Police shut down dancehall artist Mavado’s birthday party at Temple Hall in Jamaica around 4:30 a.m. on Sunday, December 2. According to One876.com, police moved in with a strong contingent of soldiers, police officers, and helicopters, swooped in and shut it down before the bigger acts (Bounty Killer, Busy Signal, Elephant Man, Jah Cure, Sizzla, Pressure, and Munga Honourable) were able to perform. Last year’s event was also disrupted when Vybz Kartel attempted to rush the stage–that beef has since been squashed.
YardFlex reports that top cultural singer Jr. Reid, who has had an amazing 2007 linking up with major rap artists, is involved in a legal dispute with the Songs of Salvation company over Reid’s failure to pay for several pieces of music equipment worth thousands of dollars.
Last week, VP Records debuted its brand-new download site and digital store, which features the hottest reggae, soca, and dancehall MP3s. Mavado’s Gangsta For Life, Joe Gibbs’ dub albums, and Riddim Driven: Guardian Angel are all there now.
The Netherlands’ Reggae Vibes website has its 2007 polls for Best Producer, Best Male Dancehall Artist, Best Roots Artist, Best Male Vocalist, Best Newcomer Dancehall, as well as other categories up for a little while longer. Voters who fill out the poll are entered to win a limited amount of free CDs.
You know Jamaicans love their reggae, dancehall, R&B, and hip-hop, but how about Avril Lavigne? It’s true–rock has made major in-roads on the island, where DJs try to appease broader tastes. FAME-FM’s Kurt Riley recognizes that socio-economic differences play a role in how rock and pop are accepted in JA: “Not everywhere do you get the opportunity to play [alternative music]. On the radio, I will play it once per week for 30 minutes, but it won't get the same rotation as dancehall, reggae, or hip hop music… mi naah go play it inna de ghetto.”
Irie TV–a multimedia company offering live streams of major reggae concerts, plus music streams and other content, launched on Tuesday, December 4, with a party at Spotlight Live club in New York. Luciano and Mr. Vegas hosted the gala, with entertainment by the Irie Jam Allstar DJs alongside Massive B and Steelie Bashment.
The Cultural Explosion stage show will take place Saturday, December 8 at Amazura in Jamaica-Queens, N.Y., and will feature Sizzla, Chuck Fenda, Gyptian, Jah Mason, Ras Shiloh, and Courtney Melody, plus Stone Love soundsystem DJs. Meanwhile, on the west coast, Cham (formerly Baby Cham) will make a small club appearance at L.A.’s Jamaica Gold on Sunday, December 16.
Speaking of gigs–New York’s Deadly Dragon held a major rub-a-dub session on Monday, November 26 at Brooklyn’s Happy Ending venue that featured the 2007 World Clash Champions Mighty Crown, plus DJs Father Downbeat, Tony Screw and mic sessions from Jamaican legends Johnny Osbourne, King Shabba Rankin', Sadki, Sammy Dreadlocks, Major Mackerel, and more. Three hundred reggae fans attended the gig, with Loud Records’ hip-hop A&R man Dante Ross posting some choice photos on his blog.
New Riddims Set to Hit Shops:
Voiceful’s Blackjack, with tunes from Beenie Man (“Mi Nuh See It”), Bounty Killer (“Judas”), and Lady Saw (“You A Di Wife”).
Irie FM DJ G.T. Taylor’s One Up features Anthony B (“Girls Them Love We”), Chuck Fender (“Soldier”), Ninjaman (“Weh Dem A Guh Do”), and Perfect (“Jamaica Is Paradise”).
Always rootical and dope, Joe Frasier USA offers the Chi Chi Bud, with music by Freddie McGregor (“I Pray”), Terry Linen (“No Time To Linger”), Marcia Griffiths (“I Told You”), and Tarrus Riley (“Life Precious Gift”).
On the dancehall tip, check QB’s Eclipse riddim, with singles by Assassin, Busy Signal, Cobra, and Mavado’s new one, “Lippy Lippy.”
Photo of Mavado by Martei Korley.