Black Kat sound system top man, Pink Panther, has made a brutal assessment of the current state of dancehall music, saying that enough 'hardcore' tracks are not being recorded.
He also claimed that there are several members of his 5-Star Camp Production such as Fyah Mouth, Tattoo, Singing Sunshine, Red Lawd, Speng Shell, Trinidadian-based Supreme, Galla Wasp, Tender Baby, and Ingineer Zig Zag who are ready to fill that gap. Panther has built a reputation over the years as a ferocious 'sound clash' selector, but he now thinks that the traditional hardcore nature of dancehall is fast dying and selectors like him will suffer, especially at major sound-clash events.
Despite his recent announcement that he would he taking a two-year sabbatical from 'sound clash', the dynamic veteran said that artistes must get back to the roots of dancehall music as, according to him, there is too much hip-hop dancehall music being produced. He also made reference to the recent World Clash as several contestants drew mostly from their archives of 'clash songs' Panther, in a recent interview with the WEEKEND STAR, said that only a few songs since 2009 were worthy of being used in sound clashes. "I remember the days when artistes used to record a variety of songs. It looks like the current crop of artistes doesn't recognise that dancehall is about hardcore music," he remarked.
However, the 22-year music veteran insisted that while he understood that the current form of music marked a paradigm shift, especially given the Broadcasting Commission's policies and the general public's need for clean and uplifting music, the true nature of dancehall must not be neglected.
Instead, he has challenged artistes to continuously find ways to make dancehall relevant, through controversy, without breaching the policies of the necessary authorities. "Dancehall reached where it is now through controversy. 'lyrical war' is the root of dancehall music, and I'd like to see more artistes challenging each [other] in that regard," said Panther, who also acknowledged that the situation could have a negative effect on society. "Not everyone in the public will understand that it is just music. But the artistes can help to make it very comprehensible to the public that is just music. But the hardcore in dancehall is losing its position," he said. Panther emphasised that he was currently nurturing a group of talented upcoming dancehall artistes, who, he believed, could spark that change. "I have artistes for all purpose. If you want soothing music, party songs, or even 'war tune', they are here," he said, with reference to the nine artistes signed to his label.
When asked if he expected a mixed reaction from the public to his disclaimer, Panther said: "Of course! but I am speaking from the standpoint as 'sound clash' selector." Panther also stressed that he understood that music was a business, and if there was no demand for your supply, the product sales would decrease.
A disgruntled promoter has come forward demanding that selector/artiste Tony Matterhorn return his deposit of $90,000.
According to Wrenroy Smith, he contacted Matterhorn in December to do a show in Annotto Bay, St Mary. Smith said he and Matterhorn agreed on a price and he sent him the money through Western Union.
"I booked Matterhorn for Girls Graduation - an all-white edition fund-raising event which was to be held on April 7. Matterhorn told me his price for the event, I sent him the deposit and he collected it. I booked him, Swatch International and Jamrock sound. I got a message that Matterhorn had double-booked the date, so I contacted him and he asked if I could switch the dates. I told him no because I had already paid for the venue and printed up the flyers. Matterhorn said he would send back my deposit in two days," Smith said.
The promoter says four months had now passed and he still has not received his money from Matterhorn. "He told me he had his bills to pay etc., it's back and forth with his stories. He deleted me from BBM. I was told I could collect the money in New York when Matterhorn came. He gave me a phone number, and the number was not working. I contacted him when he was back in Jamaica and he gave me another excuse about the phone. He changed his number so now I have no way of contacting him," Smith said.
The promoter said he sent Matterhorn US $1,065 which is the equivalent to J$90,000. He also emailed THE WEEKEND STAR the receipt showing the Western Union transaction. "I have my receipt, flyers from the show, etc. How can you want to change the date from somebody who has already paid you? I'm trying to get him to give me my money back. He breached the contract," Smith said. He further went on to say that he would now have to board a flight to come to Jamaica to deal with the matter. "I have dealt with Bounty Killer and Vybz Kartel and they never gave me any problems. This is the first time in years that I've had this problem. Matterhorn said he wanted $180,000 for the show, he's not even worth it. If I can't get my money by the end of the month, then I am going to sue him. I am going to make an example out of Tony Matterhorn for this," Smith warned.
