Dancehall film to premiere in Trinidad and Tobago

‘Hit Me With Music’ features many of Dancehall pioneer figures, including internationally acclaimed Dancer, Bogle.


A popular Dancehall film, which has already made waves in North America and Europe, will look to make a similar impact in the Caribbean as Trinidad and Tobago prepares to unveil it in the coming days at a popular film festival.

Hit Me With Music, a film featuring many of Dancehall’s pioneers, will be featured at the annual WeBeat Festival, which will take place between June 2 and June 7 in the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago. Additionally, the film hails as a part of the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival as well as the BPTT Community Cinergy series of film screenings.

Directed by Spanish filmmaker, Miquel GalofreHit Me With Music features a plethora of elite Dancehall acts credited with making the genre a global phenomenon while highlighting elements of Jamaica’s music that form an integral part of the island’s nightlife.

Additionally, the Dancehall documentary, which was originally screened last year, takes notice of many controversial trends that have greatly impacted Jamaican culture including skin bleaching, feuds between prominent Dancehall acts as well as the ‘Daggering’ dance which became popular between 2007 and 2009.

Internationally acclaimed Dancehall acts that feature in the film include Vybz Kartel, Mavado, Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Elephant Man, pioneering deejay, Yellow Man and late great dancing sensation, Bogle.
Hit Me With Music has been screened at North American and European film festivals to positive responses. However, it remains unknown when the movie will be screened in Jamaica.

This isn’t the first documentary featuring Jamaicans for Galofre, as he’s also renowned for the award-winning film,Why Do Jamaicans Run So Fast which took an in-depth look into the ‘formula’ that develops Jamaican runners into world class, record-breaking athletes.


ZJ Wah Wa leaves Darkcide International

ZJ Wah Wa has left Darkcide International following a split with his long time manager


Prominent Jamaican selector, ZJ Wah Wa has split from highly acclaimed sound system, Darkcide Internationalafter a four year association with the group.

The disc jock, whose real name is Deon-Ville O’Hara has worked for the sound system on several shows and productions in recent times, including his Man of Interestand Deception mixtapes. However, ZJ Wah Wa announced on Tuesday that he will no longer be managed by Darkcide International in a press release.

ZJ Wah Wa states, “I am no longer a part of Darkcide International. They will no longer take care of my affairs as it relates to bookings, public relations and management. I am treading new pastures.”

According to reports, Wah Wa decided to leave Darkcide International after a falling out between himself and manager, Raymond ‘Shadow’ Small. Said reports indicated that not only was there a breakdown in communication between the two parties but there was also a breakdown in contractual negotiations between the two parties as they failed to agree to terms on a new deal.\

For his part, Small conceded that Wah Wa was no longer a part of Darkcide International but insisted that he wished the disc jock nothing but the best.

Despite the split, projects that were worked on prior to this development will still be completed under the Darkcide International brand, including the Mad Panorama Riddim which features popular Dancehall acts such as Konshens, Ninja Kid, RDX and Flippa Moggela (formerly Flippa Mafia).

Meanwhile, Wah Wa will now take care of his bookings along with Stacy Cowen while RoxRoy McLean will hail as his publicist.


Mr Vegas Drops Highly Anticipated “Sweet Jamaica” Double Album

The highly anticipated new double CD album, “Sweet Jamaica” by Mr Vegas is now available in stores worldwide! Pick up your copy today…

By S.O.T.L.

How sweet it is! May 29th marks official worldwide release of the new reggae and dancehall double disc CD, ‘SweetJamaica’, from international Jamaican artist, Mr Vegas

