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Pon Di Wire: Mavado, Big Belly, Baby Cham

Looking, looking…but can’t find the reggae website you need? Consider bookmarking Ernie B’s Reggae links list–a smorgasbord of connections to labels, artists, and general reggae information. It was there that xlr8r.com came across a link for the great vintage roots and rub-a-dub label Silver Kamel (home to Billy Boyo, Ranking Dread, Jah Thomas); amazingly, 30 years on and it’s still active!

If you’ve been missing the “Ghetto Story” teller Baby Cham, he’ll be back on your small screen soon. Cham teamed up with director Jason 'Jay Will' Williams to chronicle his next hit, “Weh Dem Feel Like,” created by Cham’s longtime producer Dave Kelly.

Even music largely popularized through the broadcasting and sales of 7” vinyl 45s deals with growing pains in the digital era. An article in the Jamaican Gleaner reports on the increasing impact that bootleg CD sales are having on the finances of labels, artists, and producers. Thankfully, businesses have a stalwart arbitrator on their side: Cleveland 'Clevie' Browne, of respected producing duo Steelie and Clevie, is chairman of the Recording Industry Association of Jamaica (which partners with the Anti-Piracy Alliance). Browne is using this body’s authority to clamp down on illegal practices like bootlegging. "The Recording Industry of Jamaica is looking at a new method of identifying songs through codes, which will be embedded on the CDs, and every song should have a specific code,” he said.

Bay Area fans are looking forward to a rare visit from one of Jamaica’s best soundmen. Skyjuice, of MetroMedia sound, will entertain folks at Oakland’s Karibbean City, Saturday, June 30. The portly MC, known to fans as Big Belly, has a long resume of soundclash victories. For a taste, watch this clash video, featuring Supercat on Metromedia. 

Reggae jazz guitarist Ernest Ranglin turned 75 last Tuesday. The vet, who started his career in the 1950s and helped usher in the ska movement, continues to record and tour frequently.

Vybz Kartel, whose single “Wine Pon You” recently topped the charts, has issued a release concerning an incident in which his SUV was stoned by men believed to reside in a community along Mannings Hill Road in St. Andrew. Kartel was not injured during the attack, and is urging his fans and well-wishers to not retaliate in any way, and to leave the investigation of the incident to relevant authorities.

Online Jamaican news source One876 reports that Munga, Mavado, Busy Signal, Baby Cham, and Vybz are all positioning themselves to be “number one artist for summer 2007,” with a flurry of singles and albums lobbying on their behalf. But Mavado is still gaining serious traction with his 2006 hit, “Whe Dem Do,” featured on his forthcoming album, Gangsta For Life, for VP. The song has been making the remix rounds, including dubstep mixes that are immediately rewound when played on underground radio stations like Rinse, SubFM, and others. 

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