Sunday, December 27, 2009

Local Academics Blamed for Falling Standards

Daraine Luton
Several local academics who daily sing the praises of dancehall, as well as its main practitioners, are being blamed for the falling standards of Jamaica's music.
In fact, at least one veteran player in the music industry believes these dancehall apologists are only seeking ways to promote themselves.

Mikey Barnett, veteran producer, told a Gleaner Editors' Forum last week that the strong defence of dancehall being mounted by academics is "self-promotion and not about the music".
"These are persons who left Jamaica, came back to Jamaica, and wanted to find a way to get known in a hurry, and so they jumped on the dancehall bandwagon," Bennett charged.
He added: "The quickest way to get known in the society and to make a name in the society was to support a cause that the grass-roots people in Jamaica, which are the majority, are associated with, and that was dancehall music."

The music producer, who told the editors' forum that he was not a fan of dancehall music, is the second person in recent weeks to articulate such views.
Dr St Aubyn Bartlett, member of parliament for Eastern St Andrew, told a parliamentary committee recently that the "new PhDs" are responsible for the continuation of the foul lyrics being spewed from the dancehall.

Bartlett was responding to Cordel Green, executive director of the Broadcasting Commission, who told the Human Resources and Social Development Committee of Parliament that a teacher-education programme on media literacy was being developed.
Green said the aim was to help schools to protect students from poisonous music.
But Bartlett said he was concerned because the "educators of these trainers - and I am speaking about some of the new PhD and the new master of science in dancehall and in you know, all kinds of things - sometimes the defence that they put up for these dancehall artistes, you wonder whether these persons are supposed to be training the trainers to deal with children at the primary level."

Added Bartlett: "... When a professor from the university backs the Gaza and Gully and the dancehall tradition in some of the wickedest lyrics that come out of it, you know, you hear at the corner from the professor or from the university man, dem like it, so a must something good."
However, at least one academic has taken issue with the criticisms of persons who study dancehall.

Dr Donna Hope-Marquis, a lecturer in Reggae Studies at the University of the West Indies, said it is not ignorance that motivates people to hold such antagonistic views of students of the art.
"It could be selective amnesia and selective reading," Hope-Marquis.
"It would be good if individuals who talk about something that is an important part of Jamaican dancehall culture would read some of the works that have been done on dancehall," Hope-Marquis said.

She argued that history demonstrates that music forms, such as reggae and mento ,have been subjected to similar criticisms in the past and time has vindicated them.
"I found it very interesting that almost 50 years ago, we were having very similar discussions about a part of our popular music, which was seen as having the propensity to damage the psyche of our children," she reasoned.

The Reggae Studies lecturer and dancehall expert said that an unfortunate aspect of public discourse was a propensity to dismiss aspects of Jamaican culture as bad.
"It would be very good if we try to move away from painting our cultural output as one thing only and look at it as a whole, which has many facets," Hope-Marquis said.
Notwithstanding the criticisms, Hope-Marquis has pledged not to back away from studying and documenting the music form called dancehall.

"If I am not a part of the documentation of Jamaican culture, what happened with reggae where 90 per cent of what is written is written by people who are not Jamaicans, the same thing will happen with dancehall. I live here and I consider myself a student of Jamaican culture and I will continue to do the work, even when I have to do it at odd hours," Hope-Marquis said.

SHUT 'EM UP! 'Too much freedom in the name of creative expression'

Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter

Declaring that Jamaica's music has died, producer Mikey Barnett says the Government needs to restrict freedom of expression if the society is to survive. "The Government has failed in its role to protect the society from itself - meaning artistes of today. There is too much freedom in the name of creative expression," Barnett told a recent Gleaner Editors' Forum.

Barnett argued that the Govern-ment had allowed a small societal sore to turn into gangrene before trying to fix it. He said the decline in Jamaica's music is going to be impossible to address because the State allows everyone to freely express what he or she wants through areas such as music. However, the director of public prosecutions has said freedom of expression is not the problem.

Paula Llewellyn told stated that it is inertia and lethargy on the part of many citizens which is the root cause of the problem. "Everybody is guaranteed - under our Constitution and by virtue of being a human being in a civilised society where principles of democracy hold - freedom of expression," Llewellyn said.

"Too many of us are afraid to rock the boat, in that we do not wish to be singled out as pointing out that the content of a song like Informer Fi Dead can undermine the moral fibre of the society and help to inculcate fear in respect of doing your duty if you have witnessed wrongdoing or a breach of criminal law," Llewellyn.
Last week, Barnett told a Gleaner Editors' Forum that he did not support dancehall music because of what it stood for. He charged that the music bred violence and spewed profanity throughout the society and should be controlled through legislation."It is a lack of political will that has caused this, because whenever they (legislators) attempt to put in laws, people say you are stifling their creative expression, and so they back off," Barnett said.

In defence of his stance, the music producer said persons should not "defend creative expression at the risk of destroying the society". "We have to make up our minds whether we want freedom of expression for everybody, or a controlled situation to protect our children," Barnett said.

However, Llewellyn argued that people should be more cognisant of lyrics and be willing to speak up against transgressions. She said Jamaicans should respect each other's right to freedom of expression but "be prepared to indicate that the particular lyrical content of a song is not appreciated".

Llewellyn's position has the backing of Senator Warren Newby, parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.
He argued that the State should not infringe on a person's freedom. "If an adult decides that slackness is his or her form of entertainment, I don't think the State should get involved to say 'You can't listen to that'. If he pays to go into a venue that is sanitised from the general public and wants to listen to slackness in that venue, then the Government has no role to play in that matter," Newby said.

