Cartoon Network set to air first Jamaican cartoon, ‘Santino’ by Andrew Lee Pryce

Andrewprice1by Jodee Brown

Real Entertainment Production (R.E.P) boss, Andrew Lee Pryce has expanded his talents with his first cartoon, Santino, which is set to debut on Cartoon Network.

Santino marks a historic achievement for Pryce and Jamaica as Cartoon Network will broadcast it first full-length ‘island cartoon.’ The half-hour cartoon spotlights Santino, a supernatural person who tries to use his powers to reduce crime while the show also gives children and adults worldwide a chance to check out some highlights of Jamaica’s rich culture.

Santino’s purpose is not only to make the streets of Jamaica safer, but also promote positivity about his home and invite foreigners to visit the island.

According to Pryce, Santino represents a microcosm of his feelings towards crime in Jamaican and was long inspired to create a cartoon exploring this issue while promoting the positive his native country worldwide.

“I always wanted to be the first film producer to produce a cartoon internationally,” he said. “It was always my dream to see Jamaica’s crime rate down. I wish I did have super powers, but I don’t so I created Santino just to express my feelings.”

The accomplished television producer stresses thatSantino is not necessarily being created to representBrand Jamaica, but creating fun and entertainment for young audiences to revel in.

“The producers at Real Entertainment Production want to say thanks to Spyglass Entertainment for the opportunity to put the necessaries together for the cartoon,” said Pryce.

Santino will debut on Cartoon Network next Saturday at 7:30 a.m. U.S. time (6:30 a.m. JA time) and will air every Saturday morning on the station.

Andrew Lee Pryce and his Real Entertainment Production outlet recently secured a deal with an independent U.S. film company, Spyglass Entertainment to produce his Justice System movie, which is set to hit theatres by the summer of 2016. The movie will feature Academy Award winning actor,Russell Crowe, Sea Biscuit and 30 Rock star, Elizabeth Banks and accomplished rap star, Ja Rule, amongst others.

Buju Banton set to release new album in 2014

buju banton12by Jodee Brown

Despite being incarcerated on federal drug charges until 2019, embattled Dancehall/Reggae singer, Buju Bantonis planning to drop a new studio album in the summer of 2014, according to reports Friday.

Tracii McGregor, a member of Buju’s management team revealed that most of the songs on the singjay’s album were recorded when he was out on bail in 2011, awaiting his trial on drug and gun charges. McGregor told theJamaica Observer, “Buju is very involved in the process, of course. He is just as focused and detail oriented as he ever was.”

Producers expected to feature on the album includeStephen Marley and Blacker Dread, with production from Buju himself also featuring on the compilation.

This new studio album would mark Buju’s 13th in his over two decades as a mainstream artist. His last album wasBefore The Dawn, released in 2010, which featured singles such as Innocent, Battered and Bruised as well as Do Good. The album won the self-professed ‘Gargamel’ his first Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in February 2011, just days prior to his conviction on three drug related charges in relation to a 2009 incident in Florida.

Several singles have been released since Buju’s incarceration, including Set Up The Mic, Lose Your Loveand Inna Half, the latter two singles produced by his song, Markus Myrie.

Buju is reportedly in transit at the Oklahoma City Federal Transfer Centrehaving been transferred from a federal prison in Florida, where he as served the majority of his sentence to date.

Andrew Lee Pryce’s ‘Justice System’ served with top acts, such as Russell Crowe

justice systemby Jodee Brown

Justice Systeman upcoming movie written by accomplished television producer and Real Entertainment Production founder, Andrew Lee Pryce will be enriched with international flavour as a number of top overseas actors and entertainers are set to star in the film.

Pryce’s Real Entertainment Production secured a dealwith independent American film company, Spyglass Entertainment in May, allowing Spyglass to produceJustice System. The movie, which focuses on a young Jamaican footballer who gets himself in trouble with the law while in the U.S. will now feature the likes of Academy Award winning actor, Russell Crowe as well as popular rap star, Ja Rule as well as accomplished actress and director, Elizabeth Banks, amongst others.

Crowe will star as the lawyer representing the troubled young footballer, Banks will feature as the judge overseeing the footballer’s case and Ja Rule is set to play the role of a gang leader.

