Archive | April, 2009

Busy Signal – “Trading Places”

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Click to download-  Busy Signal - "Trading Places" (271)

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Usain Bolt wrecks car…

Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt

Olympic champion sprinter Usain Bolt was in a car crash Wednesday in Jamaica, but police and his manager said he was not seriously injured.

Bolt apparently was speeding on a rain-slicked highway when he lost control of the BMW M3 and it went off the road, police Sgt. David Sheriff told the Associated Press. Sheriff was the first officer to arrive at the scene in St. Catherine parish and found the car heavily damaged.

An official at Spanish Town Hospital confirmed Bolt appeared to have only scratches. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of privacy concerns, said Bolt was “very calm” and that doctors were examining him to make sure there were no other injuries. Bolt and an unidentified female passenger were taken to the hospital, though neither was seriously hurt, Sheriff said.

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Beenie Man sings to Rihanna, disses chris brown in the process…

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Grenada bans Vybz Kartel…

The Government of Grenada has denied performance work permits to popular Jamaican Dancehall Artist Adija Palmer aka Vybz Kartel, and his band. The “red-hot” entertainer, whose controversial lyrics have brought him lots of media attention both in and out of Jamaica, was scheduled to perform a “rap-it-up” concert in Grenville St. Andrews on Sat. May 2nd 2009, where his popular Daggering condom was to be officially launched.

Vybz Kartel, who is well known for his hard hitting ghetto lyrics and rival showdowns with popular Artist Marvado, has been leaning towards more positive messages in his songs, with emphasis on respecting Women and Mothers and hints of Rasta-fari teachings. His recent condom campaigns for saving lives have also been well received. Vybz Kartel’s recent release “Mama” has taken the charts by storm, and the Artist will be doing several performances in the Caribbean, to include neighboring Trinidad and Tobago on May 8th 2009.

No reason was given by the Ministry of Labour in Grenada for the refusal of the work permits, but the sensitive issue of censorship or freedom of expression may have been at the forefront. The promoter of the event is claiming thousand of dollars in losses and is now seeking legal advice, since neither himself nor the Artists were aware of the Government’s blacklisting. Vybz Kartel last performed in Grenada Dec. 5th 2008 to a sold out audience.

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50 Cent inks possible 300 million dollar deal with Live Nation!

50 Cent

50 Cent

Live Nation’s basically a concert promoter, the one that organised the marginally successful and very worthy Live 8 arena shows. It’s also the new cool company for successful MEGA-ACTS to sign with when their traditional “deals” expire.

Signing with Live Nation means more cash/money up front for the artist, with Nation recouping the cash via record sales and touring revenues – previously dealt with separately – as it works the artist into the ground like a pit pony.

When they eventually die, their individual hairs are put on eBay. Artist’s teeth could also fetch up to $50k each.

The newest beneficiary of this exciting and new “joined up” marketing/selling deal is 50 Cent who, according to rumours, is set to SMASH Madonna’s $120m deal record by signing with LN for a literally unbelievable $300m. That’s one dollar for every album he’s put out over the last five years.

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Laden – ” I’m Sorry”

[zdvideo align="left" wwidth='425' height='349' type='FLV-HD']http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_v8_x1abY4[/zdvideo]

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Konshens – ” This Means Money”

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U.S. dominates Jamaica at Penn Relays

photo by: AP Photo

photo by: AP Photo

The U.S. left Beijing with more track and field medals than any other nation, but without its title as the world’s premier sprint nation.

For the first time, that crown rests squarely on the mantle of Jamaica, which left no doubt as to where the power lies thanks to the dominance of Usain Bolt and their women’s sprint team, which piled up six gold medals and 11 total.

Needless to say, losing hasn’t sat well with the red, white and blue, particularly Olympians Lauryn Williams, who was involved with the dropped baton in the women’s 4x100m, and Shawn Crawford, who watched from the sidelines as his teammates dropped the stick in the men’s 4x100m.

When the American’s stepped onto the track at Franklin Field for the USA vs. the World 4x100m races at the 115th Penn Relay Carnival and were greeted by a crowd of 47,904 clad mostly in yellow and green and feverishly waving Jamaican flags, it was more motivation than this group needed.

“This is American soil,” Crawford said. “I felt like it was war. We can’t let anybody come in here and take the victory from us. It’s not a revenge thing, but you’ve gotta win on your home turf.”

