Mavado talks in-depth about Bounty Killer feud

Mavado has sent some stinging words in the direction of Bounty Killer, speaking in depth about his feud with his ex-mentor for the first time.by Jodee Brown

Dancehall star, Mavado has opened up about his ongoing feudwith former mentor and Alliance leader, Bounty Killer, claiming a lack of respect, among other things have cause the falling out between the two deejays.

Mavado appeared on CVM’s OnStage talk show, aired Saturday night, speaking from the We The Best Music Group headquarters about the issues between himself and Bounty. In the interview,Mavado held nothing back, joking that Bounty must be ‘mixing Hennessey with crack,’ after questioning his loyalty to the Allianceand calling him a ‘sellout,’ saying he’s always shown his ex-mentor respect.

“Mi stand up beside yuh straight and mi show yuh loyalty and respect straight, everywhere inna di world mi go, mi she big up Killa when yuh nah dweet,” he said. “How Killa fi get up and she mi nuh show loyalty and who sellout. Weh u mean by dat Killa? A your actions mek we inna da spot hah today.”

Mavado then brought up the fatal shooting outside the QUADnightclub in Kingston in 2011, outside Bounty Killer’s birthday party, which claimed the life of his best friend, Conroy ‘Connie’ Edwards.He says Bounty acted disloyal in the first place by having the party at a club which was partially owned by then rival deejay, Vybz Kartel. However, his biggest gripe remains that Bounty never sent condolences to him about his loss, instead blaming him for ruining his party.

“After what happen at the club, Killa still couldn’t tell mi condolences fi mi friend,” he said. “Him couldn’t look pon mi fren mother, daughter, family and seh simple condolences, and remember she is a ute weh u know too,” saying Bounty used to have Edwards run errands for him and even hung out with him and Mavado the week before the shooting.

Following a slew of diss songs Bounty Killer aimed at Mavado, the ‘Gully Gaad’ maintained that the songs were not up to par, saying Bounty sounded ‘hungry’ more than angry. He even said he went to great lengths to defend his then mentor, but never felt he got enough credit for it.

“Me a di defending champion fi di Alliance, when you nah do nutten, when a man a diss you to the last ground and you couldn’t defend yuhself. Mi loyal to the Alliance weh mi help mek.”

Not only did Mavado speak openly about his issues with Bounty, he took shots at former Alliance teammate, Busy Signal, who he called an ‘idiot’ and ‘Gary Reanno Gordon,’ in reference to Busy’s hit One More Night in which some music listeners said Busy mentioned ‘Gary’ in the song.

“Oooh, mi sell platinum and this and that. 30,000 streaming inna Europe. Platinum? Yuh a gwaan like yuh sell a million copy Busy. Stop talk and top gwaan suh Busy,” Mavado said in response to Bumaye, Busy’s single with Major Lazer which went platinum in Denmark.

“Yuh nah no street cred Busy. We nuh see yuh no weh. How yah talk bout ‘di General, di General,’ and nobody nuh see yuh and Killa a par fi years now,” he added, which also calling Busy an imitation of legendary artists Shabba Ranksand Terror Fabulous.

Meanwhile, We The Best Music Group founder, DJ Khaled also spoke on the Bounty-Mavado feud, tellingOnStage, “Mavado is my friend and I heard things in the street that there is a little vibe going on… But at the end of the day Mavado will tell you I am always going to promote love and promote peace and I am always going to promote positivity because that is what a real friend is going to do.”

He also hopes for a future peace collaboration between Bounty and Mavado, writing on his Instagram page, “Everyone always ask me what’s a collaboration u would love to make happen. I tell the world I would love to make a rec wit @mavadogully @grunggaadzilla ! Jamaica STAND UP! #Alliance #wethebest the people the streets want to see this happen!! I’m going go hard and find away to make it happen !!! Jah know!!!!”

Watch the full OnStage interview with Mavado here: http://www.youtube.com/user/OnstageTVJamaica/videos

 

Krymis tells the youths that they are ‘Heading To The Top’

Gully side deejay, Krymis aka Northbound says music is his main focus despite the ongoing feud between Mavado and Bounty Killer

Gully side deejay, Krymis aka Northbound says music is his main focus despite the ongoing feud between Mavado and Bounty Killer

by Jodee Brown

In spite of the developing war between Alliance leader, Bounty Killer and long-time protégé, Mavado, emerging artist and Gully Side affiliate, Krymis aka Northbound is looking past all the negativity as he has released a single signaling his intentions as an artist, aptly-titled, Heading To The Top.

Produced by D1 Productions, this uplifting song sees the deejay live up to his Northbound moniker as he calls attention to the desire he and other ghetto youths possess in trying to reach the top of their chosen professions. Showing off his singing and deejaying skills on a up-tempo, yet conscious beat, Krymis puts true emotion into the song as he lets us know why he won’t let any negativity stop his progress while pointing out that all inner-city youths need is one chance to prove their worth in society.

