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The 2008 New Jersey Reggaefest: The ‘Year Of The Great’ In Review

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New York, NY (Ms. RAINE INC): Throngs of Reggae fans packed the Halsey Street Sports Complex in Newark, NJ this past Sunday to bear witness to the ‘Year of the Great’ New Jersey Reggaefest. Thousands of patrons vibed along as some of the biggest names in Reggae music brought down the house with a vibrant mix of Lover’s Rock, Roots, and Dancehall.

Presented by G City Entertainment, Road Block Radio, MG Promotions, and Team A Promotions, the 2008 New Jersey Reggaefest kicked off with a performance from Reggae singer Terry Linen, who entertained the restless crowd with a string of new tunes including his latest hit “No Time to Linger.” Etana was well received, singing “Wrong Address,” “Roots,” and her latest chart-topper “Warrior Love.”

For her debut performance in the Tri-State area, the NJ Reggaefest audience hailed the Queen as her majesty I-frica gave it a regal touch with powerful socially conscious singles like “Mi Nah Rub,” “Daddy Don’t Touch Me There,” “Keep it to Yourself,” and her Lover’s Rock anthem “Below the Waist.”

Veteran singer Barrington Levy, looking quite dapper in his black and white ensemble, had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hands with decades of stage experience and a lengthy catalogue of hit tunes including “Broader than Broadway,” “Living Dangerously,” “Murderer,” and “Unda Mi Sensi.” Performing for close to an hour, Barrington had the crowd reeling, singing along word for word to every song.

Reggae heartthrob Serani and gravel voiced deejay Bugle worked the ladies up into a frenzy with their colorful blend of singing and deejaying with successful tunes like “Doh,” “What I’m Gonna Do,” “Stinking Rich,” and “She Loves Me.”

Pandemonium ensued when the ‘front teet, gold teet, gun pon teet’ Don Gorgon Ninja Man hit the stage. The venue caught fire when Ninja launched into his witty lyrical freestyles and classic Dancehall material. Like a true Dancehall don, Ninja dominated the concert with his interactive performance that had just about every voice in the venue screaming back in response. Instead of his usually white on white attire, the Gorgon was dressed to kill in a custom made burgundy suit, topped off with a black felt hat to complete the cool and deadly ensemble. Taking no prisoners, Ninja earned thunderous forwards for his searing criticisms of fellow deejays, and Gorgon detractors.

The ‘Doctor’ Beenie Man capped off the ‘Year of the Great’ with a stellar performance befitting the self-proclaimed ‘King of the Dancehall.’ Beenie had the crowd on its toes for over an hour with Dancehall standards like “Healing,” “Slam,” “Tear of Mi Garment,” “Bookshelf,” and “Memories,” before brandishing more recent tunes like “Real Badman,” and “Back it Up.” 

Noticeably absent was the ‘Warlord’ Bounty Killer, who made into the Tri-State area, but was unable to perform due to circumstances beyond his control. Road Block Radio and G City Entertainment have stated that they understand Bounty’s situation, and that New Jersey fans should sit tight, as the ‘Five Star General’ is being vetted to return to the area in the next few weeks.

“On behalf of all of the promoters, we would like to thank all of the artists, sponsors, media, vendors, and most of all, the thousands of patrons who were part of the ‘Year of the Great’ New Jersey Reggaefest,” states NJ Reggaefest organizer Casey ‘G City’ Rankine. “We look forward to seeing you all again in October, when we continue our celebration of Reggae/Dancehall greats with the ‘Gully Gaadd’ and friends in New Jersey.”

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