Passa passa, mix up, brawls, the good, the bad and the ugly were all part of what we called entertainment during the year. There were moments when you felt so proud you wanted to cry, then there were those moments when you wanted to bury your heads and pretend this couldn't be the culture you loved. But all in all it would have been a boring year if we didn't have all these elements to get you talking, cussing or praising.
January kicked off with some great shows which saw the best of the local and overseas camp delivering. Unity Splash and Trelawny Family Fun Day were the first events to kick off the New Year, then later on Rebel Salute kicked in. Of course Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival put the cap on the biggie for January with country and western crooner Kenny Rogers and of course locals Richie Stephens, Freddie McGregor, Sanchez and Sean Paul.
February belonged to the Marleys in every sense of the word. There were the remembering Bob Marley celebrations and of course the late singer's son walked away with the Grammy making it number four with the Tuff Gong produced album "Love Is My Religion."
It was also the month where Beenie Man took the spotlight and from there things just went downhill for the artiste. With D'Angel by his side he parted ways with Don Mafia who started Mafia House. Mavado and Vybz Kartel also went at it too but they both cried peace eventually.
March was a bit 'quiet' but it still did not come without it's little passa passa. Dancehall Queen Stacie had some words for dancer Keiva letting her know she was the real diva and she chided her for some unfair comments she made about Wee Pow. All eyes were turned on Beauty Queen Sara Lawrence's child's paternity and the fact that she was pregnant before she finished her reign.
April was the month we first started hearing about Vegas' illness and it was also the first mention of trouble being in the Beenie Man, D'Angel camp. March is also a month Capleton will remember as he got a fright with a pin in his food. Jamaica lost one of its Mento stalwarts in the death of Stanley Beckford who died from throat cancer. It was also the month when three rastas took alms with Lutan Fyah over a comment he made bigging up Bounty – never went over well with Anthony B, Capleton and Sizzla!
May was an action packed month where the entertainment buzz was concerned. Nadine Sutherland launched her album Call My Name at the Grogge Shop and this is after not putting out one for some time. Tarrus Riley completed his video shoot for "She's Royal" a song which is still blazing the place. Beenie Man's show in South London had to be cancelled due to threat of gun violence. Gays came out loud and clear on a dancehall video that took Jamaica by storm. Sean Paul took six trophies at the International Reggae and World Music Awards held at the Apollo Theatre in New York and Ninja Man and Bounty Killer were again with some battle axe lyrics. Speaking of Bounty Killer there was a CD circulating the scene with an alleged conversation between himself and a woman...man the taxis and buses had a field day with it...didn't I tell you May was crammed!
June saw Daville scoring his first number one hit in the UK with Always On My Mind. Sasha inked a deal with Downsound Records and then the big story that Beenie, Capleton and Sizzla signed to be more respectful of gays...only thing the artistes denied the signatures were theirs! This was the month that IRIE FM Big Break winner Natasja Saad died in a car accident. During this time Sean Kingston made a "Beautiful" entry on the scene.
July was the month that Jah Cure finally got his release papers from prison. It was also a month that saw quite a few dancehall brawls. Munga and his producer Casper were involved in knife play, Mavado and alliance faced off and Mavado was also arrested and charged after Barbados brawl. QQ's career was also put on hold as his father was before the courts accused of breaking child labor laws. DJ Danny English was arrested for carnal abuse...and our winner for newsmaker of the year Beenie Man again made the headlines when he moved out of the matrimonial home...D'Angel claimed she was physically abused by Beenie and it was the month that Barbee entered the mix!
August was the month Sizzla and Norris Man went at it on stage at Capleton's St Mary Mi Come From Show. Norris Man accused Sizzla of being a coward. Yendi Phillips was crowned Miss World. Chuck Fenda was attacked in Bahamas and it was a month which saw young, bright upcoming star Craig Dennis being laid to rest. Beenie Man was again in the news when her stormed his Mafia House office to reclaim his furniture and other belonging...but not so says D'Angel who blocked the move.
September the new Digicel Rising Star winner was chosen and it was the teen idol Romain Virgo. Mavado was robbed in Toronto forcing him to miss his shows in Trinidad and Tobago and Atlanta. Ninja Man got the chance to perform on US soil again and he totally ripped New Jersey apart. And rumours spread far and wide that Elephant Man barged into P Diddy's office and socked it to him!!! Maad!
October again saw Beenie Man making the headlines with his tax woes resurfacing. Mavado made the news in a positive way through his Connect Jamaica effort. Jah Cure served up a musical treat at Curefest and Macka Diamond and Ray Alexander were at odds. Beenie Man wasn't through with this month as he apologised to the St. Andrew Parish church for shooting the music video in the church's cemetery. The horrifying photos of Charah Watson flooded the Internet and papers where Amina Blackwood Meeks' son Neto Meeks badly beat her...by the way what the 411 with that case? Did Charah get any justice...how come we haven't heard anything else on it! Kyno Cunningham also made headlines when he was caught on tape in the shower with another man. This was the month that we(YardFlex Inc.) opened our new office in Kingston.
In November Publicist Ray Alexander's house was shot up, D'Angel broke her silence with a long letter outlining her side of the story. Angry patrons threw bottles and stones on stage at Full Clip held at Puerto Seco Beach. Two dancehall artistes demanded DNA test as proof they were the fathers – Vybz Kartel and Beenie Man. And speaking of Beenie it was a big moment for him when he performed at the American Music Awards in California in front of over 40 million viewers!
It's the closing moments of December we look back...Veteran Singer Tyrone Taylor passed away. For the first time in ages Beenie Man was absent off Sting...and the vibes too was not there. Munga and Diva went at it on stage Bratt at Stone Love Anniversary and made peace after! Pity they didn't do that first. Mavado and Vybz Kartel's camp faced off at Bembe Thursday. Beenie must always be in the mix as he formed his new company KODE – King of the Dancehall Entertainment.
So there you have it the best and the worst of 2007. For the New Year let's hope we see the dancehall moving away from the negativity and focusing on taking the business to another level.