Pon Di Wire: Curefest, New Records from VP, Reggae Birthdays
Jah Cure’s celebratory Curefest concerts have been expanded to take place to three separate locations over three days. The event, celebrating Jah Cure's freedom after a seven-year jail term and presented by Danger Promotions, takes place Friday, October 12 to Sunday, October 14. It includes an installment titled “Reflection,” an all-white attire dinner held the first night at Starfish Trelawny Hotel, “45 Cures” at Pier 1 in Montego Bay, and the main “Longing For” concert at Trelawny Multi Purpose Stadium. The finale is the first concert to be held at the Trelawny Multi Purpose Stadium since the opening of World Cup Cricket.
In general news, Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell has broken his own world record in the 100 meters, running 9.74 seconds at the Rieti Grand Prix meet in Italy. Also, Jamaica’s first Labor Party Prime Minister in 18 years, Orette Bruce Golding, took office on Wednesday.
Every year, dancehall music produces a new crop of young buck producers, crews, and talents. Recent years have been dominated by The Alliance crew (Elephant Man, Wayne Marshall, Vybz Kartel, Angel Doolas, Bling Dawg, Aidonia, etc.), and producers Donovan “Don Corleon” Bennett, and Stephen McGreggor. More recently, the work of Craig "Serani" Marsh’s Daseca camp (Busy Signal, Mavado) is gaining momentum. Serani is part of the three-man Daseca production team responsible for popular dancehall riddims Anger Management, Chaka Chaka, Dreaming, Gully Creature, Build Back, and Fire Links’ Gullyside. Serani also crafted the lead phrase on Sean Paul's Billboard smash, "We Be Burning," and leads on Tony Matterhorn's anthemic "Dutty Wine" and Mavado's "Dying.”
The 2007 installment of Irie Jamboree attracted more than 30,000 reggae fans to the Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, New York, who came to see international acts like Steven Marley, Jr Gong, Morgan Heritage, Lady Saw, Beenie Man, Anthony B, Assassin, and Tony Matterhorn. Morgan Heritage smashed it with their big East Coast hit “Booklyn & Jamaica.” Lady Saw held her own, and invited crowd favorite Mavado out to sing “Weh Dem A Do.” Tony Matterhorn, Daville, and “the gangsta ras” Munga Honourable, who was making his first major appearance in New York, were the stand-out acts of the event.
Bahamian singjay Collie Buddz is circulating his new one-drop riddim single “Blind To You,” which deal with his experiences with jealousy and racism in the music industry.
VP Records announced a slew of new albums for fall including I-Wayne’s Book of Life (November 6), Elephant Man’s Lets Get Physical (November 6), Shaggy’s Intoxication (November 13), and Strictly The Best 37 & 38 compilations (November 22).
Down Sound will drop their remake of the classic Channel One Gunman riddim. Gunman riddim has spawned hits over the years like “No Weh No Betta Dan Yard” by Sister Carol (1984), Paul Elliott’s “Bad Bwoy” (2000), Ninjaman’s “Me Nah Move” (1991), and Yellowman’s “Duppy Or Gunman,” for producer Henry ‘Junjo’ Lawes in 1982. Downsound’s new versions include sides by Anthony B, Turbulence, I Maroon, Queen Ifrica, and Tony Rebel. Other new riddims dropping this week: Silver Screen on Don Corleon (Baby Cham, Capleton, Munga), Atomic Bomb on Heart of Love (Beenie Man, Buju, Busy Signal), and Cool & Deadly on Worthington Project (Anthony B, Daville, Perfect).
Several reggae artists celebrate birthdays this month, including O’Neil Bryan (a.k.a Elephant Man), born September 11, 1975, and the outlaw Terry Ganzie, also born September 11. Richell Bonner, (a.k.a. Richie Spice) celebrated his Earth Date September 8 and recently departed Jamaican folklorist and poet Louise Bennett was celebrated on September 7.