October 16, 2009




In continuing the discussion on our seemingly Male Guinep Tree Competitions we must mention that we will not judge Singer Jah & Baby Tash (2008) and Poor and Boasty & Tiki (2009) winners as harshly as Magnum King & Queen is still in its infancy and we must give them time to prove themselves. Even though it seems that they might have observed a thing or two and taken them into deep consideration. From what I gather Poor & Boasy has formed a Street Team (this might be premature given he doesn’t even have a song getting any decent airplay. So why form a team to buss other artistes; it took Kartel a time before he formed the Empire, Bounty a time to form Alliance, and Mavado a time to form the Gully Squad). Tiki has a top producer in her corner even if right now it seems ‘scatta’, and Baby Tash has some interesting developments taking place. As a matter of fact they even have songs being given airplay.
So we have dealt with the winners and their meager attainment of success. What of those who entered and didn’t win? G Whizz was a past Tastee Talent entrant yet he is more known than many of the winners [Nadine Sutherland excluded]. The same goes for Beenie Man, Mr Vegas, Cobra, TOK, and King Yellow Man. How come those big names who did not even place made it, how come? Feels like a utility question huh.
As for Rising Stars it would appear that despite the rigors and coaching the finalists are put through, luck must be a foe, they were not paying attention or they were not really talented. The debate is on that Laden, of all the contestants in Rising Stars, is the most successful entrant. He has moved from a mere voice in a herd of talent to be known almost by everyone in Jamaica, consistently has songs in rotation on most of the radio stations that matter and has even made a number of the charts, travels extensively for shows and has visibility. Maybe he just sailed into the right port and got on the best cruise ship in town , the Big Ship.
So let’s get to brass tacks. There are critical issues which need notation here.
Clearly our entertainment industry lacks structure. Is there even a structure or we just do as we feel like? Do we really have the honchos who have the real know how to take the talent to another level or is it that we have hustlers; some in a camp who bad up selectors fi get di play, pay selectors fi nuh play other people music and play theirs? How many successful acts have we had in cross over audiences in the last 20 years? Not many. Instead we have more bullets being fired and no real talent ah shot.


Yes we can make ‘rae rae’ music which do well in Jamaica, but how far can it really take us when everyone is doing the same thing? The music will have no longevity, NOT to mention the fact that most of it is incomprehensible. Thank god for good beats even though as a last resort most ‘fruity loops and bedroom beatmakers’ will seek real musicians to lay tracks. Check it, you really end up liking what you hear by default because a song might get heavy rotation. Hardly because it’s deejayed or sang in key with good melody or even makes any sense. So how can we really expect any real breakthrough?

Who coaches talent for interviews, image and use of stage? Most of them can’t even answer a question without ‘u zeet, u zimi, u get wah mi a say, dah same suppen deh, everything bung bang’. As for image, that is a whole other article. Stage use is a whole other realm which is why Beenie is so huge amongst the lot. He knows how to work the stage and the crowd and has the knack for working from the energy of the previous performer. Most artiste wi come up wid a idea or jus drink suppen hard and bun a ting fi get vibes and do a ting. Success is not attained like that.

All in all we have to get our act together because the Japanese, French, Brits and Germans are rapidly imitating our culture and will soon no longer need our services. Except for daggeration and is only because most ah dem nuh have the anaconda, girth and riddim. They have the technology part down to a ‘t’ so most entertainers might want to ask dem self, who am ‘I’.


  1. This article is quite insightful – one of the best ever written on your site. This series speaks to your absolute commitment to reggae music – keep up the great job!

  2. This is an excellent article. It is at times amusing eg "yu zimmi" I often wonder what they are thinking!! To this day I am listening & purchasing Sam Cooke's music. Longevity is a word that most of these artist do not think about..they are only for the moment and the hype. How many of them do you think read this article?? KEEP UP THE STANDARD & I wish you much success

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