Rihanna with new implants at Smile Jamaica/Africa Unite and guest appearance by lover Chris Brown

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By: Joseph Cunningham
Photography By: Milton Raynor

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As far as performances were concerned at Smile Jamaica/Africa Unite, the concert was of a high standard. The promotional hype seems to have worked, because from as early as 10:30pm, a good size crowd had already crammed into the venue.

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When YardFlex arrived at about that time, Bunny Wailer was busy recapturing his vintage form. He volunteered with "Come Mek Mi Show Yuh How Fi Ram Dancehall". Jah B, as he is fondly known, gave an energetic set. Singing songs that many were not acquainted with, he still connected with his special ability for showmanship. The "Wailer" dug deep into the repertoire, which himself, Bob Marley and Peter Tosh combined for, and at the end of his one hour set, patrons were fulfilled.

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John Legend followed, and pandemonium broke out on James Bond Beach. He performed in customary fashion with his piano, and sang hits such as "Stay With You" and "Ordinary People." He interacted with the women very well, and actually called one young woman on stage, who he literally caressed, much to the amusement of the patrons.

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The Marley's then took to the stage after an extended break for a band change, and when Ziggy Marley began the set, it was immediately perceived that this would have been the performance to talk about. It seemed as of all the Marley children ascended the stage after Ziggy's opening, and the power this brought was awesome. During Ziggy's short stint alone, he performed "Tomorrow People" and other renditions which lyrical content brought back to mind, the great songwriter Ziggy is.

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Stephen Marley, Junior Gong, Kymani, Cedella, Kenyatta, Rohan, and a host of younger siblings were involved in the Marley's presentation. Every song delivered was received with loud cheers. In Jamaican terminology, the performance was "long but short"; nobody noticed the length of the performance because of its excellence.

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Hip Hop sensation, Chris Brown appeared during Elephant Man's set, and his cameo almost stole the show. His "snake-like" movement while dancing, and his shrilling voice could not have failed. Chris accompanied his new love interest, Rihanna to the concert. She had been officially billed for the concert, but she performed as if she did not belong. Her three song set was lethargic, and patrons breathed a shy of relief when she left the stage.

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Smile Jamaica/Africa Unite had its first time in Jamaica and it proved to be a worthy addition to the local entertainment calendar. Parking provision was "top notch" and so were all other arrangements.

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