Tough times

Tough times

Newsmaker: Rygin King

Associate Editor — Auto & Entertainment

Monday, July 06, 2020

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This is the second in a current affairs series by the Jamaica Observer's Entertainment Desk focusing on people who are making the news.


THESE are tough times for Rygin King. The Montego Bay-based dancehall deejay was relocated to an undisclosed medical facility due to security concerns last Thursday, after a group of men showed up at Falmouth Hospital in Trelawny and attempted to gain access to him.

The Falmouth police, who confirmed the incident, said the men were detained and later released.

“After Rygin was shot, someone leaked photos and videos of the artiste being wheeled in the operating room at Savanna-la-Mar Hospital. We understand and are aware of the media interest, but we thought that it was vital that Rygin was moved from Falmouth to a new, secure, undisclosed location for security reasons,” a member of the deejay's management team, who requested anonymity, told the Jamaica Observer.

The 25-year-old artiste was one of three people shot on June 28 in Westmoreland after leaving a funeral in that parish. Sashalee Blackwood of Irwin Meadows in St James was killed in the incident.

Rygin King — who was reportedly shot in the back, chest and leg — was initially admitted at Savanna-la-Mar Public General Hospital.

“The artiste is not out of the woods yet, he still needs prayers. But the doctors have been very professional and they are doing all they can do to ensure that he makes a full and speedy recovery,” said his management insider yesterday.

Born Matthew Smith, Rygin King hails from Montego Bay and began pursuing music professionally when he left high school. Songs including How Mi Grow, Tuff, and Things Go Change helped make him a hot ticket and, until two years ago, he was one of the top names in dancehall.

He was one of the acts billed on the 'Peter Tosh Tribute Concert' Tribute Concert held at the Pulse Complex on Trafalgar Road in Kingston in 2018. His performance on tracks did not impress the older audience members who came to see live music.

In March, Rygin King made the news for an outburst at Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, after being processed by health officials screening people returning to Jamaica from countries affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). He had several gigs in Europe.

He subsequently issued an apology to fans and the Jamaican Government through his management.

“We admit that the artiste did become a bit boisterous during an exchange with the airport authorities, but this was merely a result of the stress of the journey. At the time he landed in Jamaica, Rygin King had been travelling for 17 hours straight to make it to the island from Belgium via the Dominican Republic,” read the statement in part.

Rygin King is said to be responding favourably to treatment.

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