The Americans won, and they won big.

In the men’s 4x100m, Walter Dix, Travis Padgett, Crawford and Darvis Patton teamed to run a blistering 37.92 seconds to win while becoming the first team in meet history to break 38 seconds.  Team USAs second squad of Terrence Trammell, Mark Jelks, Ivory Williams, Mike Rodgers finished second in 38.36. Jamaica’s team of Dwight Thomas, Michael Frater, Nesta Carter, and Asafa Powell finished dead last as Powell pulled up with an apparent injury.

In the women’s 4x100m, Williams ran a sensational lead-off leg, Allyson Felix blew the race open on the second leg, Mechelle Lewis held the advantage on the third leg and Carmelita Jeter out-sprinted Jamaican anchor Shelly-Ann Fraser, the Beijing 100m gold medalist, to deliver the U.S. a victory in 42.40. Jamaica, which also ran Brigette Foster-Hylton, Sheri-Ann Brooks, and Kerron Stewart, was second in 42.77.

U.S. Olympians Kerron Clement (44.70), Angelo Taylor (44.60), David Neville (45.27) and LaShawn Merritt (44.26) easily won the men’s 4x400m in 2:59.78 while Jamaica finished fourth almost three seconds behind. The U.S. women were equally dominant as Monica Hargrove (51.90), Natasha Hastings (51.00), Felix (49.64) and Sanya Richards (50.52) crossed first in 3:23.08, a pretty good time considering Hastings lost her left spike and ran barefoot. Jamaica was second in 3:24.57.

“The rivalry with Jamaica is very motivating,” Felix, who was the only U.S. runner to double, said. “Beijing was, in a sense, a wake-up call. Sometimes we take things for granted. Everyone wants to step their game up. Going into these Worlds, we’re going to see a lot of that.”

While it is impossible to say that the U.S. regained its standing with four strong races here – Jamaica ran without Bolt and Veronica Campbell-Brown and the U.S. was minus Tyson Gay and Muna Lee – if the Americans accomplished nothing else this weekend, they planted the seed with Jamaica that there will be no back down come the World Championships this summer.

“People like to go through all different scenarios and say if this happened and this happened then this would have been the outcome,” Crawford said about the Beijing 4x100m. “On that day, we dropped the stick so the world will never know. We’ll try to let you know at the World Championships. We’ll make sure that we get it around so no one will have to ask what ifs.”

One of the scenarios that has been floated is what would have happened had the U.S. opted not to run the injured Gay, who fumbled the exchange with Patton, on the anchor in Beijing? Common sense would indicate that a healthy Crawford would have been a better option.

Yesterday, Crawford let it be known, loud and clear, that he intends to be a part of the 4x100m pool in Berlin.

“Sometimes I come across as arrogant because I feel like if we’re going to get the world record back I’ve got to be on that relay,” Crawford said. “I just feel like that. I run the strong leg. If we stretch it out like we’re supposed to and I’m on the team, we break the record. It sounds cocky, but I’m confident.”

No one on the U.S. side went as far as to say that revenge was on their mind going into USA vs. The World races, but all of them felt like they had something to prove.

Crawford stressed the importance of clean baton exchanges as a primary goal.

“Before we went out there, Darvis said nobody ever ran 38 on this track before,” Crawford said. “I said, ‘Man, let’s go for 37. We’ve got the horses, let’s do it.’ But the main thing was to build chemistry among the four of us and get the stick around. We didn’t stretch out the zones as much as we would have liked to. We played it safe. In Beijing, we dropped the stick. We were focused on not letting that happen. I don’t care how fast you are, if you can’t get the stick around then it’s useless.”

Williams said that her approach to the 4×100 was to stay relaxed and not feel pressured to win. But her actions  — Williams ran such a determined opening leg that she was on top of Felix before she could even get out in the exchange zone – spoke of an athlete who isn’t quite over what transpired at the Olympics.

“I said let’s not put everything on the line,” Williams said. “Let’s get the stick around and do what you know how to do from elementary school on up. I made up the stagger a little bit. I was just excited to be out there. There was definitely a little chip on my shoulder, still, that said I had to represent. To the point of me being stressed out about it, it wasn’t like that.”

Richards, who ran for the first time this outdoor season, was more overt in her commentary.

