Singer Ghost has a bone to pick with Reggae Sumfest organisers for having “90s” artists perform at an unfilled venue.
The segment, dubbed Boombox 90s Badness, unfolded on Night One of the festival on Friday at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Complex in Montego Bay, St. James. The set came after the night’s opening acts, and featured vets like Harry Toddler, Tony Curtis, Mega Banton, Silver Cat, General B, Jigsy King and Nitty Kutchie toasting to late Scare Dem Crew deejay Boom Dandimite.
Watching on was Ghost, who equated the early time slot to a blatant disregard of the contributions of artists from that era.
“It is deliberate because them want to get rid of artists that come from the 90s fast and quick, and I wonder why…” he pondered during a live stream.
“Nineties artists, unno need to get unno priorities straight. Unno need to get unno contract in place. Unno need to get unno time spot inna unno contract; the time unno want to work and the time unno don’t want to work, and whosoever book unno, has to stick to that, especially an event like this where more than 30 artists deh pon it.”
He encouraged his contemporaries to put their foot down if presented with unideal changes, adding that new age acts “nuh pass a certain time performing on that event, and the promoter dem know that.”
Crystalising his argument by playing his song Give Me My Flowers Now, Ghost said foundation acts deserve a “ram” venue.
“If you’re gonna showcase the 90s artists dem and mek the people dem know seh dem bad and dem have substance and relevance for the future, put them where people can see them, give them a good timespan… This is so shady and disrespectful… Unno a seh dancehall best era in this music is 90s. Why unno a do 90s music so and artists? Uuno feel nobody waan see we?… Because is fi unno platform, unno mek sure seh nobody don’t see the artist dem dat the people dem really want to see.”
He was inevitably asked why he wasn’t booked for Sumfest, to which he commented, “My manager is doing business and they kno that 💯 suh until them ready to do business management ready.”
Topping off his vexation surrounding the event was the quality of live performances from younger artists.
“This industry of artists, unno have to learn from who was before unno,” he said. “I saw a lot of unno who came out last night, most of unno, unno just a deal with the hype… Unno voice, fi some reason, unno nuh sound the same like when unno deh pon the 45…and some of unno need to learn how to tek down the thing so the people dem can hear unno voice. Know when a one-drop fi come in. Know when fi mix. Know when to shout and to get yourself on keys…”
Among the night’s performers were Masicka, Valiant, Tommy Lee Sparta, Teejay, Roze Don, Stalk Ashley and Moyann.
“Young artists, just learn the business likkle bit more. Learn the craft a likkle bit more. Learn fi handle yourself on stage and everything will be okay…”