Getting the word out…

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The international trailer for Iron Man 3 with Robert Downey Jr starring as Tony Stark is out. The two minutes plus trailer is action-packed, exciting, moving and pulling you to watch it over and over again. Don’t believe? Check out the trailer for a sense of what I mean.


Season 3 of the Wray & Nephew Contender kicks off Wednesday, March 6th at the popular Chinese Benevolent Association, Old Hope with live action at 9:30pm.

The show will don a new host in that of Kamila McDonald, as it returns to the middleweight feature division, with two-eight-man teams competing for one million dollars and the 2013 Contender title. The teams remain unchanged at Yellow and Green, the latter led by Joseph Harrison of Heavy Metal gym out of St. Ann’s Bay, whilst Andrew Boland of Savanna-la-mar’s Hard Knocks gym the Yellow.

Contender Fact Sheet2

The series is expected to assume the format of challenges for 7 weeks during Stage 1, and will see the 2 teams engaging in a series of weekly physical challenges.  The winning team will then have the advantage as they will nominate a boxer from their camp as well as choose the opposing fighter from the other camp.  These 2 boxers will then fight Live on TVJ to determine who stays and who goes. For the eighth week that format will be abandoned as the 8 remaining boxers will be seeded and drawn for matchups.

The participants this year is a good mix, comprising youth and experience. At least two familiar faces, Devon Moncrieffe and Ramel ‘Sub Zero’ Lewis, two beaten finalist from 2010 and 2011 are expected to join the action as they compete for prizes of one million for the winner, second J$500,000, 3rd Place J$250,000 and 4th Place J$200,000.

Wray & Nephew is the name sponsor, while Foska Oats and TVJ are associate sponsors. The event is promoted by MJK Productions and approved by the Jamaica Boxing Board of Control.

STAGE 1 8 Fights 6 rounds each 8 fighters left standing
STAGE 2 4 Fights 6 rounds each 4 fighters left standing
STAGE 3 2 Fights 8 rounds each 2 fighters left standing
STAGE 4 Final Fight 10 rounds 1 Middleweight Contender

With just two weeks before ‘the Magnum Mansion’ the 7th live show in the Magnum Kings & Queens of Dancehall talent show was nothing short of emotions, as the top 8 of Castle Red displayed their talents.

Pressure got mounted on the unfortunate contestants in the bottom two in the beginning for face-offs and followed by the night’s performance. CHARLENE SKYLAR and SEXY KAYDA got the ball rolling first. However Charlene’s lyrics gave her the nod over Kayda. While the judges had a little difficulty choosing between MOVAC and CHECK who to send forward. Miss Kitty initially said,  “the two a oonu get mi vote,” while Professor Nuts voted MOVAC. Host Yanique wouldn’t allow diplomatic immunity and insisted Miss Kitty selected someone. Kitty balance the scale, however, it Skatta’s vote that gave CHECK another chance at the crown. The decision saw mixed responses both from D’Entrance and Social Networking site Twitter. Many felt the decision was motivated out of biases because it is said that CHECK had linkage with the label Skatta works with, Down S  

Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall Judges

Magnum Kings & Queens of Dancehall Judges (from left) Skatta Burrell, Miss Kitty, Professor Nuts & Dexton Ennis, Promoter of FOLLOW DI ARROW & guest judge last Saturday.
(PHOTO CREDIT: Ishango Photos)

Last Saturday the remaining contestants in Castle Blue for the Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall fought viciously to stomp their mark for the weekly talent show in a two-fold facelift; to be selected by Guest Judge and promoter of Follow Di Arrow to perform on the show of the said name and to send a warning to Castle Red they would be no walkover ahead of the Magnum Mansion, when they would combine with Castle Red. As was promised in promos Castle Blue got a facelift, with the introduction of two Wild Cards, one of whom was brought back by Professor Nuts, and injections of confidence among all.


