IRIE FM and ZIP FM CEO, aged 27, dies from illness

Chad Young, the CEO of Jamaican radio stations, IRIE FM and ZIP FM, has died at the age of 27.by Jodee Brown

The Jamaican media industry has suffered a stunning blow as Chad Young, the CEO and managing director of popular radio stations, IRIE FM and ZIP FM has died at the tender age of 27.

Young was pronounced dead Thursday afternoon at his St. Ann home following a brief illness, though no official cause of death has been given. The two sister stations released a joint statement late Thursday confirming his passing.

“Chad was loved and respected for his happy nature, affableness and down to earth personality,” the statement read, in part. “The family of Mr. Young and the Management and staff of IRIE FM and ZIP 103 FM are grateful for the outpouring of affection and promise to carry that with them as they grow from strength to strength.”

Chad Young took over ownership of Grove Broadcasting Company, the parent company of IRIE FM and ZIP FM in 2010 following the death of his father and long-time owner, Karl Young. Under his stewardship, both stations became the first in Jamaica to have mobile apps and built ZIP into one of the country’s most popular stations with its more new-age brand of thinking.

He was described in the statement as ‘innovative,’ and ‘cutting edge’ with his work.

Lorde says she hates Reggae, Jamaican artists react

Never shy to speak her mind, Grammy-winning singer, Lorde says she's not a fan of Reggae musicby Jodee Brown

Reggae music is, for the most part, loved universally as one of the best and most celebrated genres. Grammy-winning singer, Lorde is not one of those lovers apparently.

The 17-year-old, New Zealand-born singer, who rose to international prominence with her hit single, Royals, was highly critical of Reggae music during a recent edition of her VEVO vlog titled, The World According To Lorde.

“I hate Reggae, Reggae makes me feel like am late for something,” she said.

Though the comment was made months ago, a report in the Jamaica STAR Tuesday brought the comment to light, triggering mixed views among Jamaican music insiders. However, Dancehall artist, Spice, whoremixed Royals in January, lambasted her upon hearing of the comment..

“I’m really disappointed in her statement, because I was such a big fan of her music, and fell in love withRoyals the moment I heard it,” she told the Jamaica STAR Tuesday. “I’m not a fan anymore, and will just delete her album and move on. Reggae is the most soulful genre, so I can’t understand how someone could hate it. I really regret even doing a reggae cover to her single. Everyone knows the origin of reggae music is Jamaica, and by black people. So my question is: Is it the music that she really doesn’t like, or just the black race?”

However, ZIP 103FM regular and selector, DJ Chrome was of a contrasting opinion.

“If that’s how she feels, then that’s OK. It’s her opinion. I personally wouldn’t say that I hate any genre of music,” he told the newspaper. “They might not be my favourite, but I wouldn’t go as far to say that I hate them. If she thinks Reggae is that bad, then it’s no big deal.”

This is not the first time Lorde has courted controversy with her comments on other genres. In an interview given to Complex Magazine last fall, saying she did not relate well to music from Nicki Minajand Drake because they ‘all sing about such opulence,’ while also saying, ‘How are we listening to this? It’s completely irrelevant.’

She later clarified her comments on Twitter, saying that loves and admires both rappers, saying, “Just because their songs aren’t my reality (being 17 and from Auckland) doesn’t mean I don’t admire their musicianship and careers!”

Toronto’s Reggae deejay Akustik gets Juno nod for Mandela Tribute

Akustik

Akustik

by Howard Campbell

IT was not difficult for singer Akustik to write a song saluting one of modern history’s greatest figures.

Mandela, his salute to the South African icon who died in December, has earned a JUNO Awards nomination for Reggae Recording of The Year.

The JUNOs, Canada’s Grammy Awards, takes place March 29 at the RBC Convention Centre in Winnipeg.

Born in St Elizabeth but raised in Toronto, Akustik has been part of the Canadian reggae scene since the early 1990s. He says his first JUNO nod is special because it was inspired by a personal hero.

“Mandela has played a big part of who I am today for several reasons, but one that stands out is the gift he had to forgive others who have been totally unfair and unjustified in their action towards him.”