He added: "What needs to be emphasised in today's Jamaica is the role of parenting. People must take personal and social responsibility.

"We must empower communities and the parents to take greater care of the socialisation of the children so in the event that they hear music that is not wholesome, they know not to gravitate towards it," Newby said.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sting 09 Face Off or Unification

It all started with Sting 08 so all year in the back of my mind I felt a little obligated to go to Sting and do a review every year. To be honest I’m really not feeling a Greatest One Night Show vibe. Forever Sting has been associated with great and sadly sometimes lukewarm clashes. This year was supposed to be the Gully/Gaza clash, Posters strewn all over Kingston with Mavado, Bounti Killa, Kartel and Merciless with the heading ‘Face Off’. Regardless whether you chose to be Gully Gangster or like the Most Honorable who says “Gaza who nuh like it go chuck off inna gully!”
Or you like most didn’t really care what them ol niggahs were doing cause they making money either way no one could escape being inundated with the feud.

Unfortunately for the Sting promotion team the President was getting tired of all the foolishness, and at West Kingston Jamboree the Gully/Gaza Lords put away their differences (for now anyway). So Dudus did what the Broadcasting commission (Radio Nazi), Bruce and all his kings’ men and every other morally upright group in Jamaica couldn’t do, which is to put the music together again. Well loosely anyway, why again them want to extradite him when he gets the important things done? Clash done, Kartel and Mavado go to Jamaica house and agree to a five point initiative which includes a Paint out day, Happy gully/gaza t-shirt day to replace the buttons the future taxi men and bus conductors presently wear depicting Kartel and Mavado as real killers.

There is talk that this peace is not one that the Warlord has sanctioned. Hence the Warlord is still on the Warpath for the “Ungrateful Hell Boy.” Unfortunately Vybz Kartel says No Mas. What’s left for Sting this year, LA Lewis Vs Goofy and Sky Juice Vs Tony Matterhorn?

So now it’s the 26th don’t expect a Sting review cause I’m not going. Ill be at Flash brought to you by the Utopia people. Where I am certain at no point in any conversations I will have there will include the phrase “Gaza Mi Say!” nor will I use Goodaz as noun, pronoun, verb and adjective for the entire night.

Nowadays Boopsie

I'm loving the Assassin on this, heard it this morning and couldn’t stop laughing cause Super Dee was the dance I use to get my ass beat for when my mother found out I snuck out on Sunday nights.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Stacious vs. Lisa Hype

Sometime last week … I don’t care when Stacious drops this song Head which although she says it has nothing to do with Lisa Hype and her secure position at the Head of the Gaza class it does draw reference to a certain picture circulating the internet. However to the Gaza First Lady them’s fighting words. Thus the sweet stinking garbage you have been blessed with below, to be honest one can think of a million different ways to waste time than to listen these songs. But if you insist on said assault to your ears and what remaining brain cells left below are all four songs released by these lovely young women. Enjoy ^_^

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Buju Banton Officially Indicted

Reggae artist Mark ‘Buju Banton’ Myrie, has been officially indicted by the US District Court in Tampa, Florida. The indictment filed Wednesday, alleges that Banton as well as co-accused Ian Thomas and James Jackson Mack knowingly and willfully conspired to possess with intent to distribute over five kilograms of cocaine. The document also states that the artiste and the other two men knowingly and intentionally possessed a firearm during the course of committing a drug trafficking crime.

The US government also appears to be going after any assets owned by the men, as the indictment states that the defendants shall forfeit to the US any property obtained as a result of the violations or any property which was used to commit the offences.
Good thing Lorna got her share before all of this started.

In a surprise move, Gargamel decided to waive his bail hearing which was scheduled for Wednesday morning, in a Miami federal court. He decided to fight the drug charge against him in Tampa, where he will be transferred. It is not yet certain why the artiste changed his mind about the bail hearing.

U.S. Magistrate Judge William Turnoff issued a temporary order of detention. Attorney representing the reggae star, Herbert Walker had earlier declared he intended to push for Banton's release Wednesday on the grounds that he is not a threat to the community.

Buju has been behind bars in a Florida jail for the past seven days. He was arrested on Thursday during a sting operation involving personnel from the US Drug Enforcement Administration. The artiste and the two men charged along with him face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Buju Held for Cocaine Possession in the United States

On December 10, 2009 the most unlikely sentence was assembled and that is; Dancehall artist Mark ‘Buju Banton’ Myrie was arrested on a charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. The Banton is presently held up at the Federal Detention Centre in downtown Miami his release date still unknown.

It is a bit unsettling to know that the Gargamel who is now Inmate 86700-004, should be arrested for coke and not weed this little detail has many a conspiracy theory sprouting all over the internet. Buju was coming off a very successful and equally controversial North American tour to promote his Rasta Got Soul album, his ninth which is also nominated for a Grammy. Massive protests by gay and lesbian groups plagued the tour as Banton was accused of promoting violence against gays through the lyrics of his songs (more specifically Boom Bye Bye). This subsequently lead to a meeting of the involved parties in San Francisco however not much if anything was achieved.

