Rygin King, Teejay, and Tommy Lee Rip Dancehall Night In Front Of Hometown Crowd
Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest has been a world-class music festival since its inception in 1993, but the 2018 edition of the Greatest Reggae Show on Earth was more than that: it was a chance for redemption in Montego Bay. Since January of 2018, Jamaica’s tourist mecca had been under a state of emergency due to a spike in gang violence. While the military crackdown did manage to reduce the killings, it wasn’t great for the tourism industry. Sumfest has traditionally provided a boost to the local economy each summer, but this year they did more than that—they brought hope back to the Second City. A stellar performance by three of MoBay’s most promising artists—Tommy Lee, Teejay, and Rygin King—sent a message to the streets that there is another way to progress in life. In the words of Downsound Entertainment CEO Josef Bogdanovich. “It’s really about stop the killing and let’s get real and try to make some money and live a good life.” Video, Photos, and Full Story After the Jump…
If one song symbolized the spirit of the festival it was Rygin King’s “Things Ago Change,” which he performed to an ecstatic crowd in the early morning hours of Dancehall Night.
“Me get a dream last nightAnd the dream tell me things ago changeA long time man a sufferAnd all now things still ah the sameMe just waan you have faith fi meWhen me touch the road, daddy pray fi meMe just a stay focus every day cah me know the aimMe see the change and, a never that you seeDem used to laugh when we a sing, now dem ah fan a meMe nah no patience, we aiming fi victoryMe say the fans and the team motivate meDem say lowe badness and sing song yah nowMe cyaan play fool, me ah the way outLook up tonight and you will see me glowOne king, me ah the star and ah fi me show”
Other stand-out performers on this year’s festival included Popcaan, who delivered an energetic set fresh off the release of his highly anticipated sophomore album Popcaan Forever. Bounty Killer, completing his 25th Sumfest performance, leveraged his Warlord credentials for positive change, taking the opportunity to speak sensibly with the Mobay massive. Sizzla, Aidonia, Govana and Agent Sasco also performed powerful sets and Spice came through with all the excitement and theatricality Sumfest fans have come to expect from the reigning Queen of the Dancehall. Night two belonged to Damian Jr. Gong Marley and Beres Hammond, who called upon Beenie Man to join him onstage for an impromptu performance. Beenie Man’s absence from this year’s lineup was a bit of a surprise as the King of the Dancehall had become a fixture in Catherine Hall, so even a brief touch of Beenie was much appreciated by the Mobay Massive. But nothing topped the excitement of seeing new artists rising to new heights on the big stage. But does music truly have the power to brough about positive change? That answer is ultimately in the people’s hands. As Bogdanovich explained during the Sumfest launch event in NYC: “We must understand the economics of survival and acknowledge that unity is one of the keys to survival. Get educated! Stop the violence! Let’s celebrate unity and togetherness and show just how serious we are about our music, our festival, Reggae Sumfest.”
Rygin King, Teejay & Tommy Lee Rep MoBay at Sumfest 2018:Beres Hammond Talks Reggae Sumfest 2018:Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest 2018 Night One:Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest 2018 Night Two:Like Boomshots on FacebookFollow Boomshots on TwitterFollow Boomshots on Instagram