According to Crowe, who recently starred in the popular action flick, Man Of Steel, he sees promise in Justice System and is enthused to work alongside Pryce.

“I’m here to work with any talented young film producer and based on what I’ve seen so far, Andrew Lee Pryce is extra talented and will break big internationally with thisJustice System movie,” the New Zealand-born actor said.

Crowe, who has starred in movies such as American Gangster and Cinderella Man, won Best Actor for his lead role in The Gladiator in 2000 while also winning a Golden Globe Award for his portrayal of Nobel Peace Prize winner, John F. Nash in the biopic, Beautiful Mind. Banks’ versatility has seen her star in different types of movies, from Sea Biscuit to the 40 Year Old Virgin and starred alongside Crowe in the 2010 thriller, The Next Three Days while Ja Rule has appeared in movies such as Fast and Furious andHalf Past Dead opposite Steven Seagal.

Andrew Lee Pryce intimated that the public can expect to see Justice System in theatres in the near future.

“We had planned for a 2018 [release] but we’re trying to find ways and means to release it by 2016, where we start shooting next year and end shooting by the end of 2015, then it will be released by the summer of 2016,” he explained.

The addition of such big names to Justice System will help to add depth to a movie which explores the struggles someone from a poor background experiences when dealing with the system and its laws.

Real Entertainment Production is renowned for its successful live radio broadcast of STING 2011 and is currently marketing the music of its artist and Toronto-based Dancehall star, Alty B.

Beenie Man, Mr. Vegas and Wayne Wonder set to appear on 106 & Park

beenievegasby Jodee Brown

BET will be invaded by the black, green and gold this Friday as internationally regarded Dancehall superstars,Beenie Man, Mr. Vegas and Wayne Wonder are all set to appear on their 106 & Park countdown show this Friday.

This Caribbean Day themed show will see Beenie Manperforming and premiering the official video for his single,Thug Love. The single, produced by Grillaras Productions and distributed by Zojak World Widefeatures prominent Dancehall/Reggae diva, Ce’Cile while the video was recently shot in the Jamaican parish of Portland.

This marks Beenie’s first appearance on BET since featuring on the island segment of the 2013 BET Awardswhich also featured Elephant Man, Chaka Demus and Pliers as well as Dawn Penn.

Fellow acclaimed Dancehall star, Wayne Wonder will also appear on 106 & Park where he is set to perform his classic single, No Letting Go while also promoting the video for his single, Caught Up the second single off his new album, My WayThis appearance comes as the singjay embarks on a European tour which sees him perform across venues in the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland, amongst other stops.

Mr. Vegas will also feature on the show while he embarks on a European tour of his own. The Bruk It Downsinger recently joined forces with R&B/Pop superstar, Beyoncé for the single, Standing on The Sun, which marked another major step in his career. He is set to debut his new, 16-track studio album, Bruk It Down 2.0 on September 24, which features a soca remix of his Bruk It Down hit as well as Give It To Har, amongst other tracks.

RDX stole my ‘Island Girl,’ claims Alty B

altyb2by Jodee Brown

After staying silent during the first go-around, fast-rising Dancehall star and Real Entertainment Productionsrecording artist, Alty B is now crying foul after making strong claims that popular Dancehall group, RDX has pirated his breakthrough single, Island Girl.

The hit song, featuring fellow singjay Richie Loop was released earlier this year, to mass success, garnering Alty B unprecedented attention with hundreds of thousands of views across several music websites. The song also saw the emerging entertainer splashed across several Jamaican and Caribbean music stations as well as charts worldwide as the official video for Island Girl made him a must-watch star in the making.

However, the singjay now claims RDX stole his concept and flow for their own single dubbed Island Girl, which was recently released on the JA Productions produced Overdrive Riddim.

This isn’t the first time RDX has blatantly copied one of his songs, according to Alty B. The No More singer insists the veteran group pulled off a similar tactic two years ago following the release of his dance-themed hit, Splice.

“I saw it has an opportunity for my song [Splice] to get out there publicly but that was not the outcome,” he recalled. “Instead RDX gain fame while my song eventually died out.”

