He sang about “one love,” but Bob Marley was passionate about many things, including the game of soccer. At home, in the studio, or on the road, Marley was never far from a ball.
“Football is freedom,” he once said, and throughout his life, the game provided a refuge and release from the stresses of touring. In the summer of 1980, towards the end of the European leg of the Uprising Tour, Marley stopped doing formal interviews, instead organizing soccer games with members of the media and other musicians.
One of these games took place inside a small West London gymnasium on July 16 of that year, when Marley’s team matched up with a squad led by fellow reggae artist Eddy Grant. Photographer Norman Reid was there to capture it.
Marley, who by many accounts was a fierce competitor and hated to lose, wasn’t happy when his team went down early. “They went up on us quick — 2-0,” Garrick remembered. “So Bob called timeout. We told him, ‘Bob, you can’t call timeout — this isn’t basketball,’ but they gave us a break. That was their worst mistake.”
While not big and strong, Marley was fast and agressive — and no stranger to small fields, having honed his game in the small yard outside his Hope Road home in Kingston, Jamaica.
Once they understood the rules, the tables turned quickly, with Marley’s crew coming from behind to beat Grant’s team 5-2.
Two months later, Bob Marley and the Wailers traveled to America to finish the Uprising Tour, with the last show taking place at the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh on September 23, 1980. The performance would be the last of his career, as the legendary abd beloved talent died of cancer the following May at the young age of 36.
I recently heard a remix of “Famous,” by the Moroccan-American artist French Montana, on the radio station Hot 97, here in New York. Montana’s song, which has been out since last summer, is a light dancehall bop in the vein of Drake’s “Views”—a plea to resist the trappings of fame for the sake of a relationship. The remix adds a soft verse from Tina Pinnock, the rising dancehall artist, from the Bronx by way of Portmore, Jamaica, who performs under the name HoodCelebrityy.
With her guest appearance, she dismisses his insecurities: “Stop complain and mek we live it up,” she sings. “Can’t deal with the fame? Baby, then give it up.” HoodCelebrityy isn’t slowing down, she insists, even if Montana begs for the rest of the track. How could she stay home with a name that great?
Artists outside of Jamaica are creating a growing portion of the dancehall heard around the world today. Exported from Jamaica since the nineteen-eighties, the sweltering street music has seeped into the local sounds in London, New York City, and Toronto, where clusters of second-generation fans seek out new dubs to play at parties.
In London, local hits, such as E. Mak’s “Yo” and Lotto Boyzz’s “Plantain & Dumplin,” play off the sounds of early-aughts dancehall, with savvy new slang and inside jokes. Stefflon Don, who was born in Birmingham, England, sings somewhere between Rihanna and Spice, picking up exactly where Nicki Minaj’s remix of “Hold Yuh,” by the Jamaican artist Gyptian, left off.
The Toronto comedian Papi Tré’s brilliant dancehall parody of “Magnolia” is one of my favorite songs right now, and it isn’t even a real song. And, so far, HoodCelebrityy’s new single, “Walking Trophy,” is New York’s best addition to the bunch.
Over steel drum-pads, she spins an ode to glowing skin and tight jeans (in a word, confidence), with an ear for melody and delivery on par with Vybz Kartel. The lyrics read like she ghostwrote them for a male artist and then decided to just do the job herself.
Like film studios, record labels know that worldwide consumers make the difference between a minor and major hit. Most of these second-generation dancehall tracks gain popularity on YouTube, where dedicated channels like G.R.M. Daily churn out videos from local artists, betting that a handful of clips will blow up.
The average Stefflon single has millions of YouTube plays, and she recently linked up with Kevin (Coach K) Lee, the Atlanta music manager behind Migos and Gucci Mane, to guide and develop her career in the States. Nigerian artists have long recognized dancehall as a potent tool to give the Afrobeat sound more global appeal; Burna Boy is the country’s standout star, and he recently released a two-part video for a pair of dancehall singles with London’s Lily Allen and J Hus.
Although Jamaica-based artists like Popcaan, Masicka, and Alkaline have provided a steady stream of excellent homegrown records in recent years, and music’s borders have been opened through streaming apps, red-tape and visa issues are increasingly stalling out the careers of promising dancehall artists.
In 2016, the music distributor Johnny Wonder argued that in order for Jamaican acts to compete globally, they need the support of radio abroad. “For a song to get added to a Hot 97 or a Power 105,” he told the Jamaica Gleaner, “the artist has to be able to travel to the U.S. and promote the song for the station. They are going to expect you to do jingles and perform at their events, but the artists cannot travel, so that is one of the reasons why some of our top artists don’t get added.” The void left in their absence has put cities in musical dialogue with one another for the first time, realizing their local movements were in sync all the while.
