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Miami’s 6th Annual Caribbean Reggae Fest - A Review by Carlos Culture

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Caribbean Reggae Fest
November 16 2003
Miami Florida

Big Respect goes out to Anchor Minott - Scoffrey, Andrew & Chucky B and Danger Zone Entertainment for putting one of the best dancehall festival in Florida maybe the all of the states! At the press conference promoters said that all of the artists would show and it would proceed on time. Red Rat stepped to podium and reminded everyone to make sure to get there before 4:30 because that was when his set was scheduled. The press posse laughed out loud. He cracked a few more laughs.

There were nuff pre-parties the night before. There was an official VIP pre-party at Club Zino and another party at Harbor Grill they were both packed. Everything was Good 2 Go for the show!

"Going To The Party" as we approached the gate about 8:00 the line getting in was ridiculously long, but the vibes were cool as the night breeze in downtown Miami. Tanto Metro and Devonte were slamming the stage. Good reports from the previous performers Buju Banton, Spragga Benz featuring Red Square - Assassin and Greg Hinds, KC Jockey, Cecile, Mr. Easy, Jr. Demus, Kevin Little, Rempage, and Max-A-Mil were heard. The Bi-Centenial Park was filled with an estimated 19,000 hard core dancehall fans in attendance were having a blast…and plenty people outside.

The "Doctor", Beenie Man a staple of this event now making six years inna row was on stage next and gave a good performance hittin' forwards on his newer hits like: "Row Like A Boat", and "Red, Red, Red". His "Nurse" - Ms. Thing did back up vocal and busted the place with their duet "Dude" on the swinging "Fiesta" riddim. Both were dressed in white from head to toe. Calibe also did backup vocals and joined Beenie for "L.O.V. E." on the "Sexy Lady" riddim. Dancer John Hype came on stage near the end of the set and went through a 'ole heap a dances with Beenie Man. Dances like "Pon de River", "Run", "Rain Drops", "Zagga Zow", "Thunder Clap", "Shelly Belly", "Higher Level", "Crazy Hype", and more were showcased and are sweeping dancehalls worldwide. The crown really enjoyed this section. Beenie Man had one of the top sets.

The sets were kinda short so they went fast. Lady Saw made a special appearance and touched the mic for a sec driving Miami in a frenzy. It was just a tease. Supa Twich outta New York had the stage for the set change and hit some forwards.

After a break, the "War Lord" Bounty Killer came on with "Mr. Wuk More" on the "Wanted" riddim and shifted gears into Sadda Dem and a couple others medley style like "Look Into My Eyes" and later "Sufferra". The Killa featured Angel Doolas on "Gal Turn Me On" on the caliente "Salsa" riddim. At one point he went into some talk about Beenie Man - a "Regular Ting" nothing too much new, but is took from his set, btw Bounty was in all black with hat and glasses. I guess Beenie Man said his name during his set. Bounty Killer finished off his set and there was still so much more Bashment to come.

Out in the park the vibes were super nice the sound was good and clear, plenty of food vendors and a long, long bar. Even with alcohol in the venue I did not see or hear of any fights or clashes. The back stage was fun and full of attractive well-dressed dancehall crews and posses. It was star studded with today's top dancehall entertainers and insiders Tanya Stephens, Bling Dawg, Richard "Shams" Browne, Jazzy T, Natty Remo, and press CVM, MTV2, RETV, Rude Gal, and so many more. The were people all over from Southern California, San Francisco, Texas, New York around to England came for the big show. There were a lot of people back stage so after Bounty Killer security locked off the back stage gate for anyone coming in and out only. You could not get back in.

Turbulence open up with few licks lighting a hot fire for Sizzla . The crowd went nuts for Sizzla's "Good Ways", "Love Is Always There" and few others from his catalog of conscious hits and dancehall boomshots like "Give It To Dem" and "Blaze Fire Blaze" hits. He did a few chunes from "Da Real Thing" produced by Bobby Digital like "Simplicty", "Solid As A Rock", and one of the biggest chunes for the year "Dry Cry/Just One Of Those Days". During this song Sizzla barely had to sing the audience just took over a few times. Almost down on one knee waving his free hand over his head the crowd voiced their overwhelming approval. Kalonji could do no wrong. The Miami massive loved Sizzla.

Elephant Man and his crew were next. Elephant was excellent. It was pure bashment from the drop. Tunes like "Chiney Ting", "Higher Level", "Blaise" plus the remix of "Get Low" were early in the set putting the place in a dancing mood. He had brought out Kiprich, Predator, Roundhead , and Bogle, way out front to be the dancers.on "Pon De River Pon De Bank". The stage was electric and overloaded with his entourage and band. They had a blast. Predator and Kiprich hit their big chune "Head Nuh Good" which was very well received by they hyped up crowd. Then went into some old time remakes and had the crowd singing. Then he and Kiprich went into their singing contest to woo the ladies. Close to the end of the set he cracked it wide open with "Signal The Plane". Elephant Man was an "Energy God" and probably had the top set. No doubt the massive are strong suporters of "Ele".

Jesse Jendau came on stage between sets getting everyone's hopes up of receiving some free ganja weed from the Boboman. He customarily does this at Rebel Salute in Jamaica. The Ganja Man was on stage waving this long sword exalting "Jah" and repeating "Israel" a lot. As Bongo Herman's kette drum beat Jesse dug deep in his backpack and pulled out pairs ganja/hemp shoes for a lucky handfull.

"King Shango" Capelton stormed the stage with "Jah Jah City " opening his set and the fireman kept blazing with "Bun Out Di Chi Chi". Later he bigged up the ladies with "Good In Har Clothes" and "Hunt You". "Cooyah Cooyah" and "Whoa" were also highlighted during the 25-minute set which included "More Fire" and "Mi Deh Yah". He closed his set by letting two DJs run the stage. The show closed ahead of schedule with only one no show of Vybz Cartel who missed a flight.

The official after party was at the "Bayside Hut" on Key Biscayne near downtown. The party was still happening with Jazzy T selecting tunes like old chunes like Frisco Kid's "Little and Cute" with Beenie's "Teenie Weenie" and new hit "Dude", and Baby Cham's "Vitamin S" and the lot. The vibes kept spinning as the next DJ hit thee turntables mixing some Hip-Hop. It was still rocking at 3:30am.

--Carlos Culture


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