TEENage Observer's Best of 2012
Jamaica celebrated the 50th anniversary of its Independence in 2012; and this week TEENage highlights all the Bests that we saw in the year.
Top Sports Moment
Jamaica 1-2-3 200m finals
TEENage’s Top Sports Moment for 2012 is the 1-2-3 finish in the men’s 200m finals at the London Olympics.
As millions of Jamaicans watched worldwide, Usain Bolt crossed the line first to defend his 2008 title, with his closest challenger and friend Yohan Blake in second and surprise Warren Weir completing the trio that would go down in sports history.
Bolt solidified his name as a true legend of the sport with his 200m win, and Blake and Weir made Jamaica proud with the rounding out if the top three — a feat that had only been accomplished by the USA
The Crowds in Half-Way-Tree ran wild and pots and pans banged across the countryside, as the world recognised Jamaica as a true sprint powerhouse.
It wasn’t just a victory for Glen Mills and the Racers Track Club, however, as Jamaicans everywhere felt pride well in their heart as three black, green and gold flags flew over London.
Sports Person of the Year
In a country that boasts numerous sporting talents, it took much thought before TEENage decided to award Chris Gayle with the title of Sports Person of the Year.
Following a period of negative publicity, Gayle took the year by storm with his flair, charisma and newfound dance moves.
Playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL), Gayle had a great tournament, scoring 733 runs in 15 matches, including 59 sixes, which was easily the most sixes hit during the tournament.
After much turmoil between himself and the West Indies Cricket Board, Gayle returned for the series against New Zealand, and he didn’t disappoint.
During the T20s, the One Day Internationals and the Test matches, he showed his class and reminded the WI Board and the world that he is one of the most explosive batsmen of all time.
Taking his form through to the ICC World Twenty20 Championships, Gayle amassed 222 runs in six innings, including a commanding 75 not out in the semi-finals against Australia, helping WI to 205-4. While his batting was spectacular, Gayle will be remembered for galvanising the entire WI team with his ‘Gangnam Style’ celebrations throughout the tournament.
To top of the year, Chris Gayle returned to Jamaica and held a charity party through his foundation to raise funds for the Lucas Cricket Club in a quest to enable youths to get the same sort of chances he did.
Bad Mind — Bounty Killer and I-Octane
Best Collaboration of the year 2012 goes to the song Bad Mind by I-Octane and Bounty Killer. It goes without saying that Jamaica did not expect the collaboration between the two and the video definitely showed another side of I-Octane.
But Bounty and I-Octane showed their true love for music when they combined their skills and creativity to record the best collaboration of 2012.
A classic introduction by Bounty Killer rounded out with this witty lines about devils (nodding to his verbal back and forth with another artiste) gave this track that punch it needed.
I-Octane was not outshun with his melodious chorus and to-the-point verses.
The track was a hit in the dances and a regular on radio rotation — a definite winner for Best Collaboration.
Best TV Show
It is hot, it is relevant and it is like no other we have experienced in 2012. It’s no wonder TEENage had to name it the best TV show for 2012.
What are we talking about? Mission Catwalk.
The Project Runway-esque show has definitely solidified its name in local reality television. The show is aimed at discovering and developing talented local fashion designers for the international market.
This year the show had a better variety of Caribbean representation and integration — so much so that the top three were from Jamaica, Belize and Trinidad & Tobago.
With such show dynamics, other local reality television shows should watch, look and learn.
TEENage is ready and waiting for season three.
Best Dressed (Female)
Cherine definitely mixed things up in 2012 with both her music taking on a bit more of a dancehall vibe than in previous years.
But she also showed off her versatility with her fashion sense. Whether rocking heels or tomboy boots, a dress or jeans, vintage pieces or current trends, Cherine captured the true sense of fashion by combining simple pieces, with a ‘talk about’ piece or accessory.
From Saturday stroll to stage, she kept her look simple enough to be comfortable, but edgy enough to be sexy, and to show off her ‘dancehall soul’ persona without exposing too much.
