Sumfest 2015 Dancehall Night Preview: Will Thursday Be Ladies Night?

Do The Ladies Run This M@th@f@CK@?

Yes, it’s that time again. The Summer blockbuster, the Greatest Reggae Show on Earth, Reggae Sumfest is about to go down in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Although international headliner Rick Ross was unavoidably detained due to a little pistol-whipping incident at his multimillion-dollar estate, word is that T.I. will be stepping in to fill his shoes. Meanwhile there’s no danger of Common or Jennifer Hudson pistol-whipping anybody between now and this weekend. But the reality is that people visit Jamaica to hear Jamaican music. As Morgan Heritage has pointed out, there isn’t even a reggae night at Reggae Sumfest, but the final two nights—previously known as International Nights 1 & 2, and this year renamed Show Time and Star Time—feature a blend of overseas rap, R&B, and pop stars mixed with legendary Jamaican acts like Beenie Man and Cocoa Tea, as well as artists like Jesse Royal and Kabaka Pyramid, representing Jamaica’s “Roots Revival” movement that’s been gaining momentum at home and abroad.  But if you ask us, Reggae Sumfest is all about Dancehall Night—which always seems to draw the biggest crowd. This years should be no excpetion, with stars like Capleton, Popcaan, and Dexta Daps on the bill. But this year, for the first time, Lady Saw will be headlining the biggest night of the festival. She is the first woman to close Dancehall Night, and it’s only fitting since she was officially crowned Queen of the Dancehall on this stage. But Saw is not the only dancehall diva who will be rocking the mic at Catherine Hall this year.  Details After The Jump…

Along with Muma Saw, Spice has become a year-to-year highlight of the festival. Each year the Mad Gyal has taken the stage in more and more outrageous fashion. Last year it was a motorcycle. The year before that was the giant bubble and platform shoes combo (which resulted in an epic fail, but was still fun to watch). There’s no telling how she will take the stage this year—she’s already tweeting that it’s a surprise—but you best believe it’s going to be all over Instagram tomorrow night. She’s also got big tunes to rock the crowd, selections from here So Mi Like It EP, including “Conjugal Visit” her collab with Vybz Kartel (wonder if Di Teacha will be the surprise?)

And don’t sleep on the Princess of the Dancehall. After years of being under-rated as “just another girl in the mix” I-Shawna has been killing it this year. Her lyrics and delivery and overall swag have increased by leaps and bounds. And no, it’s not just because of the publicity over drama in her personal life, she’s got the tunes to back up the hype: Kust two words: “Vroom Vroom.” And two more words: “Glory Glory.” And as she pointed out on her song “Domestic Goddess,” she has mad skills—I-Shawna knows how to cook, clean, and quint.

Rounding out this year’s field are Gaza Slim aka Vanessa Bling, who has dabbled in gospel in the aftermath of her mentor Vybz Kartel’s imprisonment.  J.Capri, who always gets the dance popping with her bouncing bumper and fun participatory tracks like “Boom and Bend Over.” Konfydence will be making her first Sumfest appearance on the strength of tunes like “Tell Lie Pon Busy,” “Greatest Wine,” and “Tek Dem Man.”

Of course there are many other great female artists not on the lineup this year. Tifa is one who’s conpicuously absent, especially since she has such a big hit with Dexta Daps, “Jealous Ova.” Also MIA is Tanya Stephens and Macka Diamond. It may be no coincidence that all three have had their issues with Saw at one time or another, especially in the run-up to Saw’s Sting clash with Macka, which Saw has said she now regrets taking part in.

According to published reports, Saw may have reached out to her former rival to end Sting on a positive note. “Lady Saw has been directing various persons to call me to perform alongside her at Dancehall Night on Reggae Sumfest in the name of solidarity and unity,” Macka Diamond recently told the Jamaica Observer. but she is yet to call me herself. I believe in unity in the industry, it would send a message that we can reconcile. Baby Cham did a song with Bounty Killer, Bounty Killer and Beenie Man did a song together after years of animosity, so Saw and I can have an understanding,.. I made my peace with Lady Saw a long time ago, long before she came around and made this peace offering. So for me, this is just the next step. But my God is a real God, and I cannot be part of any sham, or publicity stunt to help her performance at Sumfest. If this solidarity is real, she should call up all the females she has had run-ins with over the years to be a part of it…that would show true solidarity and unity.”

Can you imagine all that girl power together on one stage?  Now that would be a sight to behold.


RGAT Reasoning With Lady Saw

Sitting Down With Spice

In Person With I-Shawna

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