Super Cat roars at ICONZSaturday, October 23, 2021
BY HOWARD CAMPBELL
The Barclays Center in Brooklyn is best known as the stomping ground for Kevin Durant and James Harden to show off their skills for NBA team the Brooklyn Nets. On October 16, however, it was dancehall's elite who scored big.
It was the venue for ICONZ, a Verzuz event headlined by Super Cat.
His set was preceded by a sound clash between King Addies and Lion Face, performances from Teejay, Kranium, Dexta Daps, Konshens, Wyclef Jean, Cham, and Barrington Levy.
Super Cat gave a solid performance built around dancehall favourites like Nuff Man A Dead, Dem Nuh Worry We, and Dolly my Baby; songs that endeared him to the hip hop crowd 30 years ago.
In true Super Cat fashion, he threw a few lyrical shots. This time at the direction of former United States President Donald Trump, whom he accused of dividing the United States.
The sound system clash was a big deal for King Addies, a mainstay of the New York City dancehall scene for nearly 40 years.
“King Addies is America's number one 'sound', with a 38-year legacy and international fan base of primarily hard-core reggae dancehall, sound system, and sound clash fans. But Verzuz is a global pop culture brand so it put us in front of millions of people all over the world who were probably seeing us perform for the first time and probably seeing a sound clash for the first time,” Shinez, co-manager of King Addies, said.
Trinidadian-born Richard “Lion Face” Thomas was one of 'Addies selectors for several years. He thoroughly enjoyed his first clash in many years and agreed it gave him significant exposure.
“Verzuz is the biggest music platform in the world, so being a part of dancehall/sound clash history once more is the greatest thing, as it definitely opened more doors,” he said.
The Verzuz concept started in March 2020 as a virtual bout between music producers and founders, Swizz Beatz and Timbaland. Since then, big names in rap, soul, and dancehall have featured in the popular virtual square-off. The Beenie Man/Bounty Killer clash in May last year was reportedly one of the series' most popular.