Tag : sting 2013

Controversies, Clashes and ‘Bad Man Police’ – Billboard Magazine

Via/ Billboard Magazine

Sting, a marathon-length concert dubbed “the greatest one night reggae and dancehall show on earth,” is the longest running event on Jamaica’s jam-packed music calendar. Held annually since 1984 on Dec. 26, Sting was founded by Isaiah Laing, CEO of Supreme Promotions. It is also probably the only concert promoted by a 20-year veteran of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

A feared crime fighter immortalized as a “bad man police” in dancehall deejay/toaster Tiger’s 1991 hit “When,” Laing was shot three times, in addition to fatally wounding several criminals, during his law enforcement tenure (covered in his recently penned memoir, “Point Blank Range: A Jamaican Bad Man Police — The Isaiah Laing Story”). Over the past 30 years, Sting has elevated and deflated careers, turned underdogs into champions, and carved a distinctive if controversial niche on the concert landscape primarily through its presentation and promotion of clashes, where an artist’s strategic lyrical offensive determines victory over an opponent.

Sting has notoriously attracted a hardcore dancehall crowd which, in years past, has expressed their dissatisfaction with artists’ performances by bottling; that is, hurling bottles towards the stage. Founding member of the Wailers Bunny Wailer was bottled in 1989, as was Maxi Priest (who topped the Hot 100 with “Close To You”) in 1991. Veteran deejay Super Cat has the distinction of flinging a bottle back into the audience during his clash with Ninjaman at Sting 1990, sparking widespread pandemonium. Raw, exhilarating, and sometimes volatile, stampedes, skirmishes, and bottling were a part of most Stings held throughout the 1990s and 2000s until the bottles were replaced with plastic cups.

In 2013, Sting’s gritty edges were somewhat further polished to appease sponsors including presenters Magnum Tonic Wine and the Jamaica Tourist Board, which endorsed the event for the first time this year. The move was also intended to appeal to an audience beyond Jamaica, which this year had the option to watch a four-hour live broadcast of Sting via Pay Per View, or the entire 12-hour show via a live stream, priced at $29.95 and $39.95, respectively (both versions are available On Demand until Jun. 30).

The Jamaica Gleaner newspaper reports that “Sting 30″ is the first Jamaica-produced show to generate 14 million viewer impressions via Google, according to Real Time Tracker’s statistics. “For eleven and a half hours, our audio feed was crystal clear surround sound, without a breakdown; our Pay Per View carriers, including Comcast and Direct TV, look forward to doing this again in 2014, which is a real endorsement of our product’s international standards,” enthused Los Angeles-born and raised Joseph Bogdanovich, CEO of the Kingston-based independent reggae label Downsound Records. A staunch supporter of dancehall reggae since the early 90s, Bogdanovich commuted between Kingston and Los Angeles for several years, eventually settling in Jamaica in 1999. Following six years of behind-the-scenes involvement in Sting, he became a shareholder in 2012.

Downsound artist Ninjaman, 47, has appeared on every Sting since 1988, except for the years he was incarcerated (after three years in jail on a murder charge, Ninjaman has been out on bail since March 2012). Though beating crack addiction is Ninjaman’s own greatest triumph, he is also Sting’s all-time clashing victor. He was involved in Sting’s most infamous verbal spars: with Super Cat in 1990, Shabba Ranks in 1991 and with the now-imprisoned Vybz Kartel in 2003. The Ninjaman vs. Kartel clash morphed from lyrical to physical assault when Kartel punched his opponent. Even though Kartel’s own incarceration since Sept. 2011 for murder charges along with skin bleaching, X-rated repertoire and expert media manipulation make him arguably dancehall’s all-time most controversial artist, Vybz lamented his behavior at the Sting. In a 2009 interview with Billboard.biz he said, “It’s the only thing I would have done differently in my career, because Ninjaman is an elder and one of the most influential artists towards my development.”

Held at the expansive outdoor venue Jamworld in the Kingston suburb of Portmore, Sting 2013, which featured veteran deejays Burro Banton, Major Mackerel and Peter Metro comprising a lively Three The Hard Way segment, pulled 19,000 patrons without any incidents of violence or bottling. Strong performances by singers Etana and Romain Virgo and sing-jay Mavado ably represented contemporary Jamaican talent, while Wyclef Jean worked hard and roused the Sting audience, a connection that eluded rapper 2 Chainz. A much tamer Super Cat, who hadn’t performed in Jamaica since 2002 (he’s been living in New York for more than 20 years), headlined the show. Signed to Columbia Records in the early 1990s, Cat played a significant role in popularizing dancehall in the U.S., his label debut “Don Dada” peaking at no. 37 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop albums chart.