“When you see the youths them a rise, just give it up, and don’t fight for the cake ‘cause it is big enough, dem nuh like ghetto youths and that’s ridiculous, badmind, grudgeful nuh wan’ fi see wi buss,” the motivated deejay sings while adding, Mi heading to the top, mi nah laugh, serious as a ute and mi nuh too talk, neva go a college, but yuh know mi street smart, true mi a no fool mek dem nuh bump mi off.”

The lyrics mirror Krymis’ mentality in a genre which, as previously mentioned, now sees two of its greats, Bounty Killer and Mavado squaring off, with the former releasing a slew of disses in his long-time protégé’s direction. Having known and been affiliated with Mavado and viewing Bounty Killer as ‘The General’ in music, Krymis insists he is taking no sides in this developing feud as his career remains his main objective.

“Right now, mi jus a do me, mi nuh inna no distractions,” he said. “I have two songs inna di juggling, playing pon regular rotation. We a get some good energy from the dance dem, including Weddy Weddy Wednesdays. That’s all I’ve ever wanted. I feel like it’s a very great step.”

In addition to promoting Heading To The Top, Krymis continues to show off his writing skills as he currently writes for fellow deejay, Quick Cook and recently featured with him on Game Over, a single feature on ZJ Liquid’s Good Book Riddim. He also is working with emerging producer, Red Boom and is featured on the Super Juggling Riddim.

Heading To The Top is a true motivational anthem that will inspire anyone to fight for their dreams no matter what surroundings they find themselves in. A sure radio hit, Krymis intends to do his best to live up to the song title with each and every effort he puts out.

Mavado labels Bounty Killer’s diss songs ‘garbage,’ says he is not on his level

Mavado has responded to lyrical shots fired at him by Alliance leader and long-time mentor, Bounty Killer, saying Killer's songs were weak and he needs to try harder to get his attention.

Mavado has responded to lyrical shots fired at him by Alliance leader and long-time mentor, Bounty Killer, saying Killer’s songs were weak and he needs to try harder to get his attention.

by Jodee Brown

Dancehall superstar, Mavado has thrown fuel on the fiery relationship between him and long-time mentor, Bounty Killer, saying the legendary deejay is not on his level in response to a pair of diss songs released by the ‘Grung Gaad’ in the last week, in which he finally broke his silence on his feelings towards the ‘Gully Gaad.’

Killer released the lyrically sharpshooting song, Death Work last week in which he called Mavado a sell out since signing with We The Best Music Group. A follow up single released Monday titled, A Who also showcased dismissiveness towards Mavado, claiming he has been ungrateful for far too long.

Mavado finally responded to Bounty Killer’s taunts on Tuesday, but told ZIP FM that he does not plan to respond to either song because Bounty’s diss tracks were weak.

“Those are not songs, those are garbage,” he said. “That’s no music. Them songs deh?Which part dem a go? Dem not even a go cross the airport so why should I even listen to them. I won’t even give them the time of day. I don’t have to call anybody name to be on top. I’m always on top. They are the ones that always have to be calling David Brooks name to create a hype or a buzz for their career. I don’t have time for that.”

Mavado also laid down a challenge to Bounty and anyone else who wants to challenge him bar for bar.

“If a artist feel as if him wan fi deh inna lyrical confrontation wid me, you haffi up to mi standard and everything right now,” he said. “Yuh cyaah come deejay garbage and feel like yuh can go up against Gully Gaad. That’s garbage. That’s nothing.”

The two have been at odds, on and off, since the fatal shooting of Mavado’s cousin, Conroy’ Connie’ Edwards at Bounty Killer birthday party in June 2011. Mavado has long been accused of throwing subliminal disses Bounty’s way in songs like Dem a Try Style Man and Pon Di Gully.

Bounty Killer calls out Mavado in new song

Bounty Killer has taken his issues with long-time protege, Mavado to the studio, releasing a scathing diss track aimed at him entitled, 'Death Work.'

Bounty Killer has taken his issues with long-time protege, Mavado to the studio, releasing a scathing diss track aimed at him entitled, “Death Work”

by Jodee Brown

If there was any doubt as to whether or not the friendship between Alliance leader, Bounty Killer and long-time protégé, Mavado was in tatters, that doubt has now turned to certainty after Bounty recently released a scathing diss track aimed at the ‘Gully Gad.’

The song, Death Work, released on Wednesday, calls out Mavado and his management team after a series of subliminal disses that Bounty believes were aimed at him by his protégé. Since the start of the year, songs like Dem a Try Style Man and Pon Di Gully contained lyrics that seemingly took thinly-veiled shots at Bounty. The latter song drew a terse response from the ‘Grung Gaad,’ in which he said “A one general inna music bout bex bad, and dem nuh wah see a next gad? Tell madden send him best bag.”

