromise on this.”.
This year show will host artiste performing in six segments: 13 Bad Girls of Sting, Comedy Hour, Spotlight, Disc Jocks, Starlight and 13 Warriors of Sting.
Names announced for 13 Bad Girls are Ce’Cile, Pamputtae and Lisa Hyper; Comedy Hour will feature the comedic talent such as Twin of Twins, Food Kartel and Tanto Blacks. The Spotlight segment will feature artistes Nesbeth, Zamunda and Singer Jah as well as upcoming talent.
Laing said further details will be released at the Event press launch on November 23, as with regard to other segments.
Laing says he has taken note of the many complaints that were lodged regarding last year’s staging such as the show being too drawn out. Laing stated that once the prime acts start making their way on stage in the category dubbed 13 Warriors of Sting, it will go right through to the end.
Romain Virgo completes US tour
Romain Virgo completed his first extensive one-month tour of North America along with Capleton and Munga Honorable. Playing dates in New York, Connecticut, Boston, North Carolina, Chicago, Kentucky, Colorado, New Mexico and other cities. The tour Romain Virgo
was promotion for his self-titled debut my album, developing a fans base while introducing them his music.
He singer returned to Jamaica to shoot the video for his single ‘Taking You Home’, on Donovan Germain’s Big Stage riddim.After releasing the video, Virgo left on November 24, for his second one month tour of Europe.
Stevie Face to shine brighter with new album
Reggae singer Stevie Face continues to steadily rebuild his career after his career was put on hold a few years earlier by a car accident. Over the last two-and-a-half years, Face has built a success repertoire of hits of cover and original songs with such tunes as ‘Coming Home Tonight’, ‘Tell It Like It Is’, ‘In The Living Years’ and his latest chart-topper, ‘Thank You For Loving Me.’
The smooth-voiced lovers’ rock singer’s music has seen success is not only in Jamaica but internationally. In England he is currently ranked as one of the top reggae singers as his popularity continues to grow in Canada, the USA and the rest of Europe.
His recent performances at Richie Stephen’s album launch and HITZ 92 FM’s big road party, ‘Party Function Inna Junction’, which left the patrons, especially the ladies, begging for more are still talk of the town in Jamaica.
Stevie has several upcoming shows in France, Canada, England and Holland.
Face and his manager/producer Paul ‘Computer Paul’ Henton is currently in the Boot Camp studio recording his third album slated for release in the first quarter of 2011.
‘Thank You For Loving Me’, his latest video hit is holding down #1 on CVM TV’s HIT LIST Reggae Count Down. His track ‘Baby Come To Me’, w/ Florida-based songstress Fiona, a re-make of Patti Austin and James Ingram 1983 R&B hit is also enjoying strong rotation play and is also featured on the R&B Hits Reggae Style Compilation distributed by VP Records.
PREZIDENT BROWN – TOURING THE WESTERN U.S., CANADA AND HAWAII – MARCH / APRIL 2011
In April 2010 Prezident Brown did a special combination tour, co-billing with the Wailing Souls. The tour was a great success. People loved both of the acts. Over the summer of 2010, Prezident Brown also performed on the Reggae on the River festival, and numerous other shows on his own.
Last summer, 2009, in support of his Common Prosperity release, Prezident Brown performed at a number of key festivals including the Reggae Rising festival in Piercy, California, the Eugene Celebration in Eugene, Oregon and the Monterey Bay Reggae festival in Monterey, California, all within a western U.S. tour.
Prezident Brown is a substantial musical messenger who has knowledge to share in his songs. He is well loved and respected internationally. Prez is consistently a hard working artist, who keeps performing live and spreading out his fan base and putting out new CD’s that bring truth and light to his listeners. Prez has a more subtle, understanding character than most of the other contemporary reggae artists, and his music carries more of a sincere message of love and unity.
Prezident Brown is a champion of the new roots and reality consciousness reggae movement that entertains, informs and inspires. Prez’s latest release entitled Common Prosperity was produced by himself, his bass player Devon Bradshaw and his guitsy, Ian Coleman. Ian Coleman, known as “Beezy”, also works with Ziggy Marley. Other of his earlier releases are called To Jah Only, Generation Next and Prezident Brown – Showcase Volume One, Two, Three and 4 Health and Strength.
“It’s a rough road, as I trod along. Guide I oh Jah with thy mighty hand. It’s a rough road and I have to make my footsteps sure” chants Prezident Brown.
Prezident Brown is steadily sacrificing within the music business, to bring his powerful music and message to the people of the world. He is currently in Ocho Rios, Jamaica working on his next CD project. People are looking forward to seeing him again live on this upcoming March 2011 tour.
SONIA POTTINGER PASSES
(Jamaica Gleaner) Sonia Pottinger, who blazed a trail as reggae’s most successful female music producer, died Wednesday evening at her St Andrew home. She was 79 years old.
David Plummer, the youngest of Pottinger four children, told The Gleaner that his mother had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease in recent years. He did not say if it caused her death.
Born in St Thomas, Pottinger was introduced to the music business by her husband L.O. Pottinger, an engineer who had relative success as a producer in the mid-1960s. She went on her own during that period, scoring a massive hit with Every Night, a ballad by singer Joe White.
Pottinger had considerable success in the late 1960s with her Tip Top, High Note and Gay Feet labels. She produced Errol Dunkley’s debut album,
Presenting Errol Dunkley, and hit songs by vocal groups like The Melodians (Swing and Dine), The Gaylads (Hard to Confess) and Guns Fever by The Silvertones.
In 1974, Pottinger bought the Treasure Isle catalogue and operations of pioneer producer Arthur ‘Duke’ Reid. She had even more success in the era of roots-reggae, producing chart-toppers by Marcia Griffiths (Hurting Inside and Stepping Out of Babylon) and Culture (Natty Never Get Weary).
Errol Brown, Reid’s nephew, was engineer for many of Pottinger productions in the 1970s. He said she was no pushover in the studio.
“She loved the music … loved it too much,” Brown said. “She knew what she wanted in the studio, and had a lot of respect for the musicians.”
Musicologist and sound-system operator, Winston ‘Merritone’ Blake, said Pottinger was a sharp businesswoman in a male-dominated field.
BUJU IS FREE AT LAST!!
Free at last. Reggae superstar artiste Buju Banton, after close to a year in a United States jail, has been granted bail in immigration court. He had been incarcerated at the Pinellas County lock-up in Florida.
Banton was offered bail with tough conditions following a hung jury in his gun and drugs trial. As part of his bail condition, Banton will have to wear a tracking device and will be under 24-hour surveillance from a security company. He has also signed an extradition waiver and will not be allowed to leave the Middle District of Southern District of Florida until his trial begins.
Buju Banton cannot leave his home unless he is visiting a doctor and his lawyer. He must also submit himself to urine tests to prove that he is not using banned substances
J’can lock-out – Foreigners dominating Jamaican music form
Local acts missing on international dub charts
DUB music — a psychedelic reggae form — is charting in 14 territories on the reggae charts but Jamaican bands are not riding this wave.
It represents another Jamaican genre under-represented by locals which translates into lost revenue and acclaim for the industry.
“Europe and other countries have taken our roots music and are studying and learning it,” Uprising Roots drummer Black Kush told Splash, adding that Jamaican youths concentrate on studying dancehall and US pop. “A few years from now no Jamaican youth will even know about dub.”
None of the dub bands or compilation albums charting are Jamaican. Even, Gregory Isaacs In Dub album was produced by the UK duo Mafia & Fluxy.
Dancehall-reggae artistes launch merchandise online
As more Caribbean artistes branch out into merchandising, a few of dancehall-reggae’s best have started an internet-based entrepreneurial venture in the United States, reggaemerch.com.
The newly launched online store hosts a range of dancehall reggae street gear from Busy Signal, Gramps Morgan and Bunji Garlin with a slew of other artistes including Etana, Konshens and the Alliance brand to follow the fast growing trend.
Also available on the reggae online store are lifestyle brands Repja and Cyclothing. Reggaemerch.com inventory currently consists mainly of t-shirts mainly, but the online inventory will increase shortly to offer a wider variety of products.
Reggaemerch.com ships to more than 190 countries worldwide and offers the option to pay through Western Union for those who do not hold a credit card. Posted by YardFlex
Cen’C Love gets set to drop album
For singer Cen’C Love the American Born daughter of Bunny Wailer was destined to strum her guitar and get involved in the music business. , “I’ve always known music is in my blood, but the music bug really bit me when I got my first guitar in high school.”
Raised between Kingston and Atlanta Cen’C attended Dekalb School of the Arts, a performing arts school in Atlanta, Georgia where she had musical training throughout high school, and vocal training from one of Jamaica’s own classical vocalists, Dawn-Marie James. While attending school in Atlanta she studied dance, drama and writing.
Coming into her own as a stage performer was not an easy task, but according to Cen’C she overcame shyness by embracing her “unique sound and creating more masterpieces helped me to deal with stage fright,” she shared.
“As a new artiste, sometimes I worry if the audience will feel me the first time around, recording is the easy part,” she continued.
According to Cen’C, her father’s musical influence did not just reach out to her alone. “My father has influenced me by influencing the whole reggae music business. The Wailers helped set the pace for reggae itself, and my father has transitioned through many generations. He respects me as an artiste, and I respect him even more as a father of reggae and a living legend,” she said unable to hide the note of pride in her voice.
However, as much as she admires and respects her dad, Cen’C is all about creating her own space in the music industry.
“My music is ‘now music’. It represents this time and space where the world is very small, and everyone rubs off on each other. It is like this melting pot, and reggae is home. In a sense I would call it soul music, because it connects with many souls,” she explained.
Cen’C doesn’t believe in boundaries and as such, she is working hard at accomplishing in the various fields of work. She is a musician, singer, songwriter, fashion designer and a visual artist.
For Cen’C Love art is a lifestyle. For most of her summers she travelled around the US with her fashion designer/dancer mom, attending art and trade shows where she received some of the inspiration that she now applies to her work.
Cen’C has performed on stages in Jamaica, Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York and Amsterdam. In Atlanta at the 2008 Natural Hair Show and at the Centennial Park Wednesday Wind-down in July 08, she honed her talent in front of very appreciative audiences. She appeared at the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam 08 and at the Reggae Awards in New York in the spring of 2009. Cen’C is preparing to release her 12-track album, Love Letter, the single Casanova and its accompanying music video.
Taking it to YouTube
Gentleman and Chris Martin rack up views on Internet
German reggae artiste Gentleman and Jamaican rising star Chris Martin’s single To the Top surpassed four million views on YouTube — the popular Internet site, making it amongst the most watched dancehall videos ever.
The rapid growth in the popularity of the track, amassing some 10,000 views a day to surpass the four million mark and beat Gyptian’s Hold You, the nation’s top summer song.
It’s the highest viewed song for both artistes, and is promotion for the single which is currently at #1 in Luxembourg, # 4 in Austria and # 2 in Switzerland on iTunes Reggae Singles charts.
Some of the most popular dancehall videos include Sean Paul and Rihanna’s Break It Off at 32 million, Sean Paul’s So fine at 23 million, Shaggy’s It Wasn’t Me at 14 million, Damian Marley’s Welcome To Jamrock at five million, Vybz Kartel and Spice’s Ramping Shop at 4.5 million.
Gentleman is Germany’s most popular deejay based on his constant chart presence. Martin, who previously gained fame via the popular television talent show, had kept media presence by aligning with the label and management team of international reggae star, Shaggy. Both artistes will tour Europe starting November in support of respective albums.
Martin’s self-titled album features Busy Signal, Assassin, Shaggy, Lady Saw, Mr Easy, and D Major.
Tune in to Stan E Smith 2010 Entertainment Reggae News Report: on Radio/internet:
WNSB Hot 91.1FM @ 2:15pm EST Sunday ‘Caribbean Connection’ w/Lady Cham 1:00pm-4:00pm streaming Live www.westindiantimes.netVibes24/7 Virginia Beach, VA.
WGUN 1010AM @ 3:00 pm EST Friday-Saturday ‘SupremeCaribRadio’ w/BarryD 2:30 pm-4:30 pm streaming Live www.biggunradio.com/ Narcross, Atlanta, GA.
CHRY 105.5 FM@ 10: 40 am Monday ‘Rebel Vibes’ w/Carrie Mullings 10 am- 12 pm streaming Live www.chry.fm & Roger’s Digital Cable Channel 94 Toronto, Canada
WPFW 89.3 FM @ 12:30pm ETS Sunday ‘This is Reggae Music’ w/Tony Carr 12am-2:00 pm streaming Live www.wpfw.org Washington.DC.
ONE CARIBBEAN RADIO 97.9 HD2@ 9:40 pm Thursday “The Eclectic Mix” w Chip Smith 9:00pm to 12 Midnight streaming Live www. One Caribbean Radio.com Brooklyn, New York
Read Stan Evan Smith Weekly Entertainment News / Commentary & Reggae Report: Online:
Music Writer, Westindiantimes.net (Virginia Beach VA) Senior Music Writer, Jamaicans.com. Blog (seebreeze) (Fl.) Contributing Editor, Everybodys Magazine (NYC) Music Writer, Jahworks.org (Oakland CA)
December 1, 2010 No Comments
Bushman And His Friends Deliver @ Club Amazura
BY Anmour & Stan Evan Smith Senior Writer, Jamaicans.com
He is black, a Rasta man and he’s part Japanese and hails from the parish of St Thomas, Jamaica. His vocal style evokes shades of reggae’s cultural messenger Luciano, but is from the school of reggae’s Crown Prince, the late Dennis Brown– arguably the most influential vocalist in reggae music–but with a deeper baritone bass. He is Bushman. After a successful European tour in the spring and having established his reputation on the west coast of the US, he has decided to conquer the east coast of the U.S. He chose New York City, the largest ethnic reggae music market in America to fire the first of his many salvos—titled Bushman and Friends. On Friday October 09 he kicked off the Bushman experience with friends Tarrus Riley, John Holt, Wayne Wonder, Ras Shiloh and a few others at club Amazura in Queens.
Despite getting off to a late start—beyond the control of the promoters, the all-star lineup proved to be worth waiting for. The kick off segment began with an array of local talent which included Tilly Bop, a dj, who talked too much and didn’t distinguish himself; roots and culture singer K-Vibes, a lyrically potent lady with a strong voice who needed to utilize the stage more in order to connect with her audience. Next up was Keisha Martin, the Queen of Jamrocksoul singing her hits such as ‘Angel’, ‘Believer’ and ‘I like’. Her slow build-up culminated in an entertaining set. The performance took a decidedly dramatic turn when Ras Shiloh, a very intense personal and energetic performer, signaled his intention to commandeer the complete attention of his audience. He leapt from the stage onto the speakers below in the press pit where he immediately connected with his audience. Ras Shiloh had the patrons spellbound and rocking as he belted out original tunes such as ‘Zion Train’, ‘Are You Satisfied’ and renditions from Garnet Silk, Sam Cooke and Bob Marley. The energetic Ras Shiloh engaged his eager audience in tune after tune…causing them to plead for more; as he took them to the mountain top with his hit ‘Child of a Slave’…he never let them go, then simply left the stage!
MC Glamma Wayne called him back to the stage for an encore where he continued to wow his audience. One could clearly see that Ras Shiloh brought his A-Game to this performance.
