Archive | September, 2010

Buju’s album hits charts within hours of release

Within hours of its release in North America, Buju Banton’s album, Before the Dawn, is already creating waves.

The album, which comes on the heels of Monday’s news of a hung jury in Buju’s drug trial, has debuted at number two on the iTunes Reggae charts for the US market.

On this chart, Bob Marley’s album, Legend, holds the top spot. Other acts holding down places are Hassidic Jew, Matisyahu, Michael Franti and Spearhead and US-based Reggae band, Rebelution.

Described by Gargamel Music as a prophetic project, the album is said to encapsulate the experiences of the artiste who has been imprisoned in Florida since last December on a charge of conspiracy to possess and distribute five kilogrammes of cocaine.

Gargamel Music quotes Buju as saying, “All the songs on this album were written before I and I found I self in this current situation, yet they all speak profoundly to what I and I am going through right now…You might can lock the flesh but you can never lock the spirit of Rasta.”

In an interview with the Jamaica Observer on Monday, Buju’s manager Tracii McGregor was asked whether she felt that the publicity the deejay has received throughout the trial would have a positive effect on the release of the album. McGregor noted that like all Buju’s releases, Before the Dawn was highly anticipated by the Gargamel’s fans.

Already, the track Innocent, is being seen as the unofficial anthem of Before the Dawn, which is Buju’s ninth studio album. The release date for the UK and France is set for next Monday, October 4, the album will be available in the rest of Europe this Friday.

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Video: Vybz Kartel – Dumpa Truck/Girl Mi Love Suh

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Mp3: Courtney John – LOVE IS – Produced By Joe Fraser Records

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Video: Sean Paul In Big Brother Africa House

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Mp3: KIPRICH – WOMAN A FIGHT OVA MAN (LUCKY CHARM RIDDIM)

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Video : Mavado performs at Sumfest 2010

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Mp3: Popcaan – Mi Like You

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Mp3: Aidonia – Head A Buss

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Video: NEIMAN feat SIZZLA STOP AXE MI MONEY

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Supa Swag Riddim – Gyptian, Tony Matterhorn, Munga


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Mp3: Serani – I Forgive You

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Mp3: Elephant Man Ft Chi Ching – Too Many Men

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Buju Banton Case: A Mistrial

TAMPA, Fla. (CBS/AP) A Florida judge declared a mistrial Monday in the drug case against four-time Grammy winning reggae singer Buju Banton. The jury, which was deliberating since Thursday, had sent a second note to the judge claiming they were unable to reach a unanimous verdict.

Banton was charged with conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine and aiding two others in possessing a firearm during the course of cocaine distribution. Prosecutors say Banton conspired to buy cocaine from an undercover police officer last year. He faced life in prison if convicted.

Banton’s attorneys have asked that the reggae singer be released on bond. Banton has been held without bond since his December, 2009 arrest.

Banton’s attorney maintains that the singer was entrapped by a government informant.

The jury had sent a note earlier Monday saying they could not agree on a verdict, but U.S. District Judge James Moody ordered them to continue deliberations. After the second note was sent Moody ruled in favor of the defense motion to declare a mistrial.

The trial ignited a lot of debate in Baton’s home country Jamaica, with fans and critics dissecting every detail of the case in editorial pages and on social networking sites, with his most ardent fans comparing him to the reggae legend Bob Marley.

“I’ve been following it close because Buju is big in Jamaica, like a Bob Marley,” Charles Barrett, a resident of the capital, said Sunday. “Way I see it, they need to free the man cause they don’t have any concrete evidence against him.”

There have even been a few conspiracy theories from fans as to how the Rasta star came to be in this predicament. Some say the U.S government framed him, others point to gay rights advocate groups who have actively protested many of Banton’s appearances because of violent, homophobic lyrics from early in Banton’s career as a brash dancehall singer.

Shows in several U.S. cities were canceled because of protests over those early lyrics and his unapologetic anti-gay stance through the years.

The reason for such fierce debate lies in the cultural influence that many say Banton has had on the music scene in Jamaica. According to musicologist and disc jockey Bunny Goodison, “[Banton has] been extremely important through the years because he’s represented Rastafari and black consciousness in a very focused way.”

Others are more critical of Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie. “No matter how the trial turns out, Mr. Myrie has already let down himself and his fans,” the Jamaica Observer said in an editorial Sunday.

A new trial date is expected to be announced later Monday.