In Death Work, Bounty Killer says Mavado sold out ever since landing his deal with We The Best Music Group, deejaying, “Sign yu to Khaled, sen yu guh foreign to make a outreach, yu tun rapper groupie, deh dung a South Beach and have the heart fi come a run off yu mouth peace, pass yu place a yu career a gonna out it, everything pon the Gully mi a rub out it. Bwoy tell yu bout yu madda and yu big him up, yow yu been a drop words come act big enough confront the General, hope yu can live it up.”

He also says, “Mi nah forgive dem, dem know all dat they have done…father a done di son.”

Mavado has yet to respond to this new diss track. Death Work is the strongest signal yet that he and Bounty Killer are not on good terms after years of speculation. The relationship between both deejays has been rocky ever since 2011 following a fatal shooting incident outside of Bounty Killer’s birthday party at the QUAD nightclub in Kingston in June 2011 which claimed the life of Mavado’s friend, Conroy ‘Connie’ Edwards. Despite the fatality, Bounty reportedly never offered condolences for Mavado’s loss, instead blaming him for causing trouble at his party. The two have talked on and off ever since.

Another Alliance deejay, Busy Signal hinted at the tension between the two in a single, Real Talk which was labelled as a ‘Mavado warning.’ In that song, he deejayed, “Singer nuffi a war Bounty real talk, him nuh memba when him bruck and when him hungry? A beg the bills and the 50? Tell him nuh be an ungrateful pickney, Killa a di man wey help people pickney buss di youths outa the slum fi mek it musically. Now yu mek it pon yu own a feed yu family. Rodney Price cudda neva be mi enemy.”

Ja’s Wonder Boy

boi-1da-photoby Kevin Jackson (Jamaica Observer)

HE is not a big name in Jamaican music circles, but Canada’s Boi-1da (pronounced Boy Wonda) is one of contemporary pop’s most in-demand producers.

The Toronto-reared Boi-1da has worked with a string of A-list hip hop and Rhythm and Blues stars. His resume includes several chart-topping songs and awards.

Who exactly is he? For starters, he is Jamaican.

“I was born in Kingston and lived in Braeton, Portmore. I ended up moving to Canada at the age of three to an area in Toronto called North York, and I’ve been living in Toronto ever since,” said the 27-year-old, whose real name is Matthew Samuels.

Boi-1da’s production credits include rapper Drake’s Grammy-winning album Take Care and single Over; Eminem’s album Recovery and single Not Afraid (which both won Grammys); Busta Rhymes’ upcoming album, Extinction Level Event 2; High School by Nicki Minaj, as well as tracks by Jay Z, Kanye West, 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar, Kardinal Offishall, Lil Wayne, Nicole Scherzinger, Canadian pop band Down With Webster and Keri Hilson.

His current projects include albums for Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne and Drake.

“I am focused on Kendrick Lamar’s album, I’ve been in the studio with him a lot and we’ve been creating some great stuff together, I am also working on Lil Wayne’s brand new album The Carter V and new music with Drake,” he told Splash.

Though Beenie Man, Bounty Killer and Spragga Benz are some of the dancehall acts who excite him, working with Jamaican artistes is not in Boi-1da’s immediate plans.

He was only 15 when he got involved in music.

“I was in high school, and always interested in music, sounds and especially beats,” he recalled. “During a discussion with my friend trying to figure out how music was constructed, he told me about a computer programme called FL Studio that allows you to put together beats. I got extremely curious and went home and downloaded it and the rest is history.”

His first project was a mix tape for a teenaged actor named Drake.

“It was called Room for Improvement. This took place in a time where Drake wasn’t as popular as he is now for his music but more for his role on (Canadian television show) Degrassi High. I produced two tracks, City is Mine and Do What You Do,” Boi-1da said.

Since then, his sound and recording techniques have changed, with the use of live instruments and fusing the drum and bass feel of dancehall/reggae in his songs.

“I always try to incorporate Jamaica elements into my productions. if you listen to the song Over by Drake and High School by Nicki Minaj, there are definitely elements of dancehall in there. I also used to put an air horn in a lot of my beats earlier in my career, which is very instrumental in dancehall,” he noted.

To date, Boi-1da’s creativity has helped him score seven number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Success, he says, has not gone to his head.

“It’s a great feeling working with major acts. Just to know that the hard work that I’ve put in for many years has brought me to a level to work with people I’ve only dreamed of meeting and working with, it gives me a sense of confidence.”