“Jamaica had a great, great team on paper,” she said. “We were all motivated by Beijing. We wanted to prove that we are the best team in the world. Even though I wasn’t on the 4×100, I felt like I was. I feel motivated and amped. I can’t wait to go back to practice this week.”

Neville said he felt like Team USA accomplished its goal of proving that it is too soon for them to be discounted.

“We were able to come out here and showcase our talents,” Neville said. “Everybody came out here and had a great day today. We’re Team USA, the No. 1 team in the world. For us to be able to come out here and do what we did speaks highly of our team.”

The highlight for Jamaica came in the women’s sprint medley relay, where Sheri-Ann Brooks, Rosemarie Whyte, Moya Thompson and Kenia Sinclair rallied to beat the U.S. and set a new world best time – there is no official world record in the SMR – of 3:34.56, breaking the mark of 3:37.16 set by the U.S. at this meet in 2006.

The U.S. led the race until the bell lap when Sinclair, who starred collegiately in New Jersey at Essex County College and Seton Hall University, blew by U.S. anchor Hazel Clark and split 1:57.43 on the anchor. Clark tied up down the stretch and was also passed by Russia’s anchor Maria Savinova.

“Due to the Olympic Games, this was more like Jamaica vs. USA instead of USA vs. the World,” Sinclair said. “We had three Olympians and decided we would give it everything we had. I tried to do my best, and I think my best was just good enough. I thought this was our best chance of winning a relay today against the USA. I knew the world record was based on the 800 leg. I could run 1:58 we would finish in 3:36 or 3:35. Running 3:34 was very surprising, until I finished and heard what I split. It’s very exciting.”

But for the most part, Jamaica was left to lick its wounds – literally and figuratively.

Powell’s status after the meet was uncertain. According to USA Track and Field Communications Coordinator Vicky Oddi, the Jamaican’s said Powell has been nursing “a left leg issue.” This was his first race in four weeks but felt fine before the race and wanted to test the leg out.

On more than one occasion after the races, Jamaican runners were quick to point out that they were not running their best squads and would go back to the drawing board.

“First of all, we represented ourselves well enough,” Fraser said. “It was a team that was not our strongest, but we did our best. We always try to compete to the best of our ability and try to make it work. I’m not disappointed at all, because you win some and lose some. USA was the best on the day. They delivered and executed a proper race. I’m used to coming in second and third and also winning. It just shows we have to work harder as a team.”

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Jah Cure- “Green Grass/Flying High”

[zdvideo align="left"  width='425' height='349' type='FLV-HD']http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpvPsI8S31o[/zdvideo]

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Vybz Kartel – “Traila Load A Money”

[zdvideo align="left" width='425' height='349' type='FLV-HD']http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXqMqKwyiX8[/zdvideo]

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Laden- “Time to shine”

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Demarco New Tracks

“Mi Nuh Need” 

“Roof Over My Head” 

“Boy Fi Dead” 

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Mr. Vegas – “Mamma Don’t Cry”

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Vybz Kartel- “Last man Standing”

[zdvideo align="left" width='425' height='349' type='FLV-HD']http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpDKaBJAAtE[/zdvideo]

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MAVADO – “So Special” video

[zdvideo width='425' height='349' align="left"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFesxj9lHoE[/zdvideo]

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Serani – “No Games

[zdvideo align="left" width='425' height='349' type='FLV']http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiuCqZuhu4o[/zdvideo]

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Kardinal feat Keri Hilson – “Tide Is High”

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US gays turn back on Jamaica’s rum

GAYS and lesbians in the US have targeted Jamaican products Red Stripe beer and Myers Rum in a boycott of the Caribbean island to support local homosexuals who they said were being oppressed.

On Tuesday, gay advocates at a New York City inn – the self-styled birthplace of the gay rights movement – dumped the Jamaican liquor products in the sewer and called for continued support to send “a clear message to Jamaican people and their government”.

In a statement yesterday Red Stripe, which is owned by the international Diageo Group, displayed surprise at being targeted. “Over the years, by our actions and our policies, we have demonstrated that we do not advocate any bias or prejudice against any individual or group(s),” said the statement.

“We have not had any consultation with this lobby group, but we do not rule out engaging them in discussions,” Red Stripe said.

According to the group, through their website boycottjamaica, international human rights activists have labelled Jamaica “the most homophobic place on Earth” because homosexuals were being beaten and murdered on the island, while authorities do little to stop the violence.