Neither Laing nor Bogdanovich would disclose the budget for Sting 30 except to say it was the costliest in the event’s history.
Increased expenses for Sting’s marketing campaign, managed in Jamaica by Tyehimba Kafele with Sean “Contractor” Edwards, rising artists fees, and a $30,000 clash prize, won in an upset victory by Black Ryno (a former protégé of Vybz Kartel) who dethroned reigning champ Kip Rich, contributed to Sting’s hefty price tag, as did the Pay Per View broadcast.

Ryno’s Sting victory has provided him with a platform for wider visibility, which “if he is organized and puts himself in the right hands, he can have the career he should, because he has the lyrics and says what the people want to hear,” observes reggae industry and Sting veteran Johnny Wonder, CEO of 21st Hapilos Digital Distributors. His company is also promoting Ryno’s current single, “Baddest Thing” which chronicles his victory over Ryno.

The Pay Per View Broadcast and live stream was undertaken in association with California’s All Oceans Interactive Media (AOIM). The multiplatform video service company, responsible for broadcasters including Comcast and Time Warner Direct TV, supported Sting’s PPV format on various devices. The live feed was made possible by a 50-member Jamaican and international crew, including Kingston’s Phase 3 Productions, 12 cameras, two satellite dishes, meticulous stage production by Ricardo Chin Production Services, and True Tone’s crystalline sound. For the first time for a Jamaican concert, viewers had the option of selecting the main show feed or choosing coverage of backstage activities. With the potential to reach 95 million viewers online and On Demand, Bogdanovich sees the broadcast expenditures, which included a $20,000 fee for song rights clearances, as necessary for showcasing Jamaica¹s talent on a vast international platform.

Despite the show’s seamless execution, controversy was unavoidable. A ferocious, obscenity-laden clash between female deejays Lady Saw and Macka Diamond, the repeated denunciations of same-sex unions by sing-jay Sizzla, and the bum-rushing of Ninjaman’s set by the provocatively-clad female artist D’Angel (whose short skirt revealed much more than her vocal skills) generated a flurry of media attention and outrage, overshadowing the other 20 acts there.

The Sting promoters did not have a problem with the female clash, although Laing admitted “it went a bit too far” and tried to halt it from the live feed as the vulgarities escalated. In an interview the following day with the Jamaica Gleaner, Lady Saw apologized, calling her behavior “degrading to women”; nonetheless, the promoters have taken disciplinary action against Sizzla and D’Angel, both of whom have been banned from future Sting performances for at least five years.

“Weeks before the show, we had a meeting with the artists, and wrote letters to their managers outlining our expectations. The contract we asked our artists to sign says we do not tolerate cursing or lyrics that incite hatred towards any group,” Laing explained. The effect that the aforementioned artists’ rogue behavior might have on Sting’s sponsorship going forward hasn’t yet been determined. Magnum Tonic Wine did not respond to Billboard.biz’s request for a response, but the Jamaica Tourist Board’s deputy director Jason Hall sent the following email pending his organization’s decision on the matter: “The JTB is currently conducting a review of the event, compiling a media wrap report and reviewing allegations of breaches of a code of conduct for an upcoming board meeting.”

Nikki Z, radio personality at CBS Radio WZMX Hot 93.7 based in Hartford, Conn., and a host of Sting 2013, said Sizzla’s comments were unnecessary. “I understand he comes from a culture that doesn’t accept that way of life, but with all of the bullying going on, he didn’t need to go there.” For anyone offended by the coarseness of the clashes or the x-rated antics, she contends, “You are watching the wrong concert.

“If an artist wants to say a bad word, grab their crotch, skin out, hey, it’s Sting and it’s Pay Per View,” she adds. “You can see much raunchier programs on HBO or Showtime. Sting is the ultimate battleground where you have to come prepared and prove yourself. Ryno planned, plotted, he was hungry, and knew Kiprich was the man to beat. That hunger needs to stay because that’s what Sting is all about.”

‘Nature promises good Sting performance’ – Jamaica Star

Via/ The Jamaica Star

(Photo M1 DSR Underground)

Downsound recording artiste Nature is all set to deliver a blazing performance at Sting 30.

The talented Montegonian singer is arguably one of the brightest new stars in reggae. Since signing to Downsound, he has consistently built an impressive catalogue of hits that includes songs such as Trying Man, Revolution, and World Peace.

In a very short time, Nature has cemented himself on the local music scene. He is also a very strong stage performer. music lovers far and wide are still talking about his impressive performance at Reggae Sumfest earlier this year.

