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Pon Di Wire: Bounty Killer, Busy Signal

The Alliance Crew’s “Warlord,” a.k.a. Rodney Pryce or DJ Bounty Killer, was arrested for profanity after his set at Sumfest in Montego Bay, Jamaica last weekend. In recent years, Jamaican authorities have come down hard on “indecent language,” which, apparently in Bounty’s case, was sparked by a negative crowd reaction to his performance on July 19.

Rapid-fire lyricist Reanno Gordon, better known as Busy Signal (pictured above), has had chart-topping dancehall singles throughout 2007-08. Hip-hop-tinged tunes like “Jail”, “These Are The Days”, “Unknown Number,” and “Wine Pon Di Edge” earned the DJ both critical and commercial success, which should be amplified by his sophomore album Loaded, in stores September 9. The aforementioned hits are all included as well as new tracks “People So Evil” and “Curfew.”

One of Jamaica’s most important ska and rocksteady-era singers, Roy Shirley, passed away last week. Known as the “High Priest,” Ainsworth Roy Rushton Shirley was born in 1944, recorded for Leslie Kong in the mid-60s, and founded vocal trio the Uniques with Slim Smith and Franklyn White. Shirley moved to London, where he owned a record shop in Dalston while continuing to record and tour. His last appearances were in June 2008 at the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival.

The Jamaica Music Hall of Fame has announced its first 12 inductees. Among the greats recognized by the Hall were Skatalites Don Drummond, Roland Alphonso, and Jah Jerry, plus Mystic Revelation of Rastafari’s Count Ossie, Derrick Morgan, and record producers Clement "Sir Coxsone" Dodd of Studio One and Arthur "Duke" Reid.

View clips from the excellent two-hour reggae music documentary, Reggae: The Story of Jamaican Music at video sharing site Daily Motion.

A hard-hitting new documentary titled Jamaica Nuff Problems takes on the sticky issue of bauxite mining in Jamaica’s rural parishes. Although the commodity, which is a primary component in aluminum production, is vital to the island’s economy, the environmental and health costs from mining are high. The documentary explores the human and environmental toll and highlights the need for better corporate stewardship.

Also on the “green” consciousness tip–The Reggae Festival for Climate Protection is an all-day environmental awareness reggae concert taking place July 26 in Mohawk, NY. Performers include “Police In Helicopter” singer John Holt, Ed Robinson of John Brown's Body, Dave Hillyard & the Rocksteady 7, Trumystic, and more.

Livity vegetarian restaurant in Jamaica will present an “earthdate” concert honoring Ethiopia’s Haile Selassie, with proceeds benefiting a local school. The event recognizes Selassie’s 116th birthday and is slated to include music by Tarrus Riley, Queen Ifrica, Etana, Bushman, Ken Boothe, Jimmy Riley, Sugar Minott, Lutan Fyah, Tony Rebel, Mikey General, and Empress–a tremendous lineup!


Reggae Vibes Revive Top Ten From July 1978
1. Tapper Zukie “She Want A Phensic” (Frontline)
2. Enos McLeod “By The Look” (Hawkeye)
3. Willie Lindo “Midnight (Black Wax)
4. Gregory Isaacs “John Public” (Hawkeye)
5. Linval Thompson “I Love Marijuana” (Attack)
6. Janet Kay “I Do Love You” (D-Roy)
7. The Chantells “Waiting In The Park” (Phase One)
8. Sheila Hylton “Don't Ask My Neighbour” (Island)
9. The Royals “My Sweat Turns To Blood” (Ballistic)
10. Dr. Alimantado “Conscious Man” (GG)

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