HOTTIES FROM OUR GALLERIES
Reggae from around the World
OKLAHOMA CITYA mix of volunteers and first responder began combing through debris in the Oklahoma City area Monday evening to look for survivors after neighborhoods were flattened by a mile-wide tornado.The National Weather Service says the devastating twister, one of several created by a storm system that swept through nation’s midsection the past 36 hours, reached winds up to 200 mph (more…)
ROHAN Marley, son of reggae legend Bob Marley, has come out in support of Snoop Lion’s (formerly Snoop Dogg) recent conversion to Rastafari. According to celebrity website TMZ, Marley said his father would have “totally supported Snoop’s Rastafarian rebirth”.”Why condemn a man for his love of Rastafari and Bob Marley?,” Marley was quoted saying.Recently, Bunny Wailer — an original member of the Wailers — accused Snoop of engaging in “outright fraudulent use of (the) Rastafari community’s personalities and symbolism” — and has failed to meet “contractual, moral and verbal commitments” from Reincarnation, Snoop’s documentary looking at his conversion.The weed-loving rapper also came under fire from the Rastafari Millennium Council, which issued a seven-page letter to Snoop, claiming in part, that “smoking weed and loving Bob Marley and reggae music is not what defines the Rastafari Indigenous culture!”
Embattled Dancehall megastar, Vybz Kartel continues to let his voice be heard despite being silenced in a Spanish Town jailhouse.Days after his Voice of the Jamaican Ghettoco-author, Michael Dawson tweeted several fan messages on his behalf, Kartel will reportedly be unveiling a documentary based on his life and work. According to Urban Islandz, a close associate of the ‘Worl’ Boss’ confirmed that a deal has been agreed with a well-known filmmaker who has acquired rights to the biopic documentary.“Fans can look out for Vybz Kartel documentary by year end,” the associate said.“Vybz feel now is the right time for his documentary because of his currently legal troubles and as we all see how the justice system is treating him unfair.” (more…)
BUNNY Rugs, lead singer of reggae band Third World, is among two other Jamaicans to be honored by the organizers of the Caribbean American Heritage (CARAH) Awards in Washington, DC on Friday.He will be presented with an Outstanding Contribution to Reggae Award at the CARAH Awards Gala scheduled for the Capitol Hilton Hotel, New York.Jazz musician Monty Alexander and Calabash literary festival founder Colin Channer will be present with a Luminary Award and Excellence In Literature Award, respectively.”I feel elated at being selected for the honor,” Bunny Rugs told the Jamaica Observer.Claire A Nelson — founder/president of Institute of Caribbean Studies, event organizers — said William ‘Bunny Rugs’ Clarke held the distinguished position of being one of reggae’s most illustrious balladeer ambassadors.Migrating to America from Jamaica in 1968, Bunny Rugs joined Third World in 1976. He has sung on all expect the group’s debut self-titled album.The CARAH Awards were started in 1994 by the Institute of Caribbean Studies to laud Caribbean immigrants’ contributions to America. Also honored are Friends of the Caribbean, whose work contribute to the well-being and welfare of the regional peoples.
The finals of the Jamaica Music Institute (JaMIN) Song Competition, having been rescheduled as a result of Hurricane Sandy, will now be held on Saturday.Gates will open at 7 p.m. for a 8 p.m. start, at the renowned Ambassador Theatre in Trench Town.The entertainment will be enhanced by special performances from Bunny and Scully and Derrick Harriot who launched their careers at the Ambassador. The three will be joined by Ken Boothe, Alaine, DeanFraser, Prophecy, Errol Dunkley, Jimmy Tucker, Lymie Murray, Myaz and Lascelles Perkins, among others.Tickets for the event may be purchased at Monarch Pharmacy in Liguanea and the Music Mart at South Avenue. Those tickets cost $1,000 and may also be bought at the gate.Built in the 1950s, The Ambassador Theatre was last used in 1980 and will experience a rebirth when the final 10 competitors will vie for a cashprize, a recording contract, airplay, a music scholarship, and the distinction of being the first recorded song in JaMIN’s state-of-the-art digital studio.The project is executed by JaMIN and supported by USAID Jamaica.
Many times music reflects the true personality of an artiste on and off-stage. However,Equiknoxx Music seeks to prove with their newest project that music can reveal the persona of a community.On November 13, Equiknoxx Music launched their newest project dubbed V-Town Sound – The Thesis, an ode to the label’s base of Vineyard Town in Kingston. This sizzling project is the first of a three part series, determined to give some of Dancehall and Reggae music’s emerging acts a big push within the industry while honoring the heart of this inner city community.V-Town Sound – The Thesis outlines parallels between the passion and hunger that the artistes on this compilation possess and the drive possessed by Vineyard Town residents. Produced by Equiknoxx’s Gavin Blair, the compilation features a sample size of five tracks that will leave fans wanting moreOne such single on V Town Sound that possesses these elements is Calling by Subkonshus Music artiste, Darrio. The single features the sensual voice of a woman yearning for the presence of the man she loves as her man hustles the streets to try and make ends meet.