To date Buju’s record label Gargamel Music has kept quiet about the incident, even as authorities alleged that Buju and another man were caught on surveillance camera. Details of the arrest and subsequent charges will be released the morning of 14th December.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

King and Queen: Richie Spice and Alison Hinds

Bob Join Grammy Hall of Fame

By Daniel Kreps
Rolling Stone

Recordings by the Beach Boys, Bob Marley, the Doors, James Brown and Janis Joplin have been named as 2010 inductees to the Grammy Hall of Fame. Twenty-five recordings from a variety of genres will be added to the Grammy Hall, which currently includes 851 titles altogether (songs are eligible 25 years after release and the picks are approved by Recording Academy Trustees). The Doors’ L.A. Woman closer “Riders on the Storm,” Joplin’s final album Pearl and the Beach Boys’ classic “California Girls” will be among the recordings added to the collection.

“This year’s Grammy Hall Of Fame inductees highlight a diverse array of masterpiece recordings that have had a profound impact on our musical history,” Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow said in a statement. “The selections are timeless staples that span six decades and represent a wide range of genres from comedy to rock, reggae, jazz and R&B. They all greatly deserve to be memorialized.”

Check out the complete list of the 25 recordings entering the Grammy Hall of Fame below:

Dooley Wilson – “As Time Goes By”
Weather Report – “Birdland”
The Beach Boys – “California Girls”
Bob Marley & The Wailers – Catch A Fire
George Carlin – Class Clown
Billie Holiday – “Crazy He Calls Me”
King Oliver & His Jazz Band – “Dipper Mouth Blues”
Duke Ellington & His Famous Orchestra – “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore (Never No Lament)”
Ella Fitzgerald/Count Basie – Ella and Basie!
Jose Feliciano – “Feliz Navidad”
Judy Garland & Gene Kelly – “For Me and My Gal”
Mahalia Jackson – “His Eye on the Sparrow”
Muddy Waters – “I Feel Like Going Home”
James Brown – “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World”
Stan Getz/Charlie Byrd – Jazz Samba
Jelly Roll Morton – “Kansas City Stomps”
Louis Armstrong – “Lazy River”
Louis Armstrong & His All-Stars – Louis Armstrong Plays W.C. Handy
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – “Mr. Bojangles”
Janis Joplin – Pearl
The Doors – “Riders on the Storm”
The Isley Brothers – “Twist and Shout”

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bob Marley: Richest Dead Celebrity

By Erik Heinrich,
Contributor (CNN Money)

Is reggae superstar Bob Marley bigger than Jesus? That's debatable, but the music legend who died 28 years ago is about to challenge Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson for the title of richest dead celebrity.

Toronto-based private-equity firm Hilco Consumer Capital has struck a management deal with the Marley estate, which is expected to generate worldwide annual sales in excess of $1 billion by 2012. That seems like a huge number, but by some estimates the Marley name, sound, and image already generate as much as $600 million in pirated merchandise. "Marley is a strong global brand," says Mickey Goodman, a professional marketer and professor at New York University's Stern School of Business. "He enjoys a high level of awareness, and people feel positive about his music."

Major licensing agreements for the Marley brand are about to be launched in two key areas: consumer electronics -- including headphones, docking stations, and speakers -- and health care, which will likely feature skin-care products and herbal supplements. Also in the works, according to Hilco, are deals for a Marley-branded calming beverage, a video game similar to Guitar Hero featuring Marley's songs, and a chain of restaurants celebrating the music superstar. Could this be commercial overkill for the Rastafarian whose spiritual songs about social injustice, hope, and redemption have become anthems for billions of fans, from Marrakech to Tokyo, and will it alienate them?

"This is not just about money," says Jamie Salter, Hilco's chief executive. "We have to believe in the people and products we partner with." Salter adds that the Marley estate will have final say on all business ventures, and that charities will figure into the overall mix of Marley branding. Licensing of dead celebrities is an industry that has exploded in the last decade, thanks in large part to the proliferation of websites and blogs devoted to their memory. Typically, an estate receives 10% to 15% of gross proceeds from a licensing deal, which in this case will be divided between Hilco and the Marley family.

The artist who created such reggae hits as "One Love," "No Woman, No Cry," and "I Shot the Sheriff" fathered a total of 13 children, some out of wedlock, and it's not clear how many are included in the estate. Salter declined to explain how proceeds will be divided between his management company -- which also has an equity stake in a number of high-profile brands, including Polaroid, Sharper Image, and fashion label Halston -- and the Marleys. However, at a conservative 10%, licensing fees from $1 billion in annual sales should pull in about $100 million for Hilco and the Marleys. That tops the latest figures reported for Presley ($55 million), John Lennon ($15 million), and Jimi Hendrix ($8 million).
Michael Jackson -- who is worth more dead than alive with an estimated $90 million in earnings in the last 12 months -- appears to be Marley's nearest rival for the richest-dead-celebrity crown. However, much of Jackson's reversal of fortune is due to a sharp spike in the sales of his albums and merchandise in the weeks following his death, as well as the one-time success of "This Is It," a film documenting rehearsals for shows he never performed at London's O2 arena. But the danger of operating the Marley marketing machine in overdrive is that it could irreparably harm the natural mystic's image. Some brand experts now view Elvis as more of a caricature than icon as a result of overexposure.
For Sanjay Sood, director of the Entertainment & Media Management Institute at UCLA, there's one question to ask: If Marley were alive today, would he want his name associated with a particular product? "A lot of artists would say 'no,'" says Sood. "Otherwise, they would have done it when they were alive."
Presley's estate, which is managed by New York-based CKX, launched a line of clothing that turned out to be a bust. (CKX also controls the Muhammad Ali brand and has an equity stake in the company that produces the "American Idol" television show.)
More recently, Lennon's widow Yoko Ono has licensed her husband's song "Real Love" to be used by JC Penny in television ads, and she's given Ben & Jerry's ice cream permission to release a Lennon-inspired flavor called "Imagine Whirled Peace."