Ras Shiloh’s performance paved the way for the veterans. The ‘uber-sexy’ MC Pat McKay then brought to the stage Tony Brevette, an original member of the mid 60’s singing group, The Melodians who ushered in the rock steady groove. He brought the pace down letting everyone know that it was time for the grown and sexy to be entertained. He reprised the Melodian’s rock steady hits of the 60’s and 70’s which included the seminal ‘Rivers Of Babylon’, the swing easy ‘Swing and Dine’ the declarative ‘You Have Caught Me’, the remorse-tinged ‘I Hear Them Saying’ and the ever realistic ‘Down Here in Babylon’.
Rocksteady Reggae icon John Holt who was the original lead singer of the group The Paragons—originators of ‘The Tide is High’ later redone and became a multi-platinum hit by the American sensation Blondie. Holt brought the rock steady session to an end as with what seemed like the longest set for the evening. ‘Mr. Thousand Volts of Holt’ belted out hits such as ‘Stick By Me’, ‘Tribal War’, ‘Up Park Camp’, ‘Sweetie Come Brush Mi’, ‘If I were a Carpenter’, ‘Wear You To The Ball’ ‘On The Beach’, ‘Love I Can Feel’, ‘Stealing Stealing’, ‘Police in Helicopter’ and ‘Zion’s Gate’.
When the man of the hour– Dwight Duncan aka Bushman—who is one of the most powerful and truly authentic baritone voices in reggae– hit the stage for his abbreviated set. From the first note of his opening song, he intoned “Jah shine his lighthouse for me, He tends the lighthouse for me…Cause I’m aware of who I am…I’m just a man;” he enthralled his audience with his ‘uber-sexy’ vocal styling. Casually, but thoroughly working his audience, the man from the hills of St. Thomas crooned and serenaded as he demonstrated a vocal range that kept his fans in awe of his talent as he held them spellbound throughout the performance. With his hits such as ‘Worries and Problem’ his ode to herb ‘Pass the Kutchie’ ‘Fyah Bun A Weak heart’, ‘Give Thanks and Praise’, ‘It’s so Easy’, ‘In My Sanctuary’, ‘Cannabis’, he was a man on a mission.
Having the privilege of experiencing the star performer give a full rehearsal on the previous evening, where he did his full set in its entirety and worked the stage as though he was performing for a packed house, we were quite looking forward to hearing and seeing a full performance…this was not to be. The rehearsal also saw Bushman doing several of Peter Tosh’s tunes, in tribute to Tosh’s birthday would have been October 19—with such tunes as ‘Legalize It’, ‘Buckingham Palace’ ‘Equal Rights’ from his forthcoming CD ‘Bushman sings the Bush Doctor’.
We came away with the feeling that if for some reason we did not make the Friday evening show, we were completely satisfied with the performance he gave during his rehearsal, made the trip from Maryland worthwhile!
However, the full-fledged tribute to Peter Tosh never emerged at the Friday night show due to time constraints. However, Tarrus Riley joined Bushman on his final number singing the Peter Tosh/Mick Jagger classic ‘Walk and Don’t Look Back’ also from the forthcoming album. The set was well received by the patrons.
Tarrus returned to the stage and gave the audience a brief stint with tunes such as ‘Lion Paw’ and She’s Royal. He took a moment to pay tribute to Buju Banton and did so with a couple tunes from the ‘Til Shiloh’ album before he left the stage.
The closing act was Mr. Wayne Wonder. Although Wayne did not have enough time to turn the place out in his usual fashion, he delivered a few of his classic hits before the house lights came up. Before he left the stage he did songs such as ‘Searching’, ‘Joy Ride’, ‘Bashment Gal’, ‘Strange Things’, ‘Anything Goes(Take My Life)’ then he closed his set with ‘Saddest Day of My Life’, ‘Keep Them Coming’, ‘Informa Fi Dead’.
Overall, it was a delightful evening. The production was seamless from start to finish. The disappointment of the evening was undoubtedly the time constraints which led to a seemingly anticlimactic conclusion. Kudos to the promoter Waggy and his crew for putting forth tremendous effort in coordinating such an awe-inspiring production. Look out for “Bushman & Friends” coming to a city near you!
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October 26, 2010 No Comments
Wyclef’s plea for quake-hit Haiti- Wyclef’s Skipping Records
Star’s charity repeatedly dissolved after failing to file reports
Musician Wyclef Jean’s charitable foundation–now the recipient of many donations big and small in the wake of the Haiti earthquake–has repeatedly had its corporate status dissolved for failing to file required state disclosure reports, records show. As seen below, the Florida Division of Corporations has, on four separate occasions over the past five years, sanctioned the Yele Haiti Foundation (the charity was incorporated in Florida in 1998 as the Wyclef Jean Foundation, but formally changed its name two months ago). The longest involuntarily dissolution lasted 26 months, ending in November 2008 when Jean’s organization provided Florida officials with overdue annual reports disclosing the identities of the group’s officers and directors, its registered agent, and office address. The foundation’s most recent dissolution occurred in September 2009, but was vacated a month later when the 37-year-old Jean’s group filed its disclosure report. As TSG reported yesterday, the Jean foundation’s records delinquency extended to the filing of its tax returns–and could make a prospective donor question whether the organizationally challenged foundation is a wise choice for disaster relief contributions. In August 2009, the group filed overdue tax returns for 2005, 2006, and 2007, documents showing that Jean and fellow board member Jerry Duplessis paid themselves at least $410,000 for services provided to the foundation. Duplessis, a bass player who has toured with Jean, co-owns a New York City recording studio with the performer, as well as a Haiti-based production company.
Actor Jimmy Jean-Louis Leads PADF-OAS`s Haiti Relief Campaign-PRNewswire-USNewswire/ –report that Haitian American actor Jimmy Jean-Louis, who plays the `Haitian` on NBC`s hit series `Heroes,` is leading a public awareness campaign to raise money for the survivors of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, the Pan American Development Foundation and the Organization of American States announced. Jimmy Jean-Louis will appear in television public service announcements, print ads and online.
The actor found out that his parents in the Haitian capital are safe, their home was destroyed by and other family members died in the earthquake. He’s returning to Haiti where he will provide first-hand reports on the situation on the ground by satellite telephone for PADF.
John Sanbrailo, PADF`s Executive Director said `Jimmy’s kind heart and dedication to his countrymen are outstanding and we are proud to work with him on this national campaign.` says. . www.padf.org website: www.PanAmericanRelief.org Donations are also accepted by a toll-free number: (877) 572-4484.
Hollywood Stars for Haiti CaribWorldNews out of New York, report that Hollywood stars are pitching in to help Haiti as that nation grapples with the after effects of the Tuesday, January 12th earthquake. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie donated a whopping $1 million to Doctors Without Borders.
Global Oxfam ambassador, actress Scarlett Johansson, a released a statement saying, “My heart goes out to the millions of people affected by the tragic events that have afflicted Haiti. As an ambassador of Oxfam, I urge those who are able to donate to the organization which currently has over 200 people on the ground and a team of 15 highly-experienced emergency specialists based in the capital that are responding with public health, water and sanitation services to prevent the spread of water borne disease.”
Embattled Golfer, Tiger Woods, is said to be pitching in $3 million to Haitian singer, Wyclef Jean. Jean foundation, Yele Haiti. Wyclef Jean. Jean is leading the online fundraising effort through the group even as a SmokingGun.com report revealed that the singer was paid to perform at his own 2006 benefit and the 12-year-old organization only filed taxes from 2005-2007, last August.
Music industry pledges Haitian support:
Buju Banton Reaches Out to Haiti
As more 50,000 thousand Haitians are reported dead by the International Red Cross, and unknown numbers missing and while the rest of the population are lacking food, clean water or medical care, and international rescue teams descended on the help have been coming from several sources. OutAroad.com website is reporting that despite his legal problems reggae star Buju Banton has announced that he will be lending a helping hand to the people of Haiti. The incarcerated artiste, Banton has pledged to donate US1000 along with clothing and other necessary items.
The Jamaican Music fraternity is also embracing the Haitian cause. Musicians and promoters are pledging their assistance in a variety of ways.
Proceeds from Coke Zero concert for Haiti relief: best known for his chart-topping hit, Beautiful Girls, Kingston is also working on material for his next album which is set for release in April of this year. says”I’m doing a lot of songwriting and recordings for both myself and a number of other artistes including Ciara, Stephen Marley and Sean Paul.” “The first single is a collaboration with Akon, and that should be out by February Sean Kingston at this time. The recording artiste is currently involved in talks with Disney with regard to developing a project for television. “Think Fresh Prince of Belair and Moesha meets reality show,. “Believe it or not, this is my first performance in Kingston, and with a name like Sean Kingston, I just have to deliver for the fans in that city. I will definitely be giving the local audience a show like they have never seen. I will be coming with a full band and just turning the venue upside down.” All the money made from the Coke Zero concert in Jamaica Saturday Jan.16th featuring international superstar Sean Kingston and Etana, Ding Dong, Elephant Man, Demarco, Alaine, Tifa to be held at the LIME Golf Academy in New Kingston will be donated to relief funds for survivors of the 7.2 magnitude, earthquake in Haiti. From the $100 that persons paid over to Mother’s and Burger King to redeem tickets, to every dollar collected at the gate for the event, proceeds from drink sales, everything we will just hand over to Food for the Poor for them to activate our support and get aid to the persons who need it most.”
One Touch Charity Organization-President and founder, Sophronia, McKenzie and reggae/dancehall Songstress Raine Seville who is co-founder of the One Touch Charity Organization says spoke to a variety of persons who have pledged their assistance under the One Touch Banner. According to Seville they receive assistance from the Rotaract Club of St Andrew, promoter PJ Wright of Wright Image, producer TJ White, Bugle, Fed Ex, S&A Beautique, Coca Cola and Lascelles giving items such as food, clothes, medicines, soap and disinfectants, among other necessities.”
Steve Urchin/Brand New Machine and superstar Sean Paul also assisted the Haitian cause. They did a celebrity birthday party Paparazzi for Sean Paul who celebrated his birthday last Friday. The proceeds from the entrance fee will go towards Haiti.”
Pepsi Rebel Salute 2010: Tony Rebel, promoter of Pepsi Rebel Salute, and Pepsi’s Marketing Manager Denise Dixon and daughter Jahyudah Barrett, is working on how they can dedicate 30 minutes or an hour of Pepsi Rebel Salute on January 16th to the people of Haiti and collect funds from patrons willing to donate.”
Jazz and Blues Festival Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival, have introduced a food-relief programme to assist the victims of the earthquake. Working with local agencies, TurnKey will collect and package non-perishable food items from patrons attending the annual festival for delivery to the impoverished nation. Patrons could also leave donations at ticket outlets.
Beenie Man Pledges to help Haitian Earthquake Survivors- “My heart goes out to Wyclef and to the people of Haiti. I saw the devastation of the island on the news… the hundreds of dead bodies piling up on the streets, the buildings destroyed by the earthquake and people working to rescue friends and family trapped in the rubble. I want to make myself available to help in any way I can,” Beenie Man said in a release.
Beenie Man and Wyclef Jean collaborated on the radio hit, Love Me Now and another song called Lie Detector several years ago.
“Wyclef Jean and I share a passion for improving communities throughout the world and he has always been very hands-on when it comes to looking after his home nation so I can’t imagine what he is going through at this very difficult time,” Beenie Man, who has also spearheaded social and environmental programmes in tough inner city areas such as Craig Town, Arnett Gardens and Waterhouse in his native Jamaica, said. Beenie Man has already contributed money to the Yele charity to aid humanitarian efforts. Wyclef, a Goodwill Ambassador to Haiti, started the Yele Haiti Foundation to raise relief funds for the area following Hurricane Gustav in 2008. Adapted from Yard Flex
The ‘Boops’ rhythm has returned
Super Cat popular 1980s a massive hit Boops cemented Super cat’s place in reggae history and also that of the late producer Steely of the Cleevie and Steely duo. ‘Boops’ rhythm spawned 120 versions. The ‘Boops’ rhythm was remade with new generation of artistes giving the old rhythm a different twist by producer Shane Brown of Juke Boxx Productions. It was re-released late December 2009
Brown he explained his reasons for re-making the rhythm alongside Kirk Bennett saying, “I decided to do ‘Boops’ because Steely is someone I grew up listening to and admiring. A lot of people don’t really know what persons like that contributed and made for us today.” “The artistes brought something new and old, Busy and Assassin used the old way like Super Cat and Shabba and the young artistes compliment the rhythm but keep it authentic by using old melodies,” Brown said.
Brown’s ‘Boops’ rhythm has songs from Chino, Assassin, Busy Signal, Timeka Marshall, Elephant Man, Karl Morrison, Konshens, Lutan Fyah, Romain Virgo and Tarrus Riley. We tekking this year and easing off the ‘One Drop’ rhythm and bringing back the 80s/90s era music like Boops.”
Rihanna – “Every woman should have naked pictures taken”
In recent months, Rihanna has been in the headlines for her lack of clothing nearly as much as her music.
Just weeks after declaring ‘every woman should have naked pictures taken’, the 21-year-old has peeled off again for a revealing new photo shoot.
In stunning black and white images for the new issue of American magazine W, Rihanna goes topless as she talks about her recovery from her difficult 2009.
The topless shots, taken from the side and behind, give Rihanna the opportunity to show off her extended tattoo collection.
The star has a series of stars on the nape of her neck, a gun under her armpit and a tribal pattern on her right hand. In the accompanying interview, the Bajan singer admitted recording her latest album Rated R proved a therapeutic experience, with many of her songs being inspired by her break-up from Chris Brown after he assaulted her. Source: dailymail.co.uk
Musical treat for Jazz and Blues opener at Pegasus
The 2010 staging of the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival will be a seven-day celebration of ‘The Art of Music’ from January 24-30 at the Trelawny stadium with performances from Gladys Knight, Joss Stone, Erykah Badu, Jon Secada, Deborah Cox, Kelly Price, Tamia, Machel Montano HD, Caribbean Jewel, Billy Ocean, as well as reggae band Third World.
The 2010 week-long Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival kicks off at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston on Sunday, January 24 with the vibrant Latin funk sounds of Spanish band Yerba Buena. The Jamaica Pegasus hotel gardens transformed into an amphitheatre featuring Vibraphonist/vocalist Roy Ayers, known as the Godfather of neo soul, continue to bridge the gap between generations of music lovers. His music has been sampled by music industry heavyweights, including Mary J. Blige, Erykah Badu, 50 Cent, A Tribe Called Quest, Tupac and Ice Cube and Jamaica’s Tony Greene, Ricardo Suave.. Ayers recently recorded with hip-hop artiste Talib Kweli (produced by Kanye West) and jazz/R&B singer Will Drowning.
Jimmy Cliff to receive Linkz FM Lifetime Achievement Award
Reggae legend Jimmy Cliff will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award when the western Jamaica-based Linkz 96FM hosts its second Linkz Awards – The Cupid Edition at Margaretville in Montego Bay on Friday, February 12. “Once again, we will be recognizing the contribution that talents from western Jamaica have made to the development of the Jamaican entertainment industry,” said Roger Allen, CEO of Linkz FM. “It is our belief that the works of these talented individuals should not go unrecognized.”
