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.

Snoop Lion, Sizzla amongst finalists for Reggae Grammy

Snoop Lion (left) and Sizzla (right) are both first time nominees for a Best Reggae Album Grammy award.

Snoop Lion (left) and Sizzla (right) are both first time nominees for a Best Reggae Album Grammy award.

by Jodee Brown

After temporarily ditching hardcore lyrics for songs about unity and anti-violence, Snoop Dogg has seen his Reggae efforts rewarded by The Recording Academy as he was named one of five finalists on Friday for the Best Reggae Album award at next year’sGrammy Awards.

The artist, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, is being nominated for his album, Reincarnated, released in April while using the Snoop Lion moniker. The album, which features collaborations with Mavado, Popcaan, Mr. Vegas, Drake and Miley Cyrus amongst others, was the best-selling Reggae album in the United States this year, with over 21,000 copies sold in its debut week and, to date, has sold well over 50,000 copies there.

Despite criticism from legendary Jamaican artists such as Bunny Wailer and Lady Saw, the album received a number of positive reviews. However, the Snoop Lionact appears to have been cut, at least for the time being, as he recently changed his name again, to Snoopzilla.

Another artist receiving his first Reggae Grammy nod is Sizzla Kalonji for his album, The Messiah. Having recorded over 70 albums in his career, it is the first chance he will have a music’s most prestigious award. The Messiah features 15 tracks, including Chant Dem Down and Psalm 121.

Beres Hammond is also amongst the finalists, securing his first nomination since 2002 with his One Love, One Life double album, featuring the hit single, In My Arms.

The other two contenders for the Best Reggae Album award are four-time winner, Ziggy Marley for Ziggy Marley in Concert and Sly and Robbie and the Jam Masters with Reggae Connection.

The 56th Grammy Awards will take place on January 26 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.

Imperial Alley Cat set to kick off U.S. tour

Imperial Alley Cat, mastermind behind the 'Dancehall Knowledge' compilation series will begin a tour across the United States this weekend in Orlando.

Imperial Alley Cat, mastermind behind the ‘Dancehall Knowledge’ compilation series will begin a tour across the United States this weekend in Orlando.

by Jodee Brown

Multitalented Jamaican musician, Imperial Alley Cat is set to showcase his talents across the United States in the coming weeks, which will kick off on Sunday in Orlando, FL.

The Dancehall/Reggae singer and producer will join a diverse collection of talents on this upcoming tour, presented by the LA-based United Artiste Alliance Music Group (UAA Music) label, which will begin at theOrange County Convention Center. The tour will feature acts from genres such as rock and roll, hip-hop, R&B and pop, including Elliot Noir, SLK, Roger Rackz, If Humans Could Fly and many more.

This tour will enable Imperial to get up close and personal with his American fan base as he hopes to break new ground within the industry, hailing as the lone Dancehall/Reggae act on the bill. The singjay looks forward to engaging with young music lovers who will fill the venue as he looks to represent Jamaica to the fullest on the American music scene.

Imperial says he is ‘very excited and in high spirits’ as he promises to deliver steady, thought-prompting performances that reflect the music and positive energy he brings within the industry.

The U.S. tour comes on the heels of Imperial’s hit single,Idling which has garnered strong buzz in his homeland as well as in the U.S., Canada and Europe while the accompanying video features cameos from Mavado and Karian Sang. Furthermore, Imperial Alley Catwill be dropping more new music before the end of this year, going into 2014 and is currently promoting the official video for his new single, Real Ghetto Story.

Check out the Real Ghetto Story video on YouTube as well as Idling on Soundcloud. To bookImperial, email him at immperialproductions@gmail.com or imperialbookings1@gmail.com

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.

New Gyptian album, ‘Sex, Love and Reggae’ tops Billboard chart

Dancehall/Reggae superstar, Gyptian has topped the Billboard Reggae chart with his new compilation, 'Sex, Love and Reggae'.

Dancehall/Reggae superstar, Gyptian has topped the Billboard Reggae chart with his new compilation, ‘Sex, Love and Reggae’.

by Jodee Brown

Reggae/Dancehall superstar, Gyptian has topped the U.S. Billboard Reggae Chart thanks to his new album,Sex, Love and Reggae, breaking a Jamaican drought on the charts in the process.

According to reports, Sex, Love and Reggae topped the chart with 1,290 copies sold in its opening week, becoming the first album by a Jamaican artist to top the chart since Beres Hammond’s One Life, One Love last October. The album more than doubles the output garnered for his last studio album, Hold Yuh, which sold just a touch over 500 copies and peaked in second spot on the Billboard Reggae Chart in 2010.