Andrew Lee Pryce, founder of Real Entertainment Productions and Alty B’s manager relayed his shock upon hearing of RDX’s single and believes it validates accusations by other acts that the group has stolen their ideas also.

“I often heard entertainers saying that RDX go around stealing people songs but I’ve finally heard it first hand and I’m not gonna take this lightly,” he explained.

The Pryce-led Real Entertainment Productions has signaled their intent to seek legal discourse should they fail to get a response from RDX’s management team to resolve this ongoing issue.

Meanwhile, Alty B is looking to build on the success of Island Girl as he is working on a soon-to-be released single, Nobody and will be touring parts of the Caribbean, including Trinidad and Tobago later this year.

Additionally, the Toronto-based singjay is working on a major collaboration with a Canadian-born international superstar in the coming weeks, which is sure to land the multi-talented entertainer his biggest break to date.

Reggae artist Queen Ifrica dropped from Rastafest concert following backlash

queen ifrica1by Kavelle Christie

Reggae artist Queen Ifrica is the latest Jamaican artist to suffer backlash from gay rights activists.

The singer was pulled from the lineup of the Rastafest concert in Downsview Park, Toronto, Canada, which is scheduled to take place tomorrow: Saturday, August 24.

The cancellation is a result of comments Ifrica made during her performance on August 6 at the Grand Gala in Kingston to celebrate Jamaica’s 51st anniversary of independence from Great Britain. This also came on the heels of the murder of Dwayne Jones, a Jamaican teenage cross-dresser, and as such, her statements endorsing heterosexual marriage were deemed extremely homophobic.

Immediately following Ifrica’s performance the Canadian lobby group, Jamaica Association of Gays and Lesbians Abroad (JAGLA) launched a campaign to prevent the “Lioness On The Rise” and “Far Away” artist from performing at the then upcoming Rastafest. As a part of the campaign, the group also took to their Facebook page requesting the cancellation of Ifrica’s work permit.

Also as a result of JAGLA’s campaign, Queen Ifrica released a new single, “Freedom Of Speech”, singing, “Suh low mi mek mi talk fi what mi want and believe in/You have a right, mi have a right to/ Suh yuh cyaan force mi fi stand up behind yuh/ Two roads before yuh dem seh pick yuh choice/Suh mi choose fi pick da one ya wah straight an nice…It’s a breach of democracy to stop mi from speak/Agree to disagree that’s the way it ought to be” in reference to her freedom of speech.

In a gutsy move, she then sings, “Mek mi tell yu straight mi nuh inna nuh closet/Yuh cyaan force me fi promote yuh habit/See another song yah campaign fi ban it/Cause artiste right unnu love trample pon it/Medical marijuana is the future and we have the best here in Jamaica.”

Following news of Queen Ifrica’s prohibition from the concert, JAGLA released a statement, also found on the group’s Facebook page, saying, “The Jamaica Association of Gays and Lesbians Abroad (JAGLA) welcomes the move by the promoters of Rastafesta to withdraw Jamaican anti-gay singer, Queen Ifrica, whose given name is Ventrice Morgan, as a performer from the upcoming Rastafesta concert in Toronto, Ontario.”

The statement continued, “This is a welcomed move by the promoters. We have to send a clear message that persons who make comments that jeopardize the well-being of members of the LGBT community in Jamaica, will not be welcomed in Canada. We hope that other homophobic persons will use this instance as a reminder that acts that incite hate will have negative consequences. We hope as well, that the government of Jamaica will move swiftly to put in place measures to protect members of the LGBT community.”

The group then pointed out that Queen Ifrica’s freedom of speech needed to be balanced with responsibility.

“JAGLA maintains that everyone, including Queen Ifrica, is entitled to free speech. JAGLA does not seek to curtail Queen Ifrica’s right. We however believe that this right must be balanced with responsibility…Free Speech is not absolute. It is free to the extent that it does not hinder citizens from living in peace, liberty, dignity. Note, the Jamaican Constitution itself states that the enjoyment of rights and freedom is subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest”, the group said.