Sophia Brown gets ‘Universal’ deal
Reggae recording artist Sophia Brown (on her label Music Mecka label) signed a one-year, one-album distribution deal – with options – with the Universal Records label It is a move, she says, to go global and one step closer to realizing my Grammy dream.” Under the agreement, Brown is to produce an album that will be exclusively distributed by Universal next year. Universal will also be distributing her single Good Love. The deal was signed in mid-December while Brown was in Los Angeles shooting the video for her latest single Good Love. The singer will be in Los Angeles on January 25 to perform before the international media at the Roxy on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles.
Sophia Brown is up against Cherine Anderson, Alaine, Phyllisia, Barbee, Tami Chin and Etana for the “Female Vocalist of the Year” category of the Excellence In Music and Entertainment. EME Awards slated for February 4th. Brown’s debut album “The Spotlight” ‘was released in April 2009 sold over 5000 copies digitally within the first few months. Brown says she plans to find new management that will allow her to focus more on her creativity and her goal of becoming an international star.
Bashment Granny’ movie to debut at Carib – June 16
There are plans for premieres across the Caribbean, the UK, USA and Canada. The ‘Bashment Granny” premiere will take at Carib, Cross Roads, St Andrew, on June 16. It will be screened at Cinemas Island wide.
Among those stars are Keith ‘Shebada’ Ramsey, Maxwell ‘Maama Man’ Grant, Garfield ‘Bad Boy Trevor’ Reid and Stede ‘Jooky Jam’ Flash. There are also persons who were not in the play of the same name, including Apache Chief and Sarge, Trudy Bell, Donald Thompson and Patrick Smith.
There will also be a big premiere in the US either in Florida or New York. And there is a special showing in the UK” Toronto, Canada, and number of Caribbean islands including Grenada, Barbados, Trinidad, Guyana, Antigua and The Bahamas.
Dean Fraser, renowned saxophonist, will be doing the soundtrack for the movie and an album will be produced. The intention is to go for reggae in the theme song. However, on the soundtrack “not everything is going to be reggae.
Chino nabs 6 nominations-The Reggae/Dancehall artiste Daniel McGregor, aka Chino the son of reggae legend Freddie McGregor, has been nominated for six awards in this year’s Youth View Awards (YVA) and Excellence in Music and Entertainment Awards EME. For the YVA’s he was nominated for: ‘Male Artiste of the Year’ and ‘Young Hot & Hype Male Artiste of the Year’ , for the EME’s he was nominated for ‘Breakthrough Artiste of the Year’, ‘Singjay of the Year’ and ‘Most Improved Artiste of the Year’ and ‘Song of the Year – Dancehall’ for From Mawning.
Zumjay – Ready Fi Defend It / Dancehall in the Middle East
Dancehall deejay Zumjay is deployed in the heart of the battle zone in the Middle East on his first official tour of duty. He has no regrets. So far he says it has been an amazing experience where he has increased his appreciation for life and family and of course the music that continues to be his passion. “I am just watching my head back and taking care of business. I am in the middle of a combat zone but I know that God is watching over me, and my family, friends and fans are praying for my safe return, that is very reassuring.”Zumjay has discovered how far-reaching Reggae music has become. Apparently, Reggae music is very popular in the Middle East, as Sean Paul songs can be heard every day on the radio; Shaggy and Beenie Man songs play occasionally. In his spare time, Zumjay writes songs, surfs the internet to see what’s happening in the western hemisphere and reads the Bible.
“I just want to thank all my family, friends and fans who have been praying for me to return home safely to my family,” he said.
Prior to being deployed, he recorded Ready Fi Defend It on the Splinta rhythm, produced by Garret Campbell and Jeffrey ‘Assassin’ Campbell for Boardhouse Production. The single has been getting rotation on local radio and is available on Itunes as well as Youtube.
Shaggy and Friends drops $30-
The Shaggy Make a Difference Foundation handed over a cheque for $30 million, to the Bustamante Hospital for Children, the proceeds from the Shaggy and Friends concert staged at Jamaica House on January 2. This year saw the second staging of the concert which featured a top-flight list of local and international acts including, Boyz II Men, Joe, Mario Winans, Beenie Man, Queen Ifrica and Baby Cham.
EME AND YVA AWARDS NOMINATIONS
Vybz Kartel, Tarrus Riley, Queen Ifrica & Konshens EME Awards
The 6th Annual Excellence in Music and Entertainment (EME) Awards slated for The Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on February 04, 2010 and the Youth View Awards Saturday, slated for February 6, 2010 at the National Indoor Sports Centre Awards being given out in over 30 categories including, Deejay of the Year, Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Producer of the Year, Singjay of the Year, Song Writer/Lyricist, Best New Artist and “Breakthru” Artist of the Year among others. Additionally, the Award of ‘Role Model of the Year’ will be bestowed on Toots Hibbert and Denroy Morgan.
Tifa Grabs Five Youth View Awards nominations for Favorite Local Music Video, Favorite Female Dancehall Artiste, Favorite Female Artiste of the Year, Female Fashion Icon of the Year and finally the coveted Young, Hot and Hype Female of the Year
Vybz Kartel has earned a total of seven nominations. He is nominated in the following categories: Deejay of the Year, Song Writer/Lyricist of the Year, Song of the Year, Recording Artist of Year, International Artist of the Year and a double nomination for Collabo of the Year (Dancehall). Reggae artist Tarrus Riley has seven nominations in the categories Male Vocalist of the Year, Recording Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, Collabo of the Year (Reggae), Cultural/Positive Artist of Year, Collabo of the Year (Dancehall) and Song of Year. Kiprich artiste has been nominated in the categories of DJ of the Year and Best Collaboration of the Year for the 2009 EME (Excellence in Music and Entertainment) Awards.
Richie Spice grabs three EME nominations in the following categories: Male Vocalist of the Year, Cultural Positive Artist of the Year and Collabo of the Year (Reggae. in the following categories: Male Vocalist of the Year, Cultural Positive Artist of the Year and Collabo of the Year (Reggae).
Singer Jah Cure has copped a whopping six nominations for the 2010 for Vocalist of the Year, Song of the Year,(Call On Me with Phyllisia), Album of the Year, Cultural/Positive Artiste of the Year & Collaboration of the Year, and Recording Artiste of the Year.
Konshens has 5 nominations in these categories; Recording Artiste of the Year, Cultural/Positive Artiste of the Year, Songwriter/Lyricist for the Year, Singjay of the Year, and Collabo of the Year for his song Good Girl, Gone Bad with Tarrus Riley. Romain Virgo was nominated in the categories of Best New Artiste and Best Male Vocalist, Most Improved Artiste and Best Song for Cyaan Sleep. Tifa grabbed two nominations for Female DJ of the Year and Most Improved Artiste; Sean Paul grabbed nominations for International Artiste of the Year, and Album of the Year. Timeka Marshall was nominated for Best New Artiste (Female), while D’Angel walked away with a nomination for Sing jay of the Year (Female) and Etana with Vocalist of the Year (Female).
Nadine Sutherland looks to 2010
Arguably one of Jamaica’s most talented and successful female singers, Nadine Sutherland is a note-belting, lyric-lacing powerhouse who will this year celebrate her 30th year in the music industry.
Sutherland, who boomed from a very tender age when she won the Tastee Talent Competition, has blossomed into becoming a hit-making, no-holds-barred female icon both in Jamaica and abroad. She has seen it all, and had a tough time breaking through the very male-centric entertainment world.
Overcoming vicious, almost career-ending rumors, Sutherland has experienced immense success with cross-over hits such as Action, Baby Face and Anything for you. There’s no doubt about it. Nadine Sutherland is a singer and woman extraordinaire. The only female judge on Jamaica’s number one television program, Digicel Rising Stars, saw 2009 being a very busy year, and she used it to make quite a number of changes in her life.
“I’m very happy how ’09 went. I revamped my look and also my management. I also worked with a lot of old people, with new energy. I did a lot more promotion abroad as well as performances locally especially the Digicel Rising Stars Finale. This, I think, reminded people of the performer that I am. But in retrospect, I think I made very good moves for 2009,” said a sweetly smiling Sutherland.
In the near future, much is to be expected from the songstress. A compilation of all her singles since the Tastee Talent Competition, entitled Then til Now will be released, and she also has other singles out with top producers including Snowcone, Shane Brown and Vigilante Productions. Her most recent achievement is Life in the Street, which sits atop the charts in New York and is holding firm in the number three spot South Florida. This, to say the least, has her quite excited, as she looks forward to an eventful 2010.
And, in an industry where young females are on top of their game, Nadine remains headstrong. “I have so many years of history. I don’t compete with the younger generation. After years of being in the industry, I have established who I am and so I just go out there to perform and to show my talent.”
US visa for Vybz Kartel?
Reliable YardFlex sources have confirmed that visa restrictions have been lifted from dancehall artiste Adidja “Vybz Kartel” Palmer. “He has been given a permit that allows him one entry to the United States,” the source said, adding that Kartel will be able to work on this visa.
Kartel, whose last performance in the US was nearly five years ago, has since been trying to renew his work permit for that North American country, without much success. Interestingly, the reason for the US embassy’s refusal to grant the dancehall artiste a visa has never been fully disclosed and this has led to various speculations. A prolific hit maker, and the self-styled Gaza President, Kartel has a huge following and is in high demand for shows in the US. Last year, an intense and much-hyped rivalry between himself and the Gully God, Mavado led to intervention by the Jamaican government. Posted by YardFlex
DUANE STEPHENSON ADDED TO PEPSI REBEL SALUTE
Conscious Reggae singer, Duane Stephenson is one of the latest artistes to join the line up for this year’s staging of Pepsi Rebel Salute.
The artiste stated that he had been approached earlier by Flames, the organized of the event, but at the time it didn’t look possible. However, things subsequently changed, making it possible for the talented artiste to take his place on this highly-anticipated reggae festival.
According to Duane, he too is thankful for the opportunity to perform on Pepsi Rebel Salute, a show which is now in celebrating 17 year. He notes that Pepsi Rebel Salute is just another event in what has been the great start to 2010. The former member of the group To-Isis, just returned to the island following shows in sister Caribbean isle, Dominica and is set to leave for his first European tour immediately after Rebel Salute.
Posted by Dancehallreggaeweseh.com
Sean Paul releases The Odyssey
dancehall artiste Sean Paul has sent internet users and music lovers worldwide scurrying to find his mix tape, released this week. Named The Odyssey, the mix features new singles from the Grammy-winning artiste in all his dancehall glory.
Mixed by ace disc jockeys from insanely popular sound system Coppers hot Disco, the tape was made available for download virally and has so far found itself as far as Dubai and Ireland, where Sean Paul fans are listening to 19-tracks of platinum-selling megastar. The Odyssey includes collaborations with Jay Sean, Chris Brown, Sean Kingston, Chino, Fahrenheit, and Wayne Marshall.
Singles such as Do You Remember, Follow Me, Brown Skin Girl, and Buy You A Round are highlights of the lyrically-lethal hit-heavy tape, and Sean Paul comments that it was “wicked fun” putting the project together.
“From we started putting together the songs to put on the tape the vibe was just there. And Coppers hot Disco has the right touch for everything, and we just put it out there for the fans to enjoy and get up to date with the music.”
Some of the tracks on the mix tape are new material, which Sean Paul is equally excited about.
Sean Paul is a multi-platinum selling artiste many times over, and the most successful Jamaican artiste on the international charts. He’s had three Billboard #1 singles and five Billboard Hot 100 top ten tunes. He has hand even more chart entries over three worldwide best-selling albums, which have sold more than 11-million copies worldwide. In 2009, he copped the MOBO Award for Best Reggae Act, as well as the initial Best Reggae Artiste award at the Soul Train Awards. He adds those trophies to an impressive collection of awards that includes a Grammy, MTV Music Video Award, Billboard Music Award, American Music Award, MTV Europe Music Award, MOBO, BET Award and others.
He nabbed a Grammy nomination for his fourth studio album Imperial Blaze, which was released in August 2009. The project was completely produced in Jamaica by Jamaican producers such as Stephen McGregor, Donovan ‘Don Carleone’ Bennett, Craig ‘Leftside’ Parks, Jeremy Harding, and Jason Henriques.
The album made Sean Paul the first Jamaican to top the Billboard Rap Charts, and Imperial Blaze the first dancehall album to do so. Subsequently, Billboard named him the top reggae artsite of the year, and the decade and listed his other two Atlantic Records projects, Dutty Rock and The Trinity as top reggae albums of the decade as well.
Last night, the popular Rebel Salute stage show was slated to pause its entertainment package to allow patrons to make cash donations to the Haitian relief fund, with United Nations representatives collecting the money.
“Haiti is our neighbour and if we were not lucky this could have happened to Jamaica,” dancehall star and promoter of the annual stage show, Tony Rebel, told The Sunday Gleaner.
“You can’t fool me that Jamaicans are all wicked; the response to the Haitian crisis shows me that Jamaicans have a heart, it is just that the good majority keeps silent,” Rebel said, even before he determined how much money was collected at the show.
But it was not only corporate Jamaica and established entities which were willing to reach out to the Haitians. On Friday, Jamaicans from poor communities walked with money and their small ‘scandal bags’ with food, clothes and water to collection agencies.
Shabba returns on VP CD set
Before he signed with a major American record company and became the ‘Grammy Kid’, Shabba Ranks was king of the Jamaican dancehall circuit and he earned that title by racking up a number of hit songs in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Many of those songs (44 to be exact) are featured on Shabba Ranks: Reggae Legends, a four-CD box set which was released last Monday by Greensleeves Records. Most of the hits on it were produced by Bobby ‘Bobby Digital’ Dixon and Gussie Clarke, two of the heavyweights of the aforementioned period.
Reggae Legends is actually being marketed by VP Records, the Queens, New York label that bought London-based Greensleeves two years ago. The album is aimed at the British and European markets.
Shabba Ranks (real name Rexton Gordon) was born in St Ann but grew up in the Seaview Gardens community of St Andrew. He broke through in the late 1980s with the rocking Peeny Peeny which was produced by Dixon, who earned his spurs as an engineer at the legendary Waterhouse studio of Lloyd ‘King Jammy’s’ James.
Most of Dixon and Ranks’ early collaborations including Live Blanket, Weh Yu Get It From, Wicked Inna Bed and Dem Bow were risqué, but Dixon said it was not long before they turned the corner with conscious, radio-friendly songs.
“Wi did songs like Just Reality and Roots and Culture and showed dem that it wasn’t just slackness. Wi showed dem that the artiste had a clean side,” Dixon told The Sunday Gleaner.
Ranks also struck a fruitful relationship with Clarke who had had success with acts like Dennis Brown and The Mighty Diamonds. Clarke had assembled a formidable array of artistes at his Anchor studio in the Swallowfield area of St Andrew. Among them were Home T and Cocoa Tea with whom Ranks recorded Pirates Anthem and Holding On, which make the Reggae Legends cut.
Mr. Lover Man, another Clarke production featuring Guyana-born singer Deborahe Glasgow, is also included. A remix of that song with Ranks and Chevelle Franklyn would be a minor pop hit in the United States in 1992 when he was signed to Epic Records.
