by Jodee Brown
CEO and producer of UIM, Andrew Myrie, known to fans as Anju Blaxxx, is seeking to remedy the malicious work of scammers who have been plaguing his musical career.
In an official press release, UIM announced, “There has been a pervasive scam being done by unscrupulous persons, that has been ongoing for several months.”
This started since summer of last year, when Anju Blaxxx was contacted by friends, saying someone was soliciting cash and call credit from a fake Facebook account.
Anju Blaxxx also disclosed that clients have been contacted and generally told by scammers using the Facebook page, that they are working on a rhythm and that persons should send money via Western Union. However, Anju Blaxxx wants to make it clear that, he does not have a personal Facebook account, only a Fan Page which is under UIM, further emphasizing that he does not use Facebook to conduct business.”
The UIM producer also took the opportunity to encourage prospective clients that they should be vigilant against phone and email scams that use his name as a lure. UIM (Uptempo International Music) does not initiate contact with clients from Facebook or does not request call credit, confidential access information or similar manipulative schemes.
Nevertheless, persons looking to conduct business with Anju Blaxxx of UIM, should contact UIM’s manager, Ms. Tanya Thelwell at email@example.com: 1-876-898-4311, 1-876-546-2759 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, there are a number of projects in the pipeline for the producer. The latest rhythm is called the Punjabi Riddim, which features artistes: Mavado, Popcaan, Tommy Lee, Spice, Blak Diamon, Alkaline, Konshens and more.
Recording artiste, Tommy Lee currently has his video on the Riddim on YouTube. Additionally, there’s a single with UIM’s artiste, Blak Diamon titled Bang Bang, which has been enjoying rotation on the airwaves.
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.
by Jodee Brown
After a night filled with clashes, eye-raising moments and the return of a legend, STING 2013, the 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: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 stage. Macka, 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.
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.
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 Laing, Sizzla 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.
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.
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.
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.
by 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.
by Jodee Brown
Real Entertainment Production (R.E.P) boss, Andrew Lee Pryce has expanded his talents with his first cartoon, Santino, which is set to debut on Cartoon Network.
Santino marks a historic achievement for Pryce and Jamaica as Cartoon Network will broadcast it first full-length ‘island cartoon.’ The half-hour cartoon spotlights Santino, a supernatural person who tries to use his powers to reduce crime while the show also gives children and adults worldwide a chance to check out some highlights of Jamaica’s rich culture.
Santino’s purpose is not only to make the streets of Jamaica safer, but also promote positivity about his home and invite foreigners to visit the island.
According to Pryce, Santino represents a microcosm of his feelings towards crime in Jamaican and was long inspired to create a cartoon exploring this issue while promoting the positive his native country worldwide.
“I always wanted to be the first film producer to produce a cartoon internationally,” he said. “It was always my dream to see Jamaica’s crime rate down. I wish I did have super powers, but I don’t so I created Santino just to express my feelings.”
The accomplished television producer stresses thatSantino is not necessarily being created to representBrand Jamaica, but creating fun and entertainment for young audiences to revel in.
“The producers at Real Entertainment Production want to say thanks to Spyglass Entertainment for the opportunity to put the necessaries together for the cartoon,” said Pryce.
Santino will debut on Cartoon Network next Saturday at 7:30 a.m. U.S. time (6:30 a.m. JA time) and will air every Saturday morning on the station.
Andrew Lee Pryce and his Real Entertainment Production outlet recently secured a deal with an independent U.S. film company, Spyglass Entertainment to produce his Justice System movie, which is set to hit theatres by the summer of 2016. The movie will feature Academy Award winning actor,Russell Crowe, Sea Biscuit and 30 Rock star, Elizabeth Banks and accomplished rap star, Ja Rule, amongst others.
by Jodee Brown
Tracii McGregor, a member of Buju’s management team revealed that most of the songs on the singjay’s album were recorded when he was out on bail in 2011, awaiting his trial on drug and gun charges. McGregor told theJamaica Observer, “Buju is very involved in the process, of course. He is just as focused and detail oriented as he ever was.”
Producers expected to feature on the album includeStephen Marley and Blacker Dread, with production from Buju himself also featuring on the compilation.
