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03/18/10

Permalink 01:19:58 pm, by amilnal
Categories: Entertainment, Culture

Best of Best is back again for 2010

After the significant success of over 20,000 people gracing the Bicentennial Park at last year's edition. The organisers of the Memorial Day Miami staple Best of the Best have promised the South Florida massive an even better show for 2010. Profiling the stars of Caribbean music - from dancehall, reggae and soca, the festival also thrills fans with the top acts in hip-hop, rap and R&B. Past years have included the likes of Flo Rida, Rick Ross, Diddy, T-Pain, Jeezy, Akon and Wyclef Jean. Multi-platinum Grammy-Award winner Shaggy is excited to join this year's incredible lineup, which includes Gucci Mane, Mavado, Serani, Bounty Killer, Baby Cham, Mr. Vegas, Anthony B, Demarco, Gyptian, Tony Matterhorn and the New Kingston Band, just to name a few, with more artists to be added in coming weeks. "I think Best of the Best is dancehall's premiere concert series," reveals pop reggae superstar Shaggy. "It promotes dancehall to the masses and every year it continues to evolve and set the highest standard in that respect. It's awesome to come back and perform for the holiday crowd this Memorial Day weekend." Shaggy previously headlined the festival back in 2007. The show takes place at Bicentennial Park, located at 1075 Biscayne Boulevard in downtown Miami. Park gates open at 1:00 pm and show time is set for 1:30pm sharp. The 10-hour event does not end there. Everyone is invited to the official Best of the Best After Party, at Bongos Nightclub (located behind the American Airlines Arena), immediately following the show.
Permalink 11:59:01 am, by amilnal
Categories: Entertainment, Culture

New Solo Effort from Gramps Morgan in the works

Reggae crooner Gramps is still on a musical high, this after a whirlwind year in 2009 which culminated with him winning the "Album of the Year" at the 2010 EME Awards in Jamaica for his debut album "Two Sides Of My Heart Vol 1." Gramps is currently in studios recording tracks for his next big project - a Country and R&B album that he is passionate about. The disc, tentatively titled "2 Sides Of My Heart Vol. 2" will feature an all-star cast including collaborations with R&B singer Musiq Soulchild and reggae superstar Ziggy Marley while Willie Lat from LA, Shannon Sanders and Blu Miller from Nashville will produce a few tracks. The disc hit stores later this year. “It's like coming full circle for me because I have always had a fascination with Country and R&B music. This is my second solo project and I am feeling really great about how things are coming together so far,” he confided. The album promises to be an eclectic blend of R&B and Country songs that he says will make a bold statement once it is completed. While a country and R&B album is not something most people expect from a reggae crooner, as he explains, he is doing the album to keep the fun going in the industry and to do the unexpected. "I wanna have fun with the music without becoming predictable... plus it has been a dream of my father to see this day" he confessed. "It is a project that my entire family is very proud of and they have been very supportive." Among the featured tracks that are already completed are "Delicate Balance," "Jamaica" and "Better Man." While his label Dada Son Entertainment will assume responsibility for the project, he is open to a distribution deal with a major label. "The success of the disc, especial in the international market will depend on how much we put in marketing but a major label would definitely help to take the project to the next level. Distribution wise, they have an established network in place that could help to get the product to the large number of music lovers out there. I am confident that with the muscle of a major on board as a distributor, I could move 500,000 units" he declared. Aside from working on his own new solo album, Gramps is juggling multiple projects. He is in studio's recording with his brothers and sister from Morgan Heritage. He is also working with J Boog from Hawaii on his new album and is helping his dad Denroy Morgan (I'll Do Anything For You) on a soon to be released autobiography. "Right now I am multi-tasking on various projects which is something I am completely at home with. I am working on a special project for Disney and looking forward to doing some stuff on the big screen which will be coming soon."