Bounty Killer Warns Freaky Artistes “Don’t come nasty up di dancehall”

A 'Killa' warning for freaky artistes

A ‘Killa’ warning for freaky artistes

by Curtis Campbell (Jamaica Star)

Guinness Greatest Dancehall Icon Bounty Killer has finally broken his silence on the taboo sexual direction which dancehall has taken in recent months, courtesy of the new crop of dancehall artistes.

The likes of J Amsterdam and Alkaline are perhaps front-runners as it relates to artistes who have pushed the barriers of the sexual language in dancehall. J Amsterdam releasing a song asking females to wine in his face and Alkaline admitting that he likes the anal stimulation from a female’s tongue as ‘brawta’ in his song on So Unique record’s Igloo Rhythm.

Bounty Killer, during a performance at a recent stage show, addressed some of these issues, stating that some things are better off left in the bedroom.

He also warned females about accepting Alkaline’s reference to them as ‘john crow’ in his (Alkaline’s) Bruck Out song when he deejayed, “Tonight every gyal a tun a devil, tun a heathen, tun a john crow”.

“Dem a talk bout dancehall a get kinky, but dancehall is just getting too friendly, everybody like everybody. Me nuh like everybody, me like who me like, mi nuh likey likey, mi nuh love likes. Listen mi, a years mi a sing some type a things and mi neva cross the line. Yu neva hear mi a tell girls fi duh certain things yet, because the public is the public. Suh some bwoy fi keep dem dirty life inna dem bedroom. Don’t come nasty up di dancehall and don’t mek nuh guy tell yu fi turn a dutty devil, nuh guy nu fi tell yu fi turn nuh john crow,” Bounty warned.

“Nuh mek nuh guy come try stereotype unno. Ghetto girls keep unno head up in the sky. Because most artiste just come up yah fi get a forward and guh wey, dem nuh give unno likkle insight, likkle information or something and unno help destroy unno self sometimes,” Bounty Killer told his fans.

Kartel lost his way

The artiste who introduced Vybz Kartel to the music industry also commented on his recent predicament with the law, as Bounty says the guilty verdict was the worst thing that could ever happen to dancehall.

“One of our most promising rising champions was found guilty of murder and that is the most tragic thing in dancehall and a me did find Kartel as a likkle youth and sey come mi youth. The moment him sey daddy devil an unno happy and laugh wid him, uno help destroy him. Yow, the devil nuh duh nothing beautiful, Kartel mek him soul get caught in hell. And the devil that is what they do, destroy goodness. I wish Kartel all the best and I hope unno put all the prayers you can so the appeal will be accepted. Leave it inna the hands of the Father, God work miracles another youth from the ghetto, from the slum, the system get him. We can only say a prayer, leave it to God. The whol’ a we mek mistakes, leave it to God, di whol a wi sin already,” Bounty said.

Bounty Killer then dedicated songs The Lord is my Light and Salvation and Closer Than a Brother to the incarcerated deejay.

Supercat, Saw, Sizzla and ‘Di Stinga’ highlight intriguing STING 30

by Jodee Brown

After a night filled with clashes, eye-raising moments and the return of a legend, STING 2013the 30th anniversary of the ‘Greatest Dancehall show on Earth’ on Dec. 26 certainly entertained and provoked thoughts throughout, leaving music lovers with lots of talking points to dissect for a long time coming.

The show, organized by Supreme Promotions and Downsound Records was, in this writer’s opinion, the most intriguing one since 2008 when the rivalry between Vybz Kartel and Mavado came to a head. Highlights were prevalent and lowlights were evident; here’s a look at some of those performances and moments in this STING 30 review.

Early Segments

Early Segments

Early Segments: STING, perhaps given the amount of entertainers on the bill, started shortly after 8 a.m. Amongst the emerging artists that performed within the first two hours of STING were Kalado and Toronto based deejay Touchless, who gave short, yet effective sets, going into songs like You Make Me Feel and Summer Body respectively. However, it was fast-rising Reggae sensation, Jah Bouks that was a hit with the smaller crowd inside the Portmore-based Jamworld, performing his big hit, Angola as well as newer material such as Going Home. His performance savvy, seen at a slew of show this year, makes him a must-watch act in 2014 and beyond.

Reggae shines on stage (Romain’s last STING?)

Reggae shines on stage (Romain’s last STING?)

Reggae shines on stage (Romain’s last STING?) File photo

Though STING draws a hardcore Dancehall following, pure Reggae acts always find strong favor with the crowd, and this year was no exception. As per usual, Etana andI-Wayne drew some of the best responses from the typically judgmental audience, with the former bringing out Alborosie for a strong rendition of their collaborative hit,Blessings while the latter connected with his female following with, Girl I Love You.

While the likes of Nature and Iba Mahr also presented high energy sets, the stand out performance came from one Romain Virgo, who repeatedly hinted that this year might be the last year he performs at the show. It was a surprising admission from the 23-year-old phenom, who went into hits such as Who Feels It Knows It, Rain Is Falling, Mi Prefer Wait and Serious Times while decked out in all-white. Whatever the reasoning was behind those utterances is unknown, but after giving one of the best sets throughout the night, no one will be hoping he actually lives up to his proclamation.

