Clash

Bounty & Beenie on Verzuz: Jamaica’s version of ‘The Last Dance’

Bounty & Beenie on Verzuz: Jamaica's version of 'The Last Dance'

What Could Top This Legendary Moment?

 

The VERZUZ series led by Swizz Beats and Timbaland has been an oasis in the midst of a pandemic. Week after week, music lovers have enjoyed the nostalgia, the spontaneous comedy, and the opportunity to bring the proverbial roses to their favorite artists. 

The anticipation was at a fever pitch when it was announced that dancehall giants, Beenie Man and Bounty Killer, would headline VERZUZ for a Memorial Day soundclash. 

Excitement mixed with anxiety. Dancehall fans have always wanted our music to receive its proper due on the global stage. It is a great genre that has birthed hip-hop, reggaeton, Afrobeat, influenced the sound of songs on the top 40 but does not always receive its rightful recognition. 

For these legendary artists, their fans, and dancehall culture overall, the stakes were high, to say the least. Would the VERZUZ audience, primarily Hip-Hop and R&B fans, receive these giants well? Would their misunderstanding—or even worse, ridicule—lead to embarrassment? Story Continues After The Jump…
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Tune For Tune: Breaking Down Bounty & Beenie’s Verzuz Battle

Tune For Tune: Breaking Down Bounty & Beenie's Verzuz Battle

Jamaica Won, The Culture Won—no doubt about it—But Which Selections Won?

 

Why was this night different from all other Verzuz battles? Streamed live from Kingston, Jamaica, the Memorial Day “Soundclash Edition” of Swizz Beatz and Timbaland’s flagship IG Live series was easily the most exciting and entertaining yet, as well as the first to delve into dancehall reggae. Considering the fact that Jamaican sound systems pioneered the sort of “beat battles” have made Verzuz a social media sensation well over half a century ago, the creative decision was more than fitting. By pitting two icons of the genre, Bounty Killer and Beenie Man, in head-to-head competition, this Verzuz battle did not just showcase two of its most respected lyricists ever to hold a microphone, it also tapped into an epic rivalry that stretches back more than a quarter of a century. Audio & Video After The Jump… Read more »

The Art of War: Bounty Killer Verzuz Beenie Man

The Art of War: Bounty Killer Verzuz Beenie Man

Dancehall Icons Speak on Rivalry & Respect 

Ever since the whole Swizz Beatz and Timbaland created social media battle platform Verzuz wave kicked off, bringing a much-needed spark of joy and excitement to the dreadful pandemic grind, those of us who love and respect dancehall music and Jamaican sound system culture have been asking ourselves when (if ever) the world would finally recognize that this whole digital sensation was based on the concept of sound clash. Which is to say that it’s all rooted in the rich history of Jamaican music, which gave us cultural icons like Bob Marley (respect is always due) and Kool Herc, who became The Godfather of Hip Hop by transplanting Yard-style sound system tactics/techniques/technology to the Bronx, and King Tubby the Dub master (who really invented the remix way before Puff Daddy) and Daddy U-Roy, who became the world’s first “rap star” by recording three chart-topping hits in 1969 that served to “Wake The Town and Tell The People” that “deejay” music was not just a matter of toasting and boasting in the dancehall, it was an art form unto itself. Video After The Jump… Read more »

Music Is A Mission:
David Rodigan Speaks His Mind About Today’s Sound Clash Culture

Music Is A Mission: David Rodigan Speaks His Mind About Today's Sound Clash Culture

Will Sir RamJam’s Recent Soundclash On The Sea Be His Last?

UK radio presenter David Rodigan has been described as the “outside world’s greatest ambassador of Jamaica’s musical heritage.” He’s been honored with an MBE by the Queen of England for his contributions to British broadcasting and recently published his memoirs, entitled My Life in Reggae —”the unlikely story of an Army sergeant’s son from the English countryside who has become the man who has taught the world about Reggae.” This year David Rodigan will be touring the globe once more to celebrate his 40th year in the business. He’s cut countless dubplates and won many clashes in his time, but had largely “walked away from clashing” prior to his participation in the recent Soundclash on the Sea during the 2017 Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise. In this exclusive interview, Rodigan speaks to Boomshots about the roots of sound system culture, explains the difference between dub plates and specials, shares his thoughts on the true role of selectors and DJs within the reggae industry, reflects on whether modern clash culture has “spun out of control,” and speaks frankly about where he thinks the music that now inspires so much of the mainstream is heading. Interview After The Jump…
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World Clash Arrives In Canada As “The Superbowl Of Sound Systems”

World Clash Arrives In Canada As "The Superbowl Of Sound Systems"