Salter of Hilco says the Marley brand has a long way to go before reaching saturation, noting he also considered doing business with the Dean Martin, Marilyn Monroe, and Jimi Hendrix estates, but settled on the Rastafarian from Trench Town, Jamaica, because that's where he says he saw the biggest potential.

There has never been a better time, it seems, to be a dead celebrity -- or perhaps, more precisely, the heir to a dead celebrity's name.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

To the World: Usain Bolt's 9.58 SuperParty

On Saturday, December 5, Usain Bolt , OJ, C.D. will simply be DJ Usain at his 9.58 SuperParty. It will feature an exceptional blend of music, top class achievers and performers combined with the spirit of giving, and uniquely packaged in an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime party experience. Bolt will invite his friends, family and fans to celebrate with him, in real Jamaican style, at the end of what was a most exhilarating international athletics season.

Bolt, who is a major giver to the United Way seeks to find ways to increase the contributions that he makes to charities such as the development of youth and sports, as well as other needy projects. Proceeds from the SuperParty will be channeled through the United Way to be distributed among the projects with which he has aligned himself. A significant percentage of the proceeds will also go into assisting with the purchase of land for a health centre in his hometown of Sherwood Content, which now faces the possibility of losing its home.

In addition, Bolt takes his self-appointed task of promoting Jamaica to the world very seriously, and tries to do this in every way that he can. He will be inviting persons from all over the world to come and experience Jamaica and to get to know the country which he holds so dear.

The event will be a party and concert featuring a range of high quality International and Jamaican acts. The night will feature reggae and dancehall music mixed in with hip-hop and R & B. Bolt has included himself as part of the entertainment package that includes professional DJs - ZJ Liquid, Jazzy T, Coppershot, Stone Love and Tony Matterhorn. Stars who have been contacted for performance include, The Dream, Vybz Kartel, Beenie Man, Etana, Sly and Robbie and a host of other top performers. Incorporated into the entertainment will also be popular dancers Mystic, Kieva and Ding Dong. Highlights of the night will include an exchange of gifts between Usain and the Marley family as well as presentations of autographed gifts from Usain to invited celebrity guests. Bolt will act as the main host of he event, randomly interacting with the audience on every level and injecting bits of his unique personality into the event.

Bolt will extend personal invitations to a special list of friends who he has met over the months of his athletic season, as well as to individuals who he has admired over the years and whose work and achievements he holds in very high regard. He hopes that based on their availability some of these persons will be able to attend the event and celebrate with him. Included on the list of invitees are:
• Wallace Spearmon
• All members of Jamaica’s 2009 World Championship Team
• Michael Jordan and other retired players
• Emmitt Smith, Dion Sanders
• Members of the USA Track and Field Team
• Other Caribbean Stars
• Tiger Woods
• Michael Phelps
(Sanya Richards and Michael Phelps have indicated they will not be able to attend due to previous commitments, they have agreed to support the event. Phelps will in fact sending personal memorabilia for auction at the event.)

Gates open 7 pm, Party starts 8 pm, Live Performances start 9.58 pm sharp, tickets go for J$2,000/US$25.00 presold and J$2,500/US$30.00 at the gate that’s for Gen Pop. VIP J$4,000/US$45.00 presold and J$4,000/US$45.00 at the gate. Then VVIP J$7,500/US$85.00 presold and J$7,500/US$85.00 at the gate. So who’s gonna get me tickets?
For more information:

Max Romeo's Definitive Collection

Mel Cooke, Gleaner Writer
If he could have found people willing to give voice to the lyrics he penned, Max Romeo would have never stood behind a microphone.
"I did not have singing on my mind. I loved poetry. I wanted to be a writer," the man known for saucy songs such as Wet Dream, the wry War Inna Babylon and the joyous Let The Power Fall on I told The Sunday Gleaner.

However, "Nobody would sing my songs. They said they were stupid, so I recorded them myself," beginning with I Will Buy You a Rainbow in 1967.
Forty-two years and 42 albums later (with a final one in the works at his Charmax Studio in Palm, Treadways, St Catherine), Max Romeo is releasing the bulk of his extensive catalogue on 10 CDs of 16 songs each. The first five are already out and he is hoping that the next half of the collection will be released before Christmas.

"If you follow my career, I am a person who likes to be original. I have never heard or seen it done before, so I decided to do it," he said.
The collection spans his first recording, Buy You a Rainbow, to 2006's A Little Time For Jah.
He has an eye on his own mortality and has no doubt observed the chaos that has befallen the estates of other singers. "One of the main things is to get the Max Romeo songs in one stable, so in my passing my kids won't have to be all over the place. I am happy to be alive to gather them up for my children," he said.

It helps immensely that Romeo's brother, Lindbergh 'Black Lindy' Lambert, who lives in England, has painstakingly collected the songs from the get-go. "He can find all Max Romeo music," the singer/songwriter said.
The nature of the music business being that a performer will record with multiple producers over the span of his career or even consecutively, almost invariably there are disputes over rights when collections are being put together. Max Romeo has had none and does not anticipate any. "Most of the producers are dead," he said. Further, "I have no contracts with these guys. They never paid me. I am waiting on that (contestations) to happen so I can take them to court."