As a reZsult, the US group said they were calling for a boycott of the island’s products, including tourism.
Said the organisers of the boycott: “We, as the owners of the Stonewall Inn, birthplace of the gay rights movement, refuse to support, in any way, shape or form, the oppression of any people especially our gay brothers and sisters in Jamaica.

“We ask all people of all walks of life to send a clear message to the Jamaican people and their government, that as long as they continue to allow and condone violence and hatred toward the gay community, we will neither buy their products nor support their tourist trade.

However, Jamaican homosexual group Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, and Gays (J-Flag) in a release posted on the Internet disapproved of the position taken by their counterparts in the US.

“It is important that our international allies understand the nature of our struggle and engage us in a respectful way about it,” J-Flag said, adding that it required the painstaking effort of confronting the society and talking to social actors who can bring change in the way society sees homosexuals.

“We have been doing this through a small but growing group of increasingly aware opinion leaders who are concerned about the damage homophobia does to our society.”

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Jamaican Hijackers!!!

canjet-hijacker1

Jamaican Hijacker - Stephen Fray

The gunman who hijacked a chartered flight at the Montego Bay Airport has been identified as Stephen Fray, a Jamaican man in his early 20s who is said to be mentally ill.

A 20-year-old Montego Bay resident, Stephen Fray took over the CanJet Airlines charter flight shortly after 10 p.m. after evading several checkpoints and boarding the aircraft.

Armed man

A statement last night from Kent Woodside, the vice president and general manager of CanJet Airlines, said “An armed man boarded CanJet Flight 918 which had landed at Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay.”

The statement added, “Flight 918 had departed from Halifax at 7:15 p.m. The flight was due to travel from Montego Bay to Santa Clara, in Cuba. There were 174 passengers and eight crew scheduled to leave Montego Bay on Flight 918.”

Fray who spent most of the time on the aircraft in the back cabin reportedly demanded fuel, and a cellular phone. His request for the phone was met but not for the fuel.

Fray reportedly robbed several of the passengers and held security personnel at bay before he released the passengers, holding back five members of the crew as hostages.

Tourism officials afterwards met with the freed hostages after which they were sent to a number of hotels in and around the city.

Negotiating

The stand-off saw Fray’s father, sister and friends negotiating on behalf of the hostages without success.

The young man, who is from a prominent family in the western city, reportedly started acting strangely about a year ago. However, it was three months ago that his friends say they saw a marked difference in his personality and up to a week ago he was seen acting strangely on a popular beach in the second city.

There were no injuries to the passengers or any damage to the aircraft during the stand-off.

A release from the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) said that at approximately 6:40 am today “members of the Jamaica Defence Force Counter Terrorism Operations Group entered the cabin of the aircraft and effected a tactical resolution authorized by the incident commando and in the process disarmed and arrested the gunman who has been identified as Stephen Fray from a Montego Bay address while rescuing the other hostages on board.”

The hijacker is in police custody and is scheduled to be interviewed while crew members are being debriefed and will be provided with counseling and medical services. The police say no one was hurt.
169 passengers, who were also on board, were released earlier.

The Government is working to protect Jamaica’s image following last night’s hijacking of the Canadian-bound flight.

The incident has made the headlines on the world’s most popular news channels and newspapers.

[zdvideo width='320' height='240' type='FLV-HD']http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpPDkc9Td6A[/zdvideo]

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Police to question Ninja Man’s son

Ninja Man

Ninja Man

Detectives from the Major Investigation Task Force (MIT) are later this week expected to begin questioning the teenaged son of popular dancehall artiste Ninja Man.

The teenager was picked up by the police in Breadnut Hill, St Ann on Friday and taken to Kingston on Sunday. He is being held in connection with the shooting death of a man in Kingston in March, for which his father, whose real name is Desmond Ballentyne has been charged.

A man held along with the entertainer’s son was also taken back to Kingston as the police investigate the death of Ricardo Johnson, 20, who was gunned down on March 17 on Lower Marl Road.

Ballentine, charged on March 21 for murder, conspiracy to murder, shooting with intent and illegal possession of a firearm, has since appeared in court and remains in police custody.

Reports are that Johnson was sweeping his yard in the company of a friend when a grey motorcar drove up. An argument reportedly developed between Johnson’s friend and one of the men in the car. The men drove off but later returned and opened fire, hitting Johnson who died at the Kingston Public Hospital.