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Vybz Kartel Interview on Entertainment Report

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Mp3: Vybz Kartel Ft Mia Stoosh – Want Me Back

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Mp3: GAL BOUNCE-BUSY SIGNAL

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2nd Chances Riddim Launch on RED 96.7FM – J-Rod Records

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Video Director “Lil X” makes a change

“LIL X” the award winning music video director, whose eye for creative imagery put him at the top of his game, is making a change.    He will be known as  “Director X”.   This is not a flippant change, but a well thought out one, as is typical of the director.  Trusted and respected in the music video world,”Director X” has been recognized by MTV, BET, Much Music and the NAACP for his direction of artists such as Usher, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Ludacris, Alicia Keys, John Mayer, Nelly Futado, NeYo, P. Diddy, Rihanna, and Kanye West.  The move allows “Director X” to stay firmly entrenched in the Hip Hop world, while bringing his visionary energy to other projects, such as commercials for McDonalds, Chrysler, Merceds Benz, Converse, Yeo Valley, Sony, Wheatins, Burger King and Smirnoff.  Moving on is good… Moving beyond is better. When the credits roll, look for….  “Director X”.

Available for interviews, Director X
For further information, visit:

http://directorxfilms.com

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Videos – Director X has done below

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Music videos

2010
  • Lola – “Fever”
  • Street Pharmacy – “Stone Bricks and Mortar”
  • Sean Kingston – “Letting Go (Dutty Love)”
  • Nicki Minaj – “Your Love”
  • The-Dream – “Love King”
2009
  • k-os feat. Saukrates & Nelly Furtado – “I Wish I Knew Natalie Portman”/”Astronaut (Remix)”
  • Sean Paul – “Now That I’ve Got Your Love”
  • Nelly Furtado – “Más”
  • Sean Paul – ” Hold My Hand
  • David Guetta feat. Estelle – “One Love”
  • Nelly Furtado – “Manos al Aire”
  • Estelle feat. Sean Paul – “Come Over”
2008
  • Brandy – “Right Here (Departed)”
  • Common – “Universal Mind Control” (Original Version)
2007
  • R. Kelly feat. Usher – “Same Girl”
  • Chrisette Michelle – “Be Ok”
  • Trey Songs – “Wonder Woman”
  • Baby Bash feat. Sean Kingston – “What Is It”
2006
  • Sean Paul feat. Keyshia Cole – “Give It Up To Me”
  • Korn – “Coming Undone”
  • Nelly Furtado feat. Timbaland – “Promiscuous”
  • The Game – “Let’s Ride”
  • Xzibit – “Concentrate”
  • Cassie – “Me & U” (original version)
2005
  • Sean Paul – “Temperature”
  • Ludacris – “Pimpin’ All Over the World”
  • Rico Love – “Settle Down”
  • Rihanna – “Pon De Replay”
  • R. Kelly – “Happy People”
  • R. Kelly – “U Saved Me” (directed under his real name Julien Christian Lutz)
  • Ying Yang Twins – “Wait (The Whisper Song)”
  • Usher – “Caught Up”
2004
  • Lloyd Banks feat. Avant -”Karma”
  • Kanye West – “The New Workout Plan”
  • Nelly feat. Christina Aguilera – “Tilt Ya’ Head Back”
  • Akon – “Ghetto”
  • Usher – “Yeah”
2003
  • Sean Paul Feat. Sasha – “I’m Still In Love With You”
  • Timbaland and Magoo feat. Missy Elliott – “Cop That Disk”
  • John Mayer – “Clarity”
  • Sean Paul – “Get Busy”
  • Kelis – “Trick Me”
  • Jay-Z featuring Pharrell Williams – “Excuse Me Miss”
  • Melanie Durrant feat. Common – “Where I’m Goin’”
2002
  • Aaliyah – “I Care 4 U”
  • Sean Paul – “Gimme The Light”
  • Eve feat. Alicia Keys – “Gangsta Lovin’”
  • Donnell Jones featuring Styles P – “Put Me Down”
2001
  • Usher – “U Got It Bad”
  • Usher – “U Don’t Have To Call”
  • R. Kelly featuring Jay-Z – “Fiesta (Remix)”
  • Kardinal Offishall – “Ol’ Time Killin’”
2000
  • Mystikal – “Shake Ya Ass”
  • Mystikal featuring Nivea – “Danger (Been So Long)”
  • Ice Cube featuring Krayzie Bone – “Until We Rich” (co-directed with Cameron Casey)
1999
  • Choclair – “Let’s Ride”
  • Marvelous 3 – “Freak Of The Week”
  • Mystikal featuring OutKast – “Neck Uv Da Woods”
  • Ice Cube featuring Mack 10 and Ms. Toi – “You Can Do It” (co-directed with Cameron Casey)
1998
  • Onyx – “React”
  • Onyx – “Broke Willies”
  • Rascalz – “Northern Touch”
  • Maestro – “Stick to Your Vision”
  • Glenn Lewis – “Bout Your Love”
  • Total – “Sittin’ Home”
  • EPMD – “Richter Scale”

