Nick Cannon works with Jamaican artistes

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AMERICAN actor/television personality Nick Cannon is currently in Jamaica trying get a first-hand taste and feel of the island as he seeks to promote his latest charge Kreesha Turner.

The Wild 'N Out personality, who is on his first trip to the island, is here to soak in the sights, sounds, and tastes of the island in order to inform himself as he works with Turner, who was born in Canada and raised in Jamaica. She fuses reggae and dancehall music with other influences to arrive at her sound.

"From the moment I met Kreesha, she kept telling me about Jamaica... I had been to some of the other islands, but not Jamaica... so I had to come see what it's all about," Cannon told the media.

"We are here supporting Kreesha's project, exploring the culture to make sure I touch the people in a real way," he added.

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Cannon and Turner are in the island promoting her single Sexy Gal, which also features dancehall quartet T.O.K. Turner is signed to his Ncredible Entertainment label.

Cannon disclosed that he would like to work with local acts, but is new to the culture and therefore is taking it slow.

"Right now, I'm paying attention to who's picking up in the clubs and dances because I always want to get it right. However, right now, my focus is to get Kreesha popping here in Jamaica. I believe in authenticity and being organic so I'm just paying attention and getting more engulfed in the culture before making any move like that," he stated.

He is committed to getting Turner to mainstream and, therefore, is not looking to sign another female act from Jamaica at this time in order to prevent conflicts of interest.

Cannon's Jamaican recce has seen him enjoying lobster on the beach at Hellshire in Portmore.

Kreesha Turner - MJ





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Deejays Blak Ryno and Kiprich will go head to head at this year's staging of Sting - the popular one night reggae show staged on Boxing Day.

According to Isaiah Laing, head of Supreme Promotions, organisers of the event, clashes have always been part of the history of Sting and, therefore, a match-up of this nature was inevitable.

Speaking at a press conference at his Burlington Avenue offices in the Corporate Area yesterday, Laing traced the history of clashes at the event dating back to the first ever in 1984, which featured Michael Palmer and Junior Reid. He noted that, by the following year, 1985, it was realised that the clash was the way to go and it became a signature of Sting.

"[The] clash is a hallmark of Sting. Over the years, it has become a major attraction... last year Kiprich was defeated by Ryno and so we have decided to bring them back for a rematch, and this is not something to be missed," he asserted.

Blak Ryno was absent from the press conference as it was explained that he was overseas, but his opponent Kiprich was on hand to declare that this year things will be different.

"I am more focused and prepared for a proper lyrical showdown [at] Jamworld.... He can't come with what he came with last year and expect to win... it's lyrics to the fullest. I am always happy to be part of this historical event and to be part of it as a top act a this time," said Kiprich.




I was abused as a child says Lady Saw

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Dancehall artiste Lady Saw has revealed that she was abused as a child. As a result, she has launched a foundation geared at assisting abused women and children.

According to the Grammy award-winning deejay, who recently released a new album called Alter Ego, half of the proceeds from album sales will go towards the Lady Saw Foundation.

"I had the idea for years now but my lawyer at the time went abroad to study; but I recently got another lawyer. The foundation will cater to women because I was abused a lot growing up as a child and as a teenager. It was a horrible experience and many persons are going through that experience," she said.

Lady Saw is also looking to put her vision in reality by opening a home-training centre for abused women.

"Many women tend to run away from their abuser, including my mom. So what I am doing is trying to find a safe haven for them. I have located a property in St Mary with a building that resembles a factory. I want to purchase the property and use it as a centre for abused women. I also want one of those centres to be in Kingston. I am probably way ahead of myself right now because I am so passionate, but we have to start somewhere," she said.

Toy drive

The deejay also spearheaded a toy drive in the US recently, where she collected seven barrels of toys in collaboration with media personality Ragashanti.

"I also visited a children's home recently with my publicist, and spent some time with some disenchanted kids, and I was really touched, so I decided to get the toys, pampers and sheets for them as well," she said.




Youths support copy cats?

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Old standards not desired by new acts

There was once a time in Jamaican music when originality and authenticity were key elements that defined the standard used to measure 'good music' and a 'great artiste'. Those who created a style or sound for themselves, were glorified for their efforts, while imitators were oftentimes ignored or not taken seriously by fans.

Several recording artistes who have found themselves in the latter, have failed to have a lasting, if any impact at all, because of the imposter label ascribed to them, many seeking to re-brand themselves in light of their fading reality.

Dancehall artiste Merciless was largely criticised by fans in the early 90s when arch-rival Bounty Killer accused the Clarendon-born artiste of copying his style. Through the years, Merciless denied in several songs and interviews that he tried to sound like Bounty Killer. However, his conflict with the Killer, perhaps did more harm than good, as Killer's loyal fanbase, supported his sentiments in Mr Wanna Be, in which he classified the artiste as an imposter.

Hitlist

Recording artistes Bounty Filla and Hitlist suffered a similar fate, the latter forced to change his name to Ganggoolie and reinvent himself, in order to be accepted in the music industry under a new guise.

Reggae artiste Bascom X was also accused by Sizzla Kalonji's supporters who claimed that he was impersonating the reggae icon, while incarcerated dancehall artiste Zebra, despite his relative success in the late 90s, was always seen as a shadow of veteran deejay Tiger. He too rejected the notion that he was deliberately trying to sound like the Come Back to Me singer.

