As part of the Jamaica 50 celebrations in the Diaspora, New York based Irie Jam Radio recently announced that Jamaican born rapper Heavy D and music producer Joel Chin will each be honored posthumously with the “Reggae Soldiers Award” for their contribution to the Jamaican music industry. The Awards will be presented at Irie Fashion Rave, slated for LQ, 511 Lexington in Manhattan, New York on Sunday, April 25, 2012.
Syntyche ‘Syn” Dawkins, founder and co-producer of Irie Fashion Rave who made the announcement said, “Even as he achieved international aclaim as a successful actor and Hip-hop/R&B artiste, Heavy D loved his country and always embraced his Jamaican roots. He was a prolific artist who demonstrated his love for our music by his many reggae recordings and collaborations with Jamaican acts. Joel was a extraordinary producer who had a hand in the production of some of the biggest reggae/dancehall songs to hit the airwaves. These two reggae soldiers were extremely talented individuals who contributed significantly to our musical legacy, so as part of our Jamaica 50 celebrations here in the Diaspora, we plan to salute them” Dawkins said.
Louis Grant, VP of Irie Jam Media said, “Heavy D was a trusted, supportive friend of Irie Jam radio. His contribution to reggae and hip-hop will long be remembered. From his early career with Heavy D & the Boyz to his career as a solo artiste which inspired collaborations with Super Cat, Buju Banton and Frankie Paul, the ‘over weight lover’ gave the music industry an extensive catalog of hit songs that is unparalleled.”
Grant said he fondly remembers Joel as ‘The Jolly Giant.’ “He was a true soldier who was always in the fore, fighting for the worthy endurance of the reggae/dancehall genre, and by extension for Jamaica’s culture. He was a very dear friend and an amazing talent with whom I spent many hours in vigorous and enthusiastic discussions not just about music, but on many aspects of life itself including family” he said.
Heavy D made his mark in hip-hop circles, releasing hits like “Now That We Found Love,” “Black Coffee,” and “Big Daddy.” He also released reggae combination hit songs including “Big & Broad” (Super Cat & Frankie Paul), “Dem Don’t Worry Me” (Super Cat) and “Hotness (Buju). Last year’s Soul Train Awards, paid tribute to the late rapper who died on November 8 at the age of 44.
Joel Chin, who was murdered on August 16 outside his home in Stony Hill, St. Andrew was responsible for creating popular VP Records reggae compilations – “Reggae Gold” and “Strictly The Best.” He was instrumental in launching the careers of international reggae stars Sean Paul, T.O.K., Beres Hammond, Wayne Wonder, Beenie Man, Sizzla, Morgan Heritage, Tarrus Riley and Etana. He was the grandson of VP Records founder Vincent Chin and the son of famed reggae producer Clive Chin.