Adding that the money owed to him by Matterhorn would be given away to persons who are in need of it.
"He's taking money from people who need it. I have this event every year in honour of my mother - the Barbara Gordon Foundation. Matterhorn blatantly took the money, but I will not stop, I will make an example of Matterhorn," Smith said.
When contacted, Matterhorn's booking agent said she was unaware of the situation. She told THE WEEKEND STAR that the selector was off the island for some shows in the UK. Meanwhile, Matterhorn took to his Twitter page to rant about the issue. In his numerous tweets, he bashed the promoter in question, the media and a popular website. In one of his cleaner tweets, he said, "I've been in the biz bout 24 years and mi nuh beg friends nor try to rob any promoters before or u wud hear bout it long time now ... ."
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Yendi Phillipps, charismatic Jamaican beauty queen, TV show host, motivational speaker and her beau, one of the industry's leading singer/songwriters, Daniel 'Chino' McGregor, are expecting a baby.
The talented young couple who are both multiple brand ambassadors, say they are elated about the birth of their child later this year. Though the two, who have been an item since 2011, have never publicly confirmed the status of their rumoured romance, Yendi surprised most of her Facebook friends with the couple's special announcement over the weekend.
"Seventeen weeks and counting ... I wish we could have shared it earlier but you know they say it's bad luck to announce too soon. I'm so excited to finally tell you that we have a little 'McGregor' on the way! You know how much I value "you" as you've been such a support through my various ventures so I wanted you to know first-hand as this one is perhaps my most exciting to date! I feel truly blessed and am more amazed everyday to experience our creator in such a miraculous and organic way. Seasoned mommies, don't hold back on the advice ... hehewinkLove, Blessings ... and Life," said Yendi.
Yendi, 26, created history two years ago when she became the first Jamaican woman to become first runner-up to Miss Universe and had previously placed 6th in the Miss World Pageant.
The undeniable beauty who has been featured on the covers and in the pages of Woman and Home, Namaqua Wine, Fair Lady, Basia, Soul,Jet and Ocean Style says she intends to continue working throughout the pregnancy.
"That is just how I am," she laughed, "I just can't seem to slow down. I have always been an extremely driven person and so is Daniel and we remain committed to our goals," Yendi explained. Chino, who Yendi affectionately calls Daniel, is the father of a three-year-old daughter, who he describes as the joy of his life. "I am an extremely private person, but anyone who knows me knows that I am an extremely family-oriented person. That's how I grew up, so putting family first has always come naturally to me," says the singer, who is also the son of reggae music legend, Freddie McGregor.
"I am very excited about the upcoming birth of my son or daughter. Yendi is an extremely responsible person and we were ready for this move, so I feel comfortable, excited and ready because she is a great partner and I have no doubt she will be a great mother who will help to instil positive values in our baby," says the heir to the thriving McGregor throne.
As for marriage, the couple says though it is within their thoughts for the future, their impending bundle of joy and their careers will form the backdrop for their immediate future. Chino, a previous Coke Zero ambassador, will release his third Japan album this summer, and continues to be one of the largest selling reggae artistes in that country. The singer's Never Change album outranked Bob Marley's Legend sales for weeks after its release in 2010 on the iTunes Japan Reggae Chart. Last year, Chino again made history when he released his debut United States album, Chino. The album which was featured in a number of internationally acclaimed magazines and websites, including America Online (AOL) as an album of the week, raked in a number of hits including the monster-hit reggae single, Seal The Link - which in the first week of its release sold more than 150,000 units.