Wyclef props and 2 Chainz flops

Wyclef props and 2 Chainz flops

STING 30 went out of its element by inviting international artists to the show to provide a different flavor to its fans. Unlike the more mixed crowd for Reggae Sumfest, however, it was always going to take a lot more effort to appease this crowd and in the case of 2 Chainz, he learned that the hard way.

The American rap star’s set started off on the wrong foot with technical issues dominating the first five minutes. Once his mic was finally fixed, his set just failed to get off the ground. In a performance littered with unapologetic cursing, he did songs like Birthday Suit, No Lie and others to an unmoved, silent crowd who did not seem to know exactly how to react. No matter how much he tried to warm up to them, it just was not connecting; frankly looking like a mismatch between artist and fan base. He incessantly complained about his stage time late in his performance, but perhaps this flop of a set should have ended sooner given the circumstances.

On the other hand, Wyclef Jean went over with the Portmore-based crowd by doing something that will always get you in their good graces, shouting out incarcerated Dancehall superstar and Portmore native, Vybz Kartel. After renditions of classics such as Gone Till November and911, as well as a smattering of poetry, Wyclef went into the crowd before unleashing a pair of Kartel hits for the crowd to savor. Also shouting out Buju Banton and convicted drug baron,Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke during his set, Wyclef endeared himself to the crowd the best way he could, by indulging in the culture.

Supercat still has the ‘Iron Claw’

Supercat still has the ‘Iron Claw’

Supercat still has the ‘Iron Claw’

Now at age 50 and 11 years removed from his last performance in Jamaica, the return of the ‘Don Dada,’ Supercat to the STING stage was filled with as much mystery as there was anticipation, considering how scarce he has been on the music stage in recent years.

However, the legendary Dancehall/Reggae star showed why he is still one of the most feared and respected performers in the game, recovering from a somewhat slow opening to launch into full gear with hits like Si Boops Deh, Unda Pressure and Dolly My Baby.

The crowd loved it and there was a flow to his set, the longest of the night. Supercat also showcased some new material, including talking about his ‘doggie leg,’ but his mere presence in a white suit, sporting a beard and curls was a pleasure to witness. Hopefully, there will be more sightings of this Jamaican music great in the years to come.

Lady Saw trounces Macka Diamond in clash

Lady Saw trounces Macka Diamond in clash

Lady Saw trounces Macka Diamond in clash urbanislandz.com

Truth be told, to call this highly anticipated showdown between the ‘Queen of Dancehall’ Lady Saw and Macka Diamonda clash may be overstating it a bit. This was more of a shouting match than anything else; providing more moments of entertainment than quality lyrical content.

Saw was in no joking mood throughout the night, giving a X-rated performance that kept eyes fixated throughout, particularly during her performance of Heels On, when she called out model, Tyson Beckford and simulated a sexual position on stage while singing. Following her standout performance, she called out Macka to the stageMacka, donning all-black and face paint, did a clash-friendly rendition of her hit, Dye Dye before all hell broke loose. The two nearly butted heads before Lady Saw went out in full attack mode, alleging several sexual relationships Macka had in the music business before letting her lyrics do the talking.

Though said lyrics were not up to the standard we’re usually accustomed to from the legendary deejay, she was never pushed to go into second gear with a seemingly intimidated Macka pushed to the brink of admitting defeat near the end, saying ‘Mi will die trying.’ That line alone proved how one-way this ‘clash’ was. Saw was ruthless as she saw her prey and wouldn’t let up once she had it in her clutches, making Macka ‘die die’ lyrically as she unleashed her vocal bullets.

D’Angel gets raunchy during clash with Ninja Man

D’Angel gets raunchy during clash with Ninja Man

D’Angel gets raunchy during clash with Ninja Manyardhype.com/kingstonstyle.com

Ninja Man has faced his share of tough opponents in the clash arena – Supercat, Mad Cobra, Merciless and Kiprich – but this year’s clash rival was relatively new in that area of music. After winning a celebrity clash against Ishawna in November,D’Angel decided to respond to a lyric the ‘Don Gorgon’ sang about her during his set. She used her retort to address a fresh controversy about a picture exposing her privates that circulated on the internet shortly before Christmas. Not only did she use it as material in her answer to Ninja Man, she even ‘skinned out,’ in front of the audience while wearing a short blouse, adding a raunchiness to her set that she is not typically known for. She was unafraid of the repercussions and certainly prompted bulged eyes to be made throughout this short-lived clash.