Rumble Series Winners Get Their Shot At The World Title

Irish & Chin shook the world when they announced the move of their preeminent sound clash brand, World Clash, to Canada. In an even bigger surprise, fans are now faced with a whole new formula for this famed 19-year-old event, which will see World Clash held on the winner’s home turf each year, instead of in New York. This long awaited event arrives in Toronto, Canada this weekend—Saturday, October 14,  home of defending champion King Turbo. Each staging of the preliminary Rumble Series in United States, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom and Germany have decided which hungry contenders  will take the World Clash stage to face off against King Turbo. With anticipation building throughout the year clash fans will converge to see Platinum Kids, King Attarney, Fujiyama, Platinum Cartel, and Northern Lights, in what has been dubbed “the super bowl of sound clash.” In typical Irish and Chin fashion they’ve upped the ante with the wild card entrant Poison Dart from Antigua, as the Caribbean representative adding to more excitement. A Rumble Series was not staged for the Caribbean, so this shocker has sparked a frenzy amongst clash fans! Story Continues After The Jump…

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King Attarney Takes The Trophy at Canada Rumble

King Attarney Takes The Trophy at Canada Rumble

Toronto Sound Clash Victor Will Face World Clash Champion King Turbo

At last year’s World Clash, Toronto’s own King Turbo made sound system history when they became only the second Canadian sound to take the title at the original, authentic and still predominant international sound clash on planet earth. This past weekend at the Canada Rumble, six up-and-coming dancehall sound sytems out of Canada competed for the chance to musically murder their countrymen in the next World Clash aka the Superbowl of Sound Clash. After four hours of heated competition at LaVictoria Banquet Hall, King Attarney outgunned Step-A-Choice in the final Tune Fi Tune round. The Rumble Series was introduced by leading clash promoters Irish & Chin who are celebrating their 20th anniversary in the business this year as they focus on bringing new stars into the sound clash industry. Coming off last October’s popular Japan Rumble, where Fujiyama Sound claimed the title, Canada Rumble sets the stage for future Rumbles to be held in the U.S., U.K., Europe and the Caribbean. If you missed the big clash, you can still check out all the action right here. And make sure to check Boomshots’ exclusive interview with Garfield “Chin” Bourne, reasoning with Reshma B about the past, present, and future of Sound Clash Culture. Audio & Video After The Jump…
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R.I.P. Sting: The End of an Era in Dancehall

R.I.P. Sting: The End of an Era in Dancehall

Remembering The Greatest One Night Reggae and Dancehall Show on Earth

When the history of dancehall music is written, 2016 will go down as the year when mainstream stars took over the worldwide pop charts using Jamaican styles and sounds. It will also be remembered as the first Boxing Day in over three decades that went down with a staging of Sting. Sad to say the legendary stage show that has seen some of the most talked about performances—and lyrical clashes—in dancehall history is no more. Just three years after celebrating Sting’s 30th anniversary with a star-studded lineup that included the return of the Don Dada Super Cat, American artists 2 Chainz and Wyclef Jean, and an epic clash between Lady Saw and Macka Diamond, Sting founder Isaiah Laing has called it quits. Despite pledging in years past that “if I am alive there will be Sting,”  Laing made it official on Jamaican television’s popular show OnStage, saying that Sting has not made money in several years—despite significant investment from the likes of Josef Bogdanovich, who has since moved on to revamp another great Jamaican festival, Reggae Sumfest. Laing and his longtime partner Heavy D further noted that the artists who are big enough to draw a crowd are not willing to perform on the show. The clashes that made Sting a sort of musical heavyweight bout eventually came to be its undoing. Who can forget the time when Popcaan had to shove Blak Ryno off the stage because the other artist was “somehow” given a live microphone and allowed to rush the stage during Popcaan’s solo set back in 2012? These types of antics eventually take their toll on artist loyalty. Whether Sting will ever come back is anybody’s guess. Talk of a gospel festival sounds like a major departure from the hardcore format we have come to know and love. For the sake of those who don’t know—and the pleasure of those who do—Boomshots takes a moment to remember the best Sting had to offer. Memories After The Jump… Read more »

Reasoning with Garfield “Chin” Bourne:
“Authentic Sound Clash Culture is in Jeopardy”

Reasoning with Garfield "Chin" Bourne: "Authentic Sound Clash Culture is in Jeopardy"

Keeping Sound System Safe From The Culture Vultures

As co-founder of Irish & Chin, one of the most respected reggae promotion companies in the world, Garfield “Chin” Bourne has left his mark on the music industry and popular culture as a whole. He is the founder of SoundChat Radio and a range of media ventures, but Chin may be best known as a leading advocate of sound system culture at a time where hardcore soundclash audience is aging, and the appropriation of dancehall culture is not limited to international artists reworking Jamaican rhythms to hit the pop charts. The rise of EDM music and the success of the recent Red Bull Culture Clash highlight the impact of Jamaican sound systems on worldwide pop music, even as the originators of the culture who are still active tend to be marginalized.  Interview After The Jump… Read more »

