Aug 31, 2012

Witness a No Show in Vybz Kartel Trial

Kingston Gleaner - The conspiracy trial of embattled dancehall entertainer Vybz Kartel failed to get underway in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court today.

When the matter was called up, the court was informed that prosecution witnesses were not present.

The defence lawyers also complained that they have still not received some documents from the prosecution.

Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, is facing the charge of perverting the course of justice.

He is jointly charged with associate Andre Henry alias 'Pim Pim' and fellow entertainer Vanessa Saddler, more popularly known as Gaza Slim.

Henry and Saddler are out on bail, while Kartel remains in police custody on a murder charge.

It's being alleged that Kartel and his co-accused were a part of a plot to undermine a police investigation into the murder of Clive 'Lizard' Williams.

Kartel and four other men are before the Home Circuit Court on a charge of murder in relation to the death of Williams.

Aug 29, 2012

Jamaicans Sell in Uganda?

Observer -
Shaggy has performed in Uganda more times than any other Jamaican artist

Even before Jamaican reggae/ragga stars Wayne Wonder and Demarco performed at the Lugogo Cricket Oval recently, organizers were assured of a killing.

The show may not have met their expectations, due to the persistent downpour, but Jamaicans usually bring a certain assurance to Ugandan music promoters. Jamaican artistes hardly ever flop in Uganda. Why are the Jamaicans so revered here? Well, the local industry today is literally built on Jamaican music.

It all started in the early 90s when an ambitious music promoter, Reggae Winston, who has since changed name to Tshaka Mayanja, took a gamble and shipped in a couple of Jamaican artistes. First, he brought in Aswad (1995) and the show sold out giving Mayanja confidence to bring Chaka Demus & Pliers (1996) and Spanner Banner in 1997.Third World and Papa San later performed here in 1997. The shows made Mayanja a millionaire.

At the time Congolese music was the in-thing, but with Mayanja's initiative, Jamaican music instantly became Ugandan youths' favourite.

"Ugandans and audiences all over the globe were mesmerized by the rebellious tone and lyrics of Jamaican music," says Mayanja, who has since switched to promoting jazz. "This unique style gave birth to Ugandan pop music."

The pioneers, most notably Rasta Rob MC, Shanks Vivie Dee, Emperor Orlando and Ragga Dee rushed to Peter Sematimba's Dungeon Studios to lay their Luganda vibes over Jamaican riddims. But it is perhaps Menton Summer (RIP) who championed the wave of 'localizing' Jamaican music. Critics believe Summer had the potential to beat Jamaicans at their own game. His Jamaican-styled songs Sirikawo Baby, Kaneemu Kanabbiri and Leka Tuzirye remain hits long after the dreadlocked singer died in a car crash in 1997.

Summer kick-started what has now turned out to be the blueprint of Ugandan pop music. This blend is only getting stronger as more and more Ugandan artistes look up to the rugged, danceable and slang-filled Jamaican music. Jose Chameleone, Bebe Cool, Bobi Wine, Coco Finger, Rabadada, Sizzaman, Peter Miles, Menshan, Margla, Weasel, Dizzy Nuts, Cindy, Henry Tigan, Vampino, and others have all made a name for harnessing Jamaican styles.

A few have gone ahead to record collabos with their Jamaican idols. Peter Miles recorded Nice and Polite with Elephant Man, Chameleone [How We Go Ft Beanie Man] and Henry Tigan [Out of Control Ft Mighty Mystic and My Country/ World of Scandals Ft Marlon Asher]. And just like our stars look up to the Caribbean influence, Ugandan audiences too can never get enough of Jamaican artistes performing here.

Some Ugandans actually prefer Jamaican music to the local flavour. Many would rather watch Shaggy (the Mr Bombastic singer has performed here a record four times) than say, Juliana Kanyomozi. With Wayne Wonder/Demarco out of the way, thirsty Jamaican music lovers are rubbing their hands in anticipation for the next Jamaican-styled gig. Already, scores of other Jamaican artistes are said to have forthcoming shows in Kampala by the end of this year.

Top of the list is Konshens of the Come Over hit, who is slated to perform here on October 5.

Aug 16, 2012

Popcaan rolled with Drake the rapper

KINGSTON STAR - Dancehall star Popcaan completed a big summer by making huge strides in Canada, including linking up with Canadian rapper and international star Drake.