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Mp3: Vybz Kartel – Me Bible Deh Near Me – Blood Shed Riddim

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Buju Banton – Untold Stories – FREE BUJU –

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Video: Jamaican Sound System Culture And The Origin Of Dub

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Video: The Buju Banton Case: Interview with Professor David P. Rowe

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Buju awaits verdict

A 13-member panel of jurors are now deliberating whether to find Reggae artiste Buju Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, guilty or innocent of conspiracy with intent to distribute five kilogrammes of cocaine.

A female African-American juror fell ill and will not take part in this afternoon’s deliberation.

The jury retired at 12.40 pm.

Myrie’s attorney David Oscar Markus in his final argument, told the jurors that his client was innocent and asked them to return a not guilty verdict.

“Ladies and gentlemen, he is not guilty. Mr Myrie is not a drug dealer. Please, Please find him not guilty. Not because he was at the warehouse when the drugs were being inspected means he is guilty of the conspiracy charge against him,” Markus said.

Markus argued that the government could not prove its case against Myrie and pointed to the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Daniel McCeaffrey’s testimony that despite investigating the artiste for a year he could find no evidence against him. Markus also painted US government informant Alexander Johnson as a ‘master manipulator and con man’.

“To him this was a pay day. This guy was looking for his jackpot. This is how he makes a living,” Markus said.

Lead prosecutor Jim Preston countered Markus’ claims by telling the jurors that Myrie was ‘neck deep’ in the conspiracy to distribute cocaine and said it was his fault why his co-defendants James Mack and Ian Thomas were arrested. Preston said Thomas was brought into the deal by Myrie.

During his address to the jury, Preston walked over to Myrie and pointed at him for emphasis.

Thomas was expected to testify this morning but was not called to the witness stand by Markus.

“We felt we had it without him,” Markus told the Observer.

Presiding Judge Jim Moody in his summation to the jury, instructed them that not because Banton was on the spot when the contraband was being inspected meant he was guilty of conspiracy. He instructed them to carefully weigh the evidence of a convicted person or a government informant because they may have a motive to give false statements.

He also informed the jury that their decision had to be unanimous to stand and instructed them that in cases of entrapment they had to find Myrie not guilty if he was not previously willing or if it was because a Government agent enticed him, they should return a not guilty verdict.

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Mp3: Liquor Store Blues – Bruno Mars feat Damian Marley

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Mp3: Tarrus Riley – My Mother

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Mp3: Vybz Kartel – Inna Yuh – Flirtation Riddim

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Mp3: I-Octane – Mine Who U A Diss – Head Concussion Records

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Mp3: Elephant Man-SHAKE IT

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Rockband features Bob Marley

If you’re a Bob Marley fan, you’ve surely heard about the rumors that have been surfacing the past days about an upcoming DLC (downloadable content) album being released the following days. Well, it turned out they were true, as they were confirmed by RockBandAide.

The “best of” album, called “Legend” was initially launched three years after Marley’s death, in 1984. The DLC “Legend” be released on September 21 (September 22 in Europe) and will be available for PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii. Although this album has suffered various changes over the years, Rock Band has confirmed that the new version will contain 13 songs, as follows:

• Is This Love*

• No Woman No Cry*

• Could You Be Loved*

• Three Little Birds *

• Buffalo Soldier

• Stir It Up

• One Love/People Get Ready

• I Shot the Sheriff

• Waiting in Vain *

• Redemption Song

• Satisfy My Soul *

• Exodus

• Jamming

The songs marked with ‘*’ are also available in the LEGO Rock Band music score, meaning they are appropriate to children too.

The release date of the album was carefully chosen, as it will announce a memorial concert that will take place on September 23, in Pittsburgh. Members of the Marley family, as well as their special guests will sing to benefit the One Love Foundation.

The initial ”Legend”, released over 25 years ago, is still considered to be the best selling reggae album ever, so there is no doubt that the re-release of this compilation album will be a success.