The singer then went on to become the national ambassador for the Mother's Power Patty brand, and can be seen on the company's paraphernalia across the island. Yendi continues to be an "in demand" talent locally and internationally, hosting a wide range of events, and boasting brand ambassadorships for such entities as Digicel, Air Jamaica and Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee. Her commercial work includes internationally broadcast TV ads for Toyota, Sprite and Pepsi. She is also the host of Air Jamaica's/Caribbean Airlines Island Stylee in-flight video.
Lisa Hyper In recent days, female dancehall artiste Lisa Hyper has been enjoying her travels to the United States.
Coming as a result of the 'renewed life' that has been pumped into her overseas presence after receiving her work permit last November, the Bills deejay is extremely elated that she can finally get to interact with more of her fans.
Since November, she has been on a promotional tour with Vegas and Demarco and has done several gigs in a number of states. "It's been a while since I was not being seen overseas and a long time dem a wait to experience Lisa Hyper. We get the permit and my overseas presence has grown a lot. I can now get to socialise and meet and greet the fans," she told The STAR.
Lisa Hyper, who performed in Atlanta Saturday, said that the audience was very receptive of her set and she plans to replicate the experience when she performs in Massachusetts on Friday and in Springfield on Saturday. "Mi do songs from the Lisa Hype Portmore Empire days and the newer Hyper material. It's always a great feeling to see how they respond to me so mi always guh on the stage and try fi deliver the best way possible," said Lisa Hyper.
She said that she hopes that her fans will all get to see her and enjoy her performances and can appreciate the positive energy that she is presenting in her music. "Right now I'm just sealing things up and getting ready to take my career to the next level," she shared. Lisa Hyper is featured in an upcoming music video release on the Priceless Signature rhythm medley which she urges her fans to be on the lookout for.
Deejay Popcaan continues to blaze trails with a feature in the coveted American newspaper, The New York Times.
The artiste, real name Andrae Sutherland, was featured in the newspaper's 'Music' section on the weekend.
The article looks on Popcaan's recent Billboard song, Only Man She Want, which debuted on Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop charts at number 89.
The article states, "As ever, dancehall songs take several months to crawl up from Jamaica and infiltrate the American consciousness. Popcaan's Only Man She Want now experiencing its crossover moment, is already months old, but its sweetness hasn't faded."
The article continues, "It's a syrupy love song, and Popcaan has a smooth voice with a hint of shrillness, and a casual manner, never oversinging the sentiment. (There's also a remix featuring Busta Rhymes in full patois mode.) Only Man She Want is buried deep on 'Yiy Change', the new mixtape by Popcaan (available at popcaanmusic.com), more of an afterthought than an advertisement. Maybe that's because there's much better material here: the lazy roots-reggae toast Weedy, the bawdy come-on Back It Up, the bruising Nuh Box Pon Jaw, and remixes of older hits like Ravin', delivered here over the guttural beat from Tyga's Rack City. Throughout Popcaan shows off his tough side, and his ease with comic timing and phrasing - other parts of his personality that should trickle north soon enough."
In January Complex Magazine, an American men's style/lifestyle magazine, also featured the artiste discussing his life, influences and music.
The artiste has been busy in the studio with a slew of new songs such as Fry Yiy for UIM Records, Diss Mi Friendthe second release from the artiste on ZJ Chrome's '#TNS' rhythm and a collaboration with fellow Gaza member Tommy Lee called Step Like Dead on TJ Record's 'Double Trouble' rhythm. Popcaan has also been busy on the road with a slew of local and Caribbean shows, the latter in Guyana. He also made his debut performance in Canada last month
Dancehall artiste Konshens has released his first clothing line called 'Oh-K'. The line was designed for a female market and is already being sold in local stores.
According to Konshens, his decision to create a clothing line exclusively for females is because he believes he has a very strong female fan base.
"Females are my strongest fan base, they show me a lot of support so this is giving back to them. I don't really have a style so I cannot decide what men must wear, but I know what I want to see females wearing, so that's why I decided to go female," he said.