Even her hair took on new life moving from long natural curly locks to a spunky cut with highlights.
Then, of course, her smile perfectly finished off every outfit she rocked, making her definitely best dressed from head to toe.
Best Dressed (Male)
A mixture of earthy with a touch of male chic, No-Maddz has landed the spot for Best Dressed Males.
Each member has their unique sense of style, but they always seem to complement each other and the surroundings that they are in. These reggae fusion dub poets can diversify their looks while still maintaining the natural and earthy look that they are known for.
They have amazing personalities and their sense of fashion stands tall to create a complete package on and off the stage. They always maintain professionalism even when they are in a laid-back setting and this extends to how they put themselves together.
Despite the rugged nature in the hair grooming department, this adds to the entire appeal. Whether they are in formal wear, business attire or it is a casual day, the delightful men of No-Maddz are always well co-ordinated.
The dub-poetry musical quartet No-Maddz, comprising Sheldon Shepherd, Everaldo Creary, Chris Gordon and O’Neil Peart, is definitely a favourite because of their creativity combined with their superb musical talent.
In their own words, “if it nuh live, it dead”, this group delivers superb live performances to their audiences all over the world.
On their true wandering poetic journey No-Maddz has done multiple world tours and also found time to take it home to ignite the stage at ‘Behind The Screen’ series held at Tracks and Records in the latter part of the year.
A notable piece of work from this group is their single Sort out You Life Jamaica commemorating Jamaica’s 50th year of Independence.
With their creative spin on music, presentation and poetry, No-Maddz has deservingly earned TEENage’s nod for Best Group.
Best Fashion Trend (Female)
Neon Colour Blocking
This year saw a lot of residual fashion trends making their glorious return, but the most notable one was neon colour-blocking.
Imagine highlighter hues fresh from a Madonna 1980s video being plastered across dresses, skirts, pants, accessories and the like.
Not only did the 2012 fashionista dabble in electrifying colours, but she pushed the envelope with sheer and solid materials to create a polished, but playful look.
We especially loved the combination of neon hues with more muted palettes such as black that added a bit of personality to the traditional little black dress (LBD).
If we were to make a projection for 2013, we would confidently put forward that the fashion world is not done with neon colour blocking. In fact, we would go a step further and expect more fashion risk-takers to start mixing it with prints.
Best Fashion Trend (Male)
A round of applause for the boys who threw away the average T-shirt and jeans look for more manly casual look.
2012 was definitely the year of the re-emergence of the young gentleman who kept his T-Shirts at bay and his button downs crisp. We are especially thrilled with the gentleman transition and immersion into high fashion culture through the classic shoe, namely Oxfords.
Whether with or without socks, oxfords are the perfect addition to the fashion-forward male’s shoe collection. They can seamlessly transition from day to night.
What made this shoe such a hot commodity this year for us was the fact that it evoked a male fashion confidence that we love to see. Regardless of the colour, Oxfords are a classy and welcomed addition to any look.
Chill Spot — Chris Martin
RD Studios gave the perfect visual to Christopher Martin’s Chimney Records-produced single Chill Spot.
The very relaxed single featured clean, natural shots and realistic experiences; giving viewers the chance to not only see a relaxed Martin, but also to see some of the most popular ‘chill spots’ here in Jamaica.
Music fans across the globe gravitated to the video, which gave some foreigners a peep into the fun, relaxed ‘non-tourist’ side of the island, and made Jamaicans abroad miss home.
Who doesn’t need a spot to just relax after a hectic day or week? Shots of dominoes, football, the beach, and relaxing with friends come together, reminding even the most stressed-out person to sit back, relax and find the place where you can enjoy the simple things in life … your Chill Spot.
Best Media Personality
You might be wondering how it’s possible for a Zip 103 FM disc jock other than ZJ Liquid to get this title, but let’s face it, we’ve all been ‘reppin’ Chrome this year.