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Damning tapes stun Buju Banton’s supporters

TAMPA, USA — Defence attorney David Markus slung his arms across the shoulders of his lanky Reggae superstar client ‘Buju Banton’ at the end of the morning session of his cocaine trial at the Gibbons US Court here yesterday.

The gesture was one of support and reassurance after what appeared to be a tough first session for the defence.

Earlier, Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, could not stop shaking his head as he listened for a lengthy period as the prosecution played potentially damning recordings of his conversations with government informant Alexander Johnson, discussing drug deals and even diamond smuggling from Africa to Europe.

Banton’s fans, who had turned out in their numbers for the trial that started on Monday, were also stung by the recordings which were made between July and December 10, 2009 when Banton and two other men were arrested in Florida and slapped with cocaine-related charges.

The fans appeared deflated, coming off a high on Monday when the chief investigator in the matter said he had no evidence that Banton was a cocaine trafficker.

Yesterday, as the tapes were being played, one woman could be seen clutching her head and covering her ears. Others sat attentively, captivated by the conversations between the four-time Grammy nominee and Johnson, a convicted drug trafficker who has been working with the US Government since 1996 to sink other narco dealers.

Also played for the court was the video recording of December 8, 2009 in which Banton was seen tasting cocaine from a knife given to him by his long-time friend Ian Thomas after he used it to cut open a package containing five kilogrammes of cocaine during an undercover operation by the Sarasota Police Department at a warehouse.

Thomas was heard on the video saying that the cocaine was fish scale. Johnson later told the court that the term meant that the drug was of a high quality.

The mood, however, changed somewhat in the late afternoon when Banton’s lawyer started his examination of Johnson, who agreed that the singer did not finance the drug deal for which he, along with Thomas and James Mack from Georgia was arrested and charged with conspiracy to distribute five kilogrammes of cocaine.

Thomas and Mack have since pleaded guilty and have agreed to give evidence against the singer. The prosecution had on Monday indicated to the court that it would not call Thomas as a witness.

If found guilty, Banton could be sentenced to life imprisonment or slapped with millions of US dollars in fines.

Before the recordings were played yesterday, Johnson testified that he met Banton on a flight from Madrid, Spain, to Miami, Florida in July 2009. The flight lasted eight hours, Johnson said, and a conversation about drug dealing came up within an hour.

He said it was the singer who raised the issue. Johnson, who avoided looking at Banton during his evidence-in-chief, said immediately after landing he informed the police about his conversation with Banton which jump-started the investigation that included the recordings.

Johnson told the court that he met with Banton the following day, July 27, to further discuss the drug-trafficking venture, which he said the artiste was interested in starting.

The prosecution then played the expletive-laced recordings, which were made between July and December and in which the 37-year-old Banton was heard telling Johnson, “I am about making money, straight up”.

Banton was also heard asking Johnson if he had any contacts to acquire cocaine as he was willing to finance a deal. He also told Johnson that he did not have contacts in Venezuela and Panama, but that he was involved in smuggling diamonds from Africa to Europe.

He was also heard telling Johnson that: “It would be good to have our own contacts,” and that he would like to start small, as “I don’t want to take any risks”.

The artiste also warned the informant that he should stay away from a man known as Lloyd Evans as he was a snitch.

“There are a lot of snitches in the game,” Banton warned Johnson at one point, saying that it was hard for him to find anyone to trust.

Banton, dressed in a grey sports coat, shook his head while the recordings were being played and at some points appeared tense.

As the recordings kept rolling, some people in the courtroom chuckled in disbelief. Others seemed captivated.

In one conversation Banton was heard cursing and complaining to Johnson that the gay community, particularly the gay rights group GLAD (Gays and Lesbians Advocates and Defenders), was trying to ruin his career.

Banton had been at odds with the gay community since the 1990s following the release of his anti-gay monster hit Boom Bye Bye.

He was also heard complaining of being stressed out and said that he had 15 kids whose school fees needed to be paid.

With the case appearing to swing in favour of the prosecution, supporters who had earlier that morning held hands and prayed inside the 13A courtroom for an acquittal — as has been their routine since the trial started — expressed hope that the pendulum would again swing in their favour as it approached time for Johnson to be placed under the spotlight of cross-examination from lead defence attorney Markus.

Markus stood, took to the podium with his papers. Banton’s supporters held their breath. He politely greeted the 14 jurors — two of whom are African-Americans, the others white — then Johnson, and proceeded to whip out a card on which he had key parts of Johnson’s evidence typed. On one side of the card, displayed for jurors to see, were a set of check boxes in which he ticked when Johnson answered a question posed.