03/17/10

Permalink 07:45:29 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Commentary, News

Shooting in West Kingston

On Sunday a few (well actually alot of people) celebrated the birthday party of one of Jamaica's major criminal figures, the same figure who has been linked to having a Jamaica-wide criminal network of various gangs, and also the same person who has been linked to the reason for the USA's Diplomatic War with Jamaica that is currently taking place. However for reasons, so far unknown to the majority of the Jamaican public, following the birthday celebrations (which ended on monday) there was a shootout involving members of the police force and heavily armed gunmen. The battle that ensued lasted for in excess of 3 hours resulted in three policemen being shot and injured and two gunmen dead.

Even after the major shooting, the gunfire continued way into the evening and many businesses had to close early to protect their employees. Many school children who were unlucky enough to be on the road during the time period also found that their evening commute became one of fear for their lives, as they had to duck for cover as if they had managed to unluckily enter a war zone. Jamaica was truly shocked at this sudden outburst of violence which had occured.

Reading through the various news reports gives you a better idea of just how scary the situation had become. The gleaner reported that:

"Yuh si because a tight quarters mi inna, wi cyaa get fi fire back ... . Mi haffi jam di door, and ah dat gi mi likkle space fi start buss it back pan di bwoy dem," he said, pointing out that one of the alleged gunmen was wearing a bullet-proof vest.
....
Alert policemen, well positioned with weapons, appealed to curious residents to go home as they had received information of a plan by gunmen to launch an attack from all angles on the lawmen.
...

A policeman told The Gleaner that they had received word that no less than 35 well-armed men were advancing along Spanish Town Road to join the battle. The gunshots kept puncturing the air in Hannah Town and later, Denham Town joined in.
...
Without warning, multiple gunshots erupted at the rear of the KPH, sending all scurrying, in search of a place to hide.

Reports from the Observer were also similar to that of the gleaner:

At the nearby Kingston Public Hospital (KPH), where the gunmen were pronounced dead and the injured cops admitted for treatment, police securing the facility had to take cover as gunshots rang out outside the institution's rear entrance. The incident sent staff, patients, reporters and dozens of residents who had converged to get word on the men's condition scurrying for cover.
...

Yesterday, the house where the two men were killed resembled a scene from a horror movie. Clots of blood covered the living room floor downstairs, and virtually every wall on the second floor of the two-bedroom structure had bullet holes. Bullets also damaged a television set and pieces of furniture on which blood-stained clothes were strewn about in one of the rooms.

Both papers also reported that though the policemen had identified the people who had died as known gunmen, the community members that were witness to the police shooting state that the police had acted brashly and had killed two of the gunment in their sleep. The weeping mother of one of the dead civilians also stated that he had only once before gone to a police station and was not in fact a bad man as the police had thought.

To me all of these clippings scare me because they bring a few things to light which many people probably had not paid attention to. First among these things in the scant disregard that the gunmen (this includes both policemen and civilians) had for the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH), as people who were at the hospital reported having to run in fear for their lives. Secondly is the effect of the earlier reported case of a policeman who was illegally selling police arms to the highest bidder; The fact that many gunmen were reported as wearing police bullet proof vests is one which disturbs me, as this could also mean that the gunmen also have uniforms available to them and in that case how can anybody know the difference between the two? The final thing for me that really shocked me was how willing people were to join into the "war" that broke out, even as people died there was continued weapon fire from many unknown assailants, and policemen reported seeing gunmen marching up towards the area to join into the violence. This is not something that I believe is to be taken lightly as this means there are people who are very much willing to die for their cause no matter if it is legal or illegal.

As people continue to speculate as to the reasons for the sporadic fire that ensued on monday, most of us are just happy to be alive and to have not been a part of the news reports. But truly something needs to be done to change the current situation for Jamaicans as I am pretty sure a war of an even greater scale could possibly break out at any minute and claim much more innocent lives.

Permalink 07:21:12 pm, by Melba
Categories: Commentary

Air Jamaica – The end of an Era

So did you see the Gleaner’s feature, ‘Hospitality Jamaica’s’ front page today? Just in case you didn’t I copied it for you.

