I can hear crickets, but that doesn’t mean all is quiet, especially when we’re talking about the International Cricket World Cup, which kicked off in Kingston, Jamaica. Concerts galore will greet guests, like the One Love event held Saturday March 10 in Water Square, Falmouth. Sanchez, Shaggy, Lucky Dube, and Richie Stephens are among the stars entertaining the international bowlers and batters in the audience.
This breach-of-contract hoopla may not yet be officially settled, but at least one party is pretending it is, with the annual Reggae on the River showcase moving forward as planned. Those performing include The Roots, The Itals, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Lutan Fyah, Norrisman, Little Hero, and Wailing Souls, among more to be added. Rival event Reggae Rising features an equally stunning lineup of Morgan Heritage, Sly & Robbie, Horace Andy, Anthony B, and Heavyweight Dub Champion. Such compelling competition may leave fans scratching their dreads and wondering how a reggae concert in one of the world’s most beautiful locales, with legendary “hi-grade,” could be reduced to such acrimony and bitter feelings.
Big albums galore are out and forthcoming from Greensleeves. Chuck Fender’s debut for the label, The Living Fire, is out on March 26, featuring hits “Gash Dem,” “Freedom of Speech,” and the future smash “Mother Earth.” Meanwhile, prolific singjay Anthony B’s latest, Higher Meditation, is out, with production by Maximum Sound’s Frenchie. Finally, “The Energy God” himself, Elephant Man, whose new album for Bad Boy is due out any day, tramples us with a greatest hits package, the first release for Greensleeves’ new Monsters of Dancehall series.
If you know your Jamaican patois, then you know it’s all about “eee,” seen? An inflection used to denote emphasis, surprise, or approval, as in, ”Don’t I look great in my new Marc Jacobs jeans-eee?” The inflection is also attached to words or used at random. So no surprise that the big street dancers Weddy Wednesdays and Blazay Blazay are host to a number of competitions as a part of Magnum’s Cash-een-Now promotion.
The new video for the song “Rude Boy Warning”, by classic Jamaican toaster Big Youth’s son Tafari, is a gansta mini-movie of sorts. No wonder he’s landed three songs in the upcoming John Singleton movie Illegal Tender.