“Utterances such as those made by Queen Ifrica threatens the safety of LGBT people in an extremely homophobic society…JAGLA will continue on its mission to ensure that Jamaica is a place for everyone to live in peace and dignity. We want Jamaica to be at a place where the rights for all is respected; where the LGBT community is not seen as banes of society, but as citizens working to fulfill Jamaica’s mission; where Jamaica can live up to its anthem of justice and respect for all, not some, and where the focus is shifted to fixing, not creating the problems,” it concluded.

Listen to “Freedom Of Speech” by Queen Ifrica, Penthouse Records

Queen Ifrica3

Dancehall artist, Versatile creating waves within the industry

versatile4by Jodee Brown

Dancehall artiste, Versatile has been busy in and outside the studio. The unquestionably talented deejay has been working on a number of projects that can only aid in building his career.

The artiste recently coined his own tagline, ‘Cawving.’ When quizzed about the reason for the tagline and what it means, he explained, “Well I think it’s kinda self-explanatory; a mean I am just paving the way for the other artiste who wants to be in full control of their career but might be afraid because of one reason or another. Is a way fi encourage youths to work hard and don’t allow the struggles to get the best of them! Just cawv road!”

Versatile has been in charge of his career and everything else surrounding it, since August 2012. The deejay is not objecting to having a manager in future, however, he wants to handle things on his own terms and learn more about the business before getting into any arrangement with a manager. So far he has been successful at managing his own career; it was under his management he recorded hit singles such as Cawv StreetLock Di Whole Place feat. I-Octane, Friend to the End and Give Thanks/Nah Be Ungrateful; the latter of which is on the Happy Tyme Riddim (produced by Zummm Good Good Productions)and the video is currently being shot by Di Rawtid Yute and Shakie Brown.

Music maybe his main focus but it certainly is not the only focus for this talented young deejay. Versatile is currently constructing his own studio in Mountain View and working on making his beach party a signature event for Portland. “The studio soon finish and I am looking for a lot of good songs to be recorded there. There are a lot of artiste that I want to work with but never get the chance, so hopefully I get the chance to work with them in my own studio,” a very vibrant Versatile explained. He is also working on his T-shirt line and fans can look forward to wearing these very soon.

The Road Cavwa ‘Naah be Ungrateful’, as he is very supportive of local street dances and he is thankful for all the support that he has been getting from his fellow artists, especially I-OctaneVersatile also wants to say thanks to his growing fan base and he promises to produce good music that will keep them entertained at all times.

By TorontoDeejays.com

Jamaica threatened with expulsion from 2016 Olympics over drug testing issues

jamaicaOlympics2by Jodee Brown

The World Anti-Doping Agency, WADA has issued a stern warning to one of track and field’s most prominent nations as Jamaica could face expulsion from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro if the local government fails to address inadequacies in its drug testing program.

British newspaper, the Telegraph reported Wednesdayevening that WADA’s general director, David Howmanhas urged Jamaica to look into is drug testing policy after explosive accusations by former Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) head, Anne Shirley that the island has not done enough to prevent drug use amongst its athletes.

In an article for Sports Illustrated, Shirley, who quit asJADCO president in February, accused Jamaican politicians and administrators of ignoring her constant warnings regarding the issue while claiming recent positive tests returned by Asafa Powell, Sherone Simpson and others were a ‘disaster’ waiting to happen. Additionally, she revealed that JADCO only did one out-of-competition drug test in five months prior to last year’s Olympics in London, England.

Following these claims, Howman has threatened that should these issues not be resolved, WADA could deem JADCO non-compliant with its code of conduct, which could affect Jamaica’s participation in the 2016 summer games as well as other, upcoming track and field events.

“Our normal approach if we have issues falling into the category of either complaint or concern is to try to work with the particular signatory – in this case the Nada [national anti-doping agency] – and remedy it,”Howman said, according to the Telegraph. “If nothing happens, we can ask our board to declare any of the signatories non-compliant and that has implications as to whether teams from the country would be admitted into various events.”

He continued, “It’s serious. And I think that if responsible people in Jamaica are looking at it then they will address it. I would be disappointed if they didn’t. But, certainly, if there’s a lack of response then it’s something that we at WADA would want to take up with the Jamaican government.”

