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Pon Di Wire: Vybz Kartel, Mr. Vegas

Looks like successful singjay Clifford “Mr. Vegas” Smith, currently at the top of international charts with the hit “Mus Come A Road,” will take an extended leave from the music business. Citing disappointment with the entertainment industry and a wish to spend time with his family, Smith told the Star that he plans to retire from music, effective immediately. “It's just nuff thing,” he told the paper, regarding his decision. “You would have to be in my shoes to understand it. Sometimes you try fi mek other people around you happy, but you unhappy.”

A controversial interview with dub engineer Hopeton “Scientist” Brown has appeared at United Reggae, in which the reggae innovator accuses several record companies of unlawfully selling his recordings. Scientist has been in a protracted legal battle with Greensleeves and other labels he says are improperly distributing his signature dub recordings. He recently sued videogame company Rockstar and settled out of court for its use of one of his tracks licensed from Greensleeves. Among other claims he makes in the interview: that Blood & Fire Records and Linval Thompson are illegally selling his work, that he is the executor of King Tubby’s estate, and that he has more mixing experience than King Jammy.

Vybz Kartel’s new video, for his latest hit, “Life’s Sweet,” is now available online. According to One876, he has already scored three number-one singles this year, with “Nah Go Nowhere,” “Money Fi Spend,” and “Trailer Load a Money,” which each rose to the top spot on the Stampede Street Chart and the Jamaica Music Countdown charts.

Nowadays, artists have to be hot on the mic–and with the frying pan. At least that’s the idea when Tifa, Timberlee, Konshens, and others face off in a cooking competition. Artists will go head-to-head–or rather, pan-to-pan–at the annual CB Pan Chicken Celebrity Cook Off on Saturday, September 27 at the Dump Up Beach in Montego Bay. Nikki Z walked away with the trophy and the prize for Best Pan Chicken Celebrity in the last celebrity cook off, against Tessanne Chin, Craigy T (TOK), D’Angel, and Mr. Lex. Artists donate their winnings to charity.

Time for a soundclash! The Guinness Sounds of Greatness clash series is underway, with battles between Bass Odyssey, Area Code, Black Kat, Bodyguard, Firesounds, Pieces, Rebel T, and Swatch International. According to the Observer, during initial matches, Area Code and Firesounds were eliminated by Black Kat and Rebel T, respectively, in the first playoffs, while Bodyguard eliminated Bass Odyssey and Pieces took out Swatch International.

Linval Thompson’s vintage 1980s roots productions are featured on Greensleeves’ latest 12” Rulers compilation. Tracks are presented in “extended mix” 12” disco format, including dub and DJ versions. The collection includes Freddie McGregor, Barrington Levy, Eek-A-Mouse, Barry Brown, Al Campbell, and others.

Notable ’70s roots reggae artist Earl Zero blazes through California on tour this month, performing Saturday, October 11 at Pier 23 Café for Club Dread and Wednesday, October 15 with The Scientist at L.A.’s Dub Club.

The upcoming International Caribbean Music Festival (ICM) will take place Sunday, November 16 in Key Biscayne, Florida. The event will feature Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Mavado, Sean Kingston, Queen Ifrica, Tony Rebel, Etana, Da'Ville, Mr. Vegas, Munga, Konshens, Spragga Benz, and Papa San.


Rhona Fox PR Reggae Chart
1. Serani “No Games” (Daseca)
2. Queen Ifrica “Keep It to Yourself” (Don Corleon)
3. Busy Signal “Wine Like That” (Juke Boxx)
4. Mavado “I'm So Special” (TJ)
5. Morgan Heritage “Nothing to Smile About” (No Doubt)
6. Beenie Man “Yuh Know Fi Wine” (MP3)
7. Terry Linen “Better Man” (Upliftment)
8. Richie Spice “The World Is a Cycle” (Fresh Ear)
9. Lil’ Kim, Wyclef & Mavado “Caribbean Connection” (MP3)
10. DJ Khaled Ft. Rick Ross & Baby Cham “Bullet” (Koch)

Pictured: Vybz Kartel.

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Jennifer Marston