Pon Di Wire: Hurricane Dean, The Skatalites, Jah Jerry
- Words: Tomas Palermo
Hurricane Dean passed through Jamaica on Sunday, mainly affecting the southwest of the island, although damage was reported in other areas. It’s been reported that three persons died and many fishing villages have been leveled. As result of Dean damage, national elections scheduled for August 27 have been postponed until September 3.
Several reggae artists have reacted to Dean with first-hand accounts of the storm. Dancehall deejay Delly Ranks said Dean sounded like a trailer coming in and like a whistle when it was leaving. Reggae crooner Jimmy Riley thought it was his worst ever hurricane experience, while vintage vocalist Bob Andy said Dean went lean. “We have been spared, we expected a category five, but it was four when it got to us.”
Jamaica National Hero and black rights activist Marcus Garvey was honored Friday, August 17 with a concert and tributes on his 120th birthday. As flowers were laid at the monument to Marcus Garvey in the National Heroes Park, downtown Kingston, the Composite Bands of the Jamaica Defence Force played patriotic Jamaican melodies. Other performers included saxophonist Dean Frasier, Nexus Performing Arts Group, Tarrus Riley, and Jimmy Tucker.
If its foolishness you wan’ talk, best not do it to the Don Dadda. Emcee Supercat allegedly beat up a Trinidadian promoter after he made a racist remark to the performer. Supercat reportedly struck stage manager Wendell Naipaul, of The Super Chutney Show, pushing him to the ground. Sources say the entertainer just could not "seckle" with racial abuse flung his way by the prominent businessman. Naipaul has not pressed charges, and Supercat left Trinidad and Tobago the following day.
It’s with sadness that we report the loss of The Skatalites original guitarist Jerome Hines. Better known as Jah Jerry, Hines died on Monday, August 13 after a short illness. He was 80. Jah Jerry can be seen this documentary video about the roots of reggae, hosted by Mikey Dread.
VP records is launching a vintage reissue CD series to celebrate Jamaica's independence. The series first eight CDs include classics like Toyan’s Spar With Me, featuring extended 12" mixes of “Stylee” and “Walk & Talk with Jah Love,” plus classic albums from Little John (Ghetto Youth) and Don Carlos. All three albums are Junjo Lawes productions.
Rasta singer I-Maroon has been making progress in the Jamaican and international reggae charts. The roots vocalist’s name has been appearing on top producers singles with more frequency.
The famed British label Blood & Fire maybe going through it’s own tribulations, but much of it’s web content, including the heavily trafficked message board, is up and running. Announcements on the future management of the label (it’s possibly being sold to a larger entity) will be announced as soon as details are finalized.
If you chat Jamaican patois, watch your words… Among many hardcore dancehall youth, how you say something says a lot about you. For instance, some youth will no longer use the prefix “man” or “mon” and instead insert “gal”–in order to prove that these manly men only “deal wit gyal.” For instance, a hardcore youth wouldn’t refer to “Montego Bay,” but instead “Gal-tego Bay.” “Instead of ‘Mandeville’, wi haffi sey 'Galdeville'–suh wi jus in a culture where certain things cannot be said,” remarked one artist. Dancehall entertainer Busy Signal commented, "As far as the words go like Galdeville and Galtego Bay–is just fun. No one from a different country naw go come off the plane and ask for directions to Galtego-Bay, so is just fun," he said.
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