Each CD in the collection is presented as a chapter, the songs being individual verses. Romeo says "The number one selling book in the history of the world is the Bible. It is written in chapters and verses. I am trying to pull the people who like the Bible." Fittingly, then, the first verse in the first chapter is Maccabee Version.
There are some songs that Romeo has deliberately culled from his career-defining collection - the raunchy songs he did before his growth into Rastafari in 1971. Wet Dream, which he says is "semi-rude", makes the cut. The others will be included on another album, Banned and Censored, "for those who like to hear Max Romeo sing about what they are making noise about today". He also plans a live performance CD.

So he has a lifetime of material to choose from at the Charmax showcase, slated for the Palm Community Centre, Palm, Treadways, on Saturday, December 5. Also performing will be his sons, the duo Rominal, Ruffian, Sophia Squire, Jallanzo, Nitro, Singing Cologne, Anjalee, Prince Allah, Dub Tonic Kru, Jimmy Riley, Warrior King, Lutan Fyah and Ras Murdack.
Romeo is satisfied with the response so far to his catalogue collection. "The people are very excited. They can't wait to get it," he said.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lisa Hype’s Oral Exam

Insanity is often described as doing something the same way and expecting different results. Trust is very important in any kind of relationship however those in the public eye should be even more careful when participating in certain private acts, especially if they are going to “speak out” against said actions. It is clear that nothing was leant during the circa 2008 Amelia ‘Milk’ Sewell and ZJ Liquid dj/bj video that went viral. The latest alleged victim, if that’s the word is the one and only Gaza first Lady Lisa Hype getting down and dirty on what is allegedly Adidja ‘Vybz Kartel’ Palmer’s member.

In the song Just Wine done with Jah Vinci, Vybz Kartel and Black Rhyno, Hype states the following:

“Lisa Hype too goody inna bed
nah go follow dutty gyal
And go suck buddy head”

Also in Proud a yu Pussy she says:
“Mi nuh nyam cocky like Chocolate but
If a boy kiss my kitty mi a go road go talk it”

Her statement to the Star is as follows:

“When contacted by THE STAR last night, the woman claimed to be unaware of the photo and said it would not be affecting her career. In terms of the other party said to be in the photo, she said: "Is mi boss, ma mentor. Mi nuh have nutten more to say ... . Mi just haffi prepare miself fi it." “

I don’t know if it is Lisa hype (Wink, wink, nudge nudge), but you can make up your own mind.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Beenie Man Apologise for Homophobic Lyrics

Dancehall/Reggae artiste Beenie Man has offered apologies for his homophobic lyrics and claim to be “misunderstood” by groups who classify Dancehall as “Murder Music”. The (self-proclaimed and recently fake crowned- eye roll until Yellowman is dead) King of the Dancehall was dropped from the upcoming 2010 Big Day Out Music Festival’s lineup due to aggravation by various gay rights groups.

In an email sent out Nov. 17, 2009 Moses ‘Beenie Man’ Davis A.K.A. Betweenie Man (according to Bounty Killa), stated that his offending lyrics where he calls for the death of homosexuals were written

"at a point in my life when I younger and was seeing a lot of exploitation of poor and defenceless young boys in the garrison - where I too was born - by rich men. When I wrote the lyrics boys were raped and murdered often - even recently a nine-year-old went to buy cigarettes for a man, came back and was raped and murdered. The act of sodomy was my concern when I wrote the song.

"I realise that those men were not gays, but were predators or paedophiles, which is not a common word in my dialect - hence the perception when generalising. I am older and realised the difference after,"

Beenie Man went on to say he was “heartbroken” when he heard that there was so much opposition to his appearance in New Zealand.

"In the past I offended others with offensive lyrics, I apologised then and now, I never took back my word. Our world is an interesting place filled with variety and we all have to respect others no matter what race, choices, culture or lifestyle. I am not a supporter of hatred and never was."

He concludes the email with a message for New Zealand and Australia: "Australia and New Zealand, please know that I am sincere and right now I am proposing peace, one world.... One Love regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation and nationality."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

While we were fighting insignificant wars amongst our selves- Gully vs. Gaza, Who don’t take care of their children vs. Who is an informer and all that other nonsense. Bigger things were afoot. So what are you going to do to address the problem?

(one of the organizers of Rototom Sunsplash in Italy)

"I'm getting in touch with more info and to explain, concerning actual events, what will be the position of the Rototom crew.As you can read from the website it won't be possible to host the festival in Osoppo next year and until the process ends. But just after the festival, the crew has started to search around for a new location and now we're very positive because it seems that there are 2 different realistic possibilities, one in Italy and one in Spain. But you understand, we need some more time to confirm the best option and much depends on actual events.Anyway, the local court in Tolmezzo through the accuses to Filippo is not only criminalizing our festival but everyone doing reggae in Italy, where the whole atmosphere we're experiencing nowadays, believe me, is always more oppressive and xenophobe....).

