By: Brittany Somerset, Intrepid Reporter, Manhattan
Elvis may be the King, and Beenieman may be the self-proclaimed, “King ofthe dance hall,” but Capleton is the Emperor, as well as the emissary of BoboShanti enlightenment. His performance in the heart of Babylon, at BB King’s in Times Square, New York City, on Sunday, June 15th, was positively electrifying. Capleton and the David House Crew burned a fire so hot BoBo Kings almost spontaneously combusted. Capleton was supported by special guest artists Jah Thunder and Culture Knoxx. All three artists were backed by the five-piece ensemble, The Prophecy.
BB King’s was dank and stank with the smell of sticky icky, wrapped in the cloying scents of strawberry, blueberry, vanilla and honey blunts, that thankfully cloaked the rancid smell of bidis.
Capleton’s radioactive, neon orange outfit was brighter than the neon lights of Times Square and perfectly accessorized his high-octane, off the Richter scale activity on stage. The consummate performer, he mesmerized the crowd, moved with the dexterity of a mountain lion, and shined like a solar flare. He practically did jumping jacks throughout his radiant, 1000watt set. The fire was burnin’ red hot underneath Times Square. Not even the rattling of the subway trains running underground nearby could eclipse the energy Capleton exuded as the audience roared with approval. It was a very fortunate crowd who were able to experience the euphoria of dancing in the dark with the dancehall diaspora.
Capleton elicited a huge forward from the audience when he said he didn’tlike it when he came to “foreign” (lands), and heard people calling each other “dog.” He said, “Dogs piss up yuh yard inna Jamaica, so mi nah wah hear peoplecall each udda dat.” He said he’s not a dog, but rather he’s a lion.(Maybe that’s why Snatcha Dogg changed his name to “Snatcha Lion”!) He said, “Call im ‘Snoop,’ leave out di ‘dog’. Call im ‘Daddy,’ leave out di ‘Puff’!” These hilarious remarks were greeted with screaming cheers of approval.
In between tracks, he took time out to extol the virtues of vegetarianism and racial unity. He also expressed his controversial views against “chi chi men”, child molestation, and oral sex, all considered equal acts of perversion within the boundaries of Bobo Shanti society.
Capleton performed his entire catalogue of hits like “Slew Dem,” “Tour,” “Jah Jah City,” “Love Potion,” “Good in Har Clothes,” as well as his new tracks “Toppa Tings,” and “Gimmie Di Ting,” released on the Truck Back label. The enthusiastic crowd chanted along with every single word, with their lighters and hands aloft high above their heads. He gave a stellar, two-hour performance worthy of Sumfest in the intimate underground venue. He did an unprecedented 5 encores. The crowd just would not let him leave.
Capleton’s manager, Queen Claudette Kemp, looked as regal as ever. Shawne Lee, AKA Miss Black Empress, and Lady Saw’s DJ Missy represented the lovely ladies in attendance. All three beauties proved that wearing alluring yet humble attire is always more attractive than wearing batty riders.
For those of you who missed Capleton’s amazing performance last night, he is playing again on the 29th of June at Hammerstein Ballroom.