2012 is a milestone year not only for Jamaica, which celebrates 50 years of independence, but also for international Jamaican reggae dancehall artist Clifford Smith, aka Mr Vegas (“Bruk It Down”, “Gallis”, “I Am Blessed” “Heads High”). In the spirit of togetherness,Mr Vegas’s new album, ‘Sweet Jamaica’, set to release May 29th in digital and hard copy, unites reggae and dancehall in an unprecedented double-disc set. From 15 tracks of real roots reggae to 16 more of electrifying dancehall, ‘Sweet Jamaica’ is not only a complete listening experience, it’s a visual one too, just check the cover and album art done in retro event poster style. Including guest spots by Grammy winner Shaggy, roots standard bearer Luciano, the ‘General’Josie WalesNadine Sutherland, sax maestro Dean Fraserand pop sensation Jovi Rockwell, the album presents a seamless mix of up-to-the-time dancehall (“Bruk It Down” – #1 on MTV Base chart, #1 in Jamaica, #1 on BBC 1 Extra in the UK) foundation one drop hits and unreleased original interpretations of reggae classics (“Sweet & Dandy”, “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy” and more). Backed by crucial production from Mikey Bennett, Sly & Robbie, Steelie & Clevie and Adde, not to mention the mixing and mastering skills of Rohan Dwyer, ‘Sweet Jamaica’ simultaneously satisfies the most discerning tastes of reggae and dancehall as well as world music fans everywhere. ‘Sweet Jamaica’ is the debut release from Vegas’ own label imprint, MV Music and is distributed by VP Records (CD) and INgrooves (digital).

Sweet Jamaica’ opens fittingly with the foundation of reggae music, where Jamaican folk traditions fuse with American R&B and gospel for an affect that ultimately move the body and soul. Mr Vegas just makes you want to move much, much more. ‘Sweet Jamaica’ connects past and present on songs like the first hit single and title track, “‘Sweet Jamaica’” featuring Shaggyand 80s star dancehall deejay Josie Wales as well as on “Can’t Stop” recorded with Jovi Rockwell and Sly & Robbie on the drum ‘n bass. Vegas’s updated versions of classic Jamaican hits like “Take It Easy” (Hopeton Lewis/1966) and even “Ob-La-De Ob-La-Da”(Beatles/1968) demonstrate the deepest respect Vegas has for the foundation and the artistic range he brings to Jamaican music.‘Sweet Jamaica’ invokes the warmth of past analog recordings, including innovative interpretations of seminal songs in Jamaica’s history. “Things Ruff” breaks down Jimmy Cliff’s “You Can Get It If You Really Want It”and builds it back in Vegas’s own image–including a wicked deejay segment–while “Gimme A Light” pays homage toDesmond Decker’s “Israelites” but this time in the context of an herbalist tribute.

Still, foundation reggae music alone cannot contain the creativity of Clifford Smith. Here, the dancehall side of ‘SweetJamaica’makes the transition from the present to the cutting edge of Jamaican music, the best example is this summers worldwide anthem,“Bruk It Down”. Also on the LP, dancehall’s fast rising super-producer from Sweden, Adde, lends his infectious vibe on the BBQ riddim to “Beautiful Life”. Mr Vegas’ renowned sense of humour and lyrical theater is on full display with “Champagne Rosé”–recorded on a remake of the Black Widow (1998) riddim–while “Certain Law” pokes fun at dancehall’s strict social code.“Party Tun Up”, recorded on a riddim composed by Teetimus and Sukufrom Ward 21, channels the pulse of current dancehall – insert girls and dancing here- based around Vegas’s fast deejay style and even songs with clear social commentary on the dancehall side of ‘Sweet Jamaica’, songs like “Black & Proud” and “Let The Music Play”, require you to move with the messenger.

Presenting reggae and dancehall like it’s never been done before, ‘Sweet Jamaica’ will undoubtedly be a milestone. “I want to be around in twenty years,” says Vegas, “and ‘Sweet Jamaica’ is the best way I can think of to put my stamp on the future, one in which real foundation reggae and dancehall both play a part, just like real life”.

Vegas is motivated in great part to be the change he wants to see. “It seems as if our younger producers are turning their backs on Reggae to ‘cross-over’ into the American and European mainstream markets. What they don’t realize is that all our artists, from Bob Marley to Shabba Ranks, Sean Paul, and myself, crossed into mainstream playlists with authentic Jamaican music. We set a trend that the rest of the world wants to follow, not the other way around.”