Performance of the night – Sizzla

Performance of the night – Sizzla

Performance of the night – Sizzlayardhype.com

Otherwise, Aidonia and Beenie Man were relatively solid throughout their sets, Tommy Lee seemed reflective as he talked about his car accident and expressed his desire for a United States visa during his performance and Mavado put to rest any recent speculation about his relationship with mentor, Bounty Killer by shouting him out during his performance – a combination of old school gangsta hits mixed with a few newer songs.

But the single best performance of the night had to be Sizzla Kalonji, who was in a militant mood, performing classics like Thank You Mama, Trod Mount Zion, Be Strong and many more. Often free styling and even throwing a couple of barbs in the direction of STING’s lead promoter, Isaiah LaingSizzla made several points addressing homosexuality, Africa and many more topics to overwhelming approval from the crowd. He did not miss a beat, and should be given serious consideration to close the show in the near future.

Ryno beats Kiprich in title clash

Ryno beats Kiprich in title clash

Ryno beats Kiprich in title clash

After disposing of General B, Mercilessand even the clash king himself, Ninja Man, Kiprich was hoping for some competition for the clash title and a US$30,000 on the line to close the show. On stage stepped a surprise opponent in Black Ryno, who at the same show last year was pushed off stage by Popcaan during a heated exchange between ex Portmore Empireteammates.

Donning a very unusual costume, Kiprich looked to have underrated Ryno’s ability from the jump, but was quickly put in line by ‘Ryno Di Stinger’ with a quick, devastating flurry of lyrics which included mostly freestyles. After ‘Kippo’ made a reference to last year’s incident involving Ryno, however, the Facebook singer did not garner many likes as the clash went on as impatient, bipartisan crowd booed him as they rooted for their hometown artist. This was a unanimous decision in the end, leaving Kiprich with too much to overcome and Black Ryno with US$30,000 more in his pocket. Hopefully, this will be the start of a renaissance in the career of an artist still looking for his first big hit since severing ties with Vybz Kartel.

Wyclef reportedly set for STING appearance

Wyclef Jean is reportedly the newest addition to this year's STING lineup.

Wyclef Jean is reportedly the newest addition to this year’s STING lineup

by Jodee Brown Organizers for the 30th edition of the popular STING concert series have now added Grammy-winning singer and producer, Wyclef Jean to the lineup, according to reports Wednesday. The Haitian-American musician, most renowned for his run with Lauryn Hill and Pras as part of The Fugees,was confirmed as a part of this year’s show, called Bring the Sting. The artist joins 2 Chainz as the show’s headline overseas acts for the show, while STING alsomarks the return of Dancehall legend, Supercat to the Jamaican scene for the first time since 2001. Wyclef is quite familiar with the Jamaican music makeup, having done a collaboration, while with The Fugees, alongside Bounty Killer for their song, Hip Hopera in the late 90s. He also has collaborated with Mavado on multiple occasions, including their hit, Holding On and, more recently, joining forces with the ‘Gully Gad; and Cris Cab for the single, Rihanna’s Gun. STING 30 is also expected to feature a number of top Dancehall and Reggae acts, including the aforementioned Mavado, Beenie Man, Lady Saw, Romain Virgo, Kiprich, Jah Bouks, Ninja Man and several more. The show will be broadcast live on pay-per-view and streamed live on the internet. It is scheduled to take place Dec. 26 at Jamworld in Portmore, St. Catherine.

10 hit Reggae albums that deserved Grammy nominations

by Jodee Brown

On Friday night, The Recording Academy announced its nominees for the 56th Grammy Awards, slated for January 26 in Los Angeles. A fair amount of intrigue surrounds this year’s Reggae Grammy nominees, with Snoop Dogg (under the Snoop Lion moniker) and Sizzla standing out amongst the contenders.

However, while the selection committee has managed to correctly reward some of Reggae’s most influential projects in the past, there were some top-of-the-line albums by Jamaican artists that were inexplicably snubbed, for whatever reason, with regards the Best Reggae album honor. Here are 10 such projects that deserved a shot at music’s most prestigious prize:

Honorable Mention: Reggae Music Again (2012)

Honorable Mention: Reggae Music Again (2012)

Honorable Mention: Reggae Music Again (2012)File photo

A certain honorable mention for this list is Busy Signal’s Reggae Music Again. The all-Reggae effort, released months before serving a six-month stint in a U.S. prison last May was relatively solid as he and Shane Brown combined to produce hits like Come Over (Missing You) and Reggae Music Again, showing Busy’s undoubted versatility. This project was a classic case of quality of music out-trumping quantity of record sales. Yet, The Recording Academy chose not to take too much notice.

