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Pon Di Wire: Elephant Man In Africa, Bounty Banned, Johnny Osbourne Reissued

New York Governor David Patterson (whose family background is Jamaican) and Mayor Michael Bloomberg are calling this Sunday, May 4 a “Day of Reggae,” coinciding with the 27th Annual International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA). The event takes place at the Apollo Theater and will feature performances and award presentations from Beenie Man, Ky-Mani Marley, Doug E. Fresh, Tarrus Riley, Freddie McGregor, Etana, Buju Banton, Macka Diamond, Lady G, Tony Rebel, Lady Ann, Dean Fraser, and Junior Reid.

Speaking of reggae in New York, a big Mothers Day concert will take place May 10 at Madison Square Garden with headliner Buju Banton, a.k.a. Gargamel. The now annual Mother's Day Reggae Festival also features performances by Super Cat and Barrington Levy.

Can Bounty Killer and Mavado perform anywhere anymore? One wonders, after Mavado was denied entry in N.Y. a few weeks back and Bounty Killer’s shows in the U.K. were postponed. Now comes word that Killer is banned from performing in neighboring Caribbean nation Guyana (on the South American coast). According to the Canadian Press website, Interior Minister Clement Rohee says Bounty Killer is no longer welcome because gunfire erupted at an April 19 concert. He says Bounty Killer's lyrics promote violence and celebrate criminal behavior. Rohee also banned the Jamaican singer Mavado.

In further developments, YardFlex.com reports that Beenie Man has instead been scheduled to take Bounty’s performance slot in Guyana. Word from Beenie’s camp also reveals a new collaboration with Ce’Cile called “So Fly,” produced by hit-maker Scott Storch (Nas, 50 Cent, Beyonce).

Elephant Man, Harry Toddler, and other members of the original Scare Dem Crew touched down in Africa recently–Kampala, Uganda, to be exact–to perform at the Smirnoff Rave Street Jam. Toddler told One876 news, “Uganda was crazy, mi ah tell yu, Kampala, right now, mad, dem block off the street and at least 25,000 people or more, the whole city lock off! Big up Ele, Dandimite, and Nitty Kutchie.”

Cambridge, MA’s Heartbeat Records will reissue a deluxe version of Johnny Osbourne’s Studio One 1979 classic, Truth and Rights, an album noted for its memorable songs and American soul influences. Known for hits “Buddy Bye,” “No Ice Cream Sound,” and “Water Pumping,” Osbourne is one of Jamaica’s finest vocalists; U.K. electronic outfit Zero 7 has also covered the album's title song, "Truth And Rights." The reissue includes remastered original recordings along with six bonus tracks, including a deejay version by Jah Jesco featuring Jucey Bravo on “West Gone Black.”

Lyric DVD will release its new DVD magazine, Reggae Street Wars Part 2: Babylon on July 1. The mixtape-style DVD features clips and interviews with Bounty Kiiler, Mavado, Serani, Demarco, Sizzla, Norris Man, Ninja Man, Munga Honorable, Lady Saw, Bugle, Michael Rose, Deva Bratt, and Tanya Stephens. A forthcoming issue, titled Sound Killa, will examine what it takes to be the number one sound system performer.

With Busy Signal’s next hit, “Unknown Number,” bubbling just below the top 10 in Jamaica this week at number 11 and the U.K. listing Stephen and Damien Marley’s “The Mission” at number 1, here’s what’s hot in Jamaica, courtesy of Hot 102’s Richie B.

Jamaica’s Top 10 Reggae Singles
1. Courtney John “Baby Tonight” (Taxi)
2. Little Hero “Praise God” (Inspire)
3. Etana “Warrior Love” (Freemind)
4. Queen Ifrica “Mi Nah Rub” (Down Sound)
5. Daville “Yesterday” (Fashozy)
6. Queen Ifrica “Daddy” (No Doubt)
7. Courtney Melody “Just Like Rain” (Reggae Vibes)
8. Lutan Fyah “St. Jago De La Vega” (Mac D)
9. Tarrus Riley “Lion Paw” (Cannon)
10. Black Judah/Warrior King “Mercy Please” (Teflon Blood)

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