Pon Di Wire
- Words: Tomas Palermo
It’s been a huge week of news for reggae music. Not only was singer Jah Cure suddenly released, earlier in the day than expected on Saturday, July 27, after eight years of prison, but high-profile celebrity dancehall couple Beenie Man and D’Angel have announced divorce proceedings. In the wake of all the big news, you might have missed the announcement of this year’s dancehall queen champion. The fact that the award went to 26-year old white Canadian Maude Francato caused some fans to protest the decision by hurling bottles.
Reggae Vibes Netherlands website carries an excellent interview this week with one of reggae’s most crucial “truth and rights” roots singers, Johnny Clarke. Clarke is revered among serious reggae fans for his militantly conscious mid-1970s output.
Dancehall sensation deejay Assassin will release his sophomore album, Gully Sit’n, August 28 on VP Records. The 20-song effort is reportedly “a celebration of ghetto lifestyle, as opposed to a lamentation about how horrible it is.” Meanwhile, fellow new-school dancehall artist Munga Honorebel, the “Gansta Ras,” has been rebuked, and may be sued by a band of devout Rastafarian elders and their lawyers!
Island Records will celebrate its 30th Anniversary with a special edition release of Bob Marley’s seminal Exodus album (originally released in 1977). The album was offered earlier this year as a special “USB stick” limited edition. Now, Island will follow up with a Live At The Rainbow concert DVD (Marley, live in 1977, touring for the Exodus album), as well as a 144-page Exodus book published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson, with contributions from such writers as Lloyd Bradley, Robert Christgau, Neil Spencer, and the celebrated poet Linton Kwesi Johnson. Over 200 images and an introduction by Island founder Chris Blackwell are also included.
The annual sound clash and dancehall showcase Fully Loaded took place this past Sunday, July 29, minus two expected main highlights–the sound clashes and a Bounty Killer performance. No matter: the event shined on, with sound system performances from Black Chiney and Foota Hype, plus Tony Matterhorn hosted. Beenie Man was in the house, and the audience was entertained by Macka Diamond, Busy Signal, and Turbulence.
A peace treaty between Vybz Karel and “area Don” (slang for a Jamaican neighborhood strongman or alleged gang leader) Mikey "Pelpa" Lynch has been announced, bringing a sense of calm to the sometimes violent Waterford district. "Waterford nice again–a straight positivity wi a bring back in di community, suh di place can get more financially viable for everybody through sports and music," Kartel commented to online source Nowadayzdancehall.
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