Ranks’ stint with Epic spawned two hit albums in As Raw As Ever and X-tra Naked which won the Best Reggae Album category in 1992 and 1993, respectively, at the Grammy Awards. Now 44 years old, Ranks has not recorded an album of original material since 1998′s Get Up Stand Up. Gleaner
Stan E Smith Entertainment Reggae News Report can be heard on Radio: Virginia Beach VA: Hot 91.1FM @ 3:15pm EST Sun. ‘Caribbean Connection’ w/Lady Cham 1:00pm-4:00pm streaming live www.westindiantimes.netVibes24/7
September 20, 2010 No Comments
Queen Ifrica, Machel, Gramps among big winners at IRAWMA
The 29 annual International Reggae & World Music Awards (IRAWMA) which took place last Sunday, May 2 at the York College Performing Arts Centre in Queens, New York was another spectacular affair that attracted a near-capacity crowd and a galaxy of international reggae stars.
Among the entertainers in the house were Queen Ifrica, Machel Montano, Tarrus Riley, Petah Morgan, Gramps Morgan, soca queen Allison Hinds, Julian Marley, Dean Fraser, Copeland Forbes, Mutabaruka, Tanya Mullings, songwriter Rene Cogle and numerous music industry insiders who all graced the red carpet. Jamaica Consul General to New York, Geneive Brown Metzger was among the specially invited guests. Hosts for the evening were Tony Rebel, Allison Hinds and Saran Dunmore; actress/comedian Hazelle Goodman hosted the VIP reception. Queen Ifrica, who is currently in studios recording her soon-to-be-released album proved her musical might, copping a total of four awards — Recording Artiste of the Year, Best Female DJ/Rapper, Most Educational Entertainer and Songwriter of the Year. Gramps Morgan took home three nods, among them Best Song, Best New Entertainer, Best Crossover Song and so did soca star Machel Montano who picked up awards for Entertainer of the Year, Best Calyso/Soca Entertainer, Most Outstanding Show Band.
Singing sensation Tarrus Riley won for Best Male Vocalist, singer Bar-bee Most Promising Entertainer and Julian Marley Best CD, Awake.
Multi-platinum recording artiste Wyclef Jean and civil rights activist Rev Al Sharpton received the Marcus Garvey Humanitarian Award. Jean delivered his acceptance speech via video and gave an impromptu performance. NY musicologist Tony Ryan, producer Maurice ‘Jack Scorpio’ Johnson, Noel ‘King Sporty’ Williams and Tony Greene were inducted into the IRAWMA Hall of Fame. Songtress India.Arie and wordsmith Matisyahu received the Award of Honour. Radio broadcasters Trevor Forde 93.5 FM, Ron Muchette (Irie FM, Jamaica), Donovan Longmore 89.1 FM, Connecticut and Ricot Dupuy of the Hatian Press were also honored. Entertainer, songwriter Rennie Cogle who penned the million selling By The Rivers of Babylon (Boney M) and Sweet Sensation (UB40) was given the Producer’s Respect Award.
Most notable at the 2010 IRAWMA was the “next generation” of performers: Queen Ifrica, Tarrus Riley, Julian Marley, Gramps Morgan, Bar-bee and New Kingston Band who all delivered stellar performances. Machel “soca-sized” the audience with his energy and charm, dub poet Mutabaruka used his lyrical vibrato as only Muta can while Brigadier Jerry combined past and present hits to fully engage fans. Alison Hinds, Queen Ifrica, Barbee and Winsome Benjamin commanded the stage with feminine swagger and grace.
The most riveting performance of the night was however the magical combination of IRAWMA musical director Dean Fraser and singer Gramps Morgan who delivered a spellbinding musical tribute of the Buju/Gramps rendition of Palms 21 that was dedicated to incarcerated DJ Buju Banton. The song earned the duo a rousing applause and the respect of all present. Dance groups Dancerzblvd, Over Marz, Black Blingaz and Fearless Dancers delivered a moving and fiery performance that was choreographed by Donna Ray.
Jah Cure Arrested
Reggae singer, Jah Cure, was arrested a by cops in the St Andrew North Police Division and charged with smoking ganja. Her was granted $5,000 station bail and is scheduled to appear in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court on April.Jah Cure served a sentence of nine years in prison after being found guilty of rape.
Macka Diamond’s book launch for Caribbean-American Month
Dancehall diva-turned- author, Macka Diamond the release of her sophomore novel in February, The Real Gangster’s Wife, she is generating so much interest by a book tour. She scheduled to be at the Broward College in Florida on June 5,” states Leesah Larmond, Co-CEO of Pageturner Publishing House, publishers of the novel.
There are plans for a US launch of The Real Gangster’s Wife in June, Caribbean-American month on Saturday, June 5 at the South Regional Broward College Branch of the Broward County Library. The book will be presented to two libraries in the Caribbean community including the South Regional Broward College Branch.
Spice and Chino Canadian charts
Kingston, Jamaica — Dancehall artistes Spice and Chino are heading to the top of Toronto, Canada’s Dancehall/Reggae charts.Spice’s Slim Vs. Fluffy w/ Pamputtae is #2 on Toronto’s Radio Dubplate Top Ten Reggae Dancehall and Singles Chart on CHRY 105.5 FM.Chino’s Secret Lovers w/ Alaine is # (7) on the same chart. The two singles which dominated the Jamaican airwaves for months are still enjoying heavy rotation locally. In fact, Spice and Pamputtae’s Slim Vs. Fluffy still holds firm on a number of charts including Jamaica’s Hype TV ‘VTX Countdown’ in 9 position.
Another Ban for Vybz Kartel-
CASTRIES, St Lucia — ST LUCIA has become the latest Caribbean Community (Caricom) country to place a ban on Jamaican dancehall singer, Vybz Kartel, who had been scheduled to perform here at the end of April.
A statement from the St Lucian government today noted that in deciding whether or not to grant a work permit to the singer, the government had deliberately refrained from rushing to a Judgement by establishing an adhoc committee to discuss the request from the promoters.
Having looked carefully at the significant amount of information presented, and considering the views and opinions of the many individuals and institutions as well as available options, the Government of St Lucia through the Ministry of Labour, Information and Broadcasting has decided not to grant a work permits to Mr Adidja Azim Palmer otherwise known as Vybz Kartel for performances at the Hot FM promoted Supreme Weekend show scheduled for April 30 and May 1, 2010.
St. Lucia has been listed as the fourth Caribbean country to ban Vybz Kartel. The others are Barbados, Guyana and Grenada.
Two new singles & three-continent tour for Sean Paul
With two new tracks and a three-continent tour for April, Jamaican dancehall superstar Sean Paul is keeping quite busy these days. Sean Paul, who returned from performances in Africa recently, is also toasting the success of his single with British-born pop sensation Jay Sean, Do You Remember, which is featured on the iconic pop music compilation Now That’s What I Call Music.
Sean Paul’s two newest singles, Fire Brigade and Down The Line.. Down The Line, was produced by Jeremy Harding.
Sean Paul has performed in more than 80 countries in North, Central, and South America, Asia, Africa, and Europe. Sean Paul will return to the dancehall-loving nation of Japan, where Imperial Blaze debuted at #1 selling over 50,000 copies in its first week. He has a string of appearances there after which he heads to engagements in Columbia and Australia. These are hectic times for the artiste, who now sports a trendy Mohawk.
Romain Returns To Ja, Off To B’dos
Reggae singer, young Romain Virgo has returned to Jamaica after his one month promotional tour of the US. The former Rising Stars winner again leaves the island for Barbados. Romain’s multi-genred, self-entitled debut album will be released on the VP Records label next month.
Rototom Sunsplash moves to Spain – Festival’s 17th staging August 21-28
In its 17th year, the Rototom Sunsplash August 21-28 will move from its long-time home in Italy to a Spain. Confirmed performers for Rototom Sunsplash at Benicassim, include Alborosie, Big Youth, Glen Washington, Anthony B, Aswad and Alpha Blondie, and a number of Italian bands.
Traditional reggae acts will rise-
Lister Hewan-Lowe Veteran Jamaican New York broadcaster Lister Hewan-Lowe believes the recent troubles of dancehall artistes with United States (US) authorities will open the door for traditional reggae acts in that country. Hewan-Lowe, who hosts two programmes on Stonybrook University’s WUSB 90.1 FM radio station, was in Kingston last week. He told The Gleaner that reggae promoters in the US will not be pressured to find alternatives because some top dancehall artistes have reportedly lost their US visas.
“The biggest mistake people who make music in Jamaica make, is that they think we live in a world of borders, and that’s ridiculous,” Hewan-Lowe said. “You’ve got cats in Germany and all over the world creating some of the hottest reggae riffs and people are listening to them.”
Hewan-Lowe said while some reggae promoters on the US east coast may feel the pinch economically, the tour circuit is unlikely to suffer. “Promoters are already finding people to fill the void. Plus, there’s still a demand for people like Sean Paul and Tarrus Riley,” he said. There is also still a demand for Damian ‘Junior Gong’ Marley. He is involved in one of the most anticipated summer tours this year with roots rapper Nas. Their highly-anticipated Distant Relatives jaunt of North America and Europe starts in May.
Ziggy Marley Is Coming To World fest, Grass Valley, CA July 15-18
Five-time Grammy winning reggae superstar philanthropist and political activist Ziggy Marley will perform at World Fest’s kids.
Gyptian’s Latest Single Oh Weh Oh …
Bombrush Records Reggae star Gyptian is creating waves with his billboard smash hit Hold Yuh. The track is the hottest dancehall track in the clubs now and is enjoying serious crossover success, more so since Nicki Minaj featured on the remix.
Bombrush Records has now collaborated with Gyptian for, what many are referring to as his follow up hit, Oh Weh Oh. Recorded in Kingston, dancehall super group TOK’s member, Bay-C, went in the studios with Gyptian and produced another masterpiece to add to Gyptian’s already extensive catalogue. Billboard-charting Gyptian DJ Face has scored a major collaboration with Gyptian called Drive It In which is generating great attention in the USA’s urban market. Gyptian made his debut on the Billboard Heatseekers chart at a robust #15 this week with his attention-grabbing gem of song, Hold Yuh. The chart reflects the titles with the greatest airplay and sales this week.
Stan E Smith 2010 Entertainment News Report
WAEC LOVE860 AM Saturday Live www.love860.com Atlanta
HOT 91.1 FM Sunday Live www.westindiantimes.net Vibes24/7 Virginia Beach
WPFW 8913FM Sunday Live www.wpfw.org Wash DC
CHRY 105.5 FM Monday Live www.chry.fm Canada
Stan E Smith Entertainment Reggae News Report can be heard on Radio: Virginia Beach: Hot 91.1FM @ 3:15pm EST Sun. ‘Caribbean Connection’ w/Lady Cham 1:00pm-4:00pm streaming live www.westindiantimes.netVibes24/7 Atlanta. GA: WAEC LOVE860AM @ 9:20 am EST Sat. ‘SupremeCaribRadio w/BarryD streaming on www.love860.com (ATL.) Canada: CHRY 105.5 FM 10: 40 Alternate Monday on Rebel Vibes’/Carrie Mullings 10 am- 12 pm streaming live via www.chry.fm or Roger’s Digital Cable Channel 94 Wash.DC: WPFW 89.3 FM @ 12:30pm ETS Sun. “This is Reggae Music”w/Tony Carr.12am-2:00 pm streaming on www.wpfw.org
April 20, 2010 No Comments
VP RECORD HOT SHOT OF THE WEEK
VP Records Presents Songs for Reggae Lovers 3
No show: Vybz Kartel, Mavado concert cancelled
New York/Maryland: The on again, off again show headlined by Jamaican reggae artistes Vybz Kartel and Mavado scheduled to come off this weekend has officially been cancelled.
The revelation came from Prime Minister David Thompson who briefed the media on this development following a meeting held at Government headquarters yesterday afternoon, with the promoters of the show.
According to the Prime Minister: “I understand clearly what the original concept was for the show and also the rationale of them recruiting the services of these two reggae artistes and I believe that the organizers of the event were well meaning in their endeavours and I do not think they should be demonized.”
“It is clear that Barbadians feel extremely strongly about the matter and I am, in the elected sense, what we consider to be the highest representative of the views of the public and therefore I think that when we sat down that we came to a sensible position based on what is happening in society.
“That quest to do the right thing by Barbadians prompted my request for the meeting with the organizers of the proposed show and I am happy to announce that in deference to the expressed wishes and the anxieties of a very wide cross-section of Barbadians, that the organizers of the Mavado/Vybz Kartel show and Youth Forum have agreed to the revamping of initiatives resulting in the cancellation of this weekend’s activities.”
“I don’t feel in this particular instance people should be demonized for a well-intentioned effort that could have gone awry, but in circumstances where there is public concern and where the State needs to intervene to protect our young people we will do it,” he stated.
Prime Minister Thompson suggested that there may be scope to establish a protocol to address any similar matters that may arise in the future.
“I think that is something that we have to discuss otherwise arising out of this and so as to protect the entertainers, the promoters and the people who are to benefit from the show; we are to have a protocol.
“There are provisions even under the Treaty of Chaguaramas that would allow a Minister responsible for Immigration in the public interest, in the national interest, to restrict the entry of people. We have never invoked them – other countries have. In fact, some of the countries that were most critical of Barbados [and] our Freedom of Movement Policy have invoked those provisions. We have never done so, but obviously if we think a situation is going to get out of hand we are going to do it. Don’t leave here in any doubt; anything that has to be done to protect our children in this country will be done,” he stressed.
While commending the robust debate which was sparked across the island, the Prime Minister said that persons were mainly concerned with the idea of these artistes being portrayed as role models.
“We are not promoting them as role models. What you are really doing is using them where they have influence to help us in guiding our children in a particular way. Because let us not fool ourselves there are young people who listen to them, who don’t listen to me and don’t listen to you.”
“ …Therefore in our effort to have every sinew in our body straining to solve the challenges that we have in our society before they get worse, there are people we are going to have to bring on board, who sometimes on the face of it may not appear to be adding the kind of value that older people like myself may think they [should] add.”
Several high-ranking officials had denounced the staging of the show between the two dancehall artistes who have been blamed for sparking the contentious and violent Gully/Gaza feud in Jamaica. (JH)Source Barbados Advocate-
“We have to respect the decision of the Prime Minister” -Vybz Kartel Reacts to Cancellation of Barbados Unity Concert
“It is very unfortunate that the government in Barbados would cancel a show with two of the most influential Dancehall artists, especially a show promoting peace and unity amongst school children who take the whole Gaza/Gully phenomenon out of proportion. But we have to respect the decision of the Prime Minister — ultimately he has the well being of the nation at the center of his agenda. I am saddened that we could not perform for our anxious Barbadian fans that would have turned out in the thousands for this historic event.”-
Tax Department Targets Entertainment industry; among 50 high-profile delinquents, Elle stopped at airport unable to leave island
Toots Hibbert pulls ‘Reggay’ from ‘Streggay’
Toots Hibbert-By Mel Cooke
With the flourishing of roots music in the 1970s, capped off by Bob Marley and The Wailers’ unprecedented and yet unmatched success, somehow ‘reggae’ became a catch-all for all of Jamaica’s popular music. That is, until the dancehall surge and there was a need to distinguish the beat and its themes – and, for some, a desire to create some distance between ‘cultural’ reggae and ‘slack’ dancehall.
Toots and the Maytals recorded and released Do The Reggay in 1968 (recorded for producer Leslie Kong), the first song to use the name, though not the beat. Frederick ‘Toots’ Hibbert told The Sunday Gleaner that the word came to him in Trench Town, that cauldron of creativity along the Spanish Town Road corridor which many a ‘country boy’ took to urban dreams or despair.