 

 

 

I wonder if you see what I see. Remember Air Jamaica’s slogan; let me remind you, its ‘Soaring to new heights’. But that isn’t Air Jamaica is it? No it’s Jet Blue and there giving his endorsement (or so it seems) for the entire world to see is none other than our beloved ambassador, the Honourable Usain Bolt.

 

For those of us who were praying for a miracle, hoping that some how there was a way to save even a little piece of our national airline, I guess the writing is on the wall. (Or is it the picture is in the new papers.) There they are just wanting, waiting and willing to jump in and snatch up those unprofitable routes that just couldn’t make it for us Jamaicans.

 

Since this week there have been reports of Jet Blue increasing flights between Jamaica and New York and Orlando, Air Canada increasing flights between Jamaica and Toronto, American increasing flights between Jamaica and New York, Delta increasing flights during the summer. Air Tran began operations between Jamaica and Baltimore and Orlando in February. Western Air, the largest privately owned airline in The Bahamas will begin direct schedule flights between the Bahamas and Jamaica on April 12, 2010. Inselair will begin flights between Jamaica and Curacao April 13, 2010. And those are only the ones I have heard about.

 

It’s sad, but I do believe that we have come to the end of an era for Air Jamaica. Even if they are to stay in business, what chance do they have now with all those Low Cost Carriers literally on their backs? I must confess that when ever I travelled in the past it was such a pleasure to board an Air Jamaica flight. I really felt as if I had already reached home. I have flown on nuff, nuff airlines and I can say with much pride that Air Jamaica is one of the best. Not to mention their safety record. I don’t know ‘bout’ you but I will definitely miss them. Any way with this clueless government any card can still play.

 

Nuff Love.

Permalink 11:46:05 am, by amilnal
Categories: Entertainment, Culture, Business

Fresh From Europe

Razz & Biggy and Serani recently returned to Jamaica fresh from a tour which saw them representing dancehall/reggae music throughout Europe and Trinidad. The European leg of the tour was quite extensive, it spanned a month, covered 19 venues across Germany, France, Sweden, Italy, Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland. There were also five (5) stops in Trinidad to complete this tour. Biggy represented the dynamic duo on this tour where he was the selected Disc Jockey for Reggae/Dancehall hit maker, Serani. The tour brought Serani and his music to his European fans and was equally an opportunity to sensitize the European market to the musical selections of Razz & Biggy. The task for Biggy was to bring the vibe & energy in each venue to a fever pitch before Serani’s Performances and support him during his sets, a task he delivered on night after night. Biggy explains that the experience in Europe is not one that can be compared to any other. The audiences in Europe are “very excited about dancehall and reggae music”. All nineteen venues were jam packed with capacity filled crowds at each stop all coming out to witness our (Jamaican) music, “even singing some of these songs word for word” continued Biggy. It is always an overwhelming experience to play in front of an audience, it is that more special when these patrons first language is not English. Biggy affirms that he is always humbled by the reception that the music receives in these territories and it is always an enticing offer to take trips of this nature to deliver musical sets to audiences that have a natural love for the music. A misconception that the disc jockey would like to dispel is that people tend to believe that only ‘one drop’ or conventional reggae artistes can attract a crowd throughout Europe. This he says is far from the truth. Our music has evolved and transcended most boundaries and as a result “the same songs that are crowd favourites in Jamaica are crowd favourites across most of Europe as well”, he comments.

03/16/10

Permalink 04:29:13 pm, by Melba
Categories: Sports

ISSA/Grace Kennedy Boys and Girls' Athletic Championships - Champs 2010

This year 2010 will be the 100th staging of the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) /Grace Kennedy Boys' & Girls' Athletic Championships from March 23, to March 27, at the National Stadium, Kingston Jamaica. Any Jamaican will tell you that ‘Champs’ is big and serious business in Jamaica. This is the ‘birthing’ place of most of our big names in athletics, including The Honourable Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser, Asafa Powell, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Melaine Walker, Michael Frater and Nesta Carter to name a few. It could be considered as the ‘unofficial’ athletics audition for Jamaicans island wide. Excel at Champs and somebody important in the sporting world is bound to notice you.