“Mr Myrie did not invest any money in any drug deal?”

Markus asked.

“With me? No,” the reply came.

Johnson, a Colombian who had served three years for drug-trafficking and was spared deportation in order to work with the US Government as an informant, said the artiste never sold or bought drugs and had never wired any money to him to invest in the illicit trade.

Johnson also admitted that Banton had never purchased any cocaine in Panama or Colombia and that their dealings never went beyond talk.

He, however, said that Banton had changed his mind from the initial talks of wanting to traffic drugs to making quick cash. Johnson said that was how the eight kilogrammes of cocaine came into play.

The informant did not readily answer when Markus asked if Myrie had stopped taking his calls following the warehouse meeting of December 8.

“Didn’t Ian Thomas tell you, ‘He [Myrie] does not want to do anything man? Talk to me. That’s not him. He is about music, he eats and sleeps the music’?” Markus asked, to which Johnson replied ‘yes’.

Markus is contending that his client had got cold feet and backed out of any previous talks to finance any drug venture and had stopped taking Johnson’s calls, and that Thomas took over the deal.

But Johnson stuck to his guns, saying that it was Banton and Thomas who approved the deal, even though the US$130,000 may have come from two men in Georgia called Ike and Tyke.

Johnson also told the court that he had no knowledge that Myrie had financed the deal in the police-controlled warehouse that led to Thomas and Mack’s arrest while attempting to purchase cocaine from US Drug Enforcement Agency agents.

Markus is expected to continue cross-examining Johnson when the trial resumes this morning.

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US informant testifies in Buju Banton drug trial


TAMPA, Florida (AP):

After Jamaican reggae star Buju Banton had a conversation about drugs with a government informant he met on a plane, it triggered a series of meetings and phone calls about buying and selling cocaine, according to testimony from the informant and recordings played yesterday in Banton’s federal drug trial.

Banton and the informant, Alexander Johnson, met on a plane from Spain to Miami at the end of Banton’s European tour last summer.

Johnson testified that they began talking about drugs early in the flight.

“He told me he was involved in the transportation of drugs from Venezuela to St Martin,” Johnson said. “His involvement was he moved money himself for traffickers out of England.”

They exchanged phone numbers and agreed to meet the next day in Fort Lauderdale.

Recordings of that July 27, 2009 meeting and other phone calls and conversations from July 2009 through December were played in court yesterday.

“Do you have any contacts where I can get cocaine?” Banton asked Johnson in one recorded conversation.

He told Johnson he wanted to give him money so he could buy and sell the drugs – but the singer did not want to be more involved.

“All I do is finance,” Buju said.

The four-time Grammy nominee is on trial in Tampa federal court on charges of conspiring to distribute cocaine and carrying a firearm during the course of a drug trafficking crime and aiding and abetting two co-defendants in possessing a firearm during the course of cocaine distribution.

Buju and Johnson discussed a variety of enterprises over several meetings in restaurants, such as selling drugs in Europe, having Banton finance a drug deal, buying drugs from Colombia and the Caribbean island of St Martin, using Johnson’s boat to transport drugs, and giving Johnson a cut of a drug deal.

Banton’s attorney, David Markus, says those conversations turned to drugs only after the men were drunk.

“You talked about (Buju) doing a lot of things that he did not do,” Markus said while cross-examining Johnson.

Small talk

The men also made small talk while driving to an undercover police warehouse in Sarasota on December 8, according to another recording.

Johnson admonished the singer for smoking. Buju replied, “I smoke herbs, man. A lot of ganja.”

Buju also complained, according to the recording, about a gay-rights group that had protested over violent, homophobic lyrics from early in his music career. Shows in several US cities last year were cancelled because of the protests.

“They’re pushing me, man,” he told Johnson. “These guys are trying to run me under.”

Johnson also testified that Buju introduced him to Ian Thomas, a co-defendant, who the singer said had contacts to sell cocaine.

A video played for the jury of the meeting at the Sarasota warehouse with Johnson and an undercover police officer appeared to show Thomas opening a kilo of cocaine, with Buju peering over his shoulder. Thomas then appears to hand the knife he used to cut open the drugs to Buju, who tasted the drugs with a finger.

Also in the video, Johnson and Thomas negotiate the price and quantity of a shipment of cocaine.

Thomas pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. He faces up to life in prison.