‘Reggay’ word inventor
“I am the inventor of the word ‘reggay’. I have made 31 number-one records in Jamaica on vinyl, both on the JBC and RJR charts,” Hibbert said. He is quick to point out that the beat was popular, saying that “the music was playing in those days with some great musicians who play the rhythm. People use to call it boogie beat, pine top boogie and some other things”.
“Me and (fellow Maytals) Jerry and Rolly sitting down one Sunday morning or Tuesday morning in Trench Town. I have my four-string guitar. In Jamaica, we use the word streggay for the girls who don’t dress so good. People that don’t dress good we call streggay, the guy too. It think that word come from that vibe, which I did not think of it, it just come,” Hibbert said. “Nobody could come up with that word but me. I still remain as the man who coins the word reggay.”
Hibbert explained further: “I was just playing around – the word comes up. A girl come around, beautiful looking but doesn’t dress properly, and that word (streggay) comes up. It was not a plan thing. Is the Almighty say open your mouth and I will fill it with words.” However, he said that people do not respect the fact that he coined the term. “If I die now, maybe they will respect it and teach it. I am proud I am the only one who came up with this word ‘reggay’,” he said.
Hibbert emphasizes that the beat was there before the word, saying “the reggay was out there raising cane. I am a dancer. When I used to dance in May Pen – Coxsone, Duke Reid a keep clash – it was boogie beat, because I was so hot”.
He said that Do The Reggay went to number one and “it play night and day in Jamaica”.
However, he said: “A lot of people jealous of the word. I did not copyright the word.” And there is another aspect of his intellectual property affairs that Hibbert is very unhappy with. He said that many producers he worked with in Jamaica did not pay him. “There is no word which I can find now that is not of an angry spirit, thinking of all the people I work for in Jamaica. There is not a second I am not angry. I am happy that they could live to pay me and my family. And I wish them very long life so they could pay me. But some of them die and leave their families happy,” Hibbert said .Source Gleaner-
Four albums in the works-
Toots Hibbert, has been making his presence felt in the recording studio. He has a four of albums in the works, each with a different personality and sound. Flip and Twist, the first is slated for release in a few weeks, Toots describes it as “R&B and a little reggae”; next Toots, Rock, Reggae; then Toots Sings Gospel; and finally an acoustic set, recorded at Strawberry Hill for a BBC documentary.
“Today is not like first time. The more records you have out, the better. The more records that I have that make sense and give wisdom, knowledge and overstanding, you can release a lot of that,” Hibbert said. However, he said, “If the song don’t make good knowledge, wisdom and overstanding, it doesn’t suit you to release it. The negative cause too much problem, the killing and all that.”
Among the songs on Flip and Twist are Perfect Lover, the gospel Almighty Way, Maybe Yow, Daddy and Good Woman. The gospel set includes Oh for a Closer Walk with God and Got to Feel It, while the acoustic set contains some of the classics – Sweet and Dandy, Do The Reggay, Time Tough, 54-46, Monkey Man and Never Grow Old.
The albums are to be released on his D&F Music label, with Flip and Twist slated for digital distribution. In addition, it will be available in CD format when Toots is on tour, as well as in specialty stores. The acoustic album was a family affair, noted Hibbert, stating that his son was on bass and his daughter on harmony, with a percussionist rounding out the outfit for the night. He said the documentary is entitled Do The Reggay and “is the story of the artiste, the times and the development of the music”. Source: www.jamaica-Gleaner.com
BABYMAMA BRINGS REBEL TO COURT
Popular reggae artiste is now involved in a court battle with his former common-law wife for increased child support. Rebel, whose real name is Patrick Barrett, has been taken to court by his common-law-wife, Alicia Lawson.
It is reported that Tony Rebel is now paying approximately $88,000 monthly for the five children he has with Lawson. However, it is said that Lawson wants the amount increased to $128,000 monthly.
The kids that the two have together are said to range between 10 and 15 years old.
The matter came before the Supreme Court on March 16. The matter was adjourned on that date and is expected to return to court in June.
Rebel, came to prominence in 1989 with Fresh Vegetable. But his first release was the single Casino in 1988.
In 1992, he signed a deal with Columbia Records, who released Vibes of the Times the following year, and in 1994 he founded his own record label, Flames Productions. Throughout his career, he has done songs like Jah By My Side, Sweet Jamaica and Loyal Soldier. And yearly, he hosts Rebel Salute in St Elizabeth. Source: www.jamaica-star.com
His is one of the most distinctive voices in dancehall. The sing-jay, whose pairing with producer Jeremy Harding in 1997 brought forth his breakout hit, Heads High, has remained relevant over the past 13 years.
Today, surrounded by positive influences in the form of music veteran Mikie Bennett and his own Forever Blessed crew – Natel, the Jamaican Michael Jackson and Dancer Boricia – Mr Vegas seems to be in it for the long haul. “I will just keep doing music, and whatever happens, I just leave that to destiny,” he said.
Destiny has brought him face-to-face with a Mikie Bennett project, My Brother’s Keeper, which was borne out of the tragedy which struck Haiti on January 12. The song, though a direct response to the earthquake, speaks to a greater humanity where people are willing to go the extra mile for one another.
‘My brother’s keeper’
Written by Bennett, My Brother’s Keeper has Vegas as executive producer with vocals by himself along with Chevelle Franklyn, Natel, Bunny Rugs and Cherine Anderson, among others.
And even as his popular Gallis continues to receive great airplay, Mr Vegas has had the opportunity to lend his vocals to Bring It, the official International Cricket Council 20/20 song, along with Trinidad and Tobago’s Fay-Ann Lyons.
“I don’t know how much longer the people are Gonna accept me,” said the singer. “The motivation is there because I’m around people like Mikie Bennett and Natel, my co-manager Leslie Cooney, my kids. That’s my main motivation right now to continue.”
But there was a time in the not-too-distant past when zthe crooner was ready to pack it all up and walk away.
“I was just around the wrong people. At one point, I was really sick. I had acid reflux and pericarditis. I was in so much pain and I was just around people who cared little about my pain. I think it was more about the artiste and what he could bring to the table.”
The artiste goes on to tell of horrors involving him having to overdose on pain medication in order for the show to go on.
Then came deliverance in the form of I Am Blessed, a song with its hook coming straight from the walls of the church and one which appealed to every age demographic. It propelled him back to relevance and saw him enjoying the most popularity he has had since his breakout hit more than a decade earlier.
“I wanted to retire but because I Am Blessed came out, I had to be promoting it,” he said.” After all,” he added, “I still have a family to feed.”
Helping young artistes
He also has young artistes like Brown Sugar, who he has taken under his wings and hopes to guide to a successful career, which includes international marketability. “Sometimes I speak and I get in trouble,” he said, “but some people don t understands. They see a song ‘mashing up’ Weddy Weddy and Passa Passa and they don’t realize the song don’t even pass airport,” said Vegas, explaining that having clout on the international market is of utmost importance, as that is what brings income to the country.
Speaking to his presence on the global scene, Vegas, who left the island last Thursday to perform at an Indian parade in New York, said, “I am doing okay. It’s not the best because of the economic climate, but I can survive.” Source JamaicaGleaner.com-
Oku still rebelling against the system-
Back in the 1970s, when Black Power was the rage in Jamaica, it was cool to clench fists and wear an Afro. Many former radicals have mellowed, but not poet Oku Onuora who, at 58, retains the snarl of his firebrand youth.
Regarded by some as the father of dub poetry, Oonura is scheduled to appear on the Seh Sup’m poetry show today at the Village Café in St Andrew. Chatting with The Sunday Gleaner recently, he said he remains a committed revolutionary.”Nuthin’ has changed, ’cause wi still seeing the same ‘sufferation’ and oppression,” he said.
It has been some time since Onuora has performed, having taken a break from touring and recording. He does not believe his message has been lost to a generation caught up with dancehall feuds and iPods. “Some of my original work, wi talking ’bout tings like ‘Dread Times’ and ‘Pressure’, still relevant to the times,” he said. “People mus’ listen to our work all 100 years from now.”
Fiery, piercing tone
Onuora speaks in a fiery, piercing tone, like the inspirational warrior addressing his troops before battle. It has been 10 years since he toured and, typical of serious messengers like Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan, shies from commercial recording.
A Movement is the title of his latest collection of recordings which will be available through the Internet later this year. According to Onuora, his writing has never been solely for recording. “I don’t get up an’ jus’ crunch out albums, I’m not what yuh call a current writer. I have to feel it before I record anything,” he explained.
Despite his inactivity, Onuora retains a strong fan base in Europe and the United States’ west coast where his 1984 effort, Pressure Drop, is hailed as one of the great protest albums. He remains a prolific writer, but said he turned his back on music when negative elements took over. “Mi neva like wha’ a gwaan, all of a sudden everybody did tun bad man. Mi nuh inna dat, me’s a revolutionary, mi come fi blow down oppression!” he exclaimed.
Mervyn Morris is a professor emeritus at the University of the West Indies and one of the Caribbean’s distinguished poets. He first met Onuora in the mid-1970s while he (Onuora) was incarcerated at the St Catherine District Prison for armed robbery.
Morris played an influential role in getting ECHO, Onuora’s first book of poems, published. He is not surprised at his achievements. “Oku has a lot of talent but that’s one thing, he’s always been concerned about social conditions and equality. He’s an activist with conviction,” Morris said.
Oku Onuora went through a phase of ‘badness’ in his youth. Born Orlando Wong in east Kingston, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 1970 for armed robbery but was released in 1977 after vigorous lobbying by academics and human rights activists.
It was while in prison that Onuora’s passion for poetry and protest literature grew. He remembers reading Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver’s classic autobiography, Soul On Ice, and the writings of Malcolm X. He also followed the freedom movement in Africa, finding heroes in Mozambique’s Samora Machel and South African Steve Biko.
With a new name (Oku Nagba Ozala Onuora is his complete name which is Nigerian for everlasting fire or light which burns oppression), Onuora hit the ground running after his release from prison, performing at high-profile events.
The following year, he cut Reflections in Red for Bob Marley’s 56 Hope Road label, which some musicologists recognize as the first dub poetry song. Along with the pioneer Linton Kwesi Johnson in Britain, Mikey Smith and Mutabaruka, Oonura helped put the genre on the map.
Smith was killed in 1983, the alleged victim of mob violence, but Linton Kwesi Johnson and Mutabaruka have enjoyed enduring careers. Onuora is uncommitted about his plans to promote A Movement, but hopes to perform regularly at intimate events like Seh Sup’m. “Wi cyaan seh how much show wi going do, but wi coming to blaze!” Source: JamaicaGleaner.com
April 1, 2010 No Comments
MULTIPLE NOMINATIONS FOR STEELE AND MANDY WOODS FROM THE RMAA
The Reggae Music Achievement Awards (RMAA) will take place on Saturday June 12th at the Jamaican Canadian Centre in Toronto, Canada
Steele has been nominated in four categories of “Best Reggae Album/CD of the Year” for his latest release “The Man the Music”, “Artist of the Year”, “Male Vocalist of the Year”, and “Best Reggae Single of the Year”, for “Love Yourself First”, his duet with Mandy Woods at the 2010 Reggae Music Achievement Awards (RMAA).
Fellow label mate Mandy Woods has also received three nominations from the (RMAA) in the categories of “Best Female Vocalist of The Year”, “Best Single of The Year” for Take a Bow, and “Promising New Artist.”
Tarrus Riley Grabs RMAA Nomination Duane Stephenson Works with I Grade Records
Riley picked up a nomination for “International Reggae Artist” at the Reggae Music Achievement Awards RMAA which will be held in Toronto, Canada on June 12. Reggae singer and songwriter Tarrus Riley he copped the Cultural Artiste of the Year and he won the Best Cultural Artiste category at the Youth View Awards and At the Excellence in Music and Entertainment (EME).
Reggae singer, Duane Stephenson just completed his first Europe tour in some thirty cities across France, Belgium, London, Sweden, Spain, Holland, Italy, Switzerland, Czech Republic and Germany. He is finishing up work on his follow-up album to his ground-breaking debut, August Town, has also been working on a project with I-Grade Records, based in St Croix, the US Virgin Islands (VI).
A roots reggae compilation CD ‘Joyful Noise’ is already completed which features Duane’s single, Hard Times in on the compilation. According to the producers, Joyful Noise features an impressive roster of artistes who are all at the forefront of the conscious reggae movement from their respective lands — which may be considered the nerve centers of original conscious roots music in this time.
The Black Music Month, the 4th Annual Reggae Achievement Awards (RMAA) will be held on Saturday, June 12, 2010 at the Jamaican Canadian Association Ballroom in Toronto, Canada.
Tanya Mullings Nominated for the 2010 JUNO AWARD- Toronto
2010 Juno Awards announced a Tanya Mullings as a nominate for Reggae Recording of the Year. This years awards will be hosted in St. Johns, NL The 2010 celebrations in St. John’s will mark the 39th anniversary of the JUNO Awards. Watch the JUNO Awards Live April 18th on CTV.
TSHA T NOMINATED IN 2 CATERGORIES REGGAE MUSIC ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS 2010
Toronto-born artist Tasha T has been delighting audiences in Canada, the US and Jamaica Tasha T nominated for the prestigious Reggae Music Achievement Award (RMAA) 2010.
Spanner Banner Picks Up IRAWMA Nomination
Reggae artist Spanner Banner recently copped the EME award nomination for Biggest Come Back Artist of the Year. Banner picked up a nomination for the Most Improved Entertainer in the 29 International Reggae and World Music Awards.
Jamaican Music Producer Sues South Africa Telecommunications Company-
CaribWorldNews: US-based, Jamaica-born reggae pioneer Phillip Smart is suing a South African telecommunication for alleged copyright infringement. Phillip Smart has sued the MTN telecommunication company for allegedly adopting his sound recording in radio advertisements promoting the FIFA World Cup.
Smart, through his lawyer, Ntambirweki Kandeebe, filed the suit at the Commercial Court division on February 9, contending that his song was used without his authorization by MTN. Smart says he composed the song `Hot This Year` and registered its copyright in the U.S. and that MTN took his song and ran it with their advertisements for six months on radio without his permission.
He is seeking damages and licensing fees amounting for an unspecified amount from the telecom company. I spoke MTN has declined comment on the matter citing the ongoing lawsuit. MTN is a major communications company focused on the African continent.
Una Morgan Makes Break-Through Progress with New Solo Album
Una Morgan is the sole female of Reggae band Morgan Heritage. Her new solo debut album entitled ‘Just Me’, features collaborations with established and new names in the industry. On her album, she worked with producers and song writers, such as Stephen McGregor, Jimmy Cozier, producer “X”and Taj from the 90’s group The Boys. To work with rising stars such as Kiana India, ME, Una Morgan’s signature sound is a blend of Reggae, Dancehall, Pop, Hip Hop and Soul fused to be appropriately called Raggasoul. The Raggasoul songstress ‘Giving’, produced by Lenky ‘Diwali’ Marsden and Tribute to Haiti’ track produced by the great Handel Tucker, international producers on her debut
Una has recently signed to Gary George Inc. (GGI) and Rubikon Entertainment management companies to use their pooled wealth of resources for management and legal services to propel her development. Rubikon is a UK-based management and legal firm that provide management and legal & business affairs to a slew of prominent artistes and producers amongst other entities.
