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Pon Di Wire: Cure Fest Postponed, Sizzla goes AWOL, New Reggae Movie

Buju Banton’s Gargamel Music drops its new compilation, Buju Banton Presents: Jamrock Classics Vol. 1, this week. The collection features new tunes from Pinchers, George Nooks, Terror Fabulous, Ghost, Jah Cure, Yami Bolo, Tony Curtis, and Lutan Fyah. The album features a clutch of classic backing music, including the Stallag, This Magic Moment, and Three Blind Mice riddims.

Speaking of Buju, he apparently exchanged heated words with Junior Reid backstage at a concert in Miami recently. Buju apparently insulted Reid when the “One Blood” singer’s 13-year old daughter tried to meet Gargamel. Reid later stepped to Buju directly and was quoted as saying, “Mi no tell him no expletive because me is a yute respect my mother. Mi just tell him say him is a fish and call him Batty Banton.” One hopes this all a matter of misunderstanding and hearsay between the two greats.

A new full-length film titled Better Mus' Come premieres this Saturday, June 7 in Kingston, Jamaica at the 2008 Flashpoint Film Festival in Port Royal. The film takes place against the backdrop of Jamaica’s mid-'70s political upheaval. Directed by Storm Saulter and starring Sheldon Shepherd, Nicole Grey, Roger Guenveur Smith (American Gangster, Malcolm X, Do the Right Thing), and Dwayne Pusey, the film follows Ricky (Shepherd), the leader of a politically affiliated gang based in the Southside slums of Kingston. According to Saulter, it wasn’t easy to make the film: “It was very hard to get proper special effects material and props into the island (i.e. exploding blood, blank shells, fake movie guns). The people we were renting from in Hollywood thought it was too dangerous here, and that someone would steal the guns and start a militia or something–a militia with fake M16s!"

Jah Cure’s now-annual Cure Fest concert has been postponed, due to demand for Cure performances abroad. Jah Cure will instead perform in Europe throughout June, and return to Jamaica to appear at Sumfest Reggae Night, Friday, July 18 in Montego Bay. Sumfest features a stellar lineup, including veteran headliner John Holt of the Paragons, Anthony B, Richie Spice, Queen Ifrica, and Tarrus Riley.

Speaking of Europe, YardFlex reports that Sizzla went AWOL midway through a French tour, returning to Jamaica abruptly and without informing promoters. Sizzla may have canceled due to constraints from the Reggae Compassionate Act, adopted by some venues and governments to prevent reggae artists from performing anti-gay lyrics.

Veteran female DJ Sister Nancy appealed in a Jamaica Observer article for unity among reggae performers, especially the new female contingent that includes artists such as D’Angel, Queen Ifrica, Spice, Alaine, and Etana. "Don't fight with each other, don't play those games in the biz," she remarked. Nancy scored a major hit in 1982 with the track “Bam Bam.”

Empress, Perfect, and Norrisman appear on French producer Sherkhan’s new acoustic one-drop Ol’Sitt’n riddim set. Beenie Man, Charlie Chaplin, and Cobra are featured on a new cut of the famous Pinchers riddim, Bandalero. Dancehall DJs will want to grab up Open Ear’s new Peppagrain riddim, which has new singles by Burro Banton, Sizzla, and Vybz Kartel.

What are the top 100 reggae songs of all time? Find out at DigitalDreamDoor. According to the site, the list is “based on initial and lasting popularity as well as influence and impact in reggae music.” The site also lists the most popular 200 reggae songs and most popular reggae cover songs.

Lee “Scratch” Perry fans have a chance to win a new deluxe edition of the Heartbeat Records compilation, Chicken Scratch. Sign up to win a CD at NiceUp.


BBC IXtra’s Dancehall Top Ten
1. Mavado “I’m On Da Rock” (Baby G)
2. Stephen & Damian Marley “The Mission” (Baby G)
3. Jimmy & Tarrus Riley “Pull Up Selector” (Taxi)
4. Richie Spice “Di Plane Land” (VP)
5. Erup “Click My Finger” (Truck Back)
6. Serani Ft Bugle “Doh” (Daseca)
7. Mavado “Don’t Worry” (Deseca)
8. Mykal Rose Ft Damian Marley “Shoot Out” (John John)
9. Morgan Heritage “Nothing Fi Smile Bout” (No Doubt)
10. Demarco “Duppy Know Who Fi Frighten” (Greensleeves)

Pictured: Sizzla. Photo By Martei Korley.

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