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Mp3: Flippa Mafia – Popular Demand-Pig Farm Riddim

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Mp3: Bob ft Hayley Williams-Ding Dong – Airplanes – Slackaz Remix

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Mp3: LEFTSIDE FT MYSTIC – PHAT PUNANI REMIX

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Mp3: Gyptian Ft Maino – Its You

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Albert of The Jolly Boys Talks Mento

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click here for more on “Mento Music: Jolly Boys”

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Mp3: Gyptian – My Land

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Video: Patwa – What Can I Say Featuring Halo and Produced by PEZEY KRACK

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Split Personality Riddim – Beenie Man, Charly Black, G Whizz, Liquid, Serani, Tony Matterhorn and more


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Reggae’s Top Earners – Shaggy tops the list of richest reggae acts


Shaggy reportedly tops list of richest Reggae acts

The top 10 living Jamaican artistes have amassed some US$90 million (J$7.7 billion) in net worth, equivalent to the annual export earnings from bauxite or sugar based on data from an online media report released last week.

These artistes, more than others, sold millions of records, toured successfully and entered into successful business ventures, according to the urbanislandz.com report. It listed the net worth of:

1. Shaggy at US$22 million ($1.8 billion)

2. Jimmy Cliff at US$18 million ($1.5 billion)

3. Sean Paul at US$11 million ($944 million)

4. Ziggy Marley at US$10 million ($858 million)

5. Sean Kingston at US$7 million ($601 million)

6. Damian Marley at US$6 million ($515 million)

7. Maxi Priest at US$4.6 million ($395 million)

8. Buju Banton at US$4 million ($343 million)

9. Beenie Man at US$3.7 million ($318 million)

10. Bounty Killer at US$3 million ($258 million)

Verification of these figures are hidden within music and tour contracts, however, Urban Islandz says it has compiled its data from sources both online and offline.

“We strive to make sure the content we published is fully accurate but we cannot always guarantee this,” it stated about its list. Urban Islandz, an entertainment company, said it compiled the data to highlight “that our reggae/dancehall artistes are doing well on the global scale in the face of mounting criticisms that our music is in decline”.

Shaggy topped the list due to selling over 20 million copies worldwide of his 2001 album Hot Shot, but equally due to securing a lucrative royalty deal for that album better than 90 per cent of the industry, they said.

“Shaggy managed to sign a sweet deal with UMG, named MCA Records at the time, where he earned (greatly on) each album sold for Hot Shot. Majority of artistes are lucky to earn $1 off each album sold. The Marley’s on the other hand having their own company to work with, puts them at an advantage to earn more off album sales,” stated urbanislandz in a written response to Splash’s queries. “Regarding tour dates, again each artist’s earnings vary according to their popularity and demands. Therefore, when artistes like Sean Paul or Sean Kingston would earn an average US$40,000 per tour date, other artists like Bounty and Beenie would be brushing an average US$10,000.”

A respected musician and producer who toured with at least one the top five artistes told Splash that the data seemed credible. He spoke on condition of anonymity in order to respect private conversations with artistes.

“Sean Paul is conservative and I remember he even avoided buying a NY apartment calling it unnecessary. It is possible that Bounty Killer amassed that amount because he is also a conservative spender and has other businesses. Regarding Jimmy Cliff, definitely. He has been around from in the heyday of reggae and has been involved in music, songwriting and movies. He did songwriting for big artistes and also got his songs covered by the likes of Bruce Springsteen with Trapped. That would have been a big money earner,” he said.

The combined worth at US$90 million is greater than the annual earnings from Jamaica’s major exports including bauxite at US$85 million in 2009 (separate from the US$368 million earned from alumina exports) and sugar at US$72 million according to Bank of Jamaica statistics. It signifies the earning potential of the nation’s music which has come under threat in recent years from international gay and government lobby groups. Consequently, all the top 10 artistes made the bulk of their income prior to the mid 2000s, but Urban Islandz has not discounted Reggae/Dancehall’s future earning potential. They expect newcomers to factor on the list in the medium-term.

“Gyptian is one artiste to look out for as his career is doing exceptionally good and if this momentum takes him into next year and his album Hold Yuh sells well, he could become a strong contender. Mavado also is one to watch, something good should be happening for his career soon…Vybz Kartel is another to watch too, but may need a deal with a major label to put him there. Another reggae fusion artiste to watch is Iyaz from the Virgin Islands who is signed to Sean Kingston’s label,” Urban Islandz told Splash.

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Mixtape: Dj Crown Prince – “Vintage”


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