Sunday, June 6, 2010

Music about Dons

Now Dudus run Garden him a water it
Zekes run Matches Lane him a di torch a it.
Elephant Man and Spragga Benz, Warrior Cause

Well mek me tell yu bout Garden,
Dung deh no expect nuh flowers
Crazy shoot-out wid 5-o fi hours
Pressie and the Click dem nuh deal wid bowers
Nuh gyowers, whenever it rain it showers.
Alozade, Bad Out Deh
Tivoli Gardens, it seems, is never out of the news - and not only for extradition orders and allegations of tunnels and weapons caches. Before the recent clash between gunmen and the security forces, the last major news about the near-mythical west Kingston community was the 'peace performance' of Vybz Kartel and Mavado at west Kingston Jamboree 2010 in December.

The public burying of the two-sided Gully-Gaza hatchet at the Tivoli Gardens concert was hailed as long overdue and it was music and merriment all around.
But music is as much a part of Tivoli Gardens as the famed high-rise buildings. After all, Edward Seaga invited Byron Lee to Chocomo Lawn in west Kingston to see ska, learn the genre and export it to uptown (the Glass Bucket Club on Half-Way Tree Road) and the world (the World's Fair, New York, USA, 1964). The One Love studio is in the community and the community is intimately involved in dance through its standout dance troupe.
There is also the popular street dance, 'Passa Passa', held on Wednesday nights into Thursday morning, and the annual summer concert, 'Champions in Action', last held at Jamworld, Portmore, St Catherine, which was also staged previously at the Caymanas Polo Club.
"We trick oonu, we sen' we money come a yard
Buy up we Benz an' we Honda Accord ..."
Record commissioned by popular crew in response to Buju Banton's Deportee.
Others involved
But Tivoli is not the only community involved in music which the widening security operation to crush gangs has touched. Spring Bling, an annual concert last held at the Constant Spring football field in March 2009, is associated with the community of Common off Red Hills Road, whose Cleveland 'Cassie' Downer is among the persons who have turned themselves over to the police after the security forces expressed an interest in them.
George Phang, who also turned himself in, was one of the 1980s' hot producers with his Powerhouse label. His name is inscribed into popular record in Half Pint's One Big Family when he sings about "George Phang and Bunny Wizzie", in addition to a number of popular entertainers.

"Kingston we deh when Massop
get shot
Kingston we deh when Copper get
shot ..."
Supercat, Ghetto Red Hot

"Willie Haggart, well a him set the

Beenie Man, Trendz
Stampede, who hosts a music chart and is renown for street-promotion campaigns, said when a performer calls the name of a person reputed to be a don on record or during a performance, "sometimes is a hype thing. Some man jus' waah get a hype".

He pointed out that it is not specific to reputed area leaders, saying, "Bogle in a dance, him get big up same way. Yu have some man big up a policeman same way." Reneto Adams is mentioned in Warrior Cause, and in When, Tiger asks: "Wha de bad bway police name?". The answer is Laing, head of Supreme Promotions, which puts on the annual Sting concert, among other events.
"Them big up man who influential, who a popular person in the dance. You have some man come and buy liquor for the whole night an' them big him up for the whole night," Stampede said.
Then, in hailing an area, Stampede said: "A selector go in an area him big it up. If him go to a certain road him big up the people in the area. Him big up the people in the area around it.
"A nuh mus' a don. Some people get it wrong.

Source : Jamaica gleaner

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