“Roll Out” – Bounty Killer and Bridgez – Jah Snowcone
Billboard chart topping producer Rohan ‘Jah Snowcone’ Fuller presents his latest single, “Roll Out” featuring Alliance Five Star General Bounty Killer and the new face of the Alliance, Reggae/R&B siren Bridgez. “Roll Out,” a club-banging ode to the authentic ballers that “roll like billionaires,” is guaranteed to be one of the summer’s radio smashes.
“Roll Out” is the first single on Snowcone’s brand new World End Riddim. Best known for producing Sean Paul’s #1 Billboard single “Temperature,” on the Applause Riddim –for which he received an ASCAP Pop Music Award — Snowcone has also produced the Rice & Peas, 7-11, Cheerful, and Landscape riddims. He has worked with everyone from Bounty Killer and Elephant Man to Wyclef, Salaam Remi and P. Diddy. “Roll Out” was mixed by famed engineer Gary ‘G Major’ Noble. TO “Roll Out” will be available on iTunes and other digital outlets on Thursday, April 8th.
Romain Virgo to sign with VP – VH1 to air ‘This Love’ Video
Romain Virgo ‘This Love’ music video airs on cable station VH1.According to his manager, Dawin Brown, they have been in negotiations with VP Records, as the company is about to sign the budding star.
Virgo said he was very excited about the development of his career. “Jah know a one of the greatest feeling. VH1 and MTV are world stations. I think it’s a good opportunity for the world to see who the true Romain Virgo is. I think it is a good way to bring me out there to the world,” he told THE STAR, noting that the video was done during his 2007 Digicel Rising Stars journey. He will shoot the video for ‘Who Feels It Knows It’ in Kingston and St Ann. The video, Virgo said, would “look at hard-working people in every environment.”
He is also working on a self-titled album that will be released in May through VP Records. Virgo said it would have songs such as ‘Caan Sleep’, ‘Murderer’ and several new tracks. For the album, there will also be a series of promotional shows. And, in the coming months, he will have shows in the US, Europe, Barbados, Bahamas, Grenada and St Martin. “It will be a whole lot of work for the year,” said Virgo. Source: The Star.
Busy Signal Goes Universal-
President and CEO of Universal Music Group Distribution, Jim Urie, cannot get enough of Busy Signal’s cover of the Phil Collins hit ‘One More Night’. Urie was so impressed by the cover that he has added the single to his annual compilation album.
At the end of each year Urie releases a double CD album with his favorite songs from various genres and his 2009 compilation features ‘One More Night’ by ace dancehall deejay Busy Signal. “When I saw the album and saw the song listed, I couldn’t believe, the song really gone universal”, said Signal. The video for the single was released three weeks ago and has been receiving steady rotation on local TV stations. In addition, the song has been added to several charts both locally and overseas.
Signal is completing a two week stint in Trinidad where he performs at several events associated with the very popular Trinidad carnival and on Thursday February 18, Busy performs with Machel Montano at the highly publicized Beyonce concert. He returns to Jamaica to complete the finishing touches on his soon to be released album, before heading off on another successful tour. Source: Jukebox Productions.
Jamaica Music Museum’s collection grows but still no home
Though there has been steady donation of artifacts to the Jamaica Music Museum, no location or date have been identified for this proposed showplace of the country’s popular music history. Herbie Miller, director/curator of the project, gave few specifics during Sunday’s launch of the Jamaica Journal’s Special Music edition at the Devonshire Restaurant in Kingston.
“Given the state of affairs, I don’t think we are going to see a physical museum in the short term,” Miller told The Gleaner. “It all depends on funding from local and international agencies that fund the arts.”
Belly of the city
Miller was clear, however, on the museum’s location.” Definitely downtown, the music came out of the belly of the city and it must stay there,” he said.
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Olivia Grange also spoke at the function. She said respected musicologist Dermot Hussey has committed most of his vast music collection to the museum.
The Hussey donation includes 6,000 albums, interviews he did with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, and Requiem to Don Drummond, a 1969 radio programme paying tribute to trombonist Don Drummond who died at the Bellevue asylum that year.
Hussey, who once hosted shows on the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation and Radio Jamaica, is currently a disc jockey in Washington, DC, with satellite radio station Sirius FM.
Pieces on show
Other pieces of interest that will ultimately be on show are a cassette tape of Tosh jamming a blues song with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones at SIR Studios in New York City in 1977, and a copy of Escape From Babylon , American singer Martha Velez’s 1976 reggae album which was produced by Marley.
The latest issue of Jamaica Journal examines various facets of reggae, including its political and criminal links, a feature on controversial Singjay Buju Banton and the reggae scene in Switzerland.
Two men who played integral roles in early Jamaican music were present at the launch. Bassist Lloyd Brevette, a founding member of the legendary Skatalites band, and singer/songwriter Bob Andy.
March 30, 2010 No Comments
Saluting Jimmy Cliff
By Clyde McKenzie
Jamaican musical icon James Chambers (we know him as Jimmy Cliff) was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at a glittering ceremony in New York last week. Attorney- at-law Christopher Samuda, who along with his brother Milton and associate Dave McKenzie, was present for the historic occasion and reported that the response to Cliff’s performance of Many Rivers to Cross was simply surreal. The fact is that many Jamaicans do not understand the kind of impact that some of our Jamaican musical legends have on modern popular culture. We have to journey beyond our shores to secure a better understanding of this phenomenon. It is interesting to note that questions were being raised about the appropriateness of having Swedish pop sensation Abba (reputed at one time to be more important to the economy of their Scandinavian nation than car manufacturers Volvo). No questions were raised about Cliff’s eligibility, however; among the Rock cognoscenti he is the genuine article. The Jamaican Government had wisely awarded Cliff with the prestigious Order of Merit and the University of the West Indies has conferred an honorary Doctor of Letters on this distinguished Jamaican.
Cliff was instrumental in launching the career of the other Jamaican artiste who has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — Robert Nesta Marley. It was Cliff who introduced Marley to the powers that be at Beverly’s Records (a label headed by Leslie Kong, now deceased). Marley recorded his first two singles, One Cup of Coffee and Judge Not for Kong. Marley would later leave Kong to record for Clement Dodd’s renowned Studio One Label. Interestingly, Chris Blackwell notes that it was the departure of Jimmy Cliff from Island Records which perhaps paved the way for the phenomenal international success of Marley. According to Blackwell, he had identified Cliff as a potential megastar and had already set the wheels in motion for realizing this objective. Cliff, however, left Island for a more lucrative deal and Blackwell would turn his attention to Marley. I believe a story about how the lives of these three great Jamaicans intersected has the makings of a great movie. Of course, we should point out that another important figure in this story is the great Ernie Ranglin, who not only served as Jimmy Cliff’s musical director but was the head of A&R for Island Records. Blackwell has often reminded his audience that My Boy Lollipop is his favorite song of all time. This is understandable given the fact that it laid the basis for the unimaginable success of Island with the subsequent accomplishments of such legendary artistes such as Marley and U2, to name but a few. It was Ranglin who produced and arranged My Boy Lollipop.
I had the great privilege (which I shared with Nadine Sutherland) of interviewing Jimmy Cliff late last year as part of the CPTC Breakfast with the Stars series. I trust the public will soon be able to get a chance to learn a little bit more about Cliff, who shared some little-known aspects of his life with a live studio audience in this interview. When Cliff was asked to name which emerging Jamaican artiste has caught his attention. He simply burst into song: “No bwoy can’t carry me roun’ no kawna and show me no banana.” Cliff was clearly referring to Queen Ifrica, whose father, Derrick Morgan, was intimately associated with his own career. Everything seems to be so connected.
Cliff made one of his greatest contributions to the spread of Jamaican popular culture through the film in The Harder They Come. The December 2000 edition of Entertainment Weekly lists the release of The Harder They Come in the United States among its One Hundred Greatest Moments in Rock History. The only other Jamaican-related entry was that of Kool Herc “creating hip hop”. Rolling Stone magazine named The Harder They Come as “the best soundtrack of all time”.
Bob Dylan described Cliff’s Vietnam as the “greatest protest song ever written”. It is worth noting that artistes are usually not very generous in their assessment of their peers and so Dylan’s fulsome praise of Cliff, who is not an American, is truly worthy of comment.
Bruce Springsteen recorded Trapped, which was included on the We are the World album. Trapped was written by Cliff and actually appeared on the B side of one of his recordings. According to the story, Springsteen was walking through an airport and heard the song and the rest, as they say, is history.
Cliff has an amazing story which, sadly, in all likelihood, will be told by others. Since The Harder They Come, we have not had much to show by way of success in the motion picture business. This is not to say we do not have the talent to create great movies. We have cinematographers who are well-trained. We have produced actors who have enjoyed international success, and we have fascinating stories. However, the upfront (sunk) costs for making movies are prohibitively high. The biggest constraint to the development of our motion picture industry is funding. Trevor Rhone managed to get funding for his movie One Love( which introduced Jamaica and the world to the remarkable talents of Cherine Anderson) from overseas. Some of the money was accessed through the British Council, which provides grant funding for motion picture ventures. We need to establish similar mechanisms to the British Council in Jamaica to provide funding for talented creators.
The fact is that while the costs of creating movies have fallen considerably (due to the advent of digital technology) they are still quite height. What is now happening is that in many instances moviemakers are now avoiding cinematic releases and going directly to DVD. In fact, some movies now have their cinematic releases after the DVDs have entered the market. Nigeria has spawned a massive motion picture industry through this direct-to-DVD approach. We can do the same in Jamaica. I was really thrilled to hear about the production of the movie Concrete Jungle by a group of Jamaican inner-city youngsters. Art serves the function of negotiating concerns. Through the process of creation the artiste seeks to gain control of his circumstances. The process of artistic production lends itself to empathy and role playing. If we are going to arrest the crime monster, which seems bent on destroying our nation, we should look to the art for solutions. Many prisons have been successfully utilizing art in their rehabilitation exercises. There is much that we can learn from this. Source JamaicaObserver.com
Re-empowering the Unsung Wailers – The importance of Peter Tosh and Bunny Livingston to Marley’s ascendancy
Herbie Miller, Contributor
Reggae month (February), also the earth month of Bob Marley and Dennis Brown, is a vital period in which to highlight the effort of historians and commentators who attempt to redress misconceptions perpetuated by clever record company public relations and publicity personnel and other interest parties that distort reggae music’s reality, purposely or innocently.
The case of the original Wailers, who were primarily Bob Marley, Bunny Livingston and Peter Tosh, but at times included Junior Braithwaite, Beverly Kelso, Cherry Green, Rita Marley and Constantine ‘Dream’ Walker, is a paramount and instructive case. It is a case, which, according to a Marley insider, without any apology, seeks to “position Bob in the public consciousness morning, noon and night”. What was implied is that this would be done without much, if any, mention of the others who have been part of the group.
Some time ago, on a Sunday morning, I listened to a popular radio DJ play an extended selection of old Wailers recordings. It was the beginning of the week that would mark Peter Tosh’s birthday. The DJ repeatedly referred to the selections as Bob Marley’s without acknowledging the others, even when Tosh or Livingston was obviously the lead singer. He did so on some selections in spite of the fact that Bob was clearly not present on some songs. After repeatedly doing so, I decided to call the radio station and point this out to the DJ and to also suggest that he dedicate the session to Peter Tosh since Tosh’s birthday was a few days coming in the middle of the week. He, in no uncertain manner, let me know he knew what he was doing and didn’t need my opinion. The DJ went back on the air and said: “A bredda just call and want to talk ’bout Peter Tosh. If him want to hear Peter Tosh, mek him go play him own Peter Tosh”.
This is the kind of mindset that is cultivated if Bob Marley continues to be positioned in the public consciousness at the expense of the other principal members of the original Wailers, the group which, in my opinion, is Jamaica’s finest.
For this treatise, I will concern myself with the importance of the Wailers’ primary three, Bob, Bunny and Peter, with only minimal mention of others.
In the early days of our popular music, Jamaica produced many outstanding harmony groups. Most notable among them were duets such as Higgs and Wilson and Alton and Eddie. Groups such as the Down Beats, Jiving Juniors and the Rhythm Aces paved the way for The Paragons, The Heptones, The Gaylads and The Wailers. All were outstanding groups that copied the styles of their favorite American counterparts, even covering their hits. Some as much as adopted the names of foreign groups or applied to it some slight adjustment. Many dressed in fashions similar to the ‘brothers’ up north and even twanged when they addressed audiences. Though outstanding and well received in the role of clone, many lacked originality – the ability to display any real authenticity or inventiveness. Indeed, the local recording industry began in earnest in order to fill the void caused by the unavailability of the type of doo-wop and rhythm and blues songs that were popular in Jamaica but on the wane in America.
The Wailers could have been just another outstanding group to gain popularity by shadowing an American model, in their case, The Impressions, if they had remained so focused. But with the exception of a number of covers, to which a distinctive Wailers ethos was employed – What’s New Pussycat, Sugar, Sugar, and Go Johnny Go, among them, and a variety of successful songs that resembled the late ’50s and ’60s- R&B and soul variety, it was clear to all with insight that this group’s promise was beyond cloning. In terms of identity, The Wailers were remarkably different from any other group before or after. They made successful hits in the American vein and like too many others, may have retarded their originality and stifled their authenticity had it not been for their individual and collective awareness to retain the individuality that comes with being home-grown.
As a group, they had a sense of mission and were conscious that their immense talent, especially that of their visionary lead singer and principal lyricist, Bob Marley, was too remarkable to waste on being copycats. Unlike the polished sound pursued by most Jamaican groups (The Maytals and Justin Hines are exceptions), The Wailers perfected a style that was both raw and elegant. It was built around Pentecostal shouts, chants, and a crying wail; a fusion of melancholy and hopefulness that was ultimately celebratory; a sound that moved beyond the sentimental and engaged the profound. In addition to The Skatalites and Don Drummond, for many of my generation, those of us who came of age during the 1960s, The Wailers simply made the most unbelievable and believable music. It was real, it was palpable and The Wailers were the voice of the people. In simple terms, they represented the rebellion against the false values that existed in a generally inequitable and divided society. They provided those of us at odds with the status quo an identity.
Marley was the group’s most adept songwriter, and rather than a sweet singer, he was more of a storyteller, a Griot, if you will. His voice was the perfect instrument to convey and emphasize the song’s message, and it blended with Livingston’s and Tosh’s to empathize with the ordinary person’s fears and aspirations. Using related themes, The Wailers linked songs thus creating a grand narrative, a sequence of compositions that connected like the chapters of a well-conceived, richly textured and dramatically nuanced work of literary art. And while few artistes, whose work has been imagined as social and political commentary, were as insightful, perceptive, and successful as The Wailers’, Bob’s writing and the group’s performances displayed neither simplistic notions of heritage nor brayed the sort of protest that was the dogma of lesser talent, most of whom have realized the shallowness of their vision as time passes.
Artistes with ambitions as social commentators had available to them situations in Jamaica that provided an extraordinary and complex range of resources. Inherent in the system were signifiers or themes that have always had an impact on great visionaries and leaders for social transformation. Society provided a scope of complex references and ambiguous interactions that revolved around questions of identity, humanity, collective dignity, the responsibility and accountability of the individual, the community and government, the elegant and the obnoxious, flaws and virtues, and the successes and failings of a plantation society system seeking change but in conflict with hegemony, deceptive and often corrupt politicians and law enforcers, pompous Europhiles, ambitious nationalists, and Afro-centric romantics weaved into a tapestry of social interaction weft together by the inevitability of destiny.