Mandela was produced by veteran saxophonist Tony Greene who is also producing Akustik’s first album. Originally a deejay known as Andrew Ranxx, Akustik started his career in the 1990s when he said Toronto’s reggae circuit was dominated by dances that rocked “from midnight ’till ‘mawning’.”

The JUNO call, he noted, is reward for years of toil.

“This nomination shows that all the years of dedication to reggae music, mainly in Canada, have been recognised,” said Akustik.

Singjay Exco Levi, singers Ammoye for Baby It’s You, Dru for Effortless and Dubmatix Renegade complete the list of 2014 JUNO Reggae Recording of The Year nominees.

Buju Banton files for new trial in drug case

Buju Banton's new legal team has filed for a new trial as they seek an early release for the Grammy-winning musician. He remains slated for a February 2019 release.

Buju Banton’s new legal team has filed for a new trial as they seek an early release for the Grammy-winning musician. He remains slated for a February 2019 release.

by Jodee Brown

Jamaican Reggae megastar, Buju Banton has formally filed for a new trial as he continues his relentless fight for freedom from his drug conviction.

According to reports Wednesday, the musician’s legal team filed a 55-page document arguing for a retrial in a U.S. Court of Appeal (11th Circuit Court of Appeal) on Feb. 4. Buju is being represented by a new legal team: Jack Cushman, Max Stern and Charles Ogletree, the latter a HarvardUniversity law professor who once represented hip-hop legend, Tupac Shakur and taught American president,Barack Obama and the First Lady,Michelle Obama.

This is Buju’s third legal team since his February 2011 conviction on drug charges. He was previously represented by David Oscar Markus and Chokwe Lumumba, the latter pulling out after being elected mayor of Jackson, Mississippi last summer.

Buju Banton was sentenced to 10 years in prison in June 2011 on three drug charges in relation to a December 2009 arrest at a warehouse following a U.S. Drug Enforcement sting operation, in which it was alleged he tried to buy cocaine from an undercover officer.

A gun-related charge originally slapped on him following the arrest was dropped last June after being previously reinstated following a failed appeal.

A juror in his 2011 trial, Terri Wright was found guilty of misconduct for allegedly researching facts on his case during the proceedings. However, authorities later decidednot to file contempt charges against her.

Toronto’s LARGEST Soca & Reggae Extravaganza is BACK!

SocaReggaeLutionby TorontoDeejays.com

Wondering where the party is at this Family Day Weekend? Wonder no more! Toronto’s #1 Soca-Reggae Party for the 24th edition entitled, “GYAL OVERLOAD!”

SOCA-REGGAE-LUTION takes place tomorrow night,  tomorrow night, Feb. 16, 2014 at Come out to The Vue Nightclub @ 195 Galaxy Blvd. in Toronto’s west-end (near Toronto Pearson International Airport).

With a crazy line-up of entertainment and tickets being sold at an alarming rate, “GYAL OVERLOAD” is sure to TUN OVA the city of Toronto like never before! This is the 2014 party you’ve been waiting for…

For info/tickets contact DJ JEFF : 647-449-7746 or THE VUE NIGHTCLUB at 416.213.9788 x 224

Also visit www.facebook.com/torontodeejays for more details.

EARLY BIRD ADVANCE TICKETS: $15
REGULAR ADVANCE: $20
MORE @ THE DOOR – WHY PAY MORE?

Tommy Lee Sparta charged in lottery scam probe

Dancehall deejay, Tommy Lee Sparta has been charged with breaching Jamaica's anti-lottery scam act.

Dancehall deejay, Tommy Lee Sparta has been charged with breaching Jamaica’s anti-lottery scam act.

by Jodee Brown

Popular Dancehall artist, Tommy Lee Sparta has been charged with breaching the anti-lottery act in connection with an alleged lottery scam he has engaged in.

The deejay, whose real name is Leroy Russell was charged Friday afternoon along with four other individuals in relation to the alleged scam. He was granted JA$400,000 bail and is expected to appear in the Half-Way-Tree Court to answer the charge, according to his attorney, Bert Samuels.