MAKARIE triumph over JADE in the faceoff to return to the stage to cruise to an engaging performance beckoning “mi nah fi beg fi mi nails dem do”. PAYNE got an easy chance to perform again as JAH B literally got nervous and messed up, singing off key and without confidence. PAYNE used it to his advantage, delivered and returned to the stage later using a creative concept with a tin to recount experiences on the campaign trail. Several persons from the audience liked it and dropped coins and paper monies in the tin he had, he also got a $1000 note from Judge Skatta Burrell while Host Yanique dropped $10 saying “$10, 20 anything”.

A motivated GLAMITY was reintroduced to the competition as Professor Nuts’ Wild Card, spinning lyrics about her early departure in a song and gave her word that she was back to stay. GLAMITY received several ‘forwards’ (local dancehall terminology for endorsement) and pushed “mi badda than a category 5 hurricane”.

JONNAH who followed later tackled “Young Unemployed” on the Life Riddim echoing sentiments of not being able to find a job despite being qualified, a recurring cry among recent graduates. He was celebrated for his efforts by audience members and got a standing ovation from Miss Kitty.

SASIQUE and the Producer’s Wild Card pick MAD ATTITUDE followed the previous contestants delivering memorable performances. The former left the audience with ‘any man inna bed after 9 a waste a time’, while the latter got head bobbing to “Creep In” as they did just what the lyrics said.

Though KONFYDENCE and SHACK started off the performances last Saturday they were weak when compared to the others. So too were REAL STEELE and HALONI, who performed close to the end.

KONFYDENCE, who has been lacking in confidence over the weeks, took some confidence to the stage but it wasn’t enough for some audience members and the judges. REAL STEELE delivered a less than favourable performance about ‘Fren-emies’. While HALONI complemented his performance with a guitar for an acoustic vibe. At the end he got commended for bringing something different, but doubts were left in some minds as to whether or not the guitar helped or hindered him. Though votes are what determined the return of the contestants, it wouldn’t be surprising these contestants would be in the bottom two to face-off.

In the end Follow Di Arrow promoter Dexton Ennis selected GLAMITY and JONNAH as the top performs for the night.


Other highlights of the evening came with fashion designs by Minka, showcasing her latest embroidery designs and her website While rising dancehall sensation from the JOP Camp DIABLO sang “We Run Road” and other songs from his catalogue.

Castle Red takes center stage this Saturday with face-offs expected with CHARLENE SKYLAR vs SEXY KAYDA, for the Princesses, while MOVAC vs CHECK for the Princes.

In recent weeks Jamaicans have been captivated by two online viral videos, mainly the VW Superbowl Ad and the Harlem Shake craze. The latter has topped Gangnam Style attracting what Andrew Rauner dubs a ‘Psy-level mass phenomenon’ featuring Skydivers, underwater stormtroppers, newscaster (local and international) and more. The craze started after a man named Filthy Frank made this video dancing to Harlem Shake (by Brooklyn-based producer Henry Rodrigues aka DJ Baauer) without doing the ‘Harlem Shake’. Hundreds of copycat videos have since followed.

For Baaucer, much has come of this for a pretty much unknown fellow, except if you were a nerd scouring SoundCloud. Baaucer earned  himself a place in music history by virture of being the 21st song to debut at No. 1 on the Hot 100 Chart, since its launch in 1951; and it’s the Brooklyn DJ’s first song on the chart. According to Philip Sherburne in Spin, this is luck on top of luck. One thing for certain, Baauer should thank amateur videographer and Billboard for adding YouTube streaming data to the pile of numbers that determines where a song is placed on the Hot 100. A good addition since YouTube is where persons go first to check out songs, not Spotify, iTunes, or Radio–this is debatable but I won’t delve into that here.

The VW ad, which everyone should have seen, features an American office worker from Minnesota who owns a 2013 Volkswagen Beetle (I think they are cute – yes cars can be cute; I won’ accept an alternative opinion LOL) adapting a Jamaican accent to spread smile among his gloomy coworkers on a Monday morning. All this is done to the tune of 2013 Grammy Winner, Reggae Category, Jimmy Cliff, who happens to be Jamaican . The commercial done to air during the Superbowl, with an early release on YouTube, caused controversy with characterisations and opinions ranging from uncomfortable and racist to likes and appreciation. Jamaican tourism officials, including the poirtfolio minister, affirmed their support of it in articles carried by USA Today and the Associated Press; both with a combined audience exceeding 190 million readers.

