December 28, 2009
VYBZ KARTEL, LADY SAW, MR. VEGAS DOMINATE PEPSI TEENSPLASH
Vybz Kartel a.k.a Addi the Teacha wowed a record-sized audience during Pepsi Teensplash at James Bond Beach on Boxing Day December 26, 2009 with an entertaining set full of current hits.
It was a performance that all at once underlined his dominance as Jamaica's top dancehall act, showcased the squadron of young acts in his Portmore Empire act and hinted at even greater promise at his future development as a major dancehall star.
He hit the stage to a huge roar as he sang Million by a Morning before seguing into Dollas. He even exhibited some stagemanship a la Beenie Man directing the Ruff Kut band with flourishes of his hand as the song came to an end.
The girls almost lost their mind when he did Love Dem, then he sat down on a speaker box and shaking his head ruefully said 'every time yu come inna public with the same almshouse'. On walked Sheba, doing the intro to Mi ah Go Do Yu Back, and the forward was deafening. They worked well together, however Sheba needs to project her voice more deliver the song with more energy. After she exited, Kartel segued neatly into his next song, explaining that even though she was upset, She Nah Let Go, and the crowd loved it.
He closed his set with Bicycle, Life We Living and Slo Motion while Beenie Man waited in the wings. Rumours are circulating within the industry that Ruff Kut and Beenie Man have permanently parted ways, but that was not obvious as they worked well together. Beenie Man won over the crowd with his Gaza Mi Seh antics and his new hit, Eva Clean.
Earlier, Mavado worked a tight set and even bigged up Adidja Palmer before doing his number one hit, Hope and Pray. He got big forwards for his Christmas song, New Llama and Never Believe Yu.
Mr. Vegas showed his great experience as a performer and immediately connected with the young crowd with his current hit, Man a Gallis. A consummate professional, he worked the huge teenage audience well, energising them by asking them to move like they were young people. The crowd responded well, and he had them in a towel-waving frenzy for about five minutes as he did Up Deh, and then injected a note of gospel in the venue as he did a medley of songs that included Saints Go Marching In, before closing strongly with I Am Blessed, his huge number one. It was one of his best local performances for 2009, and he had the predominantly teenage audience jumping and rocking throughout showing why he has been able to stay at the top of his game after 12 years in dancehall.
Lady Saw got one of the biggest forwards of the night as she deejayed a R rated song which appeared to make reference to Vybz Kartel and a leaked x-rated photo that hit the Internet several weeks ago. She personally edited the song so as not to corrupt the minds of the young teens but the x-rated element was not lost. The punchline of the song was that 'mi love go school but mi nah study because The Teacha ah teach the student fi suck buddy'. The audience roared when she first did the song, forcing her to do the song again to an even bigger ovation. She closed strongly with a medley of hits such as It's Raining, Eh Em, and If the Man Lef, hiking up her skirt tantalizingly, a real treat for the young men in the VIP section of the crowd.
Earlier, G Whizz had impressed but perhaps overstayed his welcome a bit with five songs. Jahvinci worked well, doing a quick set full of his hits, and saving 'Watch Yu Friends' for last. Blak Ryno needs to work on his stage craft a bit more particularly his dressing; however, he still connected with the crowd who loved Bike Back.
Black Queen surprised quite a few people with her set, walking on with You Say and then doing Dream Lover. She got a nice forward when she sang 'Kartel was mi one and only but him lef because mi never freaky'.
Baby Tash was simply electric during her performance, and she radiated sex appeal with her curvaceous body and her delightful dance moves. She earned an immediate roar with her popular song, Mix Up, before doing the socially conscious Nah Bleach. However, it was her monster radio hit Facebook song that had the audience singing along and watching her every move, and she closed by doing a new song, Fair Share acappella
Stacious, dressed in a sexy red outfit, thrilled with her hits, Falling Down, and Goodas Clap. She introduced her songs well with good banter in between songs and had the audience singing along to It's Over and laughing during Eenie-Meenie-Minie-Mo. However, the audience seemed really titillated by her controversial song, Head, which takes a swipe at Lisa Hype's controversial photo, and were a bit disappointed that she did not go into it more.
Timmi Burrell only got a chance to do one song when emcee Reggae Rogers walked out on him. I Octane showed why many regard him as the next true voice of reggae with a great performance. Ras Goudie impressed and sounded a warning that he will be coming to take his place in 2010. The Free People team which managed the event must be credited with doing a good job with swift band changes and a line-up that built the excitement up to a satisfying climax with Beenie Man.