This new studio album would mark Buju’s 13th in his over two decades as a mainstream artist. His last album wasBefore The Dawn, released in 2010, which featured singles such as Innocent, Battered and Bruised as well as Do Good. The album won the self-professed ‘Gargamel’ his first Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in February 2011, just days prior to his conviction on three drug related charges in relation to a 2009 incident in Florida.
Several singles have been released since Buju’s incarceration, including Set Up The Mic, Lose Your Loveand Inna Half, the latter two singles produced by his song, Markus Myrie.
Buju is reportedly in transit at the Oklahoma City Federal Transfer Centre, having been transferred from a federal prison in Florida, where he as served the majority of his sentence to date.
by Jodee Brown
Despite an apparent hesitance by some Jamaican bookstores and universities to facilitate it, Vybz Kartel’s debut book, Voice of the Jamaican Ghetto has now received strong endorsements from prestigious American universities, according to co-author, Michael Dawson.
According to reports this past weekend, Prominent Ivy League school, Princeton University as well as Duke University in North Carolina and Vanderbilt University in Tennessee now have Voice of The Jamaican Ghetto in their respective libraries. This adds to attention Kartel’s book has received from major international media outlets such as HOT 97FM as well as sales in places such a Germany, Chile, Austria, Holland and many other countries.
While Dawson is pleased with the universal exposure Voice of the Jamaican Ghetto has received, he believes the book still has not received full appreciation from the Jamaican public.
“All major book stores – Sangster’s, Kingston Book Shop, LMH, both airports, I-Nation, Bookophilia and Bookland – have carried the book,” Dawson told the Jamaica Gleaner. “Uptown stores and religious book stores refused it out of ignorance, I believe, and we expected that,”
There has been much debate as to whether or not Jamaican schools will adopt Voice of the Jamaican Ghetto in their curriculum, with University of the West Indies (UWI) professor, Carolyn Cooper calling for the book to be introduced to Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) readings this past May.
Dawson believes the reason for the education system’s reluctance to circulate the book within its channels comes down its challenging of the historical data taught throughout schools for years.
“I think the main problem with the Jamaican education system is that they would have to find a way to rationalize the inaccuracies, distortions and omissions in the traditional history books that our book highlights,” Dawson told the Jamaica STAR. “The reality is that the book factually discredits some of our traditions – from Jonkonoo to the dominance of Euro-Christianity.”
He continued, “How will the education system handle a book that explains with facts and empirical data that much of what they have taught children is a lie? The book states that ‘Baa, Baa, Black Sheep’ is abusive to black children. So I think the book is, at a minimum, disruptive to the traditional education system. Add to that the fact that Vybz Kartel has the ear of the youth, I’m not sure if the education system can come to terms with that. No surprise there.”
Vybz Kartel remains incarcerated in a Spanish Town jail as he awaits the beginning of the Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams murder trial in November. He, along with five other men are charged with the August 2011 murder of Williams. Additionally, Kartel and two other co-accused face conspiracy charges in connection with the case.
Tommy Lee Sparta has broken his silence on a recent statement made by Vybz Kartel.
The self proclaim Worl’Boss released a statement from behind bars just days after being acquitted of a murder charge in the Home Circuit Court.
The statement made headline because of what Vybz Kartel said about Popcaan and Tommy Lee, who were two of his most loyal protege up until his arrest in 2011.
“Can someone tell Popcaan and Tommy Lee stop big me up pon stage saying they’re GAZA when they’re not even near to my recently acquired PLAZA,” Vybz Kartel said. “They have no shame and could only be compared to undignified morons. They and I know that they are just a couple of traitors grabbing at the proverbial straw to save their downward spiralling careers.”
Tommy Lee has responded through his publicist Keona Williams.
This is what Williams said:
“It has reached our attention, however, we cannot confirm its authenticity. Tommy has explained he is clueless to how this statement came about … As far as we know there is no conflict that exists between Tommy Lee Sparta and the Worl’Boss … He (Tommy Lee) is on good terms with the Gaza which he has always been loyal to.”
“Tommy Lee Sparta constantly declares his devotion to the unit that brought him to forefront … At present, Tommy Lee Sparta is sincerely hopeful that Kartel’s legal woes will be resolved swiftly.”
Popcaan has remained silent since Vybz Kartel released the statement last weekend.