John Lynch, director of tourism at the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) in a Jamaica Observer article had this to say, “The interest this commercial has generated is incredible and speaks to the power of the Jamaica brand…We hope this sparks an interest in persons who have not yet experienced the destination to come visit; enjoy a memorable Jamaican vacation, our people and most important, Get Happy in Jamaica.”

There seems to be a fascination with Jamaica in the Western and Central European nation of German, or otherwise as another company (the electronics store Saturn) in that country showed favour to Brand Jamaica though in a highly controversial ad. The commercial intended for German TV made its way on YouTube in late January and shows two coffee shop attendants trying to brew coffee, which results in the burning of the Jamaican Flag. The experience is captured through CCTV and out of respect for the Jamaican flag leads to a demonstration. Here is the video:

The following subtitles are scripted in German; the following is the translation in English using Google Translate:

Wenn sie meine Fahne verbrennen, verbrenne ich ihre – If they burn my flag, I’ll burn their

Wir alle lieben Jamaika diese leute verbrennen die Jamaikanische Flagge- We all love these people burn the Jamaica Jamaican Flag

The words of the soundtrack are familiar because it’s that of Murderer by another famed Jamaican, Barrrington Levy. In school I was taught to burn a flag was offensive, in fact it is considered desecration. Friend and Attorney-at-Law, Stephen Greig notes: “under German criminal laws it is illegal to damage the German flag and it is also illegal to damage or revile flags of foreign countries. What we do not know is if there is an exception for dramatic works such as a play or a commercial.”

I couldn’t resist sharing the video with friends and associates, particular since at the time my Twitter timeline by the twitter-heavy-wigs, or anyone for that matter, but I saw everyone talking about who was doing Harlem Shakes videos locally et cetera. The opinions I got were varying and included references saying we couldn’t expect better particularly because the old Nazi ideology that demanded the purification of ‘the Aryan race’ and ‘the German blood’ originate in the said country, upset and ‘what if’ questions.

On the German AD

Could the baring of the Jamaican Flag in the kitchen speak to the presence of the Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee being used by the coffee shop or is it the coffee of choice? Should we think of this more deeply? Should we as a people, and through our Tourism Minister and agencies like the JTB, condemn this (after all like the Volkswagen commercial this has gained traction with over 450,000 views on YouTube) and ask for its removal? Or should we accept?

To be frank, I’m not outraged as some of my fellow country folks with the Saturn Ad, I’m okay with it. I think it helps put us (Jamaica) in the international scope and once again make us relevant and leaving Jamaica in individuals’ minds. It is clear from all intents in the video they wanted to be associated with the Jamaican brand, it immediately took me back a couple years when Sydney Bartley (former Director of Culture now Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth and Culture) said in a presentation, “anybody who wants to be somebody wants to be Jamaican, the only person who doesn’t want to be Jamaican is a Jamaican”. I have no idea about his views on the matter at hand, but I hope you get the picture that clearly Jamaica sells. The Germans did it with the VW Ad (that so many persons got up in arms about, including persons who don’t recognize Jamaican Creole as a language) and Saturn is at it again.

We can agree that the flag should never have been burnt or stomped on, but should we not be making a hullabaloo? @mrsseven65 in responding to Dr. Sonjah Stanley Niaah, Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies at the University of West Indies, Mona, on Twitter said it well. @mrsseven65 puts it well there are other things to be up-in-arms about like the Tivoli Incursion, a very topical and pertinent issue, which we’re yet to get answers on.