Mr. Vegas is a former MOBO award winner, in 2010 was nominated for Soul Train ‘Reggae Artist Year’ and performed at theSoulfusion Soul Train Awards in early 2011 and has performed live on the CBS Morning Show in New York. In 2011, and in collaboration with Shellian McBayne, Mr. Vegas initiated the Save Foundation Reggae campaign with a petition appealing to radio disc jockeys to include more reggae pioneers like Alton Ellis, Gregory Issacs, and Cynthia Schloss in their daily playlists. People from as far away asKenya,Australia, andQatar have signed the petition. Mr Vegas will be touring extensively thoughout Europe, theCaribbeanIslands andNorth America summer 2012.


Guinness to celebrate 50 of Dancehall’s greatest

Guinness will honor 50 of Dancehall’s most influential figures, which will surely include iconic deejays, Beenie Man and Bounty Killer, who performed together during a Guinness tribute show in 2010


One of the most recognized brands in Jamaica will honoring 50 of Dancehall music’s greatest acts by creating an activity for fans and industry players to determine the genre’s most influential figures.

As a part of the island’s 50th Independence celebrations,Guinness will offer a platform where its consumers can choose who they think are the 50 greatest persons to ever grace Dancehall’s circles. According to Guinness brand manager, Racquel Nevins, the compilation will include several deejays, producers, disc jocks and sound system operators and represents those persons who have been instrumental building the Dancehall culture throughout its existence. The Guinness 50 Greatest Dancehall Icons activity will commence next months and will run up until Independence weekend (August 4-6).

As criteria for their list, Guinness insists that they will honor persons who possess the confidence to fulfill their dreams, those who are imaginative as well as those who live vibrant lives; all of which represents the liquor brand’s ideal customer.

Guinness has been an instrumental brand representative for Dancehall music, previously sponsoring major local stage shows such as Reggae Sumfest and STING while currently sponsoring the popular Guinness Sounds of Greatness clash competition. Additionally, they run the Guinness Greatness in the Streets initiative which hails as a community-focused street dance activity.

The brand has even featured on a popular Riddim as back in 2006, Pure Music Productions crafted the Red Bull & Guinness Riddim, featuring many high profile acts includingVybz Kartel, Mavado and Delly Ranx.


Xyclone creating a storm within Dancehall

Dancehall artiste, Xyclone has performed alongside some of Dancehall’s elite such as Mavado, Beenie Man and his long-time mentor, Spragga Benz


It’s often hard for upcoming artistes within any genre to breeze through the industry given the many hurdles that must be faced. But for emerging Dancehall star, Xyclone, he’s stormed through the genre’s circles with impactful results.

Born Roje R. Robinson, Xyclone had an affinity for Dancehall music from a young age; a love which seemed genetically inclined given that his father, Peter Blacks hails as the iconic disc jockey of the Reggae Vibrations sound system in Philadelphia, PA.

After years of trying to perfect his craft, Xyclone soon caught his big break after meeting up with veteran Dancehall megastar, Spragga Benz who had been instrumental in the rise of fellow Dancehall superstar, Assassin. Xyclone recalls his meeting with Spragga Benz in 2007; a meeting which helped build their chemistry off-stage before ever working together on it.

“We were watching a movie, The Black Wall Street to be exact. I never forgot that night, it was December 26th, Sting night and the artist did a eat some vegetables and beans. And wi did a reason about the plot of the movie’ nothing music, just a reason like we knew each other for years,” he said.

From there, it was all systems go for Xyclone’s career as he then signed to Spragga Benz’s highly regarded Red Squarestable, which features label mates Briggy Benz, Tajji, Bad Gal Bambi and Kemmikal. As a member of Red Square Tropical Heat Productions (RSQTHP), Xyclone has brought along his writing, producing and engineering abilities to the table, immediately showing his multi-faceted traits.

After showing his potential on track such as Champagne Lifeand Not Again (Fake Friends) in 2010,Xyclone quickly ascended within Dancehall’s ranks the following year as he unveiled several noteworthy tracks such as Nuh Frighten Wi, Back It Up and It’s My Earthstrong which showed his potential to successfully garner support within the underground ranks as well as in the clubs.