While the world was enraptured with the Summer Olympics in London, the deejay, whose real name is Andrae Sutherland, was busy in Canada with two shows over the Caribbana Weekend. The artiste wowed audiences while performing at Coconuts and the Sound Academy in Toronto.

It was a long performance-filled Summer for the deejay that included a two-week European tour, several Caribbean shows including Martinique, Guadeloupe, Trinidad and electrifying performances at Reggae Sumfest and Dream Weekend, just to name a few.

The deejay said, "It's been a crazy summer but mi give thanks, especially to all di fans that show up and pack di shows. Di fans dem mad, dem fry. Canada always shows me nuff love; respect to the Canadians fans straight."

While in Canada Popcaan met with hip hop artist Drake, whose team had reached out to him in the months leading up to his performance at Caribana. Drake sent an invitation to Popcaan's team to attend the rapper's third annual OVO Fest. OVO Fest is Drake's yearly concert hosted in his home town Toronto and this year featured the likes of Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, Snoop Dog, 2Chainz, The Weeknd and Meek Millz.

The rapper has been an admirer of Popcaan as seen on occasions when he has taken to social media networking site Twitter, to tweet the deejay's song lyrics and slangs. Popcaan said, "I met Drake backstage at OVO Fest, then linked again at the after party on Sunday, (August 5th). After that di vibes did mad so we went to two private parties on Monday, following di show".

The two also discussed working together soon. "Meeting Drake was good; he's cool and wants to come to Jamaica again. Him rate my 'Yiy Change' mixtape. His whole crew knows the mixtape well. He likes my music and knows all di slangs," Popcaan added.
Currently back in Jamaica, Popcaan will be returning to Canada for the Montreal International Reggae Festival on Saturday as well as other shows in Hamilton, Winnipeg, Ottawa and London - to name a few. After Canada the deejay has appearances in the Caribbean, Europe and Africa.

While busy on the road, the artiste never neglects the studio. He recently released Bay Badness for TJ Records, A Mi Baby Dat for UIM Records and coming soon Me Caan Believe for YVP Productions and a track on ZJ Liquid's 'Pre-Release' rhythm.

On September 1, Popcaan will host a 'Back to School' treat in the 3West community of Portmore, St Catherine. The treat will include school item giveaways, fun rides and games for children and entertainment by popular artistes.

According to Popcaan, "this is my small way of giving back to my community, to help the parents with some of the expenses by giving school bags and books and also to give the children some fun before the serious school work starts."

Aug 15, 2012

Andy Caper visits world boss aka vybz kartel empire

Andy Caper from "the Guardian"
Vybz Kartel
My Crew (Mixpak)
Of all the nicknames and AKAs in the world of music, is there a better one than "World Boss"? I recently visited Gaza City in Portmore, Jamaica, where the World Boss, AKA Vybz Kartel, AKA Adidja Palmer, is the landlord/lord of the manor of rows of houses, many of which are decorated with murals of his divine countenance. While he awaits trial on a murder charge in the Horizon Adult Remand Centre, Kartel's crew of ghetto youths run/self-police the area, and where epic dancehall anthems like this echo up and down the alleyways all day long. The atmosphere is heavy, romantic and dangerous, just like this.

Aug 11, 2012

Latest Vybz Kartel video goes Viral

KINGSTOn - Star - In just over a week of release on the Internet site YouTube, an animated video for one of Vybz Kartel's songs has already racked up close to 100,000 views.

The animated video was done for his single Pon Time for the London-based Orange Hill Productions.

Dancehall producer and former BBC 1 Xtra radio host Ras Kwame, who spoke on behalf of Orange Hill, said that the song is getting a positive global reception hence the decision to create an animated music video.

"We decided to do a video for the song because we felt it deserved to be visualised as we create productions with a visual identity. Orange Hill did the full spectrum of production as a team. A director member of our team called Steelburger directed it and at one point we had six individual animators working on it. We try to be ground breakers in what we do and put together the first CG Animated dancehall video using the very latest technology," Kwame said.

The incarceration of Kartel, he said, leads them towards the concept of the video. "The concept of the video came due to the fact that the artiste we collaborated with was unable to be physically present," Kwame explained.

'James Kartel'

He explained that the concept presented Kartel in a computer game setting, complete with a lady friend as his companion, where he plays the hero and evades attacks from ninjas. Kwame said; "Basically forget James Bond for a sec, it could be starring 'James Kartel' for the movie."