Shaun ‘ZJ Chrome’ Chabal’s year started on a positive with the release of the TNS riddim in early March, which featured Vybz Kartel’s popular Lip Gloss track as well as Di Genius’ Never Scared. He also managed to keep up the flow with the Wild Bubble Riddim in August.
Seeing how hard it is to come with a super summer track versus Washroom’s Poolside, Chrome has exceeded expectation.
Besides his riddims, you can’t forget his brand #TNS. Chrome has not only managed to keep us up from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am on a Monday following him on Twitter, but has also introduced us to the #TNS brand of shirts and hats. It’s really not common to see a DJ with his own line is it?
ZJ Chrome hasd a good year in 2012, let’s see if he can come bigger and better in 2013!
Best Producer & Riddim
Washroom Entertainment continued their production reign from 2011 into 2012 with a stellar year of quality releases.
They nab the Producer of the Year title for their projects Love Bug Riddim, Poolside Riddim, and the Dog Bite Riddim.
While the Love Bug Riddim attained moderate success locally, Poolside Riddim was a summer smash that is still popular in 2013.
The monstrous hit Siddung by Konshens and Darrio, the irresistible Hold On by Tifa, and the dance floor banger Clap It Up by Voicemail, made the Poolside Riddim an instant success, and our Riddim of the Year.
Washroom Entertainment solidified its number one spot with the Dog Bite Riddim’s controversial single Why Yuh Mad, the long-awaited collaboration by Tifa and Spice.
Best New Artiste
Reggae, Jamaica’s most well-known export, oftentimes seems to take a backseat locally to dancehall.
But what if reggae could have you moving to percussions that would rival any dancehall riddim? Or if this genre could once again produce catchy, socially conscious lyrics that would uplift the youths?
Jamar ‘Chronixx’ McNaughton, a 19-year-old second-generation reggae singer, is climbing the charts and can only continue to go up.
Chronixx has the socially conscious lyrics and smooth, melodious voice for which reggae is known. He is also a producer, creating some of the most upbeat, percussion-filled beats reggae needs to get back on top.
Though he has only been in the mainstream as a performing artiste for little over a year, Chronixx already has hits like Warrior, Behind Curtain, They Don’t Know, and Nah Follow Nobody, which all have his slogan ‘Jah Over Evil’ reigniting a conscious flame in the hearts of the people.
Konshens and Romain Virgo
The year 2012 has seen and established the accomplishments of two male entertainers — Romain Virgo and Garfield ‘Konshens’ Spence. They both reigned in the reggae and the dancehall world respectively, not only creating good music, but maintaining a presence locally and internationally.
Konshens and Virgo have not only created hot new singles, but also hot new videos that have more than satisfied their supporters.
Virgo’s top songs for this year included Take It Too Far, I Know Better, Cry Tears For You, Mi A Wait and Don’t You Remember, while Konshens topped the charts with Bring It Come, Gal A Bubble, So Mi Tan, and Gyal Siddung.
They both, in addition to rocking the airwaves, have been able to rock the stage everywhere they go, and, of course, they do so in style.
Honourable mention: Aidonia
Best Female Artiste
Latifa Brown, popularly known by her stage name ‘Tifa’ had a terrific 2012, with her songs on all the airwaves locally and internationally.
For that she gets TEENage’s choice for Best Female Artiste for 2012.
Arguments and clashes aside, there is no doubt that her songs made dancehall feel special. The female patrons in particular loved her song Dash Out, which was released in 2011, but gained more traction in 2012.
Tifa, over the past year, has also added her unique touch to some wonderful combinations with artistes such as Konshens, Spice, Mr Vegas, Miss Kitty, and Laza Morgan.
In February her song Wife Mi Up gave fans a taste of the hits to come. Throughout the year she produced popular songs like Niceness, Destiny featuring Konshens, and singles Show Me The Bubble, and among others.