In 2012, Xyclone has asserted his presence even more with tracks such as Money & Girls as well as Baddest? Explain Dat, a song which took lyrical shots at fellow up-and-comer,Masicka while also showing off his strong vocals and proving himself as a worthy threat within the industry.

All of his attributes have led to Xyclone performing alongside many of Dancehall’s best including his mentor, Spragga Benz, Beenie Man, Demarco and Mavado. Additionally, he’s worked with several noted producers such as Llamar ‘Rif Raf’ Brown (Notice Productions), Bobby Chin (Black Chiney), and Red Square’s own Survivor Slim who also hails as one of his managers along with Roy Fearon.

Having secured a Bachelors of Science degree in Finance,Xyclone has shown himself a full-rounded person who can achieve great things away from the microphone.

With his resume’ boasting several commendable accomplishments, Xyclone looks to continue his run towards superstardom.


Busy Signal addresses fans, promises good music while in custody

Busy Signal has addressed the public for the first time since his arrest on an extradition warrant earlier this week.


Internationally acclaimed Dancehall/Reggae megastar, Busy Signal has addressed the public for the first time since his extradition case began, promising that his fans and admirers will continue to hear his quality sound while incarcerated.

The prominent singjay was arrested on an extradition warrant by members of the Fugitive Apprehension Team at theNorman Manley International Airport in Kingston on Monday. Three days later, he was denied bail during a hearing at the Half Way Tree Resident Magistrates Courtin Kingston. However, Busy Signal exercised the option to waive his extradition rights, meaning that he will surrender to United States authorities next month.

Addressing his family, friends and fans for the first time since his arrest, Busy Signal released a statement on Saturday explaining his situation while insisting that those close to him have been instrumental in upholding his spirits during this most difficult period. Additionally, he intimated that fans will definitely be hearing material from him while away.

“In this a time of reflection, I would like to thank my fans who have supported me through this difficult situation and who will continue to support me. Your messages and prayers via social networks and via members of my team are what have brought light to the darkness of my cell.”

“I have never admitted that I was involved in any drug deal or drug arrangement. I waived my rights to an extradition trial here in Jamaica, so that I can return to the US to face a charge of absconding bail ONLY. This incident took place ten (10) years ago before I even considered becoming an artiste.”

“As you can understand, this is a difficult time for me, however during my time away, my fans will not be left with a void – there are several unreleased tracks that will definitely keep you “busy” until my return. I recently released my album Reggae Music Again, which debuted at number 5 on the Billboard Reggae charts. On my recent tour of Amsterdam and Paris, we shot elements for the video to the title track of the album. It features cameos from Marcia Griffiths, Queen Ifrica and Anthony B and that will be released in a couple of weeks.”

“For my fans overseas, my management team has been in dialogue with promoters who have all shown their support for me and my situation and for that I thank them.”

“For my family, you have stood by me through thick and thin and I know you will continue to do so. In my time away, I have made the necessary arrangements with my management team to have you taken care of until my return.”

“To my band, Hi-Voltage, you have toured the world with me and have been a tower of strength. Continue to make good music until I return, ‘cause the mission will continue.”

“I know that my Facebook page has been inactive for a while, but, starting this week, Shane Brown, head of Juke Boxx management team, will assume direct control of my twitter account – @busysignal_turf and my Facebook page – I will be kept updated so please continue to send your love, support and prayers through these channels, as they keep me going.”

“To my legal team, KD Knight, Bert Samuels and Roxanne Mars, your positive words and unfailing belief and support in me and my case have made this situation a little easier to bear. Thank you very much.”

Finally my friends, my fans and my family, thank you again from the depths of my heart. Please keep me in your prayers. ‘We not going down, cause God alone controls my destiny.’”

Busy Signal is reportedly wanted on several drug charges in the United States. However, his attorney, K.D. Knightexplained on Thursday that he cannot be tried on any of those charges given that they were not the subject matter of this particular case. Additionally, Knight insisted should the U.S. attempt to try him on those charges, it would violate a treaty agreement and could result in very serious consequences.

