With pristine organisation and an all-star line-up including international rapper Drake, the inaugural staging of Popcaan's Unruly Fest wowed natives of St Thomas and beyond, and offered a sense of hope in reviving the live entertainment scene in the parish.
Touting a mantra to promote 'brand Jamaica', the event returns on December 21, and the unruly camp is going all the way up.
"Popcaan is extremely excited about the upcoming event. Not only is he making plans as an artiste, but he is also anxiously waiting to present another great production that will make St Thomas and Jamaica proud," event producer Carleene Samuels told THE WEEKEND STAR.
Among those electrifying the stage at Lyssons Beach last year were Popcaan's Portmore Empire mates, Jah Vinci and Doza Medicine, as well as Bounty Killer, Bugle, I-Wayne, Agent Sasco, Tanya Stephens and Cocoa Tea.
According to a release from the vybzkartelbook.com Adidja Palmer has decided to give the green light to his co-author and business partner, Michael Dawson, to reveal to the public things about himself that he had previously chosen to keep private as he has always wanted to keep his personal and family life away from the intense public scrutiny that he has endured.
Dancehall artiste Popcaan has denied widespread media reports that he received a minor injury to his forehand after he was struck by a missile thrown from the audience during a performance in Zimbabwe.
Media reports suggested that midway his performance at the Harare International Conference Centre(HICC) in Zimbabwe on new year's day, the dancehall act was hit with a bottle flung from the crowd.
The artiste debunked the allegations on his Twitter page, "Nothing was thrown at me. Nothing hit me. Zimbabwe loves dancehall and the audience was great," Popcaan tweeted.
A report on Zimbabwean news website www.dailynews.co.zw suggested that the artiste was inadvertently hit with a bottle following a fan's attempt to embrace him on stage.
According to Laing, Supreme Promotions did not organise for Ryno to walk onstage during Popcaan's set and as a result he may never work with the artiste again.
Dancehall artiste and controversial selector Tony Matterhorn has released another song chastising several of dancehall's top performers.
The song is called Duppy Attack and calls out the likes of Popcaan, Tommy Lee, Khago, Bounty Killer, Mr Vegas, Baby Cham and I-Octane.
Going into the busy party season, there are quite a few summer songs that selectors and disc jocks believe are doing well.
Among the top songs for ZJ Ice are I-Octane's We Love The Vibes and Popcaan's Summer Wave. He says there are also nice songs from Bugle and Blak Ryno, while Cashflow Records' Sun Tan rhythm is also doing well.
Deejay Popcaan kicks off a busy summer by heading to Europe, where he plans to get his growing European fan base raving this month. Popcaan, real name Andrae Sutherland, heads off to Europe next week for a two-week stint.
The deejay, who is known for songs like Party Shot and Ravin, will be thrilling fans in Portugal, France, Sweden, and Switzerland, just to name a few. This will mark his third European tour, having previously travelled with the Portmore Empire. This tour, however, is the artiste's first in Europe as a solo act and headline artiste.
Several top reggae acts are set to ignite the Reggae Sumfest stage when the event dubbed, 'the greatest reggae show on earth', returns to Catherine Hall, Montego Bay, for its 20th staging from July 15 to 21.
It was this week revealed that entertainers like Damian Marley, Third World and Tarrus Riley were expected to deliver explosive performances in the Second City.
The Grammy award-winning Damian Marley is set to rock the audience with his hits such as Affairs of the Heart,Set Up Shop and Mek It Bun Dem while Third World will return to the Sumfest stage for a sizzling display of their musical prowess.
Rising dancehall artiste Quick Cook is denying rumours that he and fellow artiste Chi Ching Ching are involved in a feud.
The artiste, who has been on tour in the United States, said he made an appearance on the Memorial Day weekend at a barbecue event in New York, that he was booked for, and that is where the rumours started.
"Mi deh a di barbecue and the deejay drop the Party Shot song wid me and Popcaan, and mi go pon the mic and start interact wid di fans dem because me book fi di show. Mi a hold a vibes and a deejay mi new tune No ID and mi just a hold a vibes with the fans". The artiste then went on to say that Chi Ching, who was not booked for the show, was called on by the deejay.