A grey motor car resembling the one used in the incident has also been seized by the police.

Ninja Man, who has publicly professed his innocence in the matter, is the founder of the One Umbrella Movement, an organisation created to promote peace in the Marl Road community.

He’s to return to court May 7.

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Jamaica PM takes pay cut, freezes wages…

Jamaica’s Prime Minister Bruce Golding is taking a 15 per cent pay cut and has asked other parliamentarian to follow suit. He announced that decision as he outlined a number of measures that will go into effect, including a freeze on the wages of civil servants.

In an address to the nation yesterday ahead of the budget presentation tomorrow, he put Jamaicans on warning that they would be some belt-tightening measures. But he said he believes that “those of us who lead will have to lead by example”.

“Last year, I announced that parliamentary salaries would be tied to those of public sector workers. In other words, parliamentarians can no longer give themselves salary increases and higher than that granted to public sector workers. This year, not only am I foregoing the seven per cent increase that would have been due on April 1st, but I will be taking a 15 per cent cut in my salary and I ask all Members of Parliament to join in this symbolically important example by taking a 10 per cent cut in theirs,” he said.

Golding said plans to increase public sector salaries have also had to be put on hold.
A memorandum of understanding between the government and the Confederation of Trade Unions called for an increase in public sector wages of 15 per cent effective April 1st, 2008 and while that has been paid, the agreement also provides for a further increase of seven per cent as of April 1st, 2009.

Additionally, in 2006, the government signed an agreement to align teachers’ salaries to 80 per cent of private sector salaries with effect from July 2007. This retroactive payment which became due on April 1st, this year amounts to some J$18 billion (US$204.5 million). Those increases would move up the public sector wage bill by 46 per cent compared to two years ago.

Golding added that making these payments would push the fiscal deficit to unacceptable levels.

“It would require a level of expenditure that cannot be sustained, not in these harsh times,” he said, noting that apart from interest payments on public debt, the government’s payroll is the biggest item of expenditure in the budget – over J$100 billion (US$1.1 billion).

“We have, therefore, had to freeze wages at the levels which obtained on March 31st and we have had to ask public sector workers to forego the increases due this year.

“The other option would be to lay off thousands of workers at a time when alternative employment is hard to find. There are some categories of workers such as nurses that did not benefit from the increases granted last year and we will have to find some accommodation for them but the rest of us will have to hold strain,” Prime Minister Golding added.

The Jamaica leader said he has also all Permanent Secretaries and heads of government agencies to set about reducing expenditure “to save every dollar that can be saved”.

“It costs us over J$70 billion (US$795 million) per year to finance government activities not including wages. We have to cut that back. We have to use less electricity, make fewer phone calls and use less stationery, do less driving up and down. We have to take better care of government vehicles and equipment so that we don’t have to spend so much to repair them or to replace them so often,” Golding said.

“I have instructed these public sector leaders to reduce expenditure everywhere they can without reducing the service they must deliver.”

The Prime Minister said all these measures are necessary because “the income side of the budget has been hurt by the global economic crisis”.

Jamaica’s economy has been hurt recently by the closure of bauxite companies, cut backs by some private sector companies and a slow down in remittances.

But he made it clear that there were services that would not be affected by cuts, including crime fighting, education, healthcare and assistance for pensioners and the very poor.

“These are vital services on which, even in these hard times, we need to spend more, not less. So, deeper cuts have to be made in other areas. We have no choice,” Prime Minister Golding said.

He also spoke of the need to reform the tax system to make it more equitable and allow it to stimulate rather than stifle investment, production and job creation.

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Corrupt Cops In Jamaica Exposed And Under Fire

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Reggae Star’s Killers Get Life

A judge sentenced the three men convicted of murdering South African reggae star Lucky Dube to life in prison, The Associated Press reports. Dube was shot to death in 2007 when the men attempted to carjack him. The suspects, Sifiso Mhlanga, Mbuti Mabe and Julius Gxowa, were all convicted of the killing Tuesday. Not too long before the verdict was announced, Mabe and Mhlanga attempted to escape from court. Dube’s son, Thokozani, wept in court as the sentences were announced. Thokozani was in the car with his father when he was gunned down. Dube’s family and others got together and sang South Africa’s national anthem outside of the courthouse afterward. Dube was the nation’s top-selling reggae artist and recorded 22 albums.

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