This year to mark the 100th year of the event a grand opening ceremony is being planed for March 23, 2010. There will be cultural displays featuring popular artistes, songs, dance, a skydiving display, and a laser show. A torch run, comprising of several of the island's Olympians, including gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser will precede the ceremony beginning in Williamsfield, Manchester, travelling through the parishes of Clarendon and St Catherine and culminating at the National Stadium.

Before I go any further about this years 2010 Championships let me bring you up to date with a bit of history. ‘Champs’ is an annual multi-sport athletics meeting for Jamaican high schools owned and managed by Jamaica’s Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA). The first ‘Champs’ for boys was held at Sabina Park on Wednesday, June 29, 1910. Then six schools for boys competed, Wolmer’s School, Jamaica College, St. George’s College, Potsdam School (now Munro College), New College and Mandeville Middle Grade School. The inaugural 1910 staging of the then VMBS sponsored Boys' Championships was won by the maroon and gold team from Wolmer's High School.

The Girls' Championships was initiated by the Games Mistress Association (GMA) a national organization of physical education teachers (no longer in operation), which staged its first event in 1957. It wasn’t until 1999, after years of deliberation between the ISSA and GMA, that GMA conceded control of the girls’ event to ISSA. The two meets are now staged together over four days, beginning with field events and ending with all relays.

Today approximately 150 schools island wide are involved. The athletes compete in four age classes for girls and three for boys as follows:
Boys Girls:
Class 1 : under 19 Class 1 : under 19
Class 2 : under 16 Class 2 : under 17
Class 3 : under 14 Class 3 : under 15

Class 4 : under 13

Competition takes place in 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 3000m (girls only), 5000m, 4x100m, 4x400 and medley relays, hurdles – 110m, 100m, 70m (girls only), high jump, long jump and triple jump, pole vault, discus, shot put and javelin (girls only) and the heptathlon.