For more details on the accuses (in english) I suggest you to check: <>

Filippo is putting together a pool of lawyers while Giovanni is getting in touch with the Ministry in Jamaica to inform her and forward our appeal to the reggae community there. From the offices here we're searching and collecting solidarity in Italy, not only within the reggae scene but also from the various social netwoks, from media and the national press (michele is also on board!), from politicians of every parties, intellectuals and artists.Aside the ironic campeign "Io Agevolo" (= I facilitate) on the web (pics are available on,2682,0,0,1,0) <,2682,0,0,1,0%29>

and the collection of solidarity messages ( you can read something on <>, we're also organizing a big demonstration-concert in Udine, on the 13th of November under the slogan “THEY CAN’T PUT BOB MARLEY ON TRIAL !” ( the appeal is below).Some Italian reggae artists already confirmed their partecipation and we're expecting positive feedbacks also from artists that are not reggae. All messages received along these days will be spread from the stage: written ones, video-messages or video-calls on skype. All sound systems will perform in a close square. Thanks to the support of Arcoiris TV we can confirm the web-streaming, while Popolare will broadcast the event on Sunday. On Sunday 15 the regional TV Telefriuli will feature a 3-hours special programme.

INFORMATION/PROMO FOR DEMONSTRATION/CONCERT* “THEY CAN’T PUT BOB MARLEY ON TRIAL!” *“Rastafarian ideology prefigures the relationship between reggae music and marijuana”, according to this sentence they want to ban Rototom Sunsplash, one of the most important reggae festivals on planet earth, at the same time they risk to set a precedent that would describe as a criminal everyone promoting reggae culture in Italy.We say no to any religious discrimination and to the criminalization of Rototom Sunsplash.We defend our free consciences, our freedom of speech and our freedom of thought.We claim our rights to live in peace, brotherhood and fraternity.We reclaim the right to have a better world!Let’s show them our beauty, our joy, our dreams and plans, let’s show them that we don’t “support” death culture but we share the dream that another world is possible!"THEY CAN’T PUT BOB MARLEY ON TRIAL!" is not only a fight for Rototom Sunsplash:* it*’s a fight for your freedom*Friday, Novembre 13* – from 06.00 pm to 12 pmUDINE - Matteotti squareSoon more info on<>

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Jamaican Home Remedies

Remember spitting on a love bush and hoping it grows, mine never did. Or getting a cold and having your mom or gan-gran give you quailed leaf of life that tasted awful but did the trick in no time. Be it known or not many of our favorite and not so favorite foods and herbs have many alternate medicinal uses. Check out just a few and yes there will be more.

Ackee (Blighia sapida)
Family: Sapindaceae
A native to tropical West Africa in Cameroon, Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. Its name is derived from the West African Akye fufo. The term ackee originated from the Twi language. Other names and variant spellings include Ackee, Akee, Akee apple, Achee, or vegetable brain.
As stated above the tree is not endemic to the West Indies but was introduced from West Africa during the 18th century. The plant was named Blighia sapida in honour of Captain William Bligh who in 1793 took samples to Kew Gardens in South London and introduced it to science. Although native to West Africa, consumption of ackee for food takes place mainly in Jamaican cuisine. Though it may be poisonous when improperly prepared, ackee has high nutritional value and is rich in essential fatty acids, vitamin A, zinc, and protein.
Aside from being a very tasty national dish, Ackee has many different uses. The unfit fruit can be cut in half and used to wash clothes. For itchy skin and ringworm, the young fruit is crushed and a solution is applied to the skin as a treatment.

Bizzy (Cola acuminata)
Family: Sterculiaceae
Kola nut (Cola) or the Jamaican Bizzy is a genus of about 125 species of trees native to the tropical rainforests of Africa. The kola nut has a bitter flavour and contains caffeine. Kola nuts are often used to treat whooping cough and asthma. The caffeine present acts as a bronchodilator, expanding the bronchial air passages.

Bizzy is used to treat poison and is widely known by older persons and residents in the rural areas. It is said to be very effective, mainly because of its high tannic acid component. Besides being used to combat upset stomach, stomach pains and nerves problems, it is also used to purify the blood, treat eye inflammation, ease headaches, fight fatigue, depression, and as a beverage and/or tonic, in which case the dry Bizzy nut (seed) is grated, boiled, strained and drunk. For treating cuts, the seeds are grated and applied directly to the affected area. For bloodshot eyes, one branch is soaked in water for a few hours (or over night) then the liquid is use to wash the eye.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Murder the DJ

If hip hop should die before I wake
I'll put an extended clip inside of my AK
Roll to every station, murder the DJ
Roll to every station, murder the DJ

"Hip Hop Is Dead" - Nas

Everyone who goes out to a party should have a gun. Maybe not for the reasons you’re thinking, such as protecting life, limb and property. No everyone should have a gun to shoot the DJ. Yes it sounds harsh but it has gotten to a stage that they just need to be taught a lesson. If you think it’s so harsh then there should be a regular beating of lame-ass DJs. Nothing is more frustrating than an incompetent DJ. More often than not you keep encountering them, especially when going out is more a luxury than ever before DJ’s owe it to patrons to do a good job.

There is nothing more disrespectful than being in a crowded club/dance/party and the patrons- the people who pay to get in and buy the drinks who by extension pay for the DJ and everything else- just stand around waiting for the DJ to play something for them to respond to. Let's call this the “Gorgon’s Garden” effect, for as far as the eyes can see are only patrons standing as still as stone statues, which in contrast, the DJ and his friends in the DJ booth seem to be the only ones dancing up a storm and thinking this is the wickedest mixing ever.

Go to enough parties and you get the feeling that a great majority of so called Disk Jockey’s really don’t know music. That should be basic knowledge one would think if your going to play music you should have a basic knowledge of I don’t know, MUSIC. A good example is this. I was at a party last Friday and this lame-O plays “Salt of the Earth (Lets Drink to the Hard Working People)” which was followed by Sizzla Kalonji's “Show Me That You Love Me”. One gets the feeling that terms like BPM/Tempo, genre and defined sets mean absolutely nothing to these people. To say mixing is a lost art would imply that they actually knew how to mix in the first place. Searching for a DJ who is adept to a good transition sometimes is like being a Knights’ Templar searching for the Philosopher’s Stone, especially when what is considered “mixing” is playing ten songs off the same rhythm.