Since its premiere on on July 30, the video has received over 98,000 views and Kwame says that Kartel's fans are loving the end product.

"The fans around the world have been sending us a lot of shout-outs and big-ups on Twitter and Facebook for delivering a hot Kartel record and doing something hot with advanced technology for the video. We intend to push this far and wide globally and achieve good chart positions," he said.

Orange Hill Productions, Ras Kwame and Jr Tubby are currently in the studio putting the finishing touches to their debut album the ElectroBashy due in November 2012. It includes collaborations with I-Octane, Mr Lexx, RDX, Ce'Cile, Lady Saw, Antwain, Seanizzle and Christopher Martin among others.

The album will also feature UK artistes such as Wiley, Kano and Tinie Tempa.

Aug 9, 2012

Buju to get 5 more Years? his lawyer stupid greedy or cluless?

observer, kingston - IMPRISONED Jamaican reggae artiste Buju Banton has found himself in a more troubling spot than he was before appealing his drug conviction and 10-year sentence earlier this year.

Based on a ruling yesterday in a Tampa, Florida court, the Jamaican artiste now faces an additional five years in prison, which could push his total prison sentence to 15 years.

But his attorney, David Oscar Markus, told the Jamaica Observer that he would be appealing this latest conviction.

“I won’t stop fighting for my friend and brother,” Markus said.

Buju, whose real name is Mark Myrie, was convicted in February last year in the Sam M Gibbons Federal Court in Tampa on conspiracy to traffic drugs and gun charges.

During a sentencing hearing in June last year, Federal Judge James Moody threw out the gun conviction, stating that Buju had never met or spoke with James Mack, a coconspirator who drove to Florida from Georgia with a gun in his car to buy five kilogrammes of cocaine from a ‘confidential informant’. Mack and Ian Thomas, another co-conspirator, pleaded guilty to drug charges and were sentenced to five years.

Buju later filed an appeal and also applied to the appellate court for a new trial. However, the federal appeals court dismissed the appeal and in the process reinstated the artiste’s gun conviction. The court also recommend that the application for a new trial be made in the lower court.

Yesterday, Moody denied Buju’s application for a new trial, opening the door for the artiste to be sentenced on the reinstated gun conviction. A sentencing date has not been set.

Moody, in refusing the application for a new trial, said he agreed that the gun conviction was wrong. However, the judge said he could not rule for the artiste in light of the fact that the appellate court ruled that there was enough evidence to convict him on a gun charge.

Aug 8, 2012

Usain Bolt affiliation to Vybz Kartel Gaza still strong and gone worldwide

Olympic champion Usain Bolt shows signs of being a winner off the track early yesterday – partying with three fans from the Swedish women’s handball team at 3am in his room.

The sprint legend then tweeted a picture of himself and the trio making ‘W’ hand gestures for the world to see, with the comment “A gaza (in Kingston) we say hmmm mmm.”

Just hours after his win in the 100m at the stadium in Stratford, he enjoyed a marathon party session with Gabriella Kain, Isabelle Gullden and Jamina Roberts after they asked for “special accreditation” to meet their idol.

Despite losing all five of their matches and finishing bottom of their group, the Swedish handballers managed to win the attention of Bolt’s manager who obliged with an introduction.

And, off the handball court, they turned out to be real players, partying for three hours in his bedroom.

Popcaan Dancehall Focal Point? so says Fader Magazine

The last several years have not been kind to dancehall. Record sales have dwindled to negligible levels, while the crossover singles that used to infiltrate hip-hop radio every spring have stopped materializing. The genre’s remaining household names have been tainted by arrests, visa troubles and questionable production trends. But, as its shrinking reach has brought back into focus, dancehall is still an arena where anything can happen. Stars rise and fall quickly, their fates determined by a demanding public relatively uninfluenced by corporate decisions and plugged-in bloggers.

Read more here:

King of Dancehall Beenie Man Booed at Dancehall Session

Despite being greeted with loud cheers at Yush in the wee hours Sunday morning, Beenie Man was snubbed by majority of the patrons.

Several pockets of patrons around the venue clapped and booed the King of the Dancehall forcing him to leave the stage. Beenie was later called on for an encore by the request of select Delano, as the crowd belted out a resounding no when he questioned if the audience wanted to see Beenie Man again. Yush patrons really wanted to party and weren't appreciative of the stage show vibe Beenie Man provided.