Previous Winners

Year

Boys Champs

Girls Champs

Year

Boys Champs

Girls Champs

1910

Wolmer's School

-

1961

Calabar High School

Manchester High

1911

Jamaica College

-

1962

Kingston College

St. Andrew High

1912

Jamaica College

-

1963

Kingston College

Titchfield High

1913

Jamaica College

-

1964

Kingston College

Titchfield High

1914

St. George's College

-

1965

Kingston College

Mannings High

1915

Wolmer's School

-

1966

Kingston College

Mannings High

1916

Jamaica College

-

1967

Kingston College

Vere Technical High

1917

Wolmer's School

-

1968

Kingston College

Vere Technical High

1918

Jamaica College

-

1969

Kingston College

Mannings High

1919

Jamaica College

-

1970

Kingston College

Excelsior High School

1920

Munro College

-

1971

Kingston College

Excelsior High School

1921

Jamaica College

-

1972

Kingston College

Excelsior High School

1922

Jamaica College

-

1973

Kingston College

Excelsior High School

1923

Jamaica College

-

1974

Kingston College

Vere Technical High

1924

Wolmer's School

-

1975

Kingston College

Vere Technical High

1925

St. George's College

-

1976

Calabar High School

St. Mary's High

1926

Munro College

-

1977

Calabar High School

St. Mary's High

1927

Wolmer's School

-

1978

Calabar High School

The Queen's School

1928

Jamaica College

-

1979

Kingston College

Vere Technical High

1929

Wolmer's School

-

1980

Kingston College

Vere Technical High

1930

Calabar High School

-

1981

Calabar High School

Vere Technical High

1931

Calabar High School

-

1982

Clarendon College

Vere Technical High

1932

Calabar High School

-

1983

Kingston College

Vere Technical High

1933

Calabar High School

-

1984

Clarendon College

Vere Technical High

1934

Munro College

-

1985

Clarendon College

Vere Technical High

1935

Munro College

-

1986

Calabar High School

Vere Technical High

1936

Calabar High School

-

1987

St. Jago High

Vere Technical High

1937

Kingston College

-

1988

Calabar High School

Vere Technical High

1938

Wolmer's School

-

1989

Calabar High School

Vere Technical High

1939

Wolmer's School

-

1990

Calabar High School

Vere Technical High

1940

Jamaica College

-

1991

Jamaica College

Vere Technical High

1941

Wolmer's School

-

1992

Jamaica College

Vere Technical High

1942

Kingston College

-

1993

St. Jago High

Vere Technical High

1943

Munro College

-

1994

Jamaica College

Manchester High

1944

NO COMPETITION

-

1995

Jamaica College

Manchester High

1945

Munro College

-

1996

Calabar High School

St. Jago High

1946

Calabar High School

-

1997

Calabar High School

St. Jago High

1947

Munro College

-

1998

Jamaica College

St. Jago High

1948

Munro College

-

1999

Jamaica College

St. Jago High

1949

Wolmer's School

-

2000

Jamaica College

Vere Technical High

1950

Kingston College

-

2001

Kingston College

Vere Technical High

1951

Kingston College

-

2002

Kingston College

Vere Technical High

1952

Jamaica College

-

2003

Kingston College

Holmwood Technical High

1953

Kingston College

-

2004

Kingston College

Holmwood Technical High

1954

Kingston College

-

2005

Kingston College

Holmwood Technical High

1955

Calabar High School

-

2006

Kingston College

Holmwood Technical High

1956

Wolmer's School

-

2007

Calabar High School

Holmwood Technical High

1957

Kingston College

St. Hugh's High

2008

Calabar High School

Holmwood Technical High

1958

Calabar High School

St. Hugh's High

2009

Kingston College

Holmwood Technical High

1959

Jamaica College

St. Hugh's High

2010

????

????

1960

Excelsior High School

St. Hugh's High

Last year Champs was nail biting down to the wire. Kingston College (KC) reclaimed the boys title dethroning champions Calabar by 1.5 points. Holmwood Technical took the girls title for the seventh time in a row over rivals Edwin Allen and Vere Technical, winning by 197.5 points.

Boys Top 3 Teams 2009:

1) KC (223.50)
2) Calabar (222)

3) Jamaica College (154)

Girls Top Teams 2009:
1) Holmwood (400.50)
2) Edwin Allen (203 )
3) Vere (194.50)

Over the last couple of years Jamaica’s performance in athletics on the international stage has drawn a lot of attention to our athletes. If there was any doubt before, the Beijing Olympics 2008 and the IAAF Berlin World Championship 2009 certainly confirmed our title of ‘the sprint capital of the world’. Hence Champs has automatically gained another dimension with the exposure from the International press who now floods into the island to cover Jamaican athletes. Yes we have many meets for our younger’s to compete in starting from Inter Prep Games, however ‘Champs’ is where we separate the men form the boys.

For us in Jamaica, Champs is not only a feast for the athletic fans, it’s much more. During ‘Champs’ young and old alike are strictly associated with schools, present or pass. Of course there are those who simple cheer for the winning teams, we call those ‘wagonist’. For grown men and women your school colours, ties or badges become a part of your attire even at work. For the most part its great fun and all Jamaicans look forward to it.

The boys generally provide a lot more intense competition. The Gibson Relays which took place last month usually gives an idea of how well the schools are preparing. This year Calabar, one of the main contenders on the boy’s school list was missing from Gibson Relays. This has only served to heighten the anticipation for ‘Champs’.