Fast forward to 2014, and fans seem to be less judgmental, as recording artistes like Gage and Alkaline, despite their obvious similarities to Tommy Lee Sparta and Vybz Kartel, still manage to wield a strong influence over dancehall fans.

One theory for the now general acceptance of 'copy cats', according to director/curator of the Jamaica Music Museum, Herbie Miller, is because standards have fallen.

celebrating mediocrity

"We celebrate that which is substandard or mediocre because we really don't know what is quality anymore. We can't even blame the fans alone, but also the education system, because culture is not taught in schools, so the youths don't have any level to aspire to. Artistes were valued based on what they could contribute, based on styles, variety and diversity, but I don't think that the cultural appreciation that was held by the older generation is even desired by the new generation," he said.




Local dancer Mumzell criticizes badmind dancers

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According to the dancer/business woman, some persons in the entertainment industry hate to see their coworkers reap success for their labor.

"We cant stop badmind. it a guh tek a lot to do that. But when a man a have him run you supposed to allow him or her to have the run without badmind. Hard work a di key to success and everybody born with a talent, but we should stop playing unfair games and allow people to bloom. Remember that Bogle said if you are a winner you don't need to be in any competition,"she said.

Mumzell has been featured in music videos for several dancehall artistes including Mr Vegas' Tek Weh Yuself and RDX's Bend Over. Both videos mentioned have received more than four million views on YouTube.com.

She is also gearing up to host a round robin at her club this Friday.




Corey Todd Shot at near his go go club

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The Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) is now investigating a shooting at the Taboo Night Club in Montego Bay, St James early this morning in which two men were shot.

The incident occurred shortly after five this morning.

The Police say popular businessman and owner of the club, Corey Todd was closing the establishment when two men on a motorcycle fired shots at him, hitting him in the right hand.

A policeman who was at the location responded by firing at the gunmen.

One was hit and died on the spot.

Meanwhile, the police are theorising that the attempted murder of Todd, may have been a hit.




Gage plans to win STING clash

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Things are heating up on the local music scene as the war of words continue to escalate between Gage and Tommy Lee, leading up to their much hyped clash at Sting 2014.

Gage, aka the Burning Sun, is confident that he will emerge the victor on Boxing Day.

"Tommy Lee a try style man bout Kartel shave Gage, and him a go tun mi inna range. A dat mi hear sey him sey pon 'On Stage'. Well mi have news fi him, him done dead already, Tommy Lee dead already," he said.

"It a go be a musical massacre pon Boxing Day. Mi nuh fraid a him. Mi a go bury him and Alkaline. Dem nuh ready fi clash wid mi, dem nuh reach mi levels. A mi a di Burning Sun."

Gage recently fired a lyrical salvo titled Two Idiot in response to Tommy Lee's dis track titled Bad Man Dawg.

"Tommy Lee drop a idiot tune bout him a diss man, but mi nuh fraid a him cause him a idiot. Just listen di tune weh mi do fi him and Alkaline, di two a dem a idiot. Dem need fi stop call up mi name."

Gage, who recently performed to packed venues in Guyana, Panama, and Trinidad and Tobago, also boasted that he is now the most popular act in dancehall music.

"Right now, every weh yuh go inna di Caribbean and South America a mi a di most popular dancehall artiste. The fans are requesting me all over the world, Europe, the US, and Africa. All over di world di people dem say a just Beng. A mi run things now. Tommy Lee and Akaline fi know sey a di Burning Sun time now," the artiste said.

When contacted, Tommy lee Sparta's publicist, Keona Williams, said, "He has heard about the song but he hasn't heard it yet, to have any response towards it ... he has been so busy with the music video for Bad Man Dawg, he hasn't got a chance to listen to Gage's song as yet."




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Alia Atkinson became the first black woman to win a world swimming title when she triumphed in the 100m breaststroke at the world short-course championships in Doha on Saturday as more records tumbled.

Jamaican Atkinson, 25, claimed the title and equalled Ruta Meilutyte's world record of 1min 02.36sec in the process - although under governing body FINA rules this still equates to a new record.

She was completely unaware of what she had done, staring up at the scoreboard with an air of resignation before it gradually dawned.

"Me?," she mouthed, pointing at herself before the enormity of her achievement was absorbed and so started the celebrations.

Atkinson's role at the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Florida is to encourage greater involvement of different communities in swimming and to promote water safety.

"Hopefully my face will come out, there will be more popularity especially in Jamaica and the Caribbean and we'll see more of a rise and hopefully in the future we will see a push," Atkinson mused.




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Word on the street, is that reggae artistes Sizzla Kalonji and Teflon chased I Octane out of popular stage show West Kingston Jamboree lastnight, forcing the artiste to leave without performing.

According to an eyewitness, I Octane was about to enter the platform to perform when Sizzla and his entourage chased him from behind the stage while telling the MC that he wanted to perform.

Sizzla later called on Teflon and they both performed an extended set, Sizzla is also said to have stayed behind after his performance blocking the entrance, to ensure that I Octane did not touch the microphone.

Another eyewitness claims that I Octane was slapped around by Sizzla's entourage, however that has not been confirmed.