10. Etana – Better Tomorrow (2013)

10. Etana – Better Tomorrow (2013)

10. Etana – Better Tomorrow (2013) File photo

Regarding this year’s award selections, there was not much of an issue from my perspective regarding the nominees, which also included Beres HammondZiggy Marley and Sly and Robbie and the Jam Masters. However, this year seemed like the ideal opportunity to buck a longstanding trend of female acts not earning a Grammy nod, with Etana’s most recent album, Better Tomorrow warranting such an honor.

The album featured some of her best work including songs such as QueenBeautiful Day and the addictive track, Reggae and, had it been nominated, would have marked the first album by a female act since Sister Carol’sLyrically Potent in 1997 to earn such a nod. Alas, it was not meant to be for the ‘Strong One.’

9. Romain Virgo – The System (2012)

9. Romain Virgo - The System (2012)

9. Romain Virgo – The System (2012)vpreggae.com

Last year, the Recording Academy failed to buck yet another recent trend – mainly elder acts and familiar names getting nods – and overlooked a strong breakthrough effort by emerging Reggae superstar, Romain Virgo with his debut album, The System.

This album made Virgo a standout name in Reggae music, with hits such as Rich In LoveI Know Better and The System and showcased his vocal range and versatility to the world. Though the album was not a smashing commercial success, it featured quality music from top to bottom and would have fit onto a final nominations list with work less heralded and similarly struggling in the sales department.

8. Sizzla – Praise Ye Jah (1997)

8. Sizzla - Praise Ye Jah (1997)

8. Sizzla – Praise Ye Jah (1997)reggaeville.com

In 1997, a young, fiery singer by the name ofSizzla Kalonji announced himself to the Reggae scene with this thought-provoking album, Praise Ye Jah. This album was a slight turn from the albums of the early-mid 90s which were predicated on soft tones and soothing melodies. Not to say this album didn’t have sprinkles of either, but on this record, you could feel Sizzla’s passion as he helped usher in the more edgy, aggressive type of Reggae music that would force others to pay attention.

The album did not quite make Sizzla a mainstream hit, but with songs like Praise Ye Jah, Homeless and Dem a Wonder, it warranted a Grammy nod just based on the fact it offered something different from the usual Reggae project and found some measure of credence with music lovers, allowing his star to shine early on in his career.

7. Beres Hammond – Moment in Time (2008)

7. Beres Hammond - Moment in Time (2008)

7. Beres Hammond – Moment in Time (2008)amazon.com

Beres Hammond’s 11-year wait for a Grammy nomination could have been cut in half if his 2008 album, Moment In Time had been one of the five finalist for the 2009 Reggae Grammy. This was a breathtaking album from the Reggae legend, featuring hits like No GoodbyeI Feel Good andGive It All You’ve Got and possessed enough quality to warrant a call in a rare year when six nominees were selected.

6. Diana King – Tougher Than Love (1995)

6. Diana King - Tougher Than Love (1995)

6. Diana King – Tougher Than Love (1995)7Digital.com

In the mid-90s, Diana King was one of the hottest properties in Jamaican music, particularly for her hit single, Shy Guywhich was featured on the soundtrack to the first installment of the Bad Boys movie series. Other tracks like Treat Her Like a Lady, later covered by Celine Dion, made her a breakout star internationally.

Despite that and the fact Tougher Than Love was certified gold in the United States, she was snubbed for the award, again proving how much harder it was for a Jamaican female act to garner the same attention for such a major award than her male counterparts.

5. Bounty Killer – My Xperience (1996)

5. Bounty Killer - My Xperience (1996)

5. Bounty Killer – My Xperience (1996)amazon.com

Having arrived on the scene with a rough-edge, no nonsense style in the early 90s,Bounty Killer became one of Dancehall’s most prolific stars and was soon gaining international recognition, collaborating with the likes of The Fugees and Busta Rhymesfor his 1996 project, My Xperience.

This was easily the best project ever compiled by the ‘War Lord,’ featuring hits like Living Dangerously (w/ Barrington Levy), Maniac (w/ Richie Stephens),Seek God and Revolution (Part 3) – w/ Beenie Man and the late Dennis Brown.Certainly, one of the greatest Dancehall albums ever put together should have received a nod, but did not make the final list, for the 1997 Reggae Grammy, which was won by Bunny Wailerfor his 50th anniversary album dedicated to the late, great Bob Marley.

4. Luciano – Where There Is Life (1995)

4. Luciano - Where There Is Life (1995)

4. Luciano – Where There Is Life (1995)last.fm

Though he scored a Grammy nod for his 2002 album, A New Day, his best album,Where There Is Life was surprisingly not deemed worthy of similar acclaim for the 1996 awards. The Philip ‘Fattis’ Burrell produced album featured some of Reggae’s biggest hits, including It’s Me Again Jah,Who Could It Be and Lord Give Me Strength. It was a shame considering how popular many of the songs were in the mainstream and the album would have presented a strong challenge to the eventual winner, Boombastic by Shaggy.