Tommy Lee Sparta was taken into police custodyFeb. 3rd. In a report, the Jamaica Constabulary Force stated the investigation was triggered following a routine traffic stop that day in New Kingston after a driver had violated the Road Traffic Act and gave fake identification after not possessing a driver’s license.

Subsequent reports say police then raided a St. Andrew residence occupied by the deejay, where they seized documents that included lists of American citizens and other material allegedly used in the scam. Lee and six others were taken into custody as well as the vehicle stopped earlier that day.

Lottery scams have become a topic of contention in Jamaica in recent years, with regular citizens as well as politicians implicated in investigations pertaining to scamming. In 2013, American lawmakers demanded that Jamaicans implicated in lottery scamming defrauding U.S. citizens be extradited to their country to stand trial, calling out Jamaican law makers in the process for not acting quickly enough to dissuade alleged scams.

Once a prized protégé of Dancehall superstar, Vybz Kartel, Tommy Lee Sparta burst on the scene since the turn of the decade with hits such as Warn Dem, Psycho, Uncle Demon and Some Bwoy. He is still recovering from a near-fatal car accident he was involved in last November as he was traveling to his 26th birthday party.

New Tarrus Riley album tops Billboard chart

Tarrus Riley's new studio album, 'Love Situation' is already top of the Billboard Reggae chart just over a week after its debut

Tarrus Riley’s new studio album, “Love Situation” is already top of the Billboard Reggae chart just over a week after its debut

by Jodee Brown

Acclaimed Reggae singer, Tarrus Riley has scored instant success with his new studio album, Love Situation, as it has topped this week’s BillboardReggae Album chart, according to reports Thursday.

The lover’s rock album, released February 4th, is the second album produced by a Jamaican artist in the last two week to top the chart following Papa San’s new album, One BloodThe latter displaced Snoop Lion’s Grammy-nominated project, Reincarnated, which had topped the Billboard chart since last year.

Love Situation is the first album of Riley’s to reach number one on the American’s magazine chart. His 2009 effort, Contagious peaked at number five while his previous effort, Parables in 2007 peaked five place lower at 10.

Riley has been promoting the first single off Love Situation dubbed, Dem a Watch, which has already garnered steady airplay in Jamaica since its release a week prior to the album’s unveiling.

Love Situation is currently available on iTunes and is co-produced by Dean Fraser, Mitchum ‘Khan’ Chinand Jordan McClure.

Damian Marley and Skrillex strike gold with ‘Make It Bun Dem’

Damian Marley can celebrate even more success of 'Make It Bun Dem,' his 2012 collaboration with American producer, Skrillex. The song has now been certified gold.

Damian Marley can celebrate even more success of ‘Make It Bun Dem,’ his 2012 collaboration with American producer, Skrillex. The song has now been certified gold.

by Jodee Brown

Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley can celebrate some history on the day his late father, Bob, would have celebrated his 69th birthday was born as Make It Bun Dem, the chart-topping collaborative effort with American producer, Skrillex has been certified gold by theRecording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

It was announced Thursday morning that the song, initially released in May 2012, achieved the prestigious status after over 501,000 copies of the song were sold in the United States, according to Soundscan. This makes Marley the first Jamaican artist to go gold sinceGyptian, whose award-winning single, Hold Yuh(2010) achieved similar status last June.

Make It Bun Dem continues to do well chart-wise, currently holding third spot on Billboard Magazine’s Digital Reggae Singles Chart, previously holding top spot on that chart for several weeks. The single also reached charts in the U.K., Australia, France, Sweden, Belgium and Austria, among other countries and, combined with the official video, has over 115 million YouTube hits.

Marley has struck gold before, as the international Reggae superstar earned similar status for his Grammy-winning album, Welcome To Jamrock as well as his single of the same name, which has sold close to 580,000 copies.

Legendary Third World singer, Bunny Rugs dies after battle with leukemia

William 'Bunny Rugs' Clarke, the lead singer of highly-acclaimed Reggae group, Third World is dead at the age of 65.