Gyptian has been doing a promotional tour for the album over the last month in the U.S. and U.K. respectively, performing mainly club venues throughout the tour.

Sex, Love and Reggae features several international names, including Melanie Fiona on One More Time,Estelle (Majestic Love) and Bunji Garlin, amongst several others.

His last album featured the award-winning, chart-topping single, Hold Yuh, which was certified gold in the United States with over 500,000 copies and silver in the United Kingdom, with over 200,000 units sold.

Mavado reportedly set to perform at STING 2013

Dancehall superstar, Mavado (left), who will soon be unveiling the video for his single, 'Give It All Me' featuring Nicki Minaj (right), is reportedly set to headline STING 2013

Dancehall superstar, Mavado (left), who will soon be unveiling the video for his single, ‘Give It All Me’ featuring Nicki Minaj (right), is reportedly set to headline STING 2013

by Jodee Brown

Organizers of Dancehall’s most popular and controversial event, STING are seemingly pulling out all the stops for their 30th anniversary show as Dancehall superstar,Mavado is reportedly leading the line to perform this December.

According to reports Saturday, the ‘Gully Gaad’ will be headlining STING 2013, a year after failing to perform at the show due to a monetary dispute with STINGpromoters, Isaiah Laing and Joe Bogdanovich, the CEO of Downsound Records.

A person with knowledge of the STING lineup told Urban Islandz, “I can confirm that Mavado the Gully God will be taking the stage at Jamworld.”

Mavado, who will soon release the official video for his remix of Give It All To Me (feat. Nicki Minaj), will be joined by Reggae legend, Sizzla Kalonji as well as popular Dancehall stars, Aidonia and Tommy Lee Sparta.

These reported confirmations come just over a week after Dancehall legend, Supercat, who made his name in his clash with Ninja Man at STING 91was confirmed for the show, marking his first performance in Jamaica since 2001.

American rap star, 2 Chainz has also been confirmed as the show’s overseas headliner.

STING’s 30th anniversary show will take place on Dec. 26 at Jamworld in Portmore, St. Catherine. Nikki Zhas been confirmed as the show’s host.

Supercat and 2 Chainz set for STING 2013

Dancehall legend, Supercat and American rap star, 2 Chainz are reportedly confirmed to headline STING's 30th anniversary show this December..

Dancehall legend, Supercat and American rap star, 2 Chainz are reportedly confirmed to headline STING’s 30th anniversary show this December..

by Jodee Brown

A little over two months from the 30th anniversary ofSTING, organizers of the highly-anticipated stage show have confirmed the return of one of its all-time great performers while securing the services of a popular overseas artist, according to reports Thursday.

Supercat, known for being one of Dancehall’s supreme acts in the 1990s, will return to STING for his first performance in Jamaica since 2001. It was atSTING, in part, where the self-professed ‘Don Dada’ made a name for himself as one of genre’s elite, taking part in a legendary clash with fellow Dancehall icon,Ninja Man at the 1991 edition of the show. His most recent performance was as a surprise guest at Hot 97’s On Da Reggae Tip show in New York in August.

Additionally, American rap star, 2 Chainz will be atSTING 2013, making him the first major international act since Kriss Kross (alongside Supercat at STING ’92) to perform at the event. Formerly known as Tity Boi from the group Playaz Circle, the dreadlocked rapper is known for songs such as No Lie feat. Drake, Birthday Song feat. Kanye West and I’m Different.

Since its inception in December 1984, STING has become renowned for strong performances by some of Jamaica’s headline acts as well as a few classic lyrical clashes, including Beenie Man vs. Bounty Killerin 1993, STING 2000’s clash which saw Merciless take on Beenie, Bounty and Ninja Man as well as the controversial battle between Vybz Kartel and Mavado in 2008.

STING promoter, Isaiah Laing has promised many top-of-the-line acts for this year’s anniversary show, slated for Boxing Day (December 26) at Jamworld in Portmore, St. Catherine.

Beenie Man & Annie Khalid, the ‘Face of Pepsi’ release new single

Annie Khalid (front) has unveiled the official single for her up-tempo single, 'Boom Boom Danze,' featuring Dancehall superstar, Beenie Man.

Annie Khalid (front) has unveiled the official single for her up-tempo single, ‘Boom Boom Danze,’ featuring Dancehall superstar, Beenie Man.

by Jodee Brown

British/Pakistani singer & model, Annie Khalid is back with an infectious new pop song featuring the legendary Grammy Award winning Dancehall King, Beenie Man.