Protocol experts and others might say pull the ad, but come on folks the Saturn ad is daring, it’s brilliant; yes I like it! Perhaps it is because I’m a rebel why I like it. Let’s snap out of the talks about asking for the ad to be pulled since it touches on so many issues, chief among them cultural sensitivities & free speech. My honest gut opinion: let’s not get tied up in this flag furore, certainly the folks at JTB can find a way to take advantage of this free publicity and marketing. Go Jamaica!

As always, I welcome your thoughts on the matter, do share with me below.

Last Saturday TVJ aired the 5th episode in the 5th season of Magnum Kings & Queens of Dancehall. The show featured ten of the 20 remaining finalists, down from 24, competing for the coveted first place to be called King & Queen, and be rewarded 1 million with other prizes.

The last seven weeks (counting the combined audition shows on January 5th & 12th) we’ve seen performances to laugh at, questioned and downright send packing. Last Saturday, we got VIP Access to experience the weekly talent show, and boy-o-boy the comments were brutal. From the comments we put together a review in the first of our weekly MKQ Scoop until the final show.

The face-offs were first with Princesses Charlene Skylar and Glama, while the duo Ziphead & Elegance faced Buck 1 for the Princes. The obvious choice for the crowd were Charlene and Buck 1 the judges agreed and gave them a second chance.


Magnum Kings & Queens of Dancehall contestant SUSPENSE.

The 5th live show got on the way with Castle Red’s SUSPENSE giving a value-for-money performance, while sporting a hairstyle of pencils, rubbers, a lunchbox and a small knapsack that got tongues wagging. Asked by us to explain her style she said, “mi affi keep dem inna ‘suspense’ everytime”. In her song SUSPENSE counseled young girls on engaging in relationship with bus drivers and conductors.

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(From Left) Ian Lyn CEO of the FIRM Marketing Agency, Nadine Rawlins of Guardsman Group of Companies, Scotiabank’s Omar Spence, Kia’s Claudette Chin and Karen Tomlinson at RBC Royal Bank representing sponsors gather for a photo op at the Jamaica Motor Show Press Launch Wednesday evening.

“You buy now,” was the word from Ian Lyn as he spoke Wednesday evening at the press launch of the Jamaica Motor Show, which is excepted to get on the way 10am this Saturday at the Police Officers Show. Lyn was making the point, “with the dollar racing and loan rates expected to rise there is no question that this is the best time to buy a car.”

Lyn also emphasized that with increase rates on car loans as low as 9 percent; patrons should take charge of the amazing deals that will be on location Saturday. “Increase rates are the lowest they have been in the last decade at 9 percent and we’ve invited members of the banking industry; Scotiabank, NCB, RBC Royal Bank, First Heritage Cooperative Credit Union, JMMB, Sagicor Bank and others to be on hand to give you the most competitive deals to afford your own keys.”

Buying a vehicle for some is a family decision. Lyn said, “the motor show promises to be a family day out with a Kiddies Village with bounce-a-bout and other attractions, stunts from Crazy Bikers, Jamaica’s own ‘fast and furious’ Skunk Nation and a packed entertainment package featuring top-lined entertainers with a car stereo sound clash.” Continuing he said, “This is in addition to a wide variety of cars brands and prices ranging from as low as $500,000 to as much as $50 million.”

Karen Tomlinson, Senior Manager at RBC Royal Bank signaled that joining forces with the Jamaica Motor Show will be an excellent partnership. “We’re proud to be on board and to be associated with the Jamaica Motor Show brand as we recently launched our car loan services with low monthly payments and interest.” Tomlinson was quick to highlight that RBC Royal Bank was being true to the slogan “get your keys with ease”.

Guardsman Group’s Nadine Rawlins also announced her company’s pledge to offer a special security tracking to persons attending the Jamaica Motor Show this Saturday. “Security is important for car owners and the Guardsman Group is prepared to offer patrons at the motor show on Saturday a free installation of our security tracking system with a special onetime monthly charge of $2500 thereafter,” gave Rawlins to huge applause.

Adults can pay only $250 flat for entrance, while children are free, to experience this as well as the unveiling of the KIA Sorento and the Tata Nano for the first time in Jamaica.