The beat offers a fitting backdrop to the ongoing storyline as Darrio proves his worth as a prominent upstart within Jamaican music.Fellow up-and-comer, Masicka once again proves his worth as a must-see entertainer, showcasing his range as he collaborates with Equiknoxx singer, Shanique Marie on In the Morning. The Guh Haad and Done singer is in a pensive mood throughout this track as he weighs his options as the sun rises as he ponders his next move while seeking to escape the struggles of ghetto life.Another Equiknoxx talent, Kemikal features on V Town – The Thesis with his uniquely conceptualized track, Gobbledygook. The track features emerging singer and labelmate,Akeema showing off her British accent as Kemikal strikes fear into the minds of his oppressors as he lyrically intimidates foes with a display of clever wordplay and strong illustration.A pair of Equiknoxx protégés makes their presences felt on the first installment of V-Town Soundas deep-thinking Reggae singer, Kabaka Pyramid and thought-provoking composer, Bobby the Blackbird join forces on Should I. The duo pays homage to the classic track penned by Reggae legend, Dennis Brown with a cover doing him justice, while adding their own touch of edge.
Over the last few years, dancehall has seen several new faces who have joined the industry to play their role in maintaining the musical culture.However, on the reggae side of things, up-and-coming reggae artistes appear to have a much tougher go at becoming household names.While dancehall has seen the rise of artistes like Tommy Lee Sparta, Black Ryno, Popcaan, Jahvinci, Konshens, Iyara, Pattex, Shawn Storm, I Octane, and Flexx, and despite the re-emergence of reggae bands,roots reggae has only managed to showcase a few new artistes.Artistes like Protoje, Rootz Underground, and Iba Mahr come to mind readily.A popular argument used by some music players is that a song is not truly a hit unless it can be sung by the children. If that is the case, some of reggae’s young artistes mentioned above would have to be erased from the list.Unlike Popcaan, Tommy Lee Sparta and Konshens, how many young reggae artistes can boast that their songs are popular on the lips of Jamaican children? And why does it appear to be so difficult for roots reggae artistes to develop as fast as dancehall acts?
According to radio disc jock DJ Amber, the attraction of youth to dancehall more than roots reggae is due to the imbalance in airplay and the tempo of the beats.”I think the tempo has something to do with it. The younger people love music that makes them move. It’s a pity that some of the artistes on the fast rhythms don’t do some more positive songs that they can listen to,” Amber opined.”It’s not that they don’t want to listen to the artistes that are doing reggaemusic, which is the one that will really last, but it’s the beat and, unfortunately, most of the time, the most callous messages that are more promoted,” she said.”I think that reggae should be more restored on the radio stations, even if I listen to gospel, I hear dancehall in it. We need a 50/50 balance because we love both of them. Everybody wants airplay but if it’s not level, then the youth won’t catch on,” she said.DJ Amber also believes that the large volume of music that is produced locally makes it hard for artistes to receive enough attention to make an immediate impact.
According to Paul and Patrick ‘Twin of Twins’ Gaynor, who recently formed Leadership For Empowerment of Artistes and Dancehall (LEAD), a dancehall body, the modern Jamaican music arena is more about hype than heights.”There are a number of factors. People were conditioned to believe in hype, and reggae music is more about heights, which is why reggae will last longer and dancehall songs will last five weeks. Reggae is like ghetto gospel and dancehall is like the rebellious child of reggae,” said Patrick Gaynor.”People who consume reggae are those who understand life on a spiritual level and will not put up with certain things, so they are not put on the forefront. Dancehall is more secular and the youth want this hype sold to them more than the heights, because that’s how the system set it.”Gaynor believes the ‘bling bling’ culture is damaging to the popularity of reggae artistes who stay away from the more showy nature of dancehall.