While the 'oh' may sound similar to a particular dancehall product called 'OH', Konshens explained that the name of his clothing line both represents his name and an element of surprise.
"Oh-K is a female-based clothing line and I chose that name because I think it is very catchy which also bears an element of surprise. Females will also be surprised to see how good the clothing is and the K also means Konshens," he said.
According to the Gyal A Bubble singer, he is directly involved in the design process based on inspiration from his hit songs.
"All of the designs are inspired by my songs and I have an input based on that. For example, the clothes that are already out are styled from songs like Pretty Devil and Bad Nuh BC of which Bad Nuh BC is the top seller," he laughed.
Konshens is gearing up to release the Gyal A Bubble edition of the 'Oh-K' line and he also holds the view that entrepreneurship is a venture that people should subscribe to.
"If you have a pulling power, being an entrepreneur is a smarter way, we have to learn how to maximise profit and it's not only as an artiste but for everybody and as it relates to the career aspect, it doesn't hurt, it only helps to broaden your fan base," he said.
Persons who want to purchase Oh-K clothing can find them at Honey Fashion at Constant Spring Road, Di Trends at Clock Tower Plaza, Fashion Addiction at Eastwood Park Road and Tashamay's Fashion on Constant Spring road among others.
Konshens' recent album Mental Maintenance is currently number one in Japan and number five on itunes.
The artiste is also now promoting new singles such as Money Up produced by 12-12, Bun Station, and Suh Mi Tan.
Over the past three weeks the Internet has been blowing up with allegations that dancehall singjay DeMarco's recent song, Kingston City, (on Rick Ross's Stay Schemin rhythm), is a dis song aimed at Popcaan.
A very bold DeMarco spoke to The STAR from the recording studio where he was working on his upcoming mixtape called Nuh Dirt, and disclosed that fans are crediting the song as a dis, however, it is what it is.
"People a sey a Popcaan mi a dis, well a Popcaan mi dis, whol' heap a dem tief mi style including him," DeMarco said.
DeMarco explained that the song was a freestyle intended to be a part of his upcoming mixtape and he did not intentionally try to start a feud. However, if persons took it as a dis, he was lyrically ready to defend himself.
"It was a freestyle I did for ZJ Chrome and my mixtape, the world like it suh dem sey is a dis to Popcaan, so I guess it is so, I guess it's a dis to Popcaan," he laughed.
Some of the lyrics in Kingston city says:
'Nuh mek mi mek forensic white chalk the street, yaaooow! Dem tief mi style and nuh ask mi fi it, mi hear behind mi back some bwoy a beat off dem beak but tell dem wey mi si heart nuh leap.'
Popcaan also released a song called Fry Yiy which is also rumoured as one taking aim at DeMarco. In his song, Popcaan deejays:
'The whol place a sey Fry Yiy, some bwoy fi write some hit song and stop cry.'
According to DeMarco, however, Popcaan is not as popular as he is and should choose his words more carefully.
"Him a sey artiste fi write some hit song and stop cry, but him nuh mek no song big like I Love My Life, I got 25 million views on YouTube and I have been all over the world ," DeMarco bragged.
DeMarco also joked about Popcaan's new moniker Fry Yiy, saying, "A gyal alone change dem eye and wear contacts and from yuh change yuh eye yuh cyah si. Dem nuh badda dan mi big toe, him nuh have nuh lyrics," he laughed. DeMarco also revealed that he recorded a new song produced by ZJ Chrome which is a response to Popcaan'sFry Yiy single, and had a strong warning for Popcaan. "Mek sure yuh can write some good song, and when yuh a answer, mek sure yuh answer better dan dat ... get a better writer," he said. The STAR made several attempts to get a comment from Popcaan, however, all efforts proved futile.
DeMarco is now gearing up for an upcoming tour of Europe, and his Nuh Dirt mixtape is expected to be released next week bearing singles such as 6:30, Nuh Dirt and She Nah Leave, among others.
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