Busy Signal, whose real name is Glendale Gordon remains renowned for classics such as These Are The Days, Nah Go Jail Again, Step Out, Night Shift and In Her Belly.


Da’Nandi stamps his authority as a force within Dancehall music

Da’Nandi has been making waves in Dancehall music with the release of his latest single, ‘Up Inna Di Club.’


Emerging Dancehall star, Da’Nandi continues his ascendancy within the genre’s ranks as he’s stepped up his game in 2012; showing his full potential as an artiste to the masses.

Born Andrique Wright, the Sherlock Crescent (Kingston) native continues to live out a dream which first came true after penning his first song at just 9 years old. Following his days atJamaica College where he perfected several aspects of his repertoire including freestyling, Da’Nandi took his biggest step towards achieving his goal when he released theWeapon X International produced single, Tell Me When.

That single gave fans just a small sample of the lyrical ingenuity that Da’Nandi possessed as it soon garnered airplay locally and overseas while later copping a few stage show appearances as well as mixtape features.

From there, Da’Nandi’s star grew as he unleashed effort such as Party Vibez (S-Lock Records) and Mi Love It (Weapon X International) as well as appearing on an unofficial remix of Moment For Life by Trinidadian-American hip-hip diva,Nicki Minaj.

This year, Da’Nandi has stamped his authority as one of Dancehall’s future superstars as he’s unveiled well-received singles such as Real Badman in the Terrible Duppy Riddim (Gesta Music) and Mi Like You. His most recent collaboration with Weapon X International once again proved fruitful as Da’Nandi’s single, Up Inna Di Club offers a true party vibe as Da’Nandi continues to reach out to various demographics within Dancehall.

With his momentum continuously building, Da’Nandi will look to capitalize as he plans to take over the summer with upcoming projects such as Lyrical Ghandi on the Yardlink Riddim, Hunt Me a Hunt (Solid Empire) and Stop Chat(Zodiac Riddim) which his camp promises will put many artistes on notice. Additionally, future collaborations with Toronto based Dancehall star, Danger Matic and British rapper, Oranjee are also in the works.

Da’Nandi’s stock continues to grow within Dancehall circles as he continues to prove his worth as a legitimate contender for years to come.


Bounty Killer claims Beenie Man apologized for money

Bounty Killer believes that Dancehall artistes have nothing to apologize for given that the genre has not put out songs of violent natures against any group in recent years


Internationally acclaimed Dancehall superstar, Bounty Killerwon’t let his long-time rival, Beenie Man live down his decision to issue a recent video statement in which he tried to bury the hatchet with gay and lesbian critics who have long bashed his lyrical content.

Beenie Man responded to recent comments from Bounty Killer criticizing his perceived apology while implying that he sold out his beliefs by making this move. The self-professedKing of the Dancehall steadfastly denied apologizing to the homosexual community, insisting that his purpose for the video statement was to ask gay, lesbian critics to stop holding lyrics from his younger years against him. Additionally,Beenie Man took shots at the Alliance leader, claiming thatBounty Killer should have been talking about a performance in Amsterdam in which he claims fans left before the self-proclaimed War Lord took the stage.

However, Bounty Killer refuses to back down; taking to Twitter to refute claims by Beenie Man that Jamaican artistes will see an increase in overseas shows, in part, because of his video statement.

According to Bounty Killer, he would not have done the same thing if put in such a position and that Dancehall music has helped boost Jamaica’s stance on homosexuality; intimating that artistes should not back down from said stance regardless of the possible financial implications.

“Me can’t ever put a dollar over Jamaica and its culture. If it wasn’t for dancehall and its culture I don’t know where or who I’d be today. Mi nuh sorry fi nothing that I said or sang; I am sorry to know it offended anybody but that’s how I see it. My views and beliefs, all I can say is that homosexuals fi stop try ban we shows and dancehall must leave dem alone to God still and let peace reign,” he said.

