Sting of the Ryno!
ONE year after he was laughed off Sting for an ill-advised attack on fellow deejay Popcaan, Blak Ryno was declared champion of the 'Greatest One Night Show on Earth' on Boxing Day.
A former member of Vybz Kartel's Portmore Empire, Black Ryno dethroned Kiprich as the 'Clash King' at the show's 30th anniversary. He walked away US$30,000 richer and was also awarded the new Sting Clash title belt.
Blak Ryno shocked the jam-packed Jamworld Entertainment Complex and left his more established rival spellbound.
Before Ryno's entrance just before 7:00 am, 'Kippo' seemed confident of retaining his title. He challenged veteran deejays Super Cat and Mad Cobra to a lyrical showdown, but it was Blak Ryno who took up the challenge.
"A joke sup'm, is wha' dis dem sen' up here?" Kiprich asked disdainfully.
For approximately seven minutes, the champion held the advantage. His free-styling including a reference to Blak Ryno and Popcaan's farcical feud at last year's show and referred to him as Vybz Kartel's beating stick. Undeterred, Ryno responded with a string of rhymes that left the 'champ' down for the count. It was clear who fans thought was the winner as they booed Kiprich off stage. He later returned and congratulated his rival.
Kiprich was not the only artiste who got trampled lyrically.
Earlier, Lady Saw crushed longtime rival Macka Diamond.
"Sen' out di mongrel, a wey shi dey?!" a pumped-up Saw declared shortly after taking the stage.
Macka Diamond was just as feisty. "A wha' some dutty gyal a sey?" she retorted to roars from the crowd. The clash soon got ugly and personal with Macka Diamond hissing: "Yuh nuh si yuh can't keep nuh man cause yuh too nengy nengy."
Saw blurted: "Wha' happen to da fool dey? Si mi man dey ova dey so," pointing to boyfriend 'John John' who watched the exchange from stageside.
It was Saw who dominated as minutes into the bout, Macka appeared to run out of lyrics, enabling her raucous rival to order: "Cum off a di stage, yuh a fool!"
The beaten Macka did just that, retreating to resounding boos.
Before the clash, Saw delivered a tantalising set which included favourites like Walk Out, Wife a Wife and Mr Shortcomings. The peak of her performance came when she invited international male model Tyson Beckford onstage to perform the hit single, Heels On. Beckford was all smiles when Saw ordered him to lie down as she and another female took turns gyrating on him.
Hip hop artiste Wyclef Jean was in captivating form. Throughout his performance, members of the audience rapped to his tracks. Before making his exit, he ventured offstage to greet his fans.
American rapper 2 Chainz had hip hop fans jamming to songs like I Will be Getting Money, Big Booty Chick and I am Different.
Entering the arena at minutes to 1:00 am, his set was punctuated by expletives. "They tell me I got two minutes. How long I have been up here? I ain't come to Jamaica to do a 10-minute show," he told the crowd, before going into his hit songs.
His exit paved the way for the 'Wild Apache' and headliner Super Cat who emerged at 1:20 am to whistles and firecrackers. Among the hits he performed were Nuff Man a Dead, Boops, Unda Pressure and Don Dadda.
There was mixed reaction to Cat's stint.
Some patrons even described him as boring. "Cat is a good artiste but his best moments were the early '90s. A lot has changed since he last performed for the Sting crowd. A lot of persons here don't even know those songs... I am not impressed," said 37 year-old Vinton Thomas.
A broken thigh did not prevent Tommy Lee Sparta from appearing, weeks after being injured in an auto accident. Accompanied by four masked characters, he performed on crutches and stayed away from the dark lyrics he is known for. "Thank God mi alive yute, mi feel like crying. I am a firm believer in God, nuh true. Mi sey Uncle Demon inna mi songs. Mi grow up inna church an' a God save mi life," said the teary-eyed entertainer. Beenie Man had patrons flicking their lighters, waving and dancing to his countless hit songs. Halfway through his set he was joined by estranged wife D'Angel with whom he performed the song Heart Attack.
Sizzla Kalonji gave a fiery performance which drew the requisite torch and lighter response. The Rastafarian artiste 'bun a fire' on things immoral including homosexuality, child abuse and oral sex.
There were also outstanding performances from Josey Wales, Major Mackerel, Aidonia, Romain Virgo, Etana, Jah Bouks, Admiral Bailey, Mavado and I Wayne.
This year's show was well-organised by co-promoters Supreme Promotions and Down Sound Records. It was violence-free and there were no long breaks or band changes.