"Chi Ching come a di show, him never book fi it, and mi even big him up when him walk in. The deejay tell him say him must come say a ting pon the mic and him go up deh a talk say, 'dem nuh hot, dem a fight fi hot and hot nuh sell a shop'. Him up deh a talk one bag a sumn fi bout 15 minutes and bruk the vibes a di show," Quick Cook said. Quick Cook went on to say that when he took back the mic he made a statement, and that is where rumours of a lyrical feud stemmed from.
"Mi mek a talk and say 'mi nuh knock a kick me kick off door. Any knock, a mi river stone and slang dem a knock'. When me say that, the whole place shell down and start get wild because the fans love the energy," he said. Quick Cook said prior to this event, he never had any lyrical feud or otherwise with Chi Ching Ching but notes that the 'bad vibes' might be stemming from Chi Ching's association with Gyptian. "Mi and Gyptian have a feud and it look like him (Chi Ching Ching) tek a side. Him a do him ting and mi a do my ting. Mi a further my career. Mi deh pon tour and nuff people never know say Quick Cook have visa so mi just a make dem know me presence and do some promotions," Quick Cook said.
"Mi nuh have no feud wid him, mi nuh have nutten wid him. The world know him and the world know me. Mi just shoot mi new video No ID in Miami, a mi career mi a focus on," he added. When contacted, however, Chi Ching Ching said he had nothing to say in relation to Quick Cook.
The Smirnoff Dream Week is set to kick off in fine style with its first-ever concert in Negril.
This Dream concert will be on Wednesday, August 1, Jamaica's Emancipation Day, at Cayenne Beach on Negril's seven-mile strip. It will consist of an electrifying set of live performances officially dubbed Dream Live. Headlining the show will be none other than dancehall's hottest sensation, Popcaan.
Popcaan has risen to stardom in a relatively short space of time and is now one of the hottest acts in Jamaica.
When asked how he felt about being a part of this historic staging, he said, "The summer vibes gonna be maddd! Right now, di whole place a seh fry yiy, and di whole place a seh Dream! I am looking forward to this show. First time Dream's doing a concert and a whole week of parties, so it's a good look for me to be on the show. Pure fry yiy vibes we bringing for the girls and the hot skullz. We say raving straight for the whole week of Dream, so it gonna be madddd!"
He added, "Since a lot of my fans will be here from all over the world, my performance is going to be a mix of a Jamaican show and the shows we do overseas, so it's a mix of the whole catalogue for all the fans. It's gonna be a big weekend an just a good vibe for our country Jamaica, too."
When asked if there would be any special surprises for the fans during the weekend, Popcaan said, "Right now, we are working on a lot of new music every day, so do look out for a few new songs in Negril. Right now, I'm starting work on my album to be released later in the year, but in the meantime, on August 1, for Jamaica's historic Emancipation Day, I'll be doing all my hit singles at the Dream Live concert - Dream, Gangsta City, Clarks, Never Fear Dem, Clean, So Bad, Ravin, Party Shot. We gonna have some merchandise for the fans, too."
Veteran concert promoter and Dream Entertainment Director Solomon Sharpe said, "We are extremely happy that we are able this year to put together a concert of this magnitude. the timing is right. Jamaica 50 means we will do a week-long celebration. Dream Entertainment not doing 11 events and there is no better way to kick off the week of our national festival than to bring that live dancehall concert element that we all love to the heart of party central - Smirnoff Dream Weekend. We have a few more dancehall stars to confirm in the coming weeks, and we will be announcing our full line-up soon. di party shottt!"
Smirnoff Dream Weekend is an official national festival and will take place from Wednesday, August 1, to Monday, August 6. It will feature 11 parties during the day and night. For more info log on to www.negrildreamweekend.com, or on facebook www/facebook.com/dreamentertainmentja.
Amid Vybz Kartel's legal battles, there comes even more news from the 'Gaza' camp as the 2007-formed Portmore Empire has been disbanded. Shortly after his much-publicised fallout with Alliance head honcho Bounty Killer, and his exit from the group, Vybz Kartel looked to his hometown of Portmore, St Catherine, to raise his own musical force, which would later be aptly titled the Portmore Empire.
At the time of its origin, the group consisted of mainly young artistes like Blak Ryno (now Ryno), Craig Dennis (deceased), Omeil, Lisa Hype (now Lisa Hyper), Nuclear, Dosa Medicine, Shawn Storm, and Deva Bratt, who was touted to be Kartel's right hand and the one who was "leading out the Empire". A few fallouts and scandals later with artistes like Deva Bratt, Lisa Hyper, Gaza Kim (now Kym), Jah Vinchi, and Ryno, the size of the group has dwindled.