3. Sizzla – Da Real Thing (2002)

3. Sizzla - Da Real Thing (2002)

3. Sizzla – Da Real Thing (2002)reggaeville.com

Though he already had hit albums like the aformentioned Praise Ye Jah, Sizzla Kalonji never truly broke out as an international mainstream star until his 2002 album, Da Real Thing came out, which produced the mother-loving anthem, Thank You Mama, Just One of Those Days, Solid As a Rock and a bevy of others.

He put himself out there as Reggae’s next big star, but his star apparently did not shine enough to earn a look from the Grammy selection committee the following year, whenLee ‘Scratch’ Perry took home the honor. A surprising omission to say the least.

2. Buju Banton – Til Shiloh (1995)

2. Buju Banton - Til Shiloh (1995)

2. Buju Banton – Til Shiloh (1995)File photo

How Buju Banton’s greatest album to date did not earn a Grammy nomination is, in my opinion, one of the greatest travesties in Reggae music.

This undoubted classic featured worldwide hits such as Untold Stories, Not an Easy Road, Wanna Be Loved, Murderer andChampion. Though he would later score five more nominations, including winning the 2011 Best Reggae Album honor for Rasta Got Soul, Til Shiloh without question should have been nominated and would have made contention for the 1996 Reggae Grammy a lot more interesting.

1. Shaggy – Hot Shot (2000)

1. Shaggy - Hot Shot (2000)

1. Shaggy – Hot Shot (2000)File photo

As eye-popping as Buju’s omission was, however, there was no greater shock than when one of Jamaican music’s best-selling albums of all-time was snubbed for the 2001 Reggae Grammy.

Shaggy’s Hot Shot not only produced international hits like Angel (w/ Rayvon) andIt Wasn’t Me (w/ Rik Rok), the album was certified diamond in the U.S., with close to 10 million records sold there and over 20 million worldwide.

Despite the fact It Wasn’t Me was nominated for the Best Pop Collaboration w/ Vocal, what seemed like a shoe-in for a nomination and a possible victory in 2001 (Beenie Man’s Art and Life won that year) for Hot Shot was snubbed by the academy. It remains a mystery how one of Jamaican music’s best commercial successes – topping the Billboard 200 chart and U.K. Albums Chart – never received the call up it deserved for music’s greatest prize.

Mr. Vegas challenges Bounty Killer to clash at STING

Vegas-Bounty clash at STING? The two superstar deejays could be heading for a lyrical confrontation at Dancehall's largest showpiece.

Vegas-Bounty clash at STING? The two superstar deejays could be heading for a lyrical confrontation at Dancehall’s largest showpiece.

by Jodee Brown

Not known for entertaining lyrical confrontations throughout his illustrious career, Dancehall/Reggae superstar, Mr. Vegas now seeks to break this mold by challenging one of the genre’s clash kings and long-time rival, Bounty Killer at STING 2013.

On Thursday, Vegas made his intention to clash the ‘War Lord’ public and insists he will not back down from Bounty at Dancehall’s most hyped showcase.

“I just put it out there to let it be known that mi a big man now and mi nah mek nuhbody feel like dem can cow mi down,” Vegas told the Jamaica STAR.

Vegas and Bounty’s years of verbal exchanges came to a head in September after a recent performance in which Vegas donned 70s plaid clothes and a fake afro, with the ‘Grung Gaad’ and his fans ridiculing the outfit. The seemingly petty argument turned into a flat out war of words with everything being questioned, from Vegas’ sexuality to Bounty’s status within the music.

Vegas later claimed that his relationship with an ex-girlfriend of Bounty’s was the reason behind this deep-seeded dislike his fellow deejay showed towards him.

Despite having no clashing experience, Mr. Vegas says he has studied enough about the history of Dancehall and the art of lyrical warfare that gives him the confidence to clash Bounty Killer and said he would even turn down his show in Dubai, scheduled for the same day as STING, just to confront the Allianceleader.

“Clash is to entertain people with lyrics, not bag a noise and nasty mouth,” he said “So, if a man come wid some fresh new lyrics, then mi wi cancel my show a Dubai and mek Laing run back the promoter food, just to show people sey mi can tek on Goliath.”

Mr. Vegas has even gone as far as to record a diss song against Bounty dubbed Bury Him Fuss, suggesting he is ready for a clash at STING.

Bounty Killer has yet to respond to Vegas’ challenge.

Last year, Bounty Killer was at the centre of another major feud, that time with former Vybz Kartel protégé,Tommy Lee Sparta, with many rumors swirling of a clash between those two at STING. However, Bounty ended that speculation by insisting he would not be at STING and that Tommy Lee Sparta was no established enough for him to take seriously in that setting.

STING 2013, the 30th anniversary of the show, will take place at Jamworld in St. Catherine on Dec., 26.