2013 is unabashedly steaming away, leaving a huge trace of remarkable events. Buckle up, because you’re about to skydive retrospectively in the dingle of the passing year!
Celebrating their 40th anniversary, Third World – the Reggae Ambassadors – went on in the world tour with their final leg in Europe. The band performed on three of the region’s biggest festivals: Belgium’s Reggae Geel, Reggae Sun Ska in France, and Rototom in Spain. They also did shows in Germany and Poland.
Rototom Sunsplash festival that was held from 16 to 23th of August closed its 20th edition with an historic record of attendance, with 240,000 visitors over the 8 days. The Jamaican singer Tessanne Chin commanded the stage and mesmerized viewers and judges alike in NBC’s casting-show The Voice and won the famous singing competition TV show.
In the sport’s area: Usain Bolt, 27, previously the World Athlete of the Year in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012, successfully regained his 100m title and won the 200m at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, winning the latter final in a 2013 world-leading time of 19.66. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, 26, emulated Bolt and regained the 100m title at the 2013 IAAF World Championships, winning in 10.71 which remained the fastest time of the year and, like Bolt again, also won gold medals in the 200m and 4x100m relay in Moscow.
Grammy Award-winning dancehall reggae artist Shaggy released in September his latest album, “Sly and Robbie Presents Out of Many, One Music.” The album-release-bandwagon was joined by his breddas-and-sistahs-in-arts Lutan Fyah “Life of a king”, Perfect “Over The Top”, Alborosie “Sound The System”, Gyptian “Sex, Love & Reggae”, Bitty McLean “The Taxi Sessions.” The last but not the least is Clifford Smith a.k.a. Mr. Vegas who is back on the dance-floor with the second album on his own label MV Music. Whoever expected the artist to take a more Roots-Reggae-stance after last year’s release of Sweet Jamaica will be disappointed, however. “Bruk It Down 2.0” is every byte a representation of the Dancehall-DJ who paved his career with hits like Nike Air and Heads High.
In game industry: Grand Theft Auto V joins reggae revival. In the latest installment of one of the world’s most popular video games, there is a special treat for contemporary reggae music lovers. The highly acclaimed game released in fall this year and already sold in astronomical numbers across the world, features on its soundtrack Protoje‘s hit song, Kingston Be Wise. Protoje is not the only reggae artiste featured on the video game’s soundtrack. Several dancehall artistes as well as veteran reggae artistes are also part of the Rockstar’s latest effort.
Good news hit the porches of pot lovers in the outgoing year. Colorado voters passed Amendment 64 last year, making the limited sale, possession and growing of marijuana for recreational purposes legal for adults 21 and over. Adults can possess up to an ounce of pot and grow as many as 12 marijuana plants in their homes, but that home-grown marijuana can only be for personal use and cannot be sold. However, adults can gift one another up to an ounce of pot.
On a grim side: Jamaican reggae singer Junior Murvin, best known for his hit “Police & Thieves,” died on December the 4th aged 64. The cause of death is currently unknown. Another tragic event was marked by death of South Africa’s hero Nelson Mandela. His untimely demise triggered an avalanche of books, novels and tribute songs about this great man, and global icon. Reggae artists also made their contribution to this torrent. Reggae producer, toaster, and DJ Prince Jazzbo died on September the 12th at the age of 62. According to various reports, the artist born Linval Roy Carter died after a battle with lung cancer. Carter made his name at the much-mythologised Studio One recording studio, but is perhaps best known for his work on Lee “Scratch” Perry’s Super Ape. A Jamaican music producer, Patrick “Roach” Samuels, who worked with top dancehall reggae acts, was shot to death in his car on September the 15th in Jamaica’s capital.
What to look out for in the outgoing month and the upcoming year 2014:
VP Records celebrates 20th anniversary of the longest-running annual reggae compilation Strictly The Best, Vol. 48 & 49 will be released on December the 17th. The Latest installments feature hits from Tessanne Chin, Sean Paul, Snoop Lion, Maxi Priest, Gyptian, Sizzla, Mr. Vegas, Bunji Garlin and more.
Stone Love will be touring in Japan from this month until the first week of January. The well renowned Jamaican sound system, who celebrates their 41st anniversary this year, will be performing in 19 tour dates.
Sting, the dancehall extravaganza, is turning 30. For the first time in its 30 year history, the show will reach fans on a global scale by LIVE-streaming across 8 different countries. Legendary dancehall star Super Cat, known for being one of Dancehall’s supreme acts in the 1990s, will return to Sting for his first performance in Jamaica for many years. It will be held on December 26 at Jamworld Complex in Portmore.
Legendary Jamaican producer Donovan Germain and his Penthouse label productions have made an indelible mark in the history of reggae music. To commemorate 25 years since the founding of Penthouse recording studio, VP Records and Mr. Germain have collaborated on the new release Penthouse Records 25 Years – The Journey Continues. The 2 CD/DVD collection will be available on January 14, 2014.
Oneness Reggae Fest, that was initiated to “Promote Peace, Love, and Unity through Positive and Spiritual Vibrations,” will take place on February 21-22th in Jamaica. Garance Reggae Festival, will be help from July 24-27th in Bagnols-Sur-Seze in France and many more…
Sean Paul has been a staple for making smash hits in the music industry for quite some time now. He’s ready to bring the heat back in 2014 with his 6th album “Full Frequency,” due out on February the 17th. He’s already released some monster singles including his latest “Want Dem All” featuring Koshens. Talking about Koshens – the uprising Jamaican star Konshens is prepping his sophomore album, “Love Truth and Dancehall” to release in the first quarter of 2014. 2013 has been a very huge year for Konshens. This year has seen him scoring over 24 hit singles, releasing his successful shoes line (Konz876) and a successful documentary; and it is evident that the LTD edition “Love, Truth and Dancehall” will bring him even more success in 2014.
Written by Emin Bayramov for Jamworld876