Japan’s Mighty Crown Sound System (pictured above) bested four international reggae sound systems to win its second World Clash trophy at an event being billed as the last such competition in New York. Promoters Irish and Chin announced that, after 10 years of promoting the New York installment of World Clash, they would end their run with an event titled Game Over.
The UK and Jamaica also host World Clash events, in which reggae sound systems face off in rounds, with a live audience determining the winners. Each sound gets a predetermined amount of time to joust against the others; they often use exclusive dub plates (acetate records) featuring big-name artists dissing the other sounds. In the past, sound systems have won using exclusive one-off recordings from artists including veteran Jamaican toaster U-Roy, The Fugees, and Michael Jackson, as well as reggae stalwarts Sizzla, Bounty Killer, and Johnny Osbourne.
In addition to Mighty Crown, Game Over featured previous New York World Clash winners Black Kat (Jamaica), Bass Odyssey (Jamaica), Rebel Tone (Canada), and Sentinel (Germany). As reported by Yard Flex: “Mighty Crown is the champion! And only just, as they took the 2007 title by a narrow margin from Bass Odyssey.”
Many sound clashes end in controversy as judges try to determine which sound the audience is most enthusiastic for, and Game Over was no exception. One disgruntled fan complained, “Bass Odyssey ‘killed’ all the other sounds in the second-to-last round, before the Dub-Fe-Dub section… Mighty Crown played some extremely old dub-plates–it must have been an old hits session.”
In the night’s other featured events, Jamaican selector and performer Tony Matterhorn won in a dubplate clash versus recording artist Beenie Man, while London’s David Rodigan (who donned an Elvis Costume) beat DJ Ninja Man in their celebrity clash.