Also taking place on Saturday March 27, the final day of ‘Champs’ 2010 will be the parading of the Queen's Baton for the 19th Commonwealth Games. This was announced by the president of the Commonwealth Games Federation, Jamaican Michael Fennell. The parading of the Queen’s Baton is a tradition of the Commonwealth Games. It carries the Queen's message right around the Commonwealth and ends up in the country hosting the games. The message is then read at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. The next commonwealth games will be held in New Delhi. After Champs the Queen’s Baton will then be taken around the island to Montego Bay and back to Kingston before going on to Cayman.

To close the event an after-Champs celebration is also being planned. The after party will take place right after all the races have been run and the presentation of trophies has been done. It will be held in the stands on the final day, March 27 and will featuring DJ Liquid. All in all ‘Champs’ 2010 promises to be very exciting.

Nuff Love

03/13/10

Permalink 04:51:18 pm, by amilnal
Categories: Entertainment, Culture, Business

Reggae Film Festival 2010

Personally, I think that it is important that people, both within Jamaica and who are apart of the Diaspora, recognize that a Jamaican's creativity do not exclusively end nor begin with music. We are a visually stimulated people, which explains most Jamaicans fascination with films especially those with a little bit of martial arts in them. Jamaica has a history of being site of many feature length films. The most famous of these being Cocktail, Live and Let Die, Cool Runnings and How Stella Got Her Groove Back. However while the local film industry unfortunately suffers from a lack of funding it does not suffer from a lack of enthusiasm. This was very evident at the 2010 staging of the Reggae Film Festival. A weeklong celebration of local or locally inspired films was on display at the Jamaica Hilton. Sadly, because of my schedule I was not able to attend all of the nights but the night I was present, I was treated to two particular films that left somewhat of an imprint on me. Ruffin' Tuff:FOUNDERS OF THE IMMORTAL RIDDIM and NO NOT ME were shown in the middle of the night proceedings. Ruffin' Tuff, a documentary of Jamaican music from the fifties, was directed by Shizuo "EC" Ishii, a Japanese producer who works in the reggae music industry. Highlights of the film include interviews with industry stalwarts such as Gladstone Anderson, Lloyd Parks, Clive Hunt and King Yellowman. NO NOT ME is a short film, directed by noted video director Ras Kassa, which took a somewhat different approach in educating people about HIV stereotyping. The energy I saw in and around the festival will definately stand the Jamaican film industry in good stead for the future. Hopefully next year the organizers of the event will get the support and backing they deserve.

03/12/10

Permalink 03:04:13 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Politics, News

Power to investigate themselves taken from Police

Breaking news, the government has done something intelligently... this must mean that Bruce isn't there, after all that's completely against his nature. But what has happened was that an act was passed called the Independent Commission of Investigations act, which will take the power of self investigation from the police. If you are anything like me you are probably wondering why wasn't this act passed 40 years ago? How smart do you have to be to understand that independent investigations are more effective than investigations  done by the body that is being investigated? That would be like arresting a murderer and telling him to research his own crimes and then bring his findings to you so that you can then put him in prison... See how retarded that sounds? So yes I place blame for this on both parties which have ever held government power in Jamaica.

The bill which was passed will essentially create a body similar to the Internal Affairs you always hear about in corrupt cop movies and gives this body alot of power which just plain makes sense. It also gives this new body alot of power which includes the ability to take charge and preserve the scene of any incident; and also the ability to investigate not only policemen and their conduct but also the conduct of members of the Jamaica Defence Force and any other agents of the state. No really I am shocked, this has too much intelligence put into it.

The act also means a few other things for this newly established commission, including:

The establishment of regional offices of the commission which will be headed by a commissioner and deputy commissioner; procedures for members of the public to make complaints to the commission regarding incidents of misconduct by the security forces and other agents of the state; and methods of handling complaints, including informal resolution and dispute resolution.

So this is a good thing right? I mean we (Jamaica) have always been getting complaints from various Human rights lobby groups such as Jamaicans for Justice about the fact that the police force has too much autonomy over its investigations. There has also been complaints that policemen make it a habit of theirs to purposefully plant evidence to make themselves look better, and also mess up crime scenes as they see fit to protect their fellow police officers.