This brings me to my next point. Why is it that they think the louder they play a crap song the likelier it will be that a crap song is going to miraculously become an awesome song? We get it, when you go out the music is suppose to be louder than when you are in your car, home or just hanging out with your friends. But for most of these guys, playing the music at deafening decibels and blowing out speakers with heavy bass seems to be a pathetic ploy to disguise incompetence.

There is only one Tony Matterhorn, so spending the night trying to be a weak substitute at my expense is more than just a mere annoyance. And using the opportunity you have with a mic to “Big up” everyone in the dance individually is what they call overkill. “Big up the independent ladies who pay dem money fi come inya!” “Big up all the gal dem who con man!” “Big up de gun man dem” “Big up de trying yutes who know you have you 9-5” “Big up de gal dem who wear dem owna clothes and nuh gal can come up inna yu face and say mi want back mi poop inna”…….. When is he gonna play a dam song and stop talking over the good parts of the song. Or worst sing the song that’s playing.

Some Disk Jocks in the business right now I keep wondering how is it that they are still able to get work? I’m convinced that at some point in their career they took a trip to St. Thomas and wined on a monkey. How else can you explain the lack of originality and playing the same exact, identical, indistinguishable mix on the radio and then coming to a party to play the same exact, identical, indistinguishable mix then I’m suppose to be impressed. When was the last time a Disk Jock truly impressed you with skill, played something new by an artist that you didn’t know but instantly you found out this was what you were waiting for? When was the last time you had to buy a DJ a drink because he/she did a great job?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mr Lexx: Full Hundred

Mr Lexx Charged with Rape in New York

Dancehall artiste Mr Lexx was arrested and charged with rape in New York, USA According to a report Christopher Palmer or Mr. Lexx, was arrested and charged with rape Friday October 16, after a woman reported to the police that he sexually molested her in her room at a hotel in Queens, New York. According to the report, he was bailed on Saturday October 17, and is booked to appear in court on November 2. He is not allowed to leave the United States until his court appearance.
Full Story in the Star:

Sunday, October 18, 2009

J-FLAG Responds to Buju Banton's Meeting

(Michael Petrelis and Buju Banton)

The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) is "unimpressed" by Buju Banton's meeting with the San Francisco group, adding that the stalemate has further tarnished Jamaica's reputation. At the same time, J-FLAG said it doesn't want philanthropy but, rather, tolerance from Banton and other deejays.

J-FLAG is not convinced that the meeting has produced any tangible results for the gay community that has been the target of the Banton's violent 1992 lyrics, sung a number of times in recent years as a mark of defiance against gay rights protesters,"
J-FLAG remains resolute in its position that no agreement can be reached between Banton and the gay community until
1. He desists from publicly performing Boom Bye-Bye
2. Repudiates the call for the "murder" of gay and lesbian Jamaicans.

Banton said on a Wednesday night radio programme that gay murders in Jamaica are predominantly crimes of passion and not hate.

"These are the minimum conditions required by decency for him to be absolved of his incitement of violence against these groups. Anything less is mere farce and a public relations stunt to garner support for his music," noted J-FLAG.

This week, dancehall artiste Mark Myrie, aka Buju Banton, met gay rights activists in San Francisco, USA. The meeting was to discuss concerns of the gay community who have long protested his shows. Banton's international shows have been dogged by protesters and suffered cancellations since recording his 17-year-old, anti-gay song, Boom Bye Bye.

The meeting's participants wanted Banton to give the proceeds from the song to J-FLAG, hold a pro-gay town hall meeting and sing pro-gay lyrics. Both Banton and J-FLAG dismissed all these requests.
"J-FLAG is under no illusion that Mr Myrie or other DJs of his ilk will ever be minded to produce music that preaches the dignity of all life, including that of gays and lesbians. Neither do we expect contributions of any sort from them. In fact, such an engagement with the gay community is not our goal," said J-FLAG.

"What we insist on, however, is that no one treats us as less deserving of the right to life than other Jamaicans by virtue of our sexual orientation."
J-FLAG said that Jamaica's international reputation is marred by the continuation of this impasse.
"We share the concern of the parties that the stalemate be brought to an end as soon as possible. Its persistence does harm to Jamaica's image and to the marketability of its popular music industry. It is for these reasons that J-FLAG is underwhelmed by a meeting that could serve to unfetter Mr Myrie's career but do little to redress anti-gay hostilities his music has fostered," said J-FLAG.

The Jamaican society has not necessarily increased its tolerance towards homosexuals over the last five years according to J-FLAG.
"We are constantly trying to assess the change in society but this is hard to judge as people continue to be attacked and harmed and even murdered just because of their sexuality. As regards the music industry, the music has been more suggestive rather than directly bashing gay people," said J-FLAG.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Buju Meets Gays Face to Face

(Back row, L - R: Jonathan Mack, Buju p.r. rep, Bevan Dufty, Andrea Shorter, Eric Mar, Rebecca Rolfe, Tracii McGregor. Front row, Michael Petrelis and Buju.)

Four members of San Francisco's gay community met yesterday afternoon (Oct. 12, 2009) for 40-minutes with Jamaican singer Buju Banton in Larkspur, up in Marin County, to discuss his troubling history with gay people.

