Pon Di Wire: Leroy Smart, Mr. Vegas

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Is Japanese selecta Sami T, from world clash champion sound Mighty Crown, now an artist? That’s the word from a recent press update from Game Over promoters Irish & Chin. Following fellow soundsystem men like Tony Matterhorn and Fire Links, who’ve transitioned from soundsystem hosts to recording careers, Sami T is now recording and producing. So far, he’s guested with the aforementioned Matterhorn, Cutty of Coppershot, and TOK’s Bay C. He's also receiving tons of requests to voice riddims from different producers. “I love music, so this was a natural next step," said the selecta. Sami has been cutting his own riddims and has recorded a new track with up-and-coming artist Konshens.

The World’s Fastest Man, Usain Bolt, is back home in Jamaica and getting a hero’s welcome. The nation’s leaders met him when he arrived in Kingston on Monday. Crime rates in Jamaica’s poor communities decreased during Bolt’s historic Olympic run, and the athlete remarked, “I hope they keep the unity and what I want is for everyone to keep everything cool… hold down the war and mek we just deal wid the unity right now.”

Of course Bolt was celebrated with a concert in his home parish of Trelawny. The event featured Shaggy, Beenie man, Richie Spice, Tanya Stephens, Voice Mail, RDX, Timberlee, Stacious, D'Angel, Bugle, Terror 3000, Tifa, and numerous professional dance crews.

Foundation dancehall singer from the '70s and '80s, Leroy Smart, humbly known as The Don, is back with a new hit called “One of a Kind.” Known for his '70s smash “Ballistic Affair” and lovers rock hits in the 1980s, Smart has been absent from the charts for some time, though he seems optimistic about the future. “Leroy is in all the parties, my song a play at everywhere too, so is a storm me a go create," he said.

Fans are awaiting the new Jay Will-produced video for Mr. Vegas’ latest hit, “Round of Applause.” The video director also shot Vegas’ “Tek Wey Yuhself” and “Daggering.”

Sweet singer Tarrus Riley got his first product endorsement. And being that he’s a Rasta, it fits that he’ll rep a juice drink. Riley’s name and face will lead an add campaign for Ocean Spray cranberry juice. "It's positive and it represent what my music represents: the healthy lifestyle, refreshing, a good thing," Riley told Charlotte, NC-based mag Creative Loafing.

Reggae News U.K. has an excellent tribute to a 1980s dub poet whose name might not be familiar to many. Michael Smith, who died August 17, 1983, had just issued a strikingly poignant debut LP on Island Records. Although not as well known as fellow reggae poets Linton Kwesi Johnson or Mutabaruka, Smith’s release had the makings of a classic. Reggae News pays due respect to the life of a star cut down in his prime.

Live and direct from Jamaica, “Poor People Defenda” singer Chuck Fendaperforms in San Francisco at Club Six on Saturday, September 13. It’s a rare Bay Area appearance for the artist, who will be joined by locals Audiopharmacy, DJ Stepwise, and Ivier from Jah Warrior Shelter crew.

Reggae Vibes September 1978 Revive Top 10
1. John Holt “Everyday Is Like A Holiday“ (Cord)
2. Prince Far I “Frontline Speech“ (Cry Tuff)
3. Freddie McKay “Jah Love I“ (Lucky Star)
4. Jacob Miller “Standing Firm“ (Top Ranking)
5. Cuddly T “Make A Truce“ (Top Ranking)
6. Mighty Diamonds “Danger In Your Eyes“ (Gussie)
7. Earl Zero “Shackles And Chains“ (Freedom Sounds)
8. Calman Scott “One Teacher One Preacher“ (MML)
9. The Congos “Row Fisherman Row“ (Black Art)
10. Welton Irie & Lone Ranger “Big Fight“ (Channel One)