Well I thought so too... so I re-read the observer article to find what was the catch here and then it dawned upon me, " Both (meaning commissioner and deputy commissioner) will be appointed by the governor general, after consultation with the prime minister and the leader of the opposition." This is adding to yet another frustration I have with the government and that is that they keep sticking their noses inside all the "independent" bodies. This does not make them truly independent. I am pretty sure (I am yet to read the act), that the same way the person was put into power, he can also be shuffled from power with the simplest of ease, and this is a problem.

My suggestion is this, make the position really and truly independent, if we are to vote the person(s) into power then lets do that, we can just have a mini campaign during general election time. Or even better yet we have numerous Non Governmental Organizations (NGO's) around, how about they have a part in the selection process and we give this person some tenure? Heck if needs be import more scotland yard police officers to head up the commission, however I do not agree that the leaders of government have to have some say in who is elected to head this soon to be important commission.

However I wont be too negative. It is a good move by the government so good job guys!

Permalink 09:40:29 am, by amilnal
Categories: Entertainment, Culture, Business

New Album from Junior Kelly

Approximately 10 years after his breakout hit "Love So Nice," the People’s Rasta, Junior Kelly is back with his fourth VP Records album Red Pond.  This new album features 15 new Junior Kelly tracks, with a majority of the production coming from the world famous Firehouse Crew. Red Pond continues on his mission of uplifting the people and providing positive music content.

 

Junior Kelly's previous three albums: Love So Nice, Smile and Tough Life, all showed Junior's versatility. With his lyrics firmly rooted in his rastafarian faith and love, one of the only universal themes left, Junior has enjoyed moderate suceess both within the Jamaican music scene and internationally. With his biggest hits so far being the aforementioned  "Love So Nice," "Receive," "Rasta Should Be Deeper" and "Youths Dem Nah Cool." Junior Kelly newest offering ,Red Pond, should have something musically that anybody regardless of race, creed or religion can relate to.

The album begins with the up-tempo track “Celebrate Life,” spreading the messages of; love is what it’s all about and what’s the point of living if we don’t celebrate it. The first single from Red Pond is the passionate track”My African Child,” Junior Kelly professes his unconditional love and the joy that is brought on by his African Child. The track “Nuthin’ Wrong With The World” bluntly states that the earth isn’t to blame for the various problems we are all faced with instead the inhabitants are responsible. Switching gears and embarking on the subject of lost love, Junior Kelly collaborates with Lukie D on the R&B flavored track “She’s Gone.” On “Waan Lef’ De Ghetto,” Junior Kelly expresses his torn feelings of wanting to stay in the neighborhood that he knows and loves but at the same time the conditions that make him want to leave and strive for a better life elsewhere. The duty of man is to help one another and the strong should lift up the weak, if we as people don’t follow this Junior Kelly asks the simple question on the track “How Better Ah Go Come.” From Collaborating with Queen Ifrica on “Too Late” or Ras Shiloh on "Papa’s Song," Red Pond is the reemergence of the Junior Kelly we all know and love.

03/11/10

Permalink 12:00:05 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Sports, Commentary

In Focus: Samardo Samuels

Its not very often that  you see Jamaicans making it to the top level of sports in the world. I mean of course we are filled with so much talent that it seems to rush out like a balloon filled with water just waiting to burst and flood the scene. I mean of course we have the talent, just look in the newspapers, in every aspect of sport, swimming, fighting, driving, running, throwing, even iced based sports, there is always a Jamaican somewhere among the ranks just waving the flag high. However as far as professional sports go you dont see Jamaicans at the top level that often.

