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:http://www.rototomsunsplash.com/index.php?news-detail&index.phpfallback&lang=EN&newsdetail=200911022492_sunsplashsottoattacco <http://www.rototomsunsplash.com/index.php?news-detail&index.phpfallback&lang=EN&newsdetail=200911022492_sunsplashsottoattacco>

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 http://www.rototomsunsplash.com/index.php?id=293,2682,0,0,1,0) <http://www.rototomsunsplash.com/index.php?id=293,2682,0,0,1,0%29>

and the collection of solidarity messages ( you can read something on http://www.rototomsunsplash.com/voci.phtml) <http://www.rototomsunsplash.com/voci.phtml%29>, 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 www.rototom.com<http://www.rototomsunsplash.com/>

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.