One of the things I love most about reviewing headphones, starts with the experience of unpacking from those brown shipping boxes. Once you get through that, what you’ll find with most luxury premium headphones is that they are packaged in big white beautifully designed square boxes (not that I am complaining). However, this experience with the VModa Crossfade II Wireless (Milano Design) was different. The signature hexagonal packaging of black and orange gets you excited at the very sight of it. While many brands will present the headphones and a bag tucked inside, your Crossfade II Wireless steps up the game a notch with a black hard shell that opens like an oyster revealing its hidden gem. This exoskeleton case is the perfect companion for this stylishly sculpted sound samurai and will always keep it well protected.
A work of art of leather and metal, offering great compact fold, the Crossfade II Wireless delivers sound quality that is excellent, crisp and clear. It has an immersive soundstage, with sculpted bass and nicely balanced sound. It is a top contender among premium options and is a fun headphone for audiophiles. After listening for a few hours, while lying in bed, I am a fan of the ergonomic steel flex headband. The fit is close but not bothersome, and the memory foam cushions are soft on the ears. It is heavier, in comparison to the Bowers & Wilkins PX which we reviewed in the last issue.
There is no active noise cancellation, which is a modern feature I have come to love in premium headphones. Nevertheless, there was good noise isolation. This Crossfade II Wireless is also a wired hybrid. In the wired mode, the sound quality is very good. That said, my only issue is that I would prefer volume controls on the Speak Easy Mic Cable (included) because while in wired mode the controls on the headphones disable and you are forced to adjust on your phone/device. When in wireless mode though, the ease of button use is a breeze. Plus pairing with my Samsung Note 8 was a walk in the park.
Lastly, with a 14-hour battery life, you won’t need to charge for a few days. All in all, the Crossfade II Wireless is a cool, stylish choice for audiophiles looking for great headphones without the fuss.
The VMODA Crossfade Wireless II Headphones are available online ($330USD) at v-moda.com
PANACHE Magazine authentically reviews products we think our readers will love. PANACHE has no affiliate partnerships with any company featured in the magazine nor does it receive a share of the revenue from any purchase. We’re just giving you an honest review and leave the rest to you!
In everyone’s life, there is always that one person who can affect your whole mood or reset your day with just one touch. When DJ Courtney puts his hand to the music he does just that.
Courtney can transform the dullest of spaces and places in minutes with the pulsating selection he plays. Beyond the impressive collection of tracks from the 70s, 80s and 90s genre that pull a more mature audience to places like Ribbiz on their ‘Big People Sundays’. DJ Courtney is first a great Dad- NOTHING means more to him than his son. This devoted father is many things…a realist and lover of the simple things in life. So after years of waiting, we’re happy he’s decided to share a little more about the man behind the music.
Where did your love of music come from? My mom died when I was four years old and my dad always had music playing in the house, it was always associated with happiness.
What inspired or motivated you to get into this business? I was an avid collector of Dancehall cassettes & eventually started to go to dances, where I met Selector Webba, who encouraged me to try it based on my knowledge of music.
What events/parties do you do… you have a strong following at Ribbiz’s Big People Sundays and several top locales across Jamaica… When and where can people find you?Yes, I am in the regular rotation at Big People Sundays at Ribbiz and once a month at Pulse for Pepperseed Wednesdays. Other than that I play at various parties, weddings, events across the island. Follow me on IG @djcourtneyjm for up to date info.
Outside of DJing/Spinning…you ever thought about producing? I’ve assisted in music production in the past, but the music business is too much politics in Jamaica, so I decided not to, the less stress the better.
What attracts you most to the genres of music you spin…70s, 80s, 90s…? It’s less violent & more fun, simple.
What are thoughts on the music industry today? While there are works of a few producers in the industry today that I do enjoy, I typically find the genre too violent, which is why I prefer the oldies.
The Chef #RealMenCook
“My favourite cuisine is Jamaican, then Chinese, & I actually love to replicate every good cuisine that I’ve tried. My favourite dish is curried goat.” -DJ Courtney
You’re an IT guy… let’s touch on that a bit… tell us what are your thoughts on net neutrality and more importantly how has social media helped or hindered you? Net Neutrality is the best thing to happen, especially in JA, it has made us more accessible globally, as for SM, Twitter & IG are my favourites to showcase my views & promotions.
Now back to music- How important is that connection with the crowd when you play? That’s the hardest part of playing, every crowd is different, & you have to figure out how to bring the different personalities together through the music, that’s called the art of reading the crowd.
Three tunes you could not live without? Dennis Brown – Love & Hate; Sam Cooke – A Change is Gonna Come; Jimmy Cliff – Many Rivers To Cross
If you could have a sound clash with anyone who would it be? Squingy – Bass Odyssey (RIP)
If you could meet anyone dead or alive who would it be and why? Dead – Martin Luther King; Alive – Barack Obama
Finally, what’s been your greatest achievement in life? My Son. |P
Contact Info for bookings: DJ Courtney™ Jamaican DJ versatile in all genres #WhoIsHere Instagram: @djcourtneyjm Twitter: @djcourtneyjm Email: email@example.com