Ninja Man calls Beenie Man hypocritical, accuses him of stealing from artists

Dancehall legends, Ninja Man and Beenie Man are at odds following a recent interview in which Beenie questioned the state of Dancehall during a recent interview on HOT 97by Jodee Brown

Add legendary deejay, Ninja Man to the growing list of industry players voicing their displeasure with Beenie Man after comments his fellow deejay made during a recent interview with American radio station, HOT 97 in which he made strong comments regarding the state of Dancehall.

In said interview, Beenie told the American hip-hop station that he didn’t feel artists such as Cham and Mr. Vegas were consistent enough, while suggesting Sean Paul needs to ‘come back to the roots’ more often. He also called out former collaborator, Elephant Man, saying, “I haven’t seen Elephant Man for like two years now, like seriously….Dancehall is not broken, some of the artistes are broken. The followers are here, I am still here, and I am still putting out hit songs,” leading to a war of words between the two deejays last week.

According to reports Wednesday, Ninja Man has been very displeased with Beenie’s comments, deciding to let loose in a radio interview earlier this week, in which he issued a stark response to the self-professed King of the Dancehall’s remarks.

“Beenie Man is not here before Ninja Man, he is not here before Daddy Roy and Josey Wales, so who is Beenie Man fi say him a hold up dancehall? Him see dancehall a drop dung? Beenie Man is a total thief,” he said. “Him is mi friend and mi nah keep no secret fi dem because mi nuh eat a nobody yard and mi nuh scrape nobody burn pan. Him is a thief. Him thief weh di ‘Doctor’ from Early B, him go back and tief the King from Yellow Man, him tief weh di girls from Shabba inna dancehall, and now him want come tief dancehall fi himself? Him too greedy.”

The ‘Don Gorgon’ accused Beenie Man of being a ‘hypocrite’ for not paying homage to those who came before him and allowed him the platform he has performed along for the past two decades.

“A Ninja Man a yuh boss,” Ninja said. “I am the one that you idolise and grow up and study and when you do sumn fi mek it hurt me, it hurt me. Stop gwaan like a you run dancehall. Yuh nuh run no dancehall. You is the artiste weh get the most boo inna dancehall.”

Ninja Man even issued a challenge to Beenie Man should he want to take the issue to wax, saying, “mi resign from war but if yuh nuh like wah mi say and can defend it lyrically, face me any minute, any second, any hour, any time.”

Ninja Man murder trial set for November after attempt to throw out case rejected

Dancehall artist, Ninja Man has been given a November court date where he is set to stand trial in the Richard Johnson murder trial.by Jodee Brown

After Dancehall superstar, Vybz Kartel was convicted of murder and subsequently sentenced to life in prison, another legend of the genre will have to wait several more months before his long-awaited murder trial is finally set in motion.

On Monday, Desmond Ballentine, more popularly known as Ninja Man appeared in a Kingston courtwhere he was scheduled to kick off the trial. However, the deejay, through his attorney, K.D. Knight, issued an application to have the case thrown out.

Knight argued that the case against Ninja Man and two co-accused should be dismissed given a breach of the constitutional rights, considering the length of time the case has yet to be tried. That application was soon rejected by the presiding judge, who then issued a November 10 date for the commencement of the trial.

Monday’s court proceedings took place just over five years after the fatal shooting of Richard Johnson in March 2009. The deejay was charged with murder, conspiracy to murder, shooting with intent and illegal possession of a firearm in relation to the incident. Ninja Man’s son, Janiel Ballentine and another man, Dennis Clayton were jointly charged in the incident.

The trial has endured several delays since then, though Ninja Man has been on bail since March 2012 and has since revived his nearly three-decade-long career after joining forces with Downsound Records.

D’Angel, Sizzla speak out against STING ban

Sizzla and D'Angel have both taken issue with their respective bans from STING following their performances at STING 2013 in December.

Sizzla and D’Angel have both taken issue with their respective bans from STING following their performances at STING 2013 in December.

by Jodee Brown

Two days following the announcement that Reggae/Dancehall artists, Sizzla and D’Angel were banned from future editions of STING following their controversial performances at the show’s 30th anniversary, both are crying foul following their punishments.

Isaiah Laing, the show’s lead organizer, announced Tuesday that Sizzla was banned from the show for promoting ‘hate music’ during his performance, in which he repeatedly hit out against homosexuality.D’Angel, meanwhile, was banned for at least five years as a patron following her impromptu clash with Ninja Man at the Dec. 26 show, which saw her spread her legs and gyrate while wearing a short dress during her set, before giving a bizarre post-performance interview later in the night.

D’Angel defended her actions in an interviewpublished Thursday in the Jamaica STAR, saying that she did nothing out of the ordinary given the hardcore nature STING has possessed over the years, while saying she has seen artists split, gyrate and sing lyrics that could be deemed explicit, without any punishment.

“As a grown woman and an artiste, I am entitled to entertain and perform,” she said “I have been watching Sting from I was a child and there is nothing that I did on stage at Sting that was far-fetched from all the things that have happened on that stage over the years.”

“I stayed true to the culture of Sting, which is energy-packed entertainment,” she continued. “I think outside the box. I was just having fun. It was just solid and mature entertainment. The patrons enjoyed it and the fans were happy. I represented dancehall on a wider scale. My music and career is not based on one night, my career goes on after this.”

Sizzla’s publicist, Olimatta Taal responded on behalf of the Grammy-nominated singer, saying organizers should not have attempted to censor him for speaking out against issues deemed illegal in the constitution.