“We’ve worked closely with Jamaica for a number of years. I was down there a few years ago to try to look after issues we felt needed to be addressed and they were then addressed by the government of the day.”

“We knew that there was a spell in Jamaica where they didn’t have a CEO and there was a spell when they were not conducting testing and we didn’t know the reason for that. But that was certainly something that we became aware of.”

Howman also added that he has a very positive relationship with Jamaica’s prime minister and former sports minister, Portia Simpson-Miller and believes they can work towards a solution that will help strengthen the country’ drug policies and testing regiments.

The Jamaican track team is coming off a nine-medal haul at the recently concluded IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia. Double 100m Olympic champions, Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce each walked away with three gold medals while the 4 by 400m team won silver, Warren Weir won silver in the 200m and Nesta Carter won bronze in the 100m.

Vybz Kartel’s common-law wife, ‘Shorty’ debuts her own music label

vybz kartel20by Jodee Brown

Tanesha ‘Shorty‘ Johnson, the devoted common law wife of incarcerated dancehall superstar, Vybz Kartel is proudly debuting her own Short Boss Muzik label with the release of School.

Following in the footsteps of Kartel, Tanesha Johnson akaShorty is using music in order to cope and fill out the void of her husband’s absence. Surrounded by great team of producers, and a strong digital distribution company, ‘Shorty’ shares with Dancehall fans the essence of Vybz Kartel with School. Distributed by 21st Hapilos Digital, the single, School performed by Vybz Kartel will be available to the public via iTunes on August 27.

Contrary to various rumors, Shorty and Kartel’s relationship is stronger than ever, Vybz reminds the public and acknowledges his love and support via several media statements such as recently in regards to his best seller book “Voice of the Jamaican Ghetto” making its way into prestigious American universities “TO MY COMMON LAW WIFE TANESHA “SHORTY” JOHNSON FOR HER WELL NEEDED SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT. THANK YOU.”

Adidja Palmer, better known as Vybz Kartel was recently found not guilty of one of the murder charges but remains incarcerated on another pending murder charge. That trial is scheduled to get underway on November 18.

Click the TorontoDeejays.com Logo below to listen to Kartel’s latest single, “School”

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Aidonia records Usain Bolt tribute song

Usain Bolt6by Jodee Brown

With today marking the 27th birthday of legendary Jamaican sprinter, Usain Bolt, Dancehall star, Aidoniahas given the six-time Olympic champion a gift in song after releasing a tribute song in his honor with a special remix of his hit single, Run Road.

The tribute, which features his Jag One Productions(J.O.P) protégé, Deablo was recorded the night prior to Bolt’s defense of his 200m title at the IAAF World Championships in Russia on Saturday. Additionally, Bolt rebounded from his false start during the 100m at the 2011 edition of the world championships to take gold in that event last week while helping the 4 by 100m relay team retain their title.

Aidonia, who says he has developed a good friendship with Bolt, spoke of how the tribute came about. He told the Jamaica STAR“It was a no-brainer; when we got in studio, there were so many adjectives to describe Usain Bolt. He is the boss of track and field, the most naturally gifted and the greatest the world has ever seen.”

He continued, “In 2008, I recorded a song called Bolt Action, so is from long time the respect is there. Give thanks that my publicist got the Run Road tribute to him in time before his race and him let the world know that he appreciated it. I also want to big up all our athletes cause dem mek wi proud as an island. Nuff love goes out.”

Bolt won the 200m with a time of 19.66 seconds, with teammate Warren Weir taking silver and Mikael Ashmeade finishing fourth. He then shouted out the J.O.Pcrew in his post-race interview with BBC for their efforts.

“Usain Bolt loves music,” said Keona Williams,Aidonia’s publicist. “Run Road is one of his favourite dancehall songs he always uses the term ‘run road’ in his conversations and so as a team, we came together and said we should do this tribute for him because he would very much appreciate it, which he did.”

On Tuesday night, Aidonia held a tribute night to Bolt and all of Jamaica’s athletes at the QUAD Nightclubin New Kingston, where they had a toast for Bolt at midnight.