Boom Boom Danze is the catchy, upbeat and energetic dance track with a reggae twist that is looking set to be a big hit, with the backing of Annie’s army of fans worldwide, as well as introducing her to a new mainstream audience with the many Reggae & European club mixes also available.

Annie Khalid first made waves with her first single, Mahiya which spread like a virus throughout the Asian population worldwide before being picked up by leading Bollywood producers for the movie Awarapan when Annie was still in her teens. Since then she’s had worldwide success with a blossoming modelling career in which she became the face of Pepsi‘s mass marketing campaign in Pakistan, resulting in Annie’s face appearing on millions of drink cans, bottles and billboards.

Annie has also worked on campaigns with leading hairstylists Toni & Guy and had the honor of being the first Pakistani artist to do an international campaign with European telecom giant Lebara MobileShe released the single, Be My Baby with internationally recognized dance DJ Judge Jules in 2010 and another single, Just 3 Words with chart-topping British boy band A1. Annie has also had the privilege to perform at the 2012 Emmy Awards in Norway.

Annie’s impressive music and modelling career thus far has enriched an army of fans, with a following of over 400,000 fans on Facebook and thousands more across the internet. Her eagerly anticipated forthcoming single Boom Boom Danze will officially be released on September 30th and features one of the Kings of the Reggae music world, Beenie Man, adding further buzz among Annie’s already huge and rapidly growing fan base. The single features a video shot in Jamaica with Beenie Man and has already had over 150,000 hits on YouTube, with the song being a dance floor hit in clubs across Europe.

Hot on the heels of Boom Boom DanzeAnnie Khalid has teamed up with British Asian super-producer Rishi Rich for the next single, Tujhe Yaad set to release in October. Annie is also in the middle of filming aBBC TV documentary, currently titled Annie Khalid…A Woman’s World, in which she profiles her own career so far and talks to other successful Muslim women looking to break down misconceptions.

Kartel’s cell searched as part of Patrick ‘Roach’ Samuels murder investigation

vybz kartel22by Jodee Brown

As an investigation into the tragic murder of popular Dancehall producer, Patrick ‘Roach’ Samuelscontinues, police say they have seized items from the jail cell of his former associate and embattled deejay, Vybz Kartel as they try to solve the case.

According to a report Wednesday from theConstabulary Communications Network (CCN),police took two cellular phones and three flash drives from Kartel’s cell during a search on Sunday at the Horizon Remand Centre in Spanish Town. However, they did not give what link, if any exists between the items seized from his cell and Samuels’ murder.

On Monday, police returned to Kartel’s cell, taking a DVD player and an Apple iPod. Additionally, a DVD player was taken from the jail cell of Kartel’s protégé, Shawn ‘Shawn Storm’ Campbell, who is co-accused in theClive ‘Lizard’ Williams murder case alongside Kartel.

The jail cell of another popular entertainer, Garfield ‘Zebra’ Vassell was also searched by law enforcement officials, with a SIM card being seized from the cell as well as a paper with a set of instructions.

All the items seized in these respective searches will be analyzed for evidential purposes by police as they continue to search for clues in relation to Samuels’ murder.

Samuels, 46, was shot and killed while in his vehicle after leaving a party in Kingston early Sunday morning. He is renowned for crafting hit rhythms such as the Siren Riddim in 2005, the Overproof Riddim in 2011 as well as the Overtime Riddim earlier this year.

He also served as Vybz Kartel’s former road manager for several years until the two fell out in 2010.

Vybz Kartel’s former road manager and producer, Patrick ‘Roach’ Samuels killed

roach1by Jodee Brown

Famed Jamaican music producer and the former road manager for popular deejay, Vybz Kartel, Patrick ‘Roach’ Samuels is dead, according to multiple reports Sunday morning.

Samuels was fatally shot by gunmen multiple times shortly after 4 a.m. on Sunday by gunmen while inside his vehicle near a gas station in Mary Brown’s Corner, St. Andrew, according to police. He reportedly tried to escape in his Chevrolet Avalanche but crashed while driving along Mannings Hill Rd. after more shots were fired at him.

The matter is now being investigated.

Samuels was known for several years as the right hand man of currently incarcerated deejay, Vybz Kartel serving as his road manager until the pair reportedly fell out in 2010. He is renowned for producing the Siren Riddim, which featured Sean Paul’s international smash, Break Out as well as, Emergency by Vybz Kartel.

His most successful production was the Overproof Riddim in 2011, a rhythm he worked on alongside JA Productions. The compilation featured artists such asBeenie Man, Mavado, Bounty Killer, Lady Saw, Daniel Bedingfield and garnered much international success with several songs from it topping charts worldwide.