Wednesday, April 8, 2015

US President Barack Obama first stop on historic visit to Jamaica The Bob Marley Museum

The President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, might have done the coolest thing a President of the free world has every done, when he visited the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston on his historic visit to Jamaica, April 8, 2015.  It is reported that within an hour of landing at the Norman Manley International airport in Kingston, where he met Jamaica's Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller and other Dignitaries, President Barrack Obama made an unscheduled visit at the Bob Marley Museum Hope Road ahead of his official meetings.

Now ain't that cool? Oh yes it is, President Obama was photographed inside the 
museum looking around in awe and reports 
are that he even admitted he "still has all the albums." Several artists made favourable comments towards the President's visit. Ace Dancehall artiste Bounty Killer tweet, "the worl boss is here Jamaica" while singer/songwriter Alaine in anticipation of the President's arrival Alaine tweet, "watching this POTUS arrival!" to her fans. Shaggy and other artistes and djs sent shout-outs across their social media in favour of the President's visit, some made 'light' of the historic moment with memes. President Barack Obama said of his visit to the Bob Marley Museum later in a meeting with Caricom leaders/members that his visit to "Bob Marley's house is one of the best meetings" he has ever had over the 6 years as president.  

Watch how cool this US President is! At a town hall meeting with students and specially invited guests at the University of the West Indies, the President show he's quite capable of speaking patois (see video below) to the amusement of his audience.  

Overall, President Barack Obama's historic visit  to the Bob Marley museum is monumental. The work of this legendary Jamaican reggae artiste Robert Nesta Marley continues to uphold Jamaica's music legacy and will never be forgotten.


Dancehall History: The First Lady of NYC Dancehall/Reggae celebrate 50 years

Shelly Thunder in the 80s
Jamaica's street music best known as 'Dancehall' has a 'rich' history. Several artistes in the genre, made names for themselves across the United States of America from in the 70s and 80s. A male dominated genre, newest Dancehall fans would more readily identify male dominating Dancehall artistes during those era than females. 

Shelley Thunder was once a leading Dancehall artiste in the late 80s. Her break out song Kuff produced by Henry Whitfield became an instant hit in Jamaica in 1988.  Ms Michelle Harrison aka Shelly Thunder, recently celebrated her 50th birthday, life and music in New York. A moment worth mentioning, here are some excerpts taken from a piece written by Sam Evan Smith about the first lady of NYC dancehall/reggae, Shelly Thunder and as featured on, "Reggae History and Articles" Jamaicans Dot Com.

An accomplished DJ/sing-jay Tunda" Shellie as she likes to call herself, was one of two female musical artists in roots and culture/dancehall reggae who blazed a trail in New York City's reggae dancehall scene during the 1980s, a period when the city established its presence as one of the center of reggae music on the world stage.  Along with Sister Carol aka 'Mother Culture' the edutainment guru of reggae roots and culture, Shelly, dominated NYC dancehall/reggae, like no other female in the decade of the 80's. Both Shelly and Sister Carol have the distinction of also being successful actresses in local theater and Hollywood respectively 

Shelly became the first lady of NYC dancehall/reggae as she crossed over to a wider audience. Her breakout hit "Shock mi a Shock" on the Music Master Label peaked at #1 on the US reggae charts. Then came a slew of hit singles such as "Small Horsewoman", "85 Vision" and "Man A Rush Me." From Mango Records debut CD "Fresh Out The Pack" came dancehall anthem "Kuff", "Working girl", and "Break Up To Make Up." This string of success parachuted Thunder's career to international dancehall alongside such artists as Shabba Ranks, Super Cat and Patra. 

Well, that's before Shelly Thunder became a Christian sometime in 199-1993. She gave up singing women liberated tracks to giving praise to the Lord in songs. 

50 years later....
Shelly Thunder at 50
"I am very honoured to be in the company of everyone, and deem this an honour and I do feel blessed and humbled to share this special time in my life with everyone present" she told friends, family and well wishers at her birthday celebrations.

In the house to celebrate Shelly Thunder's 50th, were her husband and ace selector Rohan "Apache Finga" Timol and daughter, musical family, NYC based vocalists Junior 'Willow' Wilson and Teddy Brown, Sidney Mill (KRS1 and Steel Pulse) and Wayne Chin (both worked on her "Fresh Out The Pack" album), fellow Dancehall artiste, Little Twitch, school mates from Harbour View Primary and Excelsior High schools in Jamaica, as well as the Borough of Manhattan college and the New Lots Family.