Collectively, The Wailers observed and understood these complexities. They wrote and performed songs that definitely were protests in form and meaning. However, sentimentality was unquestionably absent from their interpretation of bygone or present-day life. They effectively sculpted music through which the traditional and the modern were expressed as intricate imagery and meticulous gradations of intent, of colors and tone that are symbolic in character. Indeed, they provided a heightened awareness of responsibility, dignity and humanity that is historic, mythic and caustic.
During the decade of the 1960s to the early ’70s and at their socio-political best, radio stations, and especially middle-class Jamaicans, snubbed The Wailers. How short-sighted they were! The group, which served notice to the world when Chris Blackwell signed them to his Island label and released their first concept album, Catch a Fire in 1972, always sang protest or ‘culture music’ with an impeccably buoyant beat. They would celebrate, could lament, were melancholy, or, whenever it was appropriate, even sang pure pop, imbued at times by an affable innocence.
They were masterful at projection. With their skilful use of studio and stage, flawless diction, charismatic phrasing and keen ear for melody, plus their ability to impart the meaning of the lyrics in a song, The Wailers, like all great performers, were also able to make each fan feel as if they were the group’s personal focus.
Arguably, they had the most positive effect on reggae during its classic period. The Wailers were key in pioneering the internationalisation of the genre, which, since its inception, had assimilated all that had gone before. Studio owners and quasi producers had previously dominated the scene with musicians and singers dependent on their benevolence. By liberating themselves from established local studio identification and establishing their own label, The Wailers delivered the coup de grace that gave singers the independence and significance that were previously exclusive to producers. No longer merely vocalists associated with the stables of the studio owners, The Wailers paved the way for singers to take responsibility for what they record, reducing studio bosses to collaborators, hired producers or consigning them to oblivion. Like the most intense percussive-driven horn music of The Skatalites and its brilliant soloist Don Drummond, the music of The Wailers was/is a music of cathartic experience that somehow spiritually, emotionally and psychologically purified the angst of social degradation.
Marley wrote and achieved hits with Simmer Down, Rude Boy Ska and Jailhouse; while Tosh contributed I’m the Toughest, and Bunny offered I Stand Predominate, a body of work whose sentiments reflected social realities. Marley would further provide the group with substantial hits such as I’m Gonna Put it On, Bus Dem Shut, and Hypocrites in addition to Black Progress and Arise Blackman by Tosh, and Rolling Stone by Livingston that extended the theme.
The Wailers’ music characterized life’s myths and reality as art by its passionate enthusiasm and nuanced suggestiveness; excitement that had impact on their followers, by being staggeringly provocative, and because of its heroic impressiveness, which unfolded like the plots and dramatic text that defines theatrical quality. Their music was inspirational, bold, vibrant, and strikingly remarkable in form and effect. The Wailers were always synthesizing in each composition many different myths, metaphors and realities. They brought out the vulnerability and the agony of the poor with tunes like Hurting Inside, which also communicated the wailing cry of parent and child and also a haunting aura of hopelessness.
On Fussing and Fighting, the group asks, “Why is this fussing and fighting, why is this cheating and lying,” and offers advice: “We should really love each other in peace and harmony instead of fussing and fighting like we aint supposed to be.”
Not only are the lyrics and musical arrangements noteworthy of the overall meaning of these kinds of songs, but also notable were the forces that brought together these three singers with their unique characteristics, including their haunting melancholy, and sweet and sour quality.
Yet with all its hurt, the music was not about defeat. The opposite also abound. Small Axe expresses the defiance of the little people against the big man: “If you are the big tree, we are the small axe, ready to cut you down”.
The optimism, the hope and the possibilities conveyed by the music they made were also clearly evident. (Both musically and topically), their music (more so than any of their contemporaries,) was both more expansive and expressive than any of their contemporaries’, but that is inevitable, because The Wailers never patterned themselves on metropolitan references. Trench Town Rock, for example, is both lamenting the plight of West Kingston’s inner city and at the same time expressing the “grooving” good times, the humanity and the sense of defiance the marginalized can summon to balance the challenges of their existence. And in its delivery, not only is there a sense of the combative, but also a light-hearted playfulness that captures the dichotomy of ghetto or sufferer life.
Meanings and emotions
The Wailers’ music also demonstrated that some of the meanings and emotions that can be conveyed by being grounded in idiomatic forms could not be conveyed through sensibilities that are copies of another culture, in spite of sharing similar experiences. For instance, the myth of Mr Brown, a song about the sighting of a coffin running around town with two John Crows, one on either end, begins with a holler, perhaps to invoke the presence of spirits or the memory of an ancestor. It is shouted in a kind of yodel that would be out of place for an aggregation whose references are to Broadway or whose style is influenced by the smooth approach of an American soul group. That approach would lose the vernacular meaning of the song. And too many songs with social and political meaning that have become local hits had messages whose impact was lost on listeners because they lacked empathic intimacy. In the case of The Wailers, the energy, the emotional energy that comes from those expressions, is not lost. It captures and communicates the Jamaican capacity for optimism, resilience and vision. Although best known as artistes whose major works reverberated with socio-political imagery, The Wailers were also masters of the romantic ballad. They rendered chestnuts like the Junior Braithwaite lead It Hurts to be Alone, Smokey Robinson’s I Need You, with Bunny Livingston singing lead, and the perennial classic, I’m Still Waiting, which features Marley’s aching voice, all without betraying a hint of sentimentality or over-romanticizing. Later masterpieces would include the poetic brilliance of Sun is Shining, the herb influenced and metaphor-laden Kaya, while the touching mating call inherent in Guava Jelly and the playfully suggestive Stir it Up remains perhaps their most sensual and sexual pieces of creative verse.
The overall oeuvre of The Wailers’ music presents ideas that were unsentimental and complex – Jamaica is paradise but misery for those without the wherewithal; opportunities abound but not for the poor; rude boys are lawless but their benevolence benefits the community; folk culture is rich in metaphors, historic references and mystique but next to European culture it is viewed as quaint; blacks live in hopelessness but with optimism in abundance. The music of The Wailers, therefore, reflects the textural magnificence of life, simultaneously mirroring both sides of a world that inspired the motto ‘Out of Many One People’: the universe of the black, the Jew, the Chinese, Indian, Syrian, the mulatto, the Jamaican, white and the immigrant; the peasant, the farmer, the government and the governed; whether rich or poor, fisherman or preacher man, higgler or merchant, professional or manual laborer, this “out of many one” motley crew shaped this grand narrative that is Jamaican from which the Wailers – Bob, Bunny and Peter- composed a perceptive and insightfully splendid enough epic that makes their best work the kind of classics they have become, and them, the acknowledged masters that they are.
And so, contrary to popular belief as perpetrated by the messages of hired publicists serving the self-interest of his beneficiaries, Marley could not have done it alone. Tosh and Livingston were crucial to Marley’s success. The three were uncannily suited to each other in personality, attitude, talent and philosophy, even in difference.
Herbie Miller is the director/curator of the Jamaica Music Museum at the Institute of Jamaica and is a cultural historian with specialized interest in slave culture, Caribbean identity and ethnomusicology. He can be contacted at email@example.com. Source Jamaica Gleaner.com
STORY OF THE SONG: Crown Prince puts ‘The Promised Land’ visit into song
It was recorded while the impact of a trip to Ethiopia, where the Shasamane community for repatriated persons is located, was fresh in Brown’s mind. Saxophonist Tony Greene said that it was recorded in England when Brown was on his way back from Ethiopia. The rhythm had been done by crack British outfit Aswad, who recorded the rhythm as ‘Dub Fire’ and also did Love Fire on the track. “Dennis Brown hears the rhythm and like it and they put him on it,” Greene tells The Sunday Gleaner. Brown also sings in The Promised Land: Then I said to myself give thanks for the Prophet Gad/For he gave I the teachings so I could see/the reality of my true being.
Sangie Davis says it came at about the same time he wrote Make Ends Meet for Brown and before he did the Inseparable album with Willie Lindo. It shows the influence of the Twelve Tribes of Israel group clearly and Davis pointed out that Brown often gave the standard Twelve Tribes of Israel greeting during his concerts.
He said Brown’s Ethiopia trip was solely a visit, not for a performance, and while he is not sure if it was the Crown Prince of Reggae’s first time in the country, it was his introduction to Shasamane. Naturally, then, the song had special meaning for him; Davis said “anybody who know Dennis know is a passion, The Promised Land.“ The Promised Land features a moving horn section and Greene said it was played originally by Michael ‘Bami’ Rose (saxophone), Vin Gordon (trombone) and Edward ‘Tan Tan’ Thornton. “The arrangement, especially the horns arrangement, is very unique. You have to sit down and work it out,” Greene said. And he said The Promised Land was generally played in the ‘sacred’ part of Brown’s live shows, along with Ababajani. Source Jamaica Gleaner.com
Celebrating 50 years of Jamaican popular music – Part 1
Edward Seaga, Gleaner Writer
The year 2010 can be deemed to be the 50th anniversary of Jamaican popular music. While a couple of recordings were composed before that date, notably by Laurel Aitken, there was little commercial thrust of any magnitude. It was in 1960 that Jamaican popular music became sufficiently energized to emerge as a promising cultural medium.
By 1960, Laurel Aitken, Theophilus Beckford and Jackie Edwards had already produced songs composed and performed previously but not recorded as hits until 1960:
- Theophilus Beckford
- Theophilus Beckford
Boogie in my bones
- Laurel Aitken
Tell me Darling
- Jackie Edwards
Oh Manny Oh! By Higgs and Wilson soon followed. It was the first hit produced on vinyl and this transformed record production from soft acetate-based records, which had limited life, to vinyl which was a durable material suitable for an industry. Manny Oh was my first record produced in my early years of promoting Jamaican music.
Yet none of these tunes could be said to have had an identifiable Jamaican signature. It was the emergence of the ska that produced the first Jamaican popular rhythm for music. The origin of ska is not clear but it is linked mostly to Clement Dodd’s Sir Coxsone studio, where Clement Johnson (Clue J) and Ernie Ranglin were searching for a rhythm.
Early recordings struck truly indigenous note as Eric Monty Morris led off with the folk tune Sammy Dead followed soon by the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty both set to the “riddim” of the ska beat. But it was baby-voiced Millie Small singing a cover of My Boy Lollipop in 1963 (original by Barbie Gaye) to the ska beat that gave Jamaican music its first big lift although it was not an original Jamaican tune. It was produced in London by Chris Blackwell and was a huge hit on the charts locally and overseas, selling seven million copies.
The ska was well received in London where it became known as the blue beat. The popularity in London linked back to Jamaica where, as a result of the acceptance in London, ska became accepted uptown in Jamaica. Previously, it was considered downtown music and was ignored in favor of foreign tunes.
The great instrumental band, The Skatalites, gave ska another big boost with their resounding hits of which Occupation was the most memorable. The band featured the great saxophonist Roland Alphanso.
By 1967, however, the Jamaican penchant for creativeness turned to a new rhythm, rocksteady. Hopeton Lewis was recording a song aptly called Take it easy and had to slow down the rhythm because he could not keep up with it. This slower rhythm became known as rocksteady.
Many new hit songs were produced in this period most notably Desmond Dekker’s triumphant hit Israelites which went to the top of the UK charts and nearly the top in America. Although Dekker was lamenting the hard life of the Jamaican peasantry (“get up in the morning slaving for breads),” equating it with the rough passage of Israelites in biblical lore, Jewish people in the United States associated the lyrics with their own lament, pushing the sales.
Dekker was also prominent in the rude-boy era of 1966/67 when gun violence erupted after a massive raid by the police on the criminal den Back-o-Wall. His 007/ Shanty Town (“dem a loot, dem a shoot, dem a wail a Shanty Town“) was a signature tune.
It was in this period that Derrick Morgan, Toots and Maytals and Jimmy Cliff flourished. Derrick Morgan’s clash with Prince Buster shows the versatility of the two artistes. Buster was offended that Morgan switched from Buster’s recording studio to Leslie Kong, another prominent studio. He chastised Morgan for the switch in a very sharp attack Black Head Chineman, only to find himself on the defense with an equally caustic response by Morgan, Blazing Fire. The tradition of clashes commenced here and mushroomed over later years where, in the dancehall period, it sometimes got out of control.
Toots Hibbert, lead singer of the Maytals, spent a short time in prison for possession of a small amount of ganja. He was given the number 5446 while incarcerated. On his release, he spared no time in producing one of the most popular hit tunes of Jamaican music, 54-46 That’s My Number.
But it was Jimmy Cliff, a perennial favorite through the years, who defined the late 1960s, to early 1970s. First, he performed the beautiful melody “Wonderful World, Beautiful People” a timeless, number-one hit internationally. In this same period, he not only produced one of the classic tunes of Jamaican music, The Harder They Come, but acted the lead role in Perry Henzell’s equally classic film by the same title. This lifted Jimmy Cliff’s status in the global perspective of Jamaican music to stardom.
At the juncture of the first and second decades after independence, a short but potent period of far-reaching change occurred, introducing dub and deejay. Dubbing was the result of an experiment by King Tubby, the master cutter for Duke Reid. Together with Coxsone, Duke Reid was the top producer of recordings in the early period of the emergence of Jamaican music. Tubby found that leaving out the vocals in certain sections of play allowing the beat and instruments to dominate created an ecstatic reaction by patrons when the vocals returned. With this discovery, dubbing was born.
Even greater creativity
But with even greater creativity, the vocal blanks on the dubs were creatively used for “toasting” the patrons with limericks, nursery rhyme phrasings, greetings, bravado and other lively chatter. The patrons loved it, and the deejay, as the operator was called, became an entry to the music scene. The first deejay hit was by King Stitt who recorded Fire Corner. Out of this emerged U-Roy (Ewart Beckford) who handled the sound for King Stitt. He achieved success with quick hits that ranked one, two and three on the chart at the same time, an unprecedented feat. These were:
Wear you to the Ball
Wake the Town
Rule the Nation
A most far-reaching development emerged from the experimentation with the recording process and playing of records at dances. A Jamaican living in New York, known as Cool Herc who operated a sound system there, discovered the deejay. He returned to New York where he introduced his find. It was an immediate hit and soon became an established part of dances. Later, this morphed into a related genre, rap, which has become dominant in the United States. From a seed planted in Jamaica, a mighty tree has grown.
Back in Jamaica, Bob Marley was becoming an international star. The reggae rhythm was now in vogue. Everything else faded, musical interests shifted. Reggae took the ascendancy worldwide.
The decade of the 1970s had other attractions: the prolific use of political songs befitting the political climate of the time. Better Must Come by Delroy Wilson, although written by the composer about his own condition, was quickly adopted by the Michael Manley campaign both as a slogan and a song for the 1972 general-election campaign to depict the general disposition of the people.
Dub and deejay music, although striking resonant chords with Jamaicans soon faded. Dennis Brown, a child prodigy from west Kingston, was growing up to become a dominant rising star in the early 1970s. He was a prolific composer and a performer who could fill the house and stop the show (No Man is an Island; West Bound Train; Revolution).