Nature’s latest hit titled No Guns Around is currently one of the hottest dancehall tunes.

The humble Rastafarian singer plans to deliver an impressive performance at Jamworld, Portmore, St Catherine, on Boxing Day night.

“I’m really looking forward to Sting 30. its going to be a spectacular event! I plan to play my part to make Sting a great event. I am going there to give the people 100 per cent of Nature. I’m gonna give them everything. its going to be an exciting performance!” said Nature.

Supercat returns to Jamaica

Just touch down…#bringthesting

‘Sting offers royal treatment for patrons’ -Jamaica Star

Via/ The Jamaica Star

Sting’s 30th anniversary event will provide patrons amenities suitable for their entertainment cravings, but holding down Platinum tickets is a topping many would not want to pass up.

As with the US$30,000 stage clash, purchase of Platinum tickets is an ideal item for the night’s entertainment.

Holders of such tickets will have all-access-granted pass to the Platinum Sky Box, which will give the best view of the show, a chance to mingle with artistes and international media and to consume glorious mouth-watering gourmet food.

Only 500 tickets were made available, at a cost of J$30,000 for two. There can be no purchase of a single ticket and only 1,000 patrons will be in the Sting Platinum Box.

For years, Sting has been the reference point for dancehall stage shows in Jamaica. The organisers, Isaiah Laing and recent full-time partner, Joseph Bogdonavich, are pulling all strings to make the event’s 30th celebration a most memorable experience for their ever-growing audience.

The event, set to take place December 26 at Jamworld Entertainment Complex in Portmore, St Catherine, will feature international rap superstars Wyclef Jean and 2Chainz, along with local giants Beenie Man, Ninja Man, Sizzla, Mavado and Lady Saw.

Media-blitz campaign

The much-touted event will also feature Bogdonavich’s Downsound Records’ in Nature, Ishawna, Harry Toddler, Specialist, Don Husky and Nazir. The preparations leading up to Sting have been more than a workload, according to DSR’s marketing director, Sean ‘Contractor’ Edwards, who has organised a media-blitz campaign at all major outlets leading up to the event.

“Sting poises to be a stellar event, this year than any other. For the past weeks, we have been attacking the media, non-stop, and the responses have been tremendous. The patrons are in for a special musical treat from the international artistes, the other local giants and Downsound Records’ forces,” he said.

‘Macka, Saw showdown for Sting’ – Jamaica Star

Via/ The Jamaica Star

They have been at each other’s throat for quite some time, and now, Lady Saw and Macka Diamond are finally confirmed to clash at Sting on Boxing Day.

Heavy D, one of the Sting promoters, confirmed the clash yesterday.

“Lady Saw deh pon the show long time and Lady Saw and Macka Diamond have dem argument. Lady Saw call fi it. Saw tell mi seh she need fi finish the argument onstage ’cause Macka Diamond is talking too much,” Heavy D told THE WEEKEND STAR.

He said Macka Diamond was not confirmed for the show initially, but “I paid her and she signed for Sting with clash on her mind.”

But Macka Diamond does not exactly have the best track record where clashes are concerned, as she was a no-show at the clash that was scheduled between herself and fellow dancehall artiste Spice last year.

Despite this, Heavy D said he feels confident that Macka Diamond will clash Lady Saw at this year’s Sting to be held at Jamworld in Portmore on December 26, because he has spoken with her management and they have assured him that Macka Diamond will be there.

But, having been at odds for some time, the ‘war’ between the former friends seemed to have intensified after Macka Diamond released a new song, Nigingy Nigingy, last week, that was seemingly aimed at Lady Saw.

A Twitter spat ensued between both artistes following the song’s release.

“@mackadiamond1 If that garbage of a song is the best you can do then am so disappointed. Come to Sting US$30k up for grabs, I need it for Charity,” Lady Saw tweeted.

She continued, “Personally inviting @mackadiamond1 … to Sting for a lyrical beat down. Am a shut you up once and for all. Done talk.”

Macka Diamond also had tweeting fever and took to Twitter to reply to Lady Saw.

“War can’t stop my career, me jus dweet fi fun and show unu say a good over evil ,and me free fi deejay wah me want cause a long time unu a trouble mi,” she said.

In a follow-up tweet, she said, “No gal can’t frighten me. War, send it on. Me throw blow so ansa mek me dun you. Bagga talking caan help you. Spit tune.”

Both artistes were unavailable for a comment, as Lady Saw is currently in New York promoting Sting, while Macka Diamond’s phone went unanswered.