After having a blast, the former dancehall diva ended the night's proceedings singing words of praise and exhortation for the Kingdom of God and encouraged those in attendance of her 50 Birthday celebration to establish a relationship with Christ.  

Read: Shelly Thunder Celebrates 50th Milestone

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

After 40 years veteran producer in the reggae music industry believes he has a lot more to offer the genre

As published in the Jamaica Sunday Gleaner newspaper, music producer Clive Hunt who has been working within the reggae music industry for over 40 years, says reggae music can survive another 40 years, "my job is to try to educate the younger players because I believe our music can survive another 40 years.  I don't see why we should let it die. Reggae has been beneficial to Jamaica just as much as, or even more, than the sand and the sun" he said.

Clive Hunt studied at the Royal Military School of Music in England. He battled with cocaine addiction and has stayed clean since 1991. Yet, after so many years the 63 year old reggae instrumentalist is optimistic about his future, "since '91 when I left the rehab, I have had five major publishers want to write a book about me. I didn't think I had done enough, but now I think I have." 

For many years, Clive Hunt has been arranging songs behind the scenes. Now, he represents Reggae's long standing label VP Records, working with major reggae artistes such as Etana, Jah Cure, Maxi Priest, Beres Hammond and Queen Ifrica. He is currently working on a Dennis Brown cover album with Maxi Priest, Queen Ifrica, Richie Spice, Ikaya and Dennis Brown's daughter, Maria Brown, and was instrumental in the production of movie soundtrack for Destiny, the Jeremy Whitaker produced longest running film at the box office in Jamaica, "they have enough work for me that I can work daily.." Clive Hunt said of VP Record label to which he is signed. However, he note that his contract was not exclusive, "I am very open when it comes to who I work with. If I hear a talent come in I can work with them as long as they have a good attitude. It is a real pleasure to work with young people and the ones who have talent" he said. 

Future plans for Clive Hunt according to the Jamaica Sunday Gleaner involves the opening of a music studio that is currently under construction. Located in Bog Walk, St. Catherine, Hunt is thinking eco tourism, "It is in the mountains of Bog Walk. It is like an ecotourism type of vibe. I am building cabins and there is a river down the road and lots of trees. The whole community loves it and I intend to staff it with people from the community."   The spot which the studio is being erected was once occupied by his father's Nyabinghi Church that was destroyed during Hurricane Gilbert in 1988.

Source: Jamaica Sunday Gleaner

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Busy Signal officially launched the Busy 20/20 HHFL Charity

"The more you give, the more you get."

Busy Signal is the newest addition to a growing list of Charitable Organisations Spearheaded by Jamaican Reggae and Dancehall Artistes. The prominent Dancehall artiste officially launched his Busy 202/20 Helping Hands Foundation Limited (Busy 20/20 HHFL), Thursday, April 2, 2015 at, The Jewel Dunn's River, Ocho Rios in the parish of St. Anns, Jamaica. 

The Busy 20/20 HHFL primary focus is the St. Anns Bay Hospital. The foundations's first undertaking is to raise funds to purchase a X-Ray/CAT Scan equipment at an estimated $12 million. The announcements came recently in an article published in the Jamaica Observer confirming the decision by Busy Signal to undertake the venture, he said, "This is the hospital I was born in. The majority of people from St. Ann are farmers and they don't have the money fi go private hospital so mi haffi help inna my way and give back. Dem need the help."

Busy Signal join fellow artistes Shaggy, Cherine Anderson, Mr. Vegas, Konshens, Aidonia, Lady Saw, Richie Spice, Queen Ifrika and others who are seriously engaged in the development of future Jamaica. Known for hits such as Nah Go Jail Again and Watch Out for Dis, Busy Signal draw reference from current economic issues affecting Jamaican to show how one can make a difference, "Government a government. We haffi help inna our way. Nobody is excluded from sickness." 

"Your profession is not what brings home your paycheck. Your profession is what you were put on Earth to do with such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling." 
~ Vincent Van Gogh~