Sumfest is one of Jamaica’s long running and well respected musical platforms, setting aside the feud with I-Octane and Mr. Vegas, Dancehall gorgon Ninjaman has returned to its stage for an unprecedented performance this year.
I spoke with him earlier on what he would have in store for those planning on going to this year’s show..among other things
What will you do different at this show?
Every show I put out the same energy, I like when people feel the way they are supposed to feel. For the first time my performance will be rehearsed . Ah me name tek di show bus down show, I was always spontaneous but now my set will be rehearsed,prepared. The bandsman will be coordinated Sumfest will get a different performance from Ninjaman;lyrics,songs whey dem neva hear before …pan di radio and tv..Mi a go perform dem a Sumfest. I will be entertaining and outstanding. Even though my performance will be rehearsed, the delivery of some of my songs will depend on the vibe, mi a go build up di vibes.
Your response reminds me of something Supercat said in an interview before that back in the days the crowds would stay outside of a venue and the entertainers would have to perform well for the crowd to come in, this tactic you have of engaging the crowd, did you learn it back then?
Well it never actually happen like that. Back in the days a lot of promoters used to put people on the flyer that were not on the show. The crowds back then were different from now, they would wait outside to see if the artistes were there or wait for the energy to build up then go in. People were not like now , they did not take any and everything, now what dem tekking is mostly foolishness because Dancehall is deteriorating. There were lyrics and laughter back in the days.People used to party or go out to have fun now, if yuh nuh mind sharpe yuh leave di dance and all a quarrel because no vibes, the songs have no lyrics.
There was an article this week in which you were coming down on Beenieman for the statements he made on Hot97, many people who commented said you shouldn’t have gotten involved. What do you have to say about that?
Ah whey yuh say? Whey dem mean bout mi shudden get involved, him deh yah before me? Him do di work whey me do? Him too disrespectful so tell who vex fi come tek it to mi lyrically den because mi a behave now. Mi deh yah same way, mi bee through Supercat, Josey Wales, Tommylee, Popcaan. All some a dem do a get some Grammy and dem feel like dem deh pan top. Mi cudda do whey dem do fi get whey dem get but all dem do a life and a dat mek dem get whey dem get. Mi nah kill myself fi get nothing outa music, Bob Marley was the greatest in Reggae and him never say dat yet, Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh . Dem was great Reggae musicians and dem neva seh dat yet.Bob Marley is King and not even him pickney dem say a dem a run it because Bob legacy still a gwaan. Him a gwan like a him run Dancehall, it was disrespectful to the whole a we. Same way him go talk say Shabba pay motorcade fi come out when him land a Jamaica. Beenie you are not di king. From the youngest to the oldest it was disrespectful. Yuh nuh hold up Dancehall so all a him fans dem, who waa vex come…… because mi a behave miself. All who vex fi look ina Dancehall and see if any real artiste out deh. Right now a none cannot hold a number one spot fi more dan two weeks, twenty-eight years now me a champion top star. Mi a do whey mi want and all when mi deh a jail mi name a call and mi never yet say mi bigger dan anybody. A nuh him alone. Beenie yuh nah do nothing, come test mi lyrically . So wait, mi nuh ina Dancehall? Mi a di gorgon a Dancehall, if dem ramp mi can run over dem like Brazil vs Germany but a nuh seven love mi wudda gi dem. A nineteen.
Ok then…You said in your response that Dancehall is deteriorating , what do you think can be done to bring back the music.?
Well, DSR(DownSoundRecords) is helping to bring the music back. We as artistes should take music where it is supposed to go,lets stop qarrelling and fighting first. Second,they are not making Dancehall riddims,only HipHop or African riddims dem a mek. It is not our style of music they are cross over beats.Years now they are not putting out Reggae or Dancehall beats,only HipHop or African.So there is nothing for real Dancehall artistes to dj to. Is not African music we a do, is Dancehall.Yuh cant make a song to those riddims. Dancehall is lyrical entertainment,for Dancehall people have to listen to and learn from.If you have a song that song should teach something like school, college and university.The new songs are too quick and have nothing for people to learn.No sensible lyrics,only the freaky side of the world.Things in the bedroom they want to bring to the stage,too much things open to the youths now. And then they are complaining about what the youths are learning but is also the music’s fault..some of them only want to get a forward so they will say anything.
To be continued…as Ninjaman tells us how to save the music……