William “Bunny Rugs” Clarke, the lead singer of highly-acclaimed Reggae group, Third World is dead at the age of 65.

by Jodee Brown

The Reggae world has lost another of its patriarchs after Third World lead singer, William ‘Bunny Rugs’ Clarke passed away Sunday night after a long battle with leukemia.

Clarke, who was set to turn 66 on Thursday, passed away at his home in Orlando, FL, according to friends and collegues of the singer. A week earlier, he was in hospital receiving treatment for the cancerous disease and had been in intensive care.

Regarded as one of the most profound and distinct voices in Reggae music history, Clarke started his career at just 15 years old and worked with popular Reggae band, Inner Circle as well as prominent producer, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry. The Mandeville-born artist then became a member of Third World, one of the most popular Reggae bands in history, spending 31 years with the group.

While part of the group, they issued classics such as Now that We Found LoveAlways Around, Committed and Try Jah Lovethe latter co-written alongside legendary American singer, Stevie Wonder,who performed with the band at Reggae Sunsplash in 1981.

Those songs and others were chart-toppers in several countries, particularly gaining acclaim on American and British singles charts. The band, which also featured the likes of Michael ‘Ibo’ Cooper, Stephen ‘Cat’ Coore, Colin Leslie and many more, dropped several hit albums while signed to Island Recordsincluding 96 Degrees of Shade (1977), Journey To Addis (1978) and received six Best Reggae Album Grammy nominations for later projects such as Serious Business, Committed, Live It Up andAin’t Givin’ Up, though they never emerged with an Grammy award.

In a statement Monday morning, Jamaica’s minister of youth and culture, Lisa Hanna said of Clarke, “I am sad that Bunny Rugs has passed away and we will no longer be able to go to a venue to watch him perform with his beloved Third World. However, I am grateful and proud of his contribution to music. He was a true Reggae ambassador who, along with the rest of Third World, brought Jamaica’s music to the world.”

“Bunny Rugs’ voice was distinct. He had a charisma and stage presence that were spell-binding, with a smile that was vibrant. I personally will never forget him singing ‘Try Jah Love’ and ’96 Degrees in the Shade.’ Today, I offer condolences to Bunny Rugs’ family including his musical brothers in Third World.”

Third World is said to be hurting deeply as they mourn Clarke’s death, which leaves the group’s futuresomewhat in doubt. The band, who celebrated their 40th anniversary last year, was set to perform at theBlue Mountain Music Festival in St. Andrew later this month as well as several summer shows in the U.S.

Clarke’s death comes as Jamaica celebrates Reggae month, which celebrates the country’s most popular genre and the stars of that genre, including Bob Marley, who was born on the same day as the Third World star.

Sean Paul to drop new studio album this month

Multi-platinum selling Jamaican entertainer, Sean Paul will release his sixth studio album on Feb. 18. The album had originally been slated to come out last November

Multi-platinum selling Jamaican entertainer, Sean Paul will release his sixth studio album on Feb. 18. The album had originally been slated to come out last November

by Jodee Brown

International megastar musician and former Grammy-winning artist, Sean Paul will be unveiling his sixth studio album, Full Frequency on February 18, according toreports Saturday.

The album, which will be released physically and on iTunes, features a number of cross-genre efforts alongside some of Reggae, hip hop and pop’s top stars. Notable collaborators on Full Frequency includeDamian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley, Nicki Minaj, Iggy Azalea, Konshens, Nyla, 2 Chainz and Juicy J.

Sean Paul, who won the 2004 Best Reggae AlbumGrammy for his multi-platinum record, Dutty Rock has released several singles from Full FrequencyRiot, which features the aforementioned Marley and Want Dem All which features KonshensEntertainment (w/ Minaj, Juicy J and 2 Chainz) and, most recently, The Other Side Of Love.

His last album, Tomahawk Technique struggled to make any significant impact sales-wise in the United States, selling just over 1,000 copies in its first week. However, it was certified gold in France and Switzerland, with its lead single, Got 2 Luv U (feat. Alexis Jordan) in particular scoring number ones on charts in the Caribbean, Europe and Asia to name a few region.

Full Frequency is being distributed by his long-time label, Atlantic Records.