Her collaboration with Spice, called Why Yuh Mad and its accompanying video climbed quite a few charts in Jamaica, the USA and Britain. However it is Hold On that many will remember in 2012. Voiced on the Poolside Riddim, it was especially popular locally and even spent seven weeks on the MTV Base Africa Dancehall chart.
Tifa also didn’t disappoint locally as she appeared on Reggae Sumfest and entertained crowds at the Jamaica 50 Grand Gala.
Comeback Artiste of the Year
In 2012, many artistes tried to make a name for themselves in the dancehall market. But many have had to wait, since RDX made the best comeback for the duo.
They reimerged with songs that took the airwaves by storm, such as the first major hit for 2012, a song called Jump released in March.
Jump was on every disc jock’s playlist; and on everyone’s lips, people couldn’t get enough of this song even before the summer party scene hit.
In June, they dropped another hit called Broad Out that has been blazing on every radio station, every party, ever since.
RDX reclaimed their place as the ‘Dance Kings’ in 2012. On the international scene, RDX has brought their flavour to the Caribbean and to Europe with various bookings unleashing to addictive melody of their music.
We await with bated breath for the next hit that the duo will drop in 2013.
Best Gospel Artiste
This year was unquestionably a successful year for gospel music. Several albums were released, endorsement deals were signed, and much touring was done.
Gospel prodigies such as Judith Gayle, DJ Nicholas, Rondell Positive, J Cee, and Kevin Downswell were the front-runners in these areas. However, it was Jermaine Edwards’ year with his album Island Worshiper.
This artiste has created an amazing buzz about his music and prolific songwriting, so much so that Digicel has agreed to sign him for a second year as one of their ambassadors.
TEENage hails Jermaine as the best gospel artiste for 2012.
Affairs Of The Heart — Damian Marley
For 2012, Damian Marley decided to release music outside of an album, a rarity by the artiste, but a decision that paid off handsomely. The Teetimus produced Affairs Of The Heart, featured Damian Marley letting his guard down, showing vulnerability to love. The song moved listeners from across the nation and diaspora.
The single featured perfect song construction through an appealing introduction, harmonious chorus, audible verses, and even a bridge, which is scarcely used in Jamaican songs.
With these song components delivered well by Damian Marley over a light synth instrumentation perfect for the single’s theme, Affairs of the Heart was undoubtedly the Best Song of 2012.
Best Animated Movie
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
TEENage is positive 2008’s sequel, Escape 2 Africa, gave viewers a bellyful of laughter.
We’re also pretty sure you thought Madagascar could not get more hilarious.
Once again, we believe that once you saw that car chase set to Journey’s Any Way You Want It, which was the most impressive scene — you were in shock. Because that’s when you realised this ‘three-quel’ was even better than 2008’s instalment.
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted is frenetic, energetic, dazzlingly colourful, and insanely funny. Scenes like King Julien and a bear in a tutu riding a tricycle through the Sistine Chapel, and the penguin’s Skipper explaining “We’ll be rich, the rules of physics won’t apply to us!” will remain wonderful memories.
The film-makers must be commended for their ingenious addition of the amusingly vile villain, Captain Chantel DuBois — a proper antagonist (finally!).
And what about those penguins and their unparalleled comic relief? They are easily the best things about the movie.
The antics of the pink bear in a multi-coloured afro, a ring-tailed lemur and Alex the Lion and his crew’s journey should just about get you to laugh your heart out.
Best Live-Action Movie
The Avengers gets the mantle of Best Live-Action Film this year as the superhero action movie drew Jamaicans to the cinemas for several week after its release.
The action scenes, along with the humour, good graphics and great acting skills made The Avengers an enjoyable picture for even those who wouldn’t usually watch action or superhero movies.
This alluring mix got the movie to the third-highest grossing ever, and it maintained its spot as 2012’s highest grossing film even with blockbuster competition from Breaking Dawn: Part II, Skyfall and The Dark Knight Rises.
The movie tells the story of a league of Marvel’s most recognised superheroes, called to work together and defend the world against alien invaders.