Spice talks Culture Clash and Why She Doesn’t Want You To Call Her Queen of the Dancehall

Spice talks Culture Clash and Why She Doesn't Want You To Call Her Queen of the Dancehall

Just Call The Mad Gyal “Queen of the Stage”

One day before the Red Bull Culture Clash, Reshma B sat down with  Spice for an exclusive Boomshots interview. As usual the Mad Gyal and the Reggae Girl About Town kept it 100% real. In the first segment of their epic 3-part reasoning session, they speak about Spice’s huge international fanbase, her latest tunes to touch the road, and how to do the “Indicator” dance. In the second segment, they speak about whether Vybz Kartel is the new King of the Dancehall, what that means for Beenie Man, and why she doesn’t want to be called the Queen of the Dancehall. As usual the Mad Gyal and the Reggae Girl About Town kept it 100% real. In the third and final segment of their epic reasoning session, Spice shares her thoughts on the Red Bull Culture Clash, how she will do whatever it takes to win, and why Mixpak’s dancehall lineup should not be considered “under dogs” since Jamaica originated the whole clash culture. Video After The Jump… Read more »

Reasoning with Keith Walford from Bass Odyssey

Reasoning with Keith Walford from Bass Odyssey

The Sound System’s Founder Talks Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise and the Sound Clash on the Sea

In the mid 1970s Keith Walford expanded his father’s mechanic business in Alexandria, St. Ann into distributing and stocking jukeboxes all over Jamaica. His used to spin music at private fetes before officially launching Bass Odyssey in 1989 along with then-partner Bunny Hayles and selector Tinna-One, who was later joined by Glamma G and the legendary Kevin “Squingy” Bennett. Squingy referred to himself as “the Michael Jordan of clash” and he helped to make Bass Odyssey a musical killing machine. Sadly he fell ill and passed away in 2009 but the sound has kept his legacy alive thanks to young selectors like Dwayne, Worm,  Skinny, and Charly Black who’s gone on to become a successful recording artist. Although Keith entered the political life in 2011, becoming a Member of Parliament representing St. Ann, his “World Sound From Way Out in the Country” is still going strong. Last year the sound celebrated its 25th anniversary by launching Jamaica’s first ever sound system festival, with plans to make it an annual event. This coming November Bass Odyssey will challenge longtime sparring partner Metro Media and Far East Rulers Mighty Crown during the Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise’s first-ever Sound Clash on the Sea. Boomshots spoke with Keith as his sound prepares to make waves.  Interview After The Jump… Read more »

Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise to Host First Ever Soundclash on the Sea

Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise to Host First Ever Soundclash on the Sea

Mighty Crown vs Metro Media vs Bass Odyssey—Some Selector Get Chuck Overboard

From the moment Jr. Gong first announced the Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise, the concept was clearly a game-changer. Bringing an outernational audience of reggae lovers on board a luxury liner with a stellar lineup of reggae and dancehall talent made last year’s maiden voyage such a success that this year the cruise will set off from Miami to Jamaica and back not once but twice. As crucial as the main deck stage shows were, a huge part of the cruise’s unique vibes were the spontaneous sound system freestyle sessions. And this year the sound systems will play an even bigger role. Stone Love Movement and Jammy’$ Super Power will return again—Papa Jammy promises to bring a few surprise guests along this year. Shinehead will return as well, having made a powerful impression with Kingston 12 sound. The UK champion sound Saxon Studio will be making its first appearance on the cruise along with fast-chat DJ legend Papa Levi of “Mi God Mi King” fame. But perhaps the most exciting announcement is that this year’s cruise will include the first-ever Soundclash on the Sea. Which sounds will have to walk the plank? Details After The Jump… Read more »

Reasoning with Tommy Lee Sparta “Watch Gage Dead Over Sting”

Reasoning with Tommy Lee Sparta "Watch Gage Dead Over Sting"

With Just Days To Go Before His First Clash at Sting, Uncle Demon Chats with RGAT

Last year he almost lost his life in a car crash, but Tommy Lee Sparts still made his way to the stage at Sting—the World’s Greatest One-Night Reggae and Dancehall Show—on a pair of crutches. This year the man called Uncle Demon is back and he credits his survival to the fact that God loves him. Tommy Lee Sparta talks about his highly-anticipated appearance on Magnum Sting 2014 to the Reggae Girl About Town in this exclusive interview. Uncle Demon talks about his plans for Gage, why he’s vexed Popcaan is not on the lineup this year, and what he thinks Alkaline was afraid of.  Video After The Jump… Read more »