“The bling bling culture is the problem and people perpetuate this to the youth. But reggae music is alive and well and people who understand its purpose appreciate it,” he said.But can this already embedded bling bling culture be curtailed? Gaynor believes musical unity is the answer.”We need to be one unit with one objective. Too much man a seh dem nuh business ’bout di next man, and we need to have a standard for music. Bob Marley is a great example. He was not liked. In fact, he was shot because of his work and what he stood for, but he still continued in his belief,” he said.Patrick Gaynor also revealed that some reggae artistes have resorted to joining the dancehall hype in an effort to remain in the spotlight.”Right now, reggae artistes are doing gyal tune and gun tunes and a pour Hennessy a dance, because dem a run down the hype. Bob Marley was not about the hype, so you don’t need to do that. Make music that counts and don’t run down the glamour and glitter, because nobody can hype forever,” he said.Twin of Twins recently released Stir It Up: Volume 9, while DJ Amber is gearing up to host her birthday party on November 25 in St Ann.
After a fresh bout of Twitter rumors on the weekend, saying legendary crooner Beres Hammond, one of the most recognizable voices in Jamaica, was dead, the lover’s rock empressario is proving to be more alive than ever.Hammond is staging a rebirth with One Love, One Life, a 20-track double album with steady grooves and some bona fide classics.This is the second time social media has ‘killed off’ the reggae legend.Early in 2008, it was rumored that Hammond had suffered a heart attack, sparking a sea of comments on Twitter, with fans mourning and wishing all the best for his family.
The same thing happened this weekend for some reason, but again Hammond is fine and One Love, One Life seems just as healthySelf-produced and recorded in his Kingston studio, Hammond has organised a record that splits into matters of the heart (One Love) and social consciousness (One Life).No Candle Light is instantly amazing. Hammond is ever the gentleman on the tender mid-tempo groove In My Arms and the romantic ballad Lonely Fellow is sincere.The second album is calm and refreshing, full of songs that will uplift. One bright spot is the title track, where Hammond makes it clear that he isn’t “singing for fame”.The 57-year-old came on to the music scene in the 1970s and has a voice that doesn’t seem to age. He adds another jewel in his crown with his new album.
One of Jamaica’s musical legends has changed his tune regarding STING as he intends to perform what could be his final hoorah at Dancehall’s biggest stage show.Prominent veteran deejay, Ninja Man will return to the STING stage in Portmore next month after a four-year absence caused by ongoing legal woes. The entertainer’s decision comes less than two weeks after indicating that he would not perform STING 2012 after comments by the show’s lead promoter, Isaiah Laing during a recent television interview. Laing initially cast aside the possibility of adding Ninja Man to the show’s card, insisting that artistes like he and Shabba Ranks were difficult to work with. As a result,Ninja Man refused to do the show as he stated he was doing just fine without Laing and didn’t need his money.
Now, after talks with Laing and Downsound RecordsCEO, Joe Bogdonavich, Ninja Man says he’s ready to return to his favorite stage. Reportedly the recipient of a multi-million dollar deal, Ninja Man also intimated that he was swayed by the fact STING promoters offered him a substantially better deal than Reggae Sumfest to perform.“Di fans dem fi get weh dem fi get. Di fans dem know say Sting a Ninja Man show,” he told the Jamaica Star. “So after Joe link me and him offer me the ‘mek up you mind’ money, mi and God have a talk and mi reconsider and decide say mi a go do Sting fi di fans.”Ninja Man continued, “When dem offer me the money, mi laugh till me nearly dead. Di ‘mek up mi mind’ money a more than what Sumfest did a offer me. Dat money different from mi performance money cuz when me fi collect my money, a truck haffi go haul it way.”
Like Ninja Man, fellow veteran deejay and long-time rival, Bounty Killer also felt disrespected by Laing in the interview. With Bounty Killer still refusing to perform at Jamworld on Boxing Day,Ninja Man declared that he’s ready to step up to the Alliance leader’s current nemesis, Tommy Lee Sparta.“Him a Uncle Demon but mi a Uncle Jesus, send him come make mi rebuke him in the name of the Lord,” he told the STAR. Tommy Lee have tune, people like him, but him better keep way from the war if him waan maintain him career. Mi have the holy water and the garlic stake fi drive out di demons over Sting in the name of Jesus.”However, while Ninja Man is excited about returning to STING, the self-professed ‘Don Gorgon’ hinted that this could be his last performance at the event during an interview with the Jamaica Observer.“This year might be Ninja Man last performance pon STING,” he said. Next year, mi have mi park, mi have mi bands, mi have all these things weh mi a try put together, mi wan turn over mi legacy to the younger generation.”
NEW YORK (AP) — A source confirms to The Associated Press that Justin Bieber is no longer Selena Gomez’s “Boyfriend”.The source is not authorized to discuss the split with the press and spoke on condition of anonymity.The break-up apparently happened last week, and distance and their busy schedules were cited as factors.The 18-year-old Boyfriend singer is touring to promote his latest album, while 20-year-old Gomez is filming a Wizards of Waverly Place reunion for the Disney Channel.The pair first stepped up publicly in February 2011.