Fact sheet

In celebration of Sting’s 30th anniversary, The STAR, the People’s Paper, will be bringing our valued readers some Sting facts each day. Here is today’s Sting fact:

In 2012, The Boxing Ring Clash (Tag Team) took place with Ninja Man and KipRich vs Merciless and Tony Matterhorn.

In 2012 The Boxing Ring Clash (Tag Team) took place with Ninja Man and KipRich vs Merciless and Tony Matterhorn.

‘Harry Toddler ready for Sting’ – Jamaica Star

Via/ The Jamaica Star

Downsound recording artiste Harry Toddler is looking forward to his upcoming performance at Sting 30.

The former Scare Dem Crew member who shot to popularity under the guidance of Bounty Killer during the late ’90s, says he’s going to Sting to deliver a memorable performance.

“I am looking forward to Sting, it’s the 30th anniversary of Sting and it’s going to be a big celebration. I plan to go there and give the people a wonderful performance. I’m really looking forward to go there to have fun, too. I want to watch the veterans like Super Cat, Ninja Man, Peter Metro, Burro Banton, and Admiral Bailey perform.”

Toddler also stated, “I respect all the veterans, all the legends of dancehall music who set the pace for us to follow. I feel proud of myself and the work I have done during the ’90s with Scare Dem. those early days have helped to mould me into a professional solo artiste. Everywhere I go all over the world, people still request the songs I did during the Scare Dem days. I have to perform Dance the Angel and all of my older songs overseas all the time,” said the artiste.

The hard-working deejay is currently promoting a new single titled Feisty and Rich.

“This song is dedicated to the people who have their own things, they don’t have to beg nobody, it’s all about being independent,” he said.

Sting 30 will take place at Jam World in Portmore on December 26.

Nikki Z x Lisa Hype re: Sting 2013

The promotion continues, this time with a very interesting interview with Lisa Hype (a personal favorite of some of the people who work here at DSR) regarding her role in this year’s Sting staging. Follow Nikki Z on Twitter HERE

DSR Underground – Sizzla vs Ninjaman

Looks like someone threw a birthday party and a clash broke out! Check out this entertaining exchange between Dancehall giants Sizzla and Ninjaman at Lutan Fire’s birthday bash. Also appearing in the video are DSR veteran Harry Toddler, Specialist, Don Husky, Naazir and others.

Footage courtesy of M1 at the DSR Underground controls.

‘$3 million clash at Sting’ – Jamaica Star

Via/ The Jamaica Star

Downsound Records (DSR) has made two major announcements intended to spice up the Jamaican Christmas season this year, musically.

Josef Bogdonavich, the label’s CEO, announced recently on entertainment programs ER and E Prime a $3-million winner-takes-all lyrical clash at Sting, which is celebrating its 30-year anniversary.

Ninja Man, also a contender, will have the duffle bag of cash live on stage to hand over to the winner.

The much-touted event, set for Jamworld Entertainment Complex, Portmore, St Catherine on December 26, will feature international artiste 2 Chainz, dancehall legend Super Cat and current icons including Beenie Man and Mavado.

Bogdonavich, via his company, officially became a full-time partner of Sting, with founder Isaiah Laing last year, after a few years behind the scenes.

The event is dubbed as ‘The greatest one-night show on Earth’.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, which has never happened in the event’s 30-year history, DSR has released a commemorative single, Downsound Christmas, which features label artistes Ninja Man, Ishawna, Harry Toddler, Don Husky and Naazir.

The track was produced by Bagdonavich and Scatta Burrell and will be marketed by DSR’s marketing arm, Contractor Music.

“The song is already generating interests,” said marketing director Sean ‘Contractor’ Edwards.

The label has enjoyed a number of successful collaborations, namely Ishawna and Specialist’s Do For Love andDweet, featuring Ninja Man and Specialist.

Ninja Man was recently victorious in a sound clash against popular radio disc jock GT Taylor at the Irie FM street dance. Ishawna was also engaged in a sound clash at Famous Nightclub for the STAR‘s All-Star Face Off.

Naazir and Don Husky continue to work hard in studio and are set to release new tracks.

The entire Downsound Records clique, which includes reggae sensation Nature, will perform at Sting.

Don Husky – Streets of Jamaica

With all the preparations for the festive season and Sting 2013 in high gear, DSR music production is also running hot. Check out this quickly rising track featuring the combined efforts of DSR’s production head Skatta Burrell and Don Husky in a remake of the Springsteen classic aptly titled ‘Streets of Jamaica.’ 

Don Husky will also be appearing on the Sting 2013 staging. Expect big things from this exciting new artist.