Monthly archive March, 2009

Lucky Dube’s Killers Convicted

They tried to run, but they could not hide. Even their last, desperate escape attempt—using a brick to bash a police officer as their prison van arrived at Johannesberg High Court a few days ago—proved unsuccessful. And so Sfiso Mhlanga and Mbuti Mabe were back in court with their own heads bandaged. Their accomplice Julius Gxowa, who did not try to escape, avoided getting his head busted up. But all three faced charges of murdering the South African reggae star Lucky Dube during a botched carjacking last October 16, 2007. Read more »

Assassin Responds to Red Stripe Fiasco

During this past Saturday’s Red Stripe Live concert in Kingston Jamaica, Assassin was pulled offstage in midsong for what the show’s organizers termed “questionable lyrics.” His use of the word “fish”—the latest dancehall euphemism for homosexuals—was widely speculated as the cause of the conflict. But the artist’s side of the story has not been heard until now… Read more »

Ladies Night: Lady G & Macka Diamond Speak Out

“I think the dance was getting too vulgar” —Lady G

“I don’t have anything against da daggering” —Macka Diamond

Last Saturday night in Richmond, Virginia, two dancehall starlets blessed the stage of Caribbean Mingles when Natural High Promotions brought Lady G and Macka Diamond live and direct from Kingston, Jamaica.  Read more »

Fiya Burn: Sizzla’s House “Destroyed”

According to yesterday’s Jamaica Star, Sizzla’s house in Kingston has been “destroyed” by fire. The blaze reportedly broke out Sunday morning. The cause of the fire is not yet known. Read more »

Ninja Charge Fi Murder

Things were already looking bad for Ninjaman last week, then over the weekend came even worse news that the man born Desmond Ballentine had been arrested in the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Ricardo Johnson, aka “Ricky Trooper” (not the former Killamanjaro selector).  The Don Gorgon now faces charges of murder, conspiracy to murder, and illegal possession of a firearm. But how can the man get a fair trial with album covers like this floating around on google?

Read more »

REMIX: Mavado & Busta Rhymes “So Blessed”

Busta Rhymes just linked up with Mavado for the remix to “I’m So Special.” Like Jay-Z, G-Unit, Wyclef, Uncle Murda, Lil Kim AND Foxy Brown, Busta’s feeling the Gully God. But don’t call Busta a waggonist. He may have trimed his locks, but he’s always kept in touch with his Caribbean roots by showing love to the reggae massive—from “Wicked Act” on Buju’s Voice of Jamaica album to “Change Like The Weather” on Bounty Killer’s My Xperience album (remember the video with Spencer Christian? maaad) all the way up to Sean Paul’s “Gimme The Light” remix and how could we forget “Make It Clap”? But out of all the jewels the God MC has dropped over his long career, this is the first time we’ve heard Bussa Buss singing. Maybe he should change his new album title to Back On My BoomShots?

Run the track…

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Ninjaman Surrenders To Police

Out Pon Bail: Ninja at Reggae Sunsplash 1996 Photo by Stella Magliore

Whether you call him Brother Desmond or the Original Front Teeth Gold Teeth Gun Pon Teeth Bad Bwoy, Ninjaman always seems to be the center of attention. But attention from the Jamaica Constabulary Force is not the sort of attention anybody wants. In the photo above, he had just been released from prison to perform at Reggae Sunsplash 1996. In 1999, he missed the premier of Third World Cop, his first big-screen role, because he was unavoidably detained in General Penitentiary. But since that time, he’s been on some mostly positive movements, most recently the “One Umbrella Movement” against violence. Looks like history just keeps repeating itself. Ten years later Ninja is about to star in a new movie called Gangstas, and at the same time he’s in a next legal mixup.

Read more »

Swagga Bounce

I always thought Ron Browz’s “Pop Champagne” beat sounded Bogle-ish, so it’s only right that there’s a gang of reggae remixes out.

Usually I’m not a big fan of dancers making records. Isn’t that the DJ’s job? In general, I say stay in your lane and do what you do best. But after viewing this video, I might have to revise that opinion. Don’t think these girls are actually doing the Swagga Bounce properly, but I’m okay with that. Big up Teblanc and Dammage and the Whole Duhaney Park, Kingston 20. “We don’t care about them and them freemason.” And soon, neither will you!

Rihanna Affidavit

The year was 2006, Rihanna was 18 years old and performing in Jamaica for the first time. She had no drama with Chris Brown, just a song to sing. Can it be that it was all so simple then? Let’s go to the video tape:

While you listen to the girl sing, check out the full text of the police affidavit about the events of February 7, 2009. Read more »

VIDEO CLASH: Serani “No Games” Old to the New

The official video for Serani’s smash debuts on MTV next week. We’ve got it now:

Question: Do you like the new official Universal Music Group video better than the yard version of the “No Games” video? Read more »

The Post Reggae Era

Remember that LKJ poem “It Noh Funny“?

“People sayin’ dis, people sayin’ dat / bout the youth of today / how dem gone astray / And it noh funny”

Well people have been saying this and that about the decline of reggae music lately. Despite the efforts of dancehall bashers, fossilized old-school devotees, the government, the church, and assorted gay-rights organizations, despite declining record sales, the theft or embezzlement of Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation’s entire record collection, and widespread abuse and exploitation, reggae isn’t dead. No, it’s just been appropriated by R&B and hip hop. Or, put another way, Jamaican music’s influence is so pervasive as to be almost imperceptible. And it no funny. Read more »

Daddy U-Roy Burns Out “Stupid” Selectors

The man called Ewart Beckford, O.D. a.k.a. Daddy U-Roy raised the art of toasting to new heights. He didn’t just spit a few phrases here and there, he rode the riddim from the starting gate to the last furlong. Read more »