According to Buju and his advisers, this was his first meeting ever with gay advocates, and they really want to put an end to the controversy that continue to plague the artist over the alleged "Homo-Hating" song "Boom Bye Bye" done when the artist was in his teens.

At the meeting were gay leaders Supervisor Bevan Dufty, who arranged the meeting, Rebecca Rolfe, executive director of the SF gay community centre, Andrea Shorter of Equality California and Michael Petrelis. Also present was Supervisor Eric Mar, a progressive straight leader in the Asian community, and, of course, Buju and Tracii McGregor, president of his music company. About ten minutes into the meeting in the hotel lobby of where the singer is staying, some of his P.R. people joined the conversation.

The meeting was said to be very civil and productive, several suggestions were made for him to consider, in order to start to undo some of the problems he has in the gay community because of his past anti-gay lyrics.

Proposed was that he think about making statements in Jamaica calling for love toward gays, donating to the JFLAG group, hold a town hall meeting in Kingston about the need to respect gays, and sing about loving gay people. All the suggestions were rejected.

The group stated that American gays are not singling him out, as they advocate for gay tolerance in Jamaica, but that they have also applied pressure on the government and business leaders to affect change that benefits gays across the island nation.

There was little movement on Buju's part, and the gays did not agree to tell any other gays to stop protesting his concert tour or suggesting he do more to confront the terrible, and sometimes deadly, anti-gay violence in Jamaica, they all felt it was a very positive step forward that the meeting took place.

It is hoped that continued dialogue between Buju and Gay Activists will "address the pervasive hatred gays face in Jamaica, and work together to reduce homo-hate." Over all the meeting is viewed as a beneficial first step and that the gay community will want more concrete steps taken, before our actions against his concerts cease.

Blak Ryno Jailed

Dancehall artiste Blak Ryno spent a night in jail for an alleged attack on his neighbour at his Winchester Estate apartment. The singer was slapped with two charges of unlawful wounding and assault occasioning bodily harm as a result. Police say the incident stemmed from a dispute over unpaid water bills by the artiste, whose real name is Romane Anderson.

Reports are that about 7:15 p.m. on Saturday, the complainant, who is chairman of the strata committee at the apartment complex, was in a long-standing dispute over unpaid water contributions, which is mandatory for residents.

Police reports indicate that the altercation got ugly when the complainant was accused of damaging pipes, resulting in loss of water to Ryno's home. During the argument, Blak Ryno is alleged to have kicked the complainant to the ground and kicked him repeatedly all over his body. This is said to have resulted in cuts to the complainant's shoulder and both elbows, as well as swellings on the side of the head, back, face, stomach and chest. A report was made to the Half-Way Tree Police Station and the artiste was arrested and charged.

Ryno claims the charges brought against him are unjust.

"From yu hear dat u mus know a lie. Di non-payments cause by my landlord, and him (complainant) know that, but him want a reason fi come a style man caa him dun seh me as a ghetto yout nu fi deh deh (don't belong there)," .

He also indicated that the police charged him based on the complainant's report.

"From long time dis man a do tings fi try draw me out so him can do dis ... all walk him dog come piss pon mi mat regular an dem nastiness deh. Di ting did get physical after him walk come over my apartment, which is way down a corridor from his own, with his dog," Ryno explained.

He continued, "Me have nothin' gainst dogs, but dis one rush me, so mi ease (kick) him off wit mi foot in defence and dis man box me, so a suh di ting get physical ... mi did mad seh him mash up mi water pipe dem yes. All police weh come fi arrest mi seh him wrong."

Efforts to secure station bail for Ryno proved futile on Saturday night, as the complainant told police Ryno had threatened his life, so they decided to hold him for the night.

But that night of incarceration was an experience Ryno says didn't bother him, as the overwhelming eruption of exuberance from prisoners at the jail made him feel more welcome than at his 'uptown' apartment complex.
"It come like a Gaza mi deh although mi deh a jail, caa every man in deh a seh Gaza ... mek yu feel comfortable fi know nobody nah do yu nothing. Imagine mi cyaa get da peace deh whe mi live," said Ryno.

A police source confirmed that the response from the jailed men was overwhelming.

"As dem hear is Blak Ryno in jail with them you could hear the pandemonium from the station, which is a separate building ... look like a whole heap of Gaza fans we have lock up, so I can imagine how many songs Ryno sing," quipped the officer, who requested anonymity.

Blak Ryno is scheduled for court on October 21.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Jamaican Bandleader Sonny Bradshaw Died

Legendary bandleader and jazz musician Sonny Bradshaw has died. The celebrated trumpeter, who was 83 years old passed away in a London hospital on Saturday night (October 10, 2009).

Bradshaw suffered further complications from a stroke he had in August and died at 11:00 p.m. (London time) at the Queen's Hospital in Renford. Bradshaw had been struggling with a heart condition for nearly 10 years.
Mr. Bradshaw will be remembered as a Godfather to the development Jamaican Jazz and the overall growth of young Jamaican musicians.
The body of the late Jamaican Jazz icon is to be returned to Jamaica for burial at a time yet to be announced. Family members have confirmed that Mr. Bradshaw will be buried in Jamaica and plans are being put in place for his body to be returned to the island.
Mr. Bradshaw is survived by his wife noted jazz singer and actress Merna Hague, two children and grandchildren. Our condolence to the family. Jamaicans and lovers of the music everywhere mourn the passing of a foundation musician and a great man.