XLR8R insiders at this year’s controversial Reggae Rising concert (replacing the 20-year institution Reggae On The River) in Northern California received a robust attendance and many stellar performances. Reggae vet Freddy McGreggor was warmly welcomed with his pitch-perfect rendition of “Big Ship,” and other hits, while Sly & Robbie played sans headliner Horace Andy (who had missed getting his visa cleared). The reported festival showstopper was conscious singjay Anthony B who wowed the crowd with an energetic two-hour performance.
The Jamaican equivalent of being royally knighted is the Order of Distinction. Several artists, including Burning Spear, The Skatalite’s Johnny Moore, deejay U Roy, singer Carlene Davis, roots reggae singer Luciano, and deejay Shaggy, will be honored October 10, Jamaica’s National Heroes Day.
Jah Cure is out of jail and will perform August 12 at Holland’s Sundance Music Festival as a warm up for his impending Cure Fest festival in Jamaica, October 12-15. A collection of recent singles, True Reflections…A New Beginning (VP) was released July 31.
Jah Cure did step on stage Sunday, August 5 for Capleton’s St. Mary’s Wi Come From concert held on Jamaica’s Independence Day, a show marred by a verbal, and some say physical confrontation between Sizzla and rasta singjay Norrisman. Capleton tried to restore order to the show by stating: "Wha oonu a try do? Mash up man ting? A Rasta ting. Me know de whole a oonu...," he said, looking and pointing towards the direction of the fight. "Norris Man, a waapen to yu?" he demanded. "A Independence. A St. Mary me come from." Later, Macka Diamond, Ninja Man, Josie Wales, Richie Spice, and Chuck Fenda all appeared without incident.
If you’re a Jamaican recording star, don’t have a hit too early life – you may not get to perform. That’s what pre-teen sensation QQ recently found out. The Jamaican government is trying to bar the 10-year-old from performing in the US despite having a work permit. A Ministry of Labor & Social Security told Jamaica’s X-News that no child under 13 is supposed to be employed. An unnamed source shot back in QQ’s defense, “Right now, is all of nine shows get cancel fi QQ. Dem threaten fi lock up [his father and manager] GQ, and hold on to QQ when him come through the airport. Look how much little yute a sell bag juice and wipe car glass, but as dem see QQ glory, dem waan fi stop it.”
A major bashment event goes down August 10 in New York. Fully Loaded will feature Bobby Konders and Jabba’s Massive B Soundsystem, Platinum Kids, Stinga Movements, Wyclef’s Refugee Sound, Steelie Bashment, and Tek9 Movements at Amazura 91-12 144th Place, Queens, New York.
In new singles news: Smartmove Promotions UK is promo’ing a new one-drop reggae mix of Soca queen Alison Hinds’ mammoth hit “Roll It Gal.” The Sunland Remix should be available on vinyl and download soon. Black Shine Records Weed Seed riddim features 7”’s by Anthony B, Gyptian, and Junior Kelly. Meanwhile Lutan Fyah, Half Pint, and Sizzla nice up King Yard’s moody, horn-driven River Bed riddim. The Gangsta Law riddim (IM records) offers new material from Michael Rose, Natty King, Luciano and Queen Ifrica.