Renaissance was the favorite of the night, their party juggling had the massive engaged. Silver Hawk also represented while Stone Love failed to read their audience. Elephant Man and Bounty Killa were some of the celebs in attendance. Yush is a part of the Dream Weekend parties in Negril.

Aug 6, 2012

Vybz Kartel album 'Kingston story' fully released

Kingston Story, last year's Vybz Kartel album, will be made available physically for the first time on vinyl and CD.

Produced by Mixpak label boss and Major Lazer collaborator Dre Skull and until now only available digitally, Kingston Story marked Kartel's last high-profile release before being arrested in September 2011, charged of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and illegal possession of a firearm following the deaths of promoter Barrington Burton and Clive Williams. Kartel was granted bail for Burton's murder this year, but remains in jail due to his suspected involvement in Williams' death. Despite being inside, Kartel retains status as arguably Jamaica's most celebrated dancehall act, with a legion of fans both in his home country and abroad.

The full release of Kingston Story comes via Vice, and is expected to see release on August 13. It also features two bonus tracks that weren't on the original release, 'Money' and 'Good Pussy'.

Aug 5, 2012

Doctors Order King Jammys to rest after mild heart attack

IRIEFM - Legendary selector, dub mixer and record producer, King Jammy is dismissing reports he suffered a heart attack while on tour.

Jammy who is currently in a hospital in France following a minor procedure, tells Music News that his condition is not life threatening.

King Jammy who was touring Europe had to cancel a string of events. He’s expected to tour Japan in coming months.

King Jammy is the undisputed king of computerized, digital reggae music for the 80s.

Mr Vegas and Shaggy in music Scuffle ?

Mr Vegas apparently used material belonging to shaggy and got the Shaggy Camp feathers ruffled a bit, leaving speculation that there is a feud. Mr Vegas indicated on a radio interview with Iriefm that “It was a misunderstanding”. This is after he was served a letter by Shaggy asking him to desist from using a Jamaica 50 song featuring himself, Shaggy and Josey Wales.

Vegas tells Music News that the issue has been resolved and it was just a mere misunderstanding between the two camps.

Etana and Big Bellyies?

Jah Cure and Queen Ifrica bless the dancehall fraternity with brand new offsprings... now its time for some more. Word is that top Reggae singer Etana is pregnant and is reportedly due to give birth in October or early November.
The singer who got married in 2010 to model/actor Andre Morris tweeted on her official twitter page “Lying in bed with my round belly and my handsome chocolate…”
Meanwhile on facebook her husband wrote that he’s excited about the birth of his daughter.
Word out also is that Entertainer Cecile is also expecting.... we are not sure who is the babyfather but rumor has it that it could be Chris Martin.
A few months ago ...popular model and tv presenter Yendi Phillips took the spot light and felt the pressure from the public after it was dicovered that it was Chino Mcgregor that breed her instead of Asafa

Aug 2, 2012

Popcaan a Workaholic 2013 studio time fully booked

Now Magazine - Crediting "teacher" with his success, Popcaan is humble about his position within Kartel's clique, Gaza, a name that parallels a troubled section of Portmore with the beleaguered Middle Eastern strip.

"He takes music very serious, so I get my work ethic from him," he says. Just today, for example, Poppy wrote three songs, and there's a full-length studio record planned for 2013.

A desire to counter the negative publicity surrounding Gaza also figures into his music. "Believe in yourself, be a man," he sings on System, a relatively sombre "conscious" tune produced by New York's Dre Skull.

"Life is not always about partyin' and raving," says Popcaan. "You have 'nuff people who can't afford food, much less money for rave, and you still have to speak to their reality. At least them can hear a different side of me – not just the partier. No madness, no derogatory things.

"It's not only because of that, but when Vybz got locked up it made me adjust myself and say, 'Yeah, you must be careful in life.'"

Aug 1, 2012

Snopp Dogg Disses Bob Marley

40 year old US rapper Snoop Dogg has reportedly said he's "Bob Marley reincarnated which is why he is he's releasing a reggae album under the name Snoop Lion.
Snoop Dogg was in Jamaica in February.
Newsbeat reports that the rapper said he was inspired to drop rapping altogether for his new album, Reincarnated which is slated for released in the autumn.
A documentary film of his visit to Jamaica will premiere at the Toronto film festival in November.