But reggae was yet to reach its peak. It was Bob Marley, now performing without the Wailers, who became the international star, successfully promoting reggae across the world. Bob became a global figure. He and other reggae stars sang and performed reggae on recordings in homes and live on stages worldwide, transforming it from ethnic to mainstream music. This was a phenomenal development for independent Jamaica. Edward Seaga is a former prime minister. He is now the pro-chancellor of UTech and a distinguished fellow at the UWI. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Source Jamaica Gleaner.com
March 24, 2010 4 Comments
VP RECORD HOT SHOT OF THE WEEK
VP Records Presents Introducing Romain Virgo
Jimmy Cliff Inducted in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Swedish pop group Abba, punk pioneers the Stooges, Jamaican reggae legend Jimmy Cliff, The Phil Collins led British band Genesis and The Hollies were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in a ceremony held at New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel. More than 500 rock experts voted. The hall of fame is in Cleveland, Ohio.
Cliff songs and staring role in the movie “The Harder They Come” helped spread reggae far beyond Jamaica. He is only the second reggae musician to join the hall, following Bob Marley. “This was a new music form,” Mr. Cliff said, “with a new culture.” He was inducted by Wyclef Jean, the Haitian rapper, singer and songwriter from the Fugees. “When we saw Jimmy Cliff we saw ourselves,” Mr. Jean said.
Mr. Cliff listed rockers as his inspirations, and said joining the hall was “another stepping stone to higher heights.” His voice was clear and buoyant as he sang “You Can Get It If You Really Want,” “Many Rivers to Cross” and, with Mr. Jean, “The Harder They Come.”
Musicians Jimmy Cliff (left) and Wyclef Jean talk to the media in the press room at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, yesterday in New York. Cliff was one of the inductees of the 25th anniversary class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Jean was a presenter. (Photos: AP)
The inclusion of Abba raised eyebrows of fans questioning whether the light pop group — for all its mammoth and enduring popularity — qualifies as a rock band. “Nominating Abba to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is sort of like saying the best dessert you’ve ever tasted was a hostess cupcake,” Time magazine complained. But Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation CEO Joel Peresman said the collection “represents a great cross-section of artistes”.
Phil Collins also welcomed the range of artistes, saying “there seems to be more of a variety this year, from Abba, us, Jimmy Cliff: It seems to be a general cross section of music”.
Jimmy Cliff raises his trophy during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in New York
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange saluted Jimmy Cliff induction into the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and congratulated international reggae artiste and actor.
“Jimmy Cliff is most deserving of this prestigious award and this honor. He has produced excellent music over the years and has been a fine representative of Jamaica, bringing reggae music to the peoples of the world. “This award recognizes the impact reggae has had on the world and the invaluable role Jimmy Cliff has played in achieving that.” Congratulations Jimmy. The whole country is proud of you.”
Bounty Killer returns to court
Alliance leader Bounty Killer is expected to return to court on March 24th to face charges of illegal possession of firearm, assault at common law and unlawful wounding.
The deejay, whose real name is Rodney Basil Price, is accused of using a firearm to assault a cop during an altercation in New Kingston in September 2007.
It is alleged that on September 27, 2007, Bounty Killer and a group of men reportedly assaulted the complainant along St Lucia Avenue. It is further alleged that an off-duty policeman left a club and saw a number of vehicles blocking a section of the roadway. Several men, including Bounty Killer, and the late dancer David ‘Ice’ Smith, were allegedly at the scene. Another man, Callis Bowen, who is believed to be an ex-policeman, is also jointly charged with the deejay.
The policeman tried to get the men to move the vehicles but was reportedly assaulted and fired at. A report was made to the New Kingston Police and a file later sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions, who ruled that Price should be charged.
Killer, who has been at the forefront of dancehall for almost two decades, has had a checkered record with the law. He was recently freed of assault charges in a matter where he was accused of assaulting a female when the complainant decided she did not want to pursue the matter.
The deejay was charged with possession of ganja by police in the business and clubbing district of New Kingston last month, just days after he pleaded not guilty to drug charges in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court.
Lawyer decries treatment of jailed reggae singer
By ELAINE SILVESTRINI | The Tampa Tribune
Published: March 22, 2010
TAMPA – Grammy-nominated reggae singer Buju Banton is being treated “inhumanely” in the Pinellas County Jail as he awaits trial on federal drug charges, his lawyer said in a court filing.
Because he “had the audacity to share his food with another inmate,” Banton was placed Thursday in a maximum security wing where he is unable to prepare the vegetarian diet he requires for religious purposes, according to defense attorney David Oscar Markus.
Pinellas sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Tom Nestor said Banton was disciplined because he was “using food as currency.” He said inmates are told such behavior is prohibited.
Nestor also said the jail does not have a maximum security wing, but that Banton is in an area known as “close custody,” which has increased monitoring.
Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, was arrested in Miami in December and transferred in January to the Pinellas County Jail, which holds federal prisoners awaiting trial. He is being held without bail on charges of conspiring to distribute cocaine and aiding and abetting his co-defendants in possessing a firearm during the course of cocaine distribution.
Markus is asking a federal judge to release his client on bail. Failing that, Markus requested that Banton be moved to a “non-maximum security” wing.
He said Banton’s “mental and physical health has been rapidly deteriorating,” and that the transfer has hindered his ability to prepare for his April 19 trial.
Banton, who is from Jamaica, previously had been allowed to prepare his own food using items purchased in the commissary. He “is now in a maximum security wing for caring enough to offer food to another inmate who was hungry, and genuinely believing there was nothing wrong in doing so,” Markus wrote.
Markus said his client “is being punished for who he is.” He said the transfer decision was made by a corporal “who has had it out for Mr. Myrie during his entire stay.”
Markus’ court filing includes a modified quote from the novel “The Trial,” by Franz Kafka:
The “guiding principle [of the Pinellas county jail] is this: guilt is never to be doubted. Other courts cannot follow that principle, for they consist of several opinions and have higher courts to scrutinize them. This is not the case here.”
BUJU PUNISHED FOR SHARING FOOD – LAWYER SAYS HE IS BEING TARGETED BY WARDERS
An act of kindness by Jamaican reggae singer Buju Banton while being detained in the Pinellas County Jail in Florida has resulted in him being confined in the maximum security wing of the penal institution and has contributed to him losing around 40 pounds, according to his lawyer David Markus.
That’s the claim included in an eight-page bond application filed to the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, on Sunday by Markus.
The court will hear Markus’ emergency application for bond on Friday. Markus said he hopes to have Buju returned to the non-maximum security unit or have him transferred to immigration custody.
Buju and two alleged co-conspirators have been in custody in the United States since last December when they were charged with conspiracy to possess cocaine and aiding and abetting the carrying of a firearm during a drug-trafficking crime.
SHARED A MEAL
The lanky Rastafarian, who is a vegetarian, reportedly shared a meal with a fellow inmate, which is a violation, and was sent to the maximum security wing for at least 30 days. Markus said he was made aware of the situation on March 18.
Since being transferred, Markus said Buju, born Mark Myrie, has been unable to prepare his own meals and “has not been provided with a diet in accordance with his religious views”.
In the bond application, Markus also intimated that his client might be the victim of personal attacks by the warders.
“Mr Myrie has been moved from floor to floor in the jail without explanation and treated differently than the other inmates. The decision to place Mr Myrie in a maximum security wing weeks before his upcoming trial suggests that something else is going on,” said Markus in his application, which included a footnote naming a corporal “who has had it out for Mr Myrie during his entire stay”.
The attorney added that the violation was a minor one not fitting the punishment and that “in sum, Mr Myrie is now in a maximum security wing for caring enough to offer food to another inmate who was hungry and genuinely believing there was nothing wrong in doing so”.
Food and nutrition consultant Dr Heather Little-White said if Buju were not getting his desired meal, he could be losing an average of two pounds per week. This would result in his “mental frame not being as strong and he would become physically weak”.
“He would also have deficiencies in vitamins and minerals and would need to be examined by a doctor. Until proven guilty, his likes and dislikes should be taken into account,” said Little-White.
Markus said Buju’s transfer to maximum security has been affecting his client mentally and physically and, by extension, the legal team’s preparation for the start of his trial on April 19.
“For example, this week when counsel attempted to visit Mr Myrie, counsel was required to wait over two hours until he could see Mr Myrie,” he stated in his application.
In a radio interview yesterday, Markus said the delay was a ploy to derail his team from winning the trial but that he was “optimistic and we are going to fight this”.
Buju’s arrest in Florida in December came at the tail end of a troublesome year, which included a number of cancelled concerts in the USA brought on by gay rights groups and an out-of-court settlement with former common-law wife Lorna Strachan after she filed a suit in the Supreme Court against him. Source: www.jamaica-star.com
Jay Sean, Sean Paul collaboration featured on Now thats what I call Music
Club-banger Do You Remember by British pop star Jay Sean and Jamaican dancehall star, Sean Paul, will be featured on the 75th edition of the compilation series, Now That’s What I Call Music.
Do You Remember debuted in the Billboard top ten of its Hot 100 chart. A worldwide iTunes favorite, it stayed on the top ten charts as well. Born at the MTV Video Music Awards, the collaboration also features rap/hip-hop crunk king Lil’ Jon.
Also featured on Now 75th are chart-topping artistes such as Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Black Eyed Peas, Iyaz, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Owl City and Alicia Keys. Sean Paul said that he was “overjoyed” with the track being featured on Now That’s What I Call Music.
“… It was fun putting a yardie flavor on the song. The track and the video turned out well, the Grammy-winning artiste said. More than 30-million YouTube viewers have seen the video of the song and 11-million have listen on Jay Sean’s MySpace page.
Sean Paul 2009, album Imperial Blaze, nabbed a Grammy nomination, became the first dancehall album to top the Billboard Rap/Hip-Hop charts, and made Sean Paul the first Jamaican and dancehall artiste to do so. The album also debuted at #1 in Japan, was certified gold in France, and dominated charts in Europe and the Middle East. Source YardFlex
Ky-Mani Marley & Publisher Resolve depute; Begins City Book Tour
CaribWorldNews: Ky-Mani Marley MySpace page states that he has made amends with Dr. Farrah Gray of Farrah Gray Publishing over the final edit of his book and has kicked off his book tour. Marley had initially said Gray distorted his words through unauthorized captions and changes to the cover and original title. Marley book tour began in Atlanta on March 17th at a Barnes and Nobles. Gray and Marley will be going on a 27-city tour, both domestic and international.
Marley’s book, `Dear Dad: Where’s the Family in Our Family, Today?,` tells the story of an outcast son, born out of wedlock, who was abandoned financially by the Marley family after his father’s death. Forced to grow up in a poverty-subsumed corner of Miami, KY-Mani Marley found a way to his own stardom.
Marley had said he intended to share a story of redemption and healing and the bond of blood and a common name. Instead, he said he disagreed with the final product. A teaser on the bottom of the cover reads, “The Story the Marley Family Apparently Doesn’t Want You to Know” while the working title was “Dear Dad: The Marley Son Who Persevered From the Streets to Prominence.”
`My issue was with the subtitle only,` said Marley in a statement. `During the final edit of the book, I spoke with my sister, Cedella Marley, CEO of Tuff Gong Records, and I advised Dr. Farrah Gray that some changes had to be made (but) by the time I had the changes ready, it was the day of the printing, which would have obviously complicated the logistics, causing Farrah Gray Publishing damages and disruption. `
`Farrah Gray Publishing felt as if the subtitle was needed to explain the complexity of the situation. After my approaching Dr. Farrah Gray again and expressing my limited concerns, Farrah Gray Publishing has agreed to modify the subtitle on all new copies of `Dear Dad` and we are celebrating the resolution of this modification,` he added.
VP Records Junior Kelly Red Pond’ album on April 6, 2010 ‘
Rasta man, Junior Kelly is back with his fourth VP Records album ‘Red Pond’. The album features 15 new Junior Kelly tracks, with the majority of the production coming from the world famous Firehouse Crew. ‘Red Pond’ continues on his mission of uplifting the people and providing positive music content.
Mavado, Vybz Kartel concert still on in Barbados-
The show will go on. A report carried Sunday in the Barbados Nation newspaper stated that, despite suggestions from the police to cancel the event, the unity concert featuring the two Jamaican dancehall artists Mavado, Vybz Kartel will be held as scheduled on March 27.
The show is being staged by Jack Farrell, who has been named as joint promoter with the government-affiliated Barbados Youth Action Programme.
The Nation’s report quoted Farrell as saying that his group had hired “a number of reputable security officers, which include a number of former policemen”. The promoters, in reaction to word from Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin that he did not have the manpower to police the show, say they have also secured the services of a security firm to police the event.
According to the Nation, Farrell has called on the police chief to rethink his position of giving the thumbs down to the March 27 event.
Farrell last week is reported as saying that a cancellation of the show would mean a loss of more than $200,000 for his company.
“The reason why we had to bring these two men together is because the youth had this thing going too far.” Hamilton Lashley approached me and asked me if I could get these two men to come to Barbados and get them to go into the schools and let the youth know that this thing with Gully and Gaza is just a Jamaican thing and they were carrying it too far,” he said.
“That is why we are bringing the show to Barbados to show the people that what they are saying about the men (Vybz Kartel and Mavado) is not so right now and the men realized that they made mistakes,” the Saturday Sun reported. The police chief recently said he did not support the idea of bringing the two entertainers to Barbados for a show and urged the promoters to rethink their position.
Vybz Kartel studio closed
Vybz Kartel has upped the ante in the mushrooming battle over the closure of the Havendale, St. Andrew studio — which was shuttered by the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation for zoning violations last week — by alleging that the McGregor’s, owners of the Big Ship recording studio, had somehow played a role in the studio’s closure.
“I heard from accurate sources that it was the “s— p—” Stephen McGregor and “bad mind” Freddie McGregor call dem police friend and dem friend in high places fi fight me studio but me want see if KSAC nah lock dung Freddie McGregor studio which is the same Havendale. Dem a gwaan like a dem alone have links inna high places,” Vybz Kartel said.
The Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC) closed the recording studio frequented by dancehall artiste Vybz Kartel in Havendale, St. Andrew last week. The studio was closed after a notice was served on Father Romie, the owner of the property. The police said no permit had been granted for the studio to be constructed in a residential area. The police and the KSAC have made periodic checks to see whether the owner had complied with the notice.
Freddie McGregor is a respected veteran of the music business whose career began at the age of seven. Known for hits such as “Big Ship”, “Push Comes to Shove”, and “Just Don’t Want to Be Lonely”, he started the Big Ship label in 1984.
He later established the Big Ship Recording Studio, and he has produced many artists including Luciano and Mikey Spice. His son, Stephen, has won the producer of the year title two consecutive years running. It is highly unlikely that a shrewd businessman like Freddie McGregor would not have applied for a permit.
Etana scores big with August Town
Soulful Reggae singer Etana is riding high on the buzz of the song August Town produced by London-based producer, Curtis Lynch, on Inner City Lady Riddim for Necessary Mayhem Records..
August Town has found its way onto the Dub vendor (England’s Choice FM), Sound quake (Germany) and Riddim (Germany) Charts. In the fall, Etana went to England to promote August Town and other new music
Lisa Hyper to do remix with Foxy Brown and Ron Browz
Lisa Hyper just finished recording collaboration with Major Mackerel and have been approached by Platinum Camp and Daddy Biggs to do a remix of a single with Foxy Brown and Ron Browz
March 14, 2010 1 Comment