The combination of superheroes such as Robert Downey Jr’s Ironman, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, and Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk grossed over US$1.5 billion worldwide.
Best Chill Spot
Cuddy’z Sports Bar and Grill
The newly renovated Courtney Walsh-branded establishment Cuddy’z Sports Bar and Grill made its mark for 2012.
Sports fan or not, Cuddy’z Sports Bar and Grill has been the ideal place for entertainment, watching games, as well as casual dining, Jamaican style.
Their reasonably priced signature 519 Burgers, the Cuddyztini cocktail and La Hora Hoca Menu are just a few items that keep patrons coming back for more.
Cuddy’z also provides non-alcoholic beverages and Happy Hour, featuring the Fabulous Foooolish Fridays and Comedy Club serve as an added treat.
Cuddy’z also caters to the young ones as there is a special kids’ section on the menu.
So whether it’s out with the family, lyming with friends or enjoying the finals with other sports fans, Cuddy’z Sports Bar and Grill hosts it all.
Samsung Galaxy SIII
Last year saw all touch devices making an even longer stride in front of traditional tech devices. Smartphones with large screens, rivalling smaller, more efficient seven-inch tablets, were all the rage.
It is no wonder then that of all the tech devices released, at the top of our list is the Samsung Galaxy SIII with its 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display.
This sleek, revolutionary, replace-my-everything device comes standard with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, a dual-core processor, 2GB RAM, and 16GB or 32GB of internal memory, and allows up to 64GB of external SD storage.
The phone, which is chock-full of software, also has a sharp eight-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera that plays back in 720p HD quality. It has excellent battery life that will last you all day.
Some of our favourite software features include ‘S Beam’, which allows you to share large file photos, videos, and documents with another SIII by simply tapping their backs together; and ‘Pop-Up Player’, which launches a 720p floating video thumbnail you can watch and drag around the screen, while doing other things like sending emails.
We also loved the various motion-control gestures like flipping the phone over to mute a call, or mute or pause sounds by covering the screen with your palm, and lifting the phone to your face while texting to initiate a call.
International Artiste of the Year
American singer/songwriter Taylor Swift has had a successful year of hits in 2012. She released her fourth album October 2012 entitled Red.
In its opening week the album grossed US1.21 million — the highest recorded in a decade, with Swift becoming the only female artiste to have two million-plus in opening weeks.
As many could recall listening to the lead single on the radio, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, was released in August 2012 and it was Swift’s first number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, which became a worldwide hit recording the highest one-week sales figures for a female artiste.
The album also topped international sales charts in the UK, Ireland, Canada, Brazil, Japan, among many other countries. In addition to her music career, Swift appeared as an actress in the animated film The Lorax.
Swift has won three MTV Europe Music Awards in 2012, including the honours for Best Female and Best Live Act. She was named Best Female Country Artist at the 2012 American Music Awards and she copped The Nashville Songwriters Association’s 2012 Songwriter/Artist Award for the fifth year in a row.
Swift has received three nominations for the 2013 Grammy awards, which is due to take place on February 10. All this hard work has surely declared Taylor Swift as the 2012 International artiste of the year.
International Song of the Year
Since its release in July 2012, we’re sure everyone has heard the line ‘Oppa Gangnam style’ even once. Gangnam Style is a Korean-pop single by the South Korean musician PSY.
The Korean phrase ‘Gangnam Style’, the song and its accompanying music video went viral in August 2012 and has influenced pop culture worldwide since then.
Gangnam Style received positive reviews, with credit attached to its appealing beat and PSY’s entertaining dance moves in the music video; which have become well-known across the globe.
In September 2012, Gangnam Style was recognised by Guinness World Records as the most ‘liked’ video on YouTube. It then won Best Video at the MTV Europe Music Awards and by the end of 2012.
The song had topped the music charts of more than 30 countries and in December 2012, Gangnam Style became the first video in the history of the Internet to be viewed more than a billion times.