Clashes are back at Sting

Friday, December 02, 2011

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Lovers of lyrical on stage clashes between deejays are being promised a treat at this year's staging of the Boxing Day reggae festival, Sting.

Come December 26, the organisers, Supreme Promotions, are promising at least four clashes between some of the popular acts.

According to Supreme's DiMario McDowell, this year the most sensational clash is expected to come from the warlord, Merciless and Sting favourite Kiprich, with the year-long war of wards between selector cum deejay Tony Matterhorn and Twin of Twins, also expected to come to a head on the stage at the Jamworld Entertainment Complex in Portmore, St Catherine.

Merciless and Kiprich are no strangers to clashing on the Sting stage. Merciless has had a long history of taking the war to the stage from as far back as the 1990s. His clashes with Bounty Killer and even the now incarcerated Ninjaman, have been legendary. Kiprich has been building his clash credibility over the year's with a series of blistering performances at Sting. Two years ago he single-handedly took on the Monster Shack Empire, forcing them to flee the stage. Kiprich has even been 'throwing words' at a number of popular deejay's seemingly egging on clashes.

However, one of the clashes which has been playing out for a number of months is between Matterhorn and the Twins. Both sides have been taunting each other with a series of counteractions which has aroused the clash spirit in a number of dancehall fans, and definitely provides the fodder necessary in the run-up to Sting.

In the past, Supreme Promotions has dabbled with moving away from clashes at Sting. However, this reflected badly in terms of patronage. In 2009, Sting saw one of the largest audiences due to the highly touted clash between rivals head of the Gaza empire Vybz Kartel and the man from the gullyside, Mavado. This clash produced the desired fireworks , but failed to arrive at a clear cut winner of the on stage duel. Last year patronage dropped dramatically, and some feel this was due to Vybz Kartel's announcement he would not participate on the show. The show failed to bring about any clash, a desired feature for many attending the event referred to by organisers as, 'the greatest one-night reggae show on Earth'.

McDowell is also excited about the other scheduled clashes at Sting. "We cannot underestimate the potency of the clash between Magnum Kings and Queens of the dancehall finalists Hurricane and Specialist, as well as Deva Bratt and Iyara. These should bring some excitement to the Sting stage," he added.

A fifth clash, between dancehall veterans Beenie Man and archrival Bounty Killer, was announced at Wednesday's launch of Sting at the Wyndham Hotel in Kingston. However, since then Beenie Man has indicated that he will not perform on the festival until there is an explanation from Sting's Isaiah Laing regarding comments he (Laing) made during a recent television interview.

In addition to the clashes, Sting 2011, under the theme 'rumours of war, will feature a raft of established and up-and-coming reggae and dancehall acts. Three separate events have also been added to the roster including the Christmas night party Candy Cane, the after Sting day party Skinz on December 27 and the old school party, Rub-A-Dub on New Year's Day.

— Richard Johnson

See related story:

Will Beenie Man perform on Sting?

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