“It is Laing’s show but he knows the artiste that Sizzla is and he knows what Sizzla represents,” she said.“If you book him for a show, don’t censor him. If you want to fight the issue, then fight the Government…Sizzla was just expressing the values he was brought up on. Don’t censor the artiste for that.”

Neither artist indicated whether they will challenge these bans.

Sizzla, D’Angel banned from STING, says Isaiah Laing

Reggae/Dancehall singers, Sizzla Kalonji and D'Angel have been banned from future editions of STING following alleged controversies during their performances at STING 2013

Reggae/Dancehall singers, Sizzla Kalonji and D’Angel have been banned from future editions of STING following alleged controversies during their performances at STING 2013

by Jodee Brown

Days after giving what some said was the best performance of STING 2013, Reggae singer, Sizzla Kalonji has been banned from future editions of the show by its lead promoter, Isaiah Laing, for alleged hate lyrics performed during his set, according to reports Tuesday evening.

The Grammy-nominated artist gave a rousing, hard-hitting set during the 30th anniversary show, in which he spoke out strongly against homosexuality, negative connotations attached to marijuana, among other societal issues. According to Laing, Sizzla’s ban comes as result of continuous rants against homosexuals throughout his performance, which went against a pre-show agreement with organizers not to sing anti-gay lyrics during his set.

“Sizzla was warned repeatedly before going onstage about not promoting hate music and he went up there and did it repeatedly,” the Supreme Promotions CEO told the Jamaica Gleaner. “We are going international and we warned every artiste before they went on to the stage.”

Meanwhile, D’Angel is also in hot water with Laing after giving a controversial set of her own at STING.The popular deejay was banned for at least five years as a patron following a clash with Ninja Man for what Laing called an ‘embarrassing’ stint. During the impromptu setD’Angel surprised the crowd when during her performance, she spread her legs multiple times while only wearing a short dress. She also made several references to needing to pay for her son’s school fee as she was not initially booked to do the show.

Both bans were reportedly confirmed on Saturday following a meeting.

“What kind of image is D’Angel portraying as a mother? he told The Gleaner“She’s saying she came to clash but that’s not how the clash went. It was not about Ninja Man, she embarrassed herself. At least a five-year ban for D’Angel.”

“We don’t need your money D’Angel. Stay home. Watch the event on pay-per-view next year,” Laing continued.

A press release, issued by STING 30 promoters on Tuesday illustrated the organizers’ frustration with some of the acts during their performances, saying they were, “inconsistent with their efforts to provide energetic and authentic Jamaican entertainment.”

“We believe that our artistes will take note of the observations which will assist us in effecting the kinds of control that we have been working assiduously to maintain and introduce,” the statement continued.“We wish to commend the majority of artistes who appeared on the show and performed in accordance with the standards which are reflective of our objectives.”

“Sharp lyrical exchanges and colorful performances are staples of our annual offering, however, in accordance with our efforts to internationalize the event, we strive to ensure that the performances conform to accepted standards of decency and decorum.”

STING 30 was broadcast to overseas viewers, via pay-per-view and a live stream worth just under $US40 each.

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.

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.

Konshens Launches Own Sneaker Line

Konshens-sneakerby Davina Henry, Jamaica Star

Jamaican dancehall superstar Konshens has made a major power move with the groundbreaking launch of his shoe line Konz 876.

With this game-changing move, Konshens will set new standards for the dancehall game.

Konshens told The Weekend Star that the plan is to build the first worldwide-recognised dancehall brand.

“I chose a shoe line because you can bring more culture into it. It takes a lot more effort as opposed to printing up T-shirts, plus there is a huge market for it,” he said.

The artiste has already received a record amount of pre-orders based on posts from his Instagram and Twitter accounts.

“Dancehall and Reggae music have the widest range of core fans worldwide and I think the only thing that separates us from other more mainstream genres is the lack of entrepreneurship on our part as artistes. There’s so much more we can do to maximise on our potential, influence and pull power,” the artiste said.

The Konz876 line is high-end shoes it is not out of reach for consumers. The brand’s first release will be five different shoes.

One is the ‘Konz Sub’, a low-top shoe which is a mix of patent leather and leather. It will be available in black and white for the males and pink and white for females. There is also ‘The Gamechanger’ which is a high-top shoe mixed with both leather and blue jeans.

In addition to a store which will be opened at West Kings House Road, Kingston 13, on Monday, September 9, there will also be two launches for the line.

 CLICK HERE TO WATCH ON-STAGE INTERVIEW WITH KONSHENS ABOUT HIS NEW SHOE LINE

“The first will be in Kingston at The Quad on September 13 and the second launch will take place at the Donway Village on the Hip Strip in Montego Bay on September 14,” Konshens said.

The company has also developed a website – http://www.konz876.com to facilitate purchases outside of Jamaica. There are also plans for launch parties for the brand all over the world, based on the sheer magnitude of Konshens’ fan base and his rising popularity worldwide.

“I wore my shoes on a two-week worldwide tour recently, and Konz876 has been buzzing internationally. This move created a vast amount of interest in the brand, people wanting to know more about it, and they were clamouring to get their hands on a pair,” Konshens said.

“On our next batch of shoes, as well as more men’s designs we will place more emphasis on the ladies as we have just concluded our market research to see exactly what women want to wear, as their swag changes even more rapidly than ours as men,” he said.

Though other artistes have started merchandising lines before, but were unable to sustain it, Konshens told The Weekend Star that his will have longevity.

“This is a part-time thing to me. I will be doing both music and this. It’s not a here today, gone tomorrow thing. Plus, I have business partners that are already successful businessmen. We a go hard,” Konshens said.