Most a these artistes nowadays only standing up 4 their careers and income. If Yellow Man, Shabba, Ninja, Super Cat, etc. was doing the same back then, how’d we come to have dancehall to elevate out of the slums. So why today I must sell it out 4 my career or a dollar. Nuh body not doing ntn to preserve the industry that made dem who they are today. All mi can hear a man family affi eat so sell out Jamaica and Dancehall that’s the only way to eat nowadays sell ur soul???

He also implied that Beenie Man’s decision to issue his video statement was motivated by money.

“When since a money control Jamaicans’ morals? Leave the gold and save unuh souls. It no look good,” he said.

According to Bounty Killer, there was no need for his rival to apologize given that in the last two years, Dancehall music has steered clear of violent lyrics against any group.

“What are you apologizing for? You don’t apologize for what you sincerely believe in. You can only regret if it offended or hurt anyone,” he said.

Bounty Killer recently returned from a two and a half week European tour, which he insists went well. He retorted Beenie Man’s position that the stadium in Amsterdam was near empty when he took the stage in Amsterdam and also believes that Dancehall music remains in good shape despite many claims to the contrary.


Busy Signal waives extradition rights, will surrender to U.S. authorities

Busy Signal has waived his right to fight his extradition case and will surrender to United States officials next month


Embattled Dancehall/Reggae singjay, Busy Signal will soon face a United States courtroom after officially waiving his rights in his extradition case.

On Thursday morning, Busy Signal was denied bail when he appeared in the Half Way Tree Resident Magistrates Court in Kingston alongside his attorney and the Queen’s Counsel,K.D. Knight. Presiding Resident Magistrate, Stephanie Jackson Haisley made the decision following a bail application made on the artiste’s behalf by Knight. He was then ordered to return to court on June 6 when the case will again be mentioned.

However, Busy Signal quickly turned heads when he agreed to waive his rights to fight extradition and will surrender to American authorities next month. The singjay will then stand trial in the U.S. for absconding bail while awaiting a 2002 ruling in a drug case in the country.

According to K.D. Knight in a radio interview on Thursday afternoon, he explained that the only charge which Busy will face in the United States is absconding bail. However, Knight intimated that the drug related charges his client reportedly faces have not been the subject matter of this particular extradition request and no trial can take place regarding those charges.

Knight stated that under the treaty arrangement, the United States cannot try Busy Signal on the drug-related charges and should they try to do so, it would violate said treaty, leading to very serious consequences.

Busy Signal reportedly faces possession of cocaine, conspiracy to possess cocaine and distribution of cocaine charges from that 2002 case. The deejay was charged at that time with conspiracy to distribute cocaine in Minnesota before fleeing the U.S.


Busy Signal denied bail in extradition case, faces June court date

Busy Signal was denied bail in his extradition case during a hearing in a Kingston courtroom on Thursday morning


Internationally acclaimed Dancehall superstar, Glendale Gordon, more popularly known as Busy Signal has been denied bail in his extradition case.

The embattled singjay was remanded into custody on Thursday morning when he appeared in the Half-Way-Tree Resident Magistrates Court. Presiding Resident Magistrate,Stephanie Jackson Haisley made the ruling following a bail application made on Busy Signal’s behalf by his attorney and the Queen’s Counsel, K.D. Knight.

Displeased with the outcome, Knight demanded a valid explanation from RM Haisley in writing.

Busy Signal will return to court on June 6 when the case will once again be mentioned.

The highly acclaimed singjay, known for several smash hits such as Step Out, These Are They Days, Nah Go Jail Again and One More Night was arrested on an extradition warrant by members of the Fugitive Apprehension Team of the Organized Crime Investigation Division at theNorman Manley International Airport in Kingston on Monday

This after the artiste was deported from London, England after being denied entry into the country after going there following a shortened tour of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Busy Signal reportedly faces possession of cocaine, conspiracy to possess cocaine and distribution of cocaine charges which stem from a 2002 case in the United States.

Additionally, it’s alleged that Busy Signal was using false identification while travelling and has been going publicly by the name, Reanno Devon Gordon.