In recent days, the Empire came to boast acts like Popcaan, Gaza Slim, Sheba, Gaza Indu, Shawn Storm, and Tommy Lee. However, in a recent release sent to The STAR, Adidjahiem Records announced news of the disbanding with a statement from incarcerated boss, Adidja 'Vybz Kartel' Palmer.
It read: "Dancehall fans worldwide, it is with great regret that I, Adidja Palmer, have decided to disband the Portmore Empire. These artistes have been under the Adidjahiem leadership for years, where they have honed their craft and made their mark, and as such, are well on their way to becoming major forces in dancehall." It continued: "They have reached a level where they are more capable of taking on their careers by themselves, and it would be unfair to them, based on the limited resources of Adidjahiem Records, and the current legal woes of the Adidjahiem CEO, and team members. I wish them the best, and I am confident that they will live up to my expectations. In the future, Adidjahiem will continue to bring out new acts and groom them for stardom. Thank you."
It also stated that members of the Portmore Empire, Vanessa 'Gaza Slim' Saddler and Leroy 'Tommy Lee' Russell are moving on with their careers under a newly formed label, PG 13. "PG 13 is the new name right now. a just deh so di ting deh, and that's all mi haffi say," When pressed as to how she felt since the group has now been dissolved, Gaza Slim said she had no comments and would only be focusing her attention on the new PG 13 label. In similar manner, Tommy Lee said PG 13 was where he would now be based. "A PG 13 me say straight. A dat me a say," Both artistes have been part of the Portmore Empire since 2010. The 'gaza prefect', Popcaan, who rose to the heights of fame under the guidance of Palmer, has been doing well for himself. Efforts to contact him, however, since Kartel's incarceration proved futile.
The other standing member, Shawn Storm, was whisked away by the authorities as he is said to be implicated in the legal woes with Kartel.
Just when you think L.A. Lewis is finished, he always comes with something new. This time around, it isn't so much about a beef with an artiste or about his islandwide graffiti, it's about his latest idea, the Gaza Federation.
Deejay Vybz Kartel brought the Portmore Empire group to fame soon after its 2007 inception. The group later started the 'Gaza' movement. Now, with Vybz Kartel's court woes, the 'seven star general' has made it his duty to "run the Gaza while the boss is away". "Mi live a Portmore and mi like wah Kartel did a do...a buss the youths but now dem a frame him so we just a continue it. Mi a run di thing because nobody nah really run it. When him come back him a di boss still, but for now me a run it," he explained.
Lewis told The STAR that thus far, the Gaza Federation members include Lackchat, Chin, Dolla Speng and long-time Portmore Empire member Dosa Medicine, among others. He plans to approach Deva Bratt to join the group and is giving deejay Popcaan one week to join or face the consequences.
"Everybody have him as a Judas so mi a give him a week fi come sign in back," he said.
When contacted Deva Bratt said he has no intention of joining the group.
"No time! A Krucial Konflict mi a seh right now, mi an mi artiste dem happy right now and just a work," he told The STAR. He is currently working with young acts like Askel 45, Polka Dot, Lando Swizz, Hotta Mud, Toxic and Fire Flames and has the Uncle and the Exorcist rhythms now out.
He went on to say that with all his legal run-ins now behind him, he is aiming to develop a working relationship with all musicians and disc jockeys. "Mi songs them a reach overseas and the people are asking how comes them not hearing me out here on the radio, but don't worry I'm still here. Right now I'm just getting ready to start working with the disc jockeys again," he said.
Lewis is also looking to release the first rhythm from the Gaza Federation titled War Season.
He plans to now go by the stage name War Angel, aka 7 Star General, reserving L.A. Lewis for the business part of things. He recently fired warning shots at deejays Lyara and KipRich in songs like Warning Shot and War Season and is now warning them that the Gaza Federationwill crush anybody in its path.
"Mi do three tune fi KipRich an all now him nuh answer like a scared him scared. Lyara a KipRich spouse so mi just a rub out di whole a dem and di corruption. From yuh fight against wi system yuh a fight against the Gaza Federation. A we a di secret society," he said. He plans to approach Deva Bratt to join the group and is giving deejay Popcaan one week to join or face the consequences.
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
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.