Ricardo Fuller and Ricardo Gardener (it seems ricardo is a good football name) are the only 2 Jamaicans enjoying top flight football in England, there is also luton shelton who now plays in the norweigan premier league; we do have our print stars with household names like Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and Shelly-Ann Fraser; and we have Errol Kerr as a skiier. However when was the last time you heard of a Jamaican being a basketball star? The last I can think about is Patrick Ewing who was the star of the New York Knicks during the Jordan era, since he retired in 2002 there has been no Jamaican replacement... Until Samardo Samuels.

samardo samuels**taken from zimbio.com

Ok Maybe i'm being a early in stating that he will be the next basketball star, however the fact of the matter is it is inevitable. The towering Samuels (he is 6'8" tall) currently plays for the University of Louisville Cardinals as and has been described by most basketball pundits as quite simply a beast, and thats a name he lives up to for the most part, scoring 436 points and 181 rebounds for the 2008-2009 college season. In the 2009-2010 season he has managed to increase those numbers scoring 477 points and making 221 rebounds. He also has a field goal percentage of .517 which essentially means that he scores 1/2 of the shots that he takes, that is not a simple feat by any standards.

A description of his skills by draftexpress.com states that:

Samuels is an extremely smart and highly efficient back-to-the-basket player, using his low center of gravity and great lower body strength to consistently establish deep post position, either pinning his man under the basket or getting inside of him and blocking him out. Once he gets the ball, Samuels shows good awareness and always goes for the highest percentage shot, usually a right-handed layup, dunk, or short-range right-handed hook shot. His footwork in the post is excellent, mixing in a rangy dropstep in addition to his mostly simple, compact repertoire.

In essence he is really good, and he has the silverware to show it as well. His awards so far include USA Today's Player of the year award in 2008, and also he was named as a McDonald's All-American which essentially means he was part of an elite group of basketball players chosen by an expert team as the best of the best, in addition he is currently ranked by Yahoo! Rivals as 9th in the entire US. So you see I am not only just touting him as the next great basketball star, everybody else is doing so as well, so much so that he is expected to be drafted into the NBA by the 2nd round. So really the only thing he needs to do is keep on doing what he has been doing.

Anybody who has been reading anything I have written up to now will realize one thing about me, I am a proud Jamaican and I love seeing other Jamaicans succeed at all levels. It fills me with a sense of pride that is very hard to describe but it is enough for me to keep a smile on my face. So I have no issue with stating that I wish the best for Samardo as he goes forward into his up and coming NBA career and hope it is filled with the best success. I know I can expect nothing less than the best from him as he is a Jamaican, and we strive for nothing less than to be the best!

Samardo Samuels Dunking

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Reasons why I love my Jamaican Mom

1. My Mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
"Just wait till we get home."

2. My Mother taught me about RECEIVING.
"You going get a ass'n when we get home!"

3. My Mother taught me to MEET A CHALLENGE.
"What di backside yu thinkin'? Answer me when me talk to you...Don't talk back to me!"

4. My Mother taught me CONSEQUENCES.
"If yu run cross de road an' cyar lick yu dung, a goin' kill yu wid lick."

5. My Mother taught me THE VALUE OF EDUCATION.
"If yu no go a school, yu a go tun tief or walk an' pick up bottle."

6. My Mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.
"If yu tun over yu eye lid an fly pitch pan it, it a go stay so fi evva."

7. My Mother taught me to THINK AHEAD.
"Is not one time monkey goin' wan' wife"

8. My Mother taught me ESP.
"Yu tink a don't know what yu up to nuh?"

9. My Mother taught me HUMOR.
"If yu don' eat food, breeze goin' blow yu 'way."

10. My Mother taught me how to BECOME AN ADULT.
"Come an' tek yu beatin' like man."

11. My Mother taught me about SEX.
"Yu tink say yu drop from sky?"

12. My Mother taught me about GENETICS.
"Yu jus' like yu faada."

13. My Mother taught me about my ROOTS.
"Yu tink mi come from "Back A Wall?"

14. My Mother taught me about WISDOM OF AGE.
"When yu get to be as ol' as me, yu wi understan'."

15. And my all time favorite... JUSTICE.
"One day wen yu have pickney, a hope dem treat yu same way."

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