Veteran deejay Spragga Benz is addressing his absence at Sting which unfolded on Boxing Day at Jamworld in Portmore, St. Catherine.
The Things Ah Gwaan artist was set to perform during a segment that featured “10 giants of dancehall”, integrating more seasoned acts as opposed to the criticisms of last year’s new-gen line-up for Sting’s return. But as the night went on with greats like Capleton, Tanya Stephens, and Bounty Killer taking the stage, Benz says he was not given the opportunity to perform.
“I just waan seh on behalf of myself and the whole Red Square team was present and ready last night to perform at Reggae Sting 2023,” he said in an Instagram post. “Due to circumstances beyond our control, the anticipated performance never manifested.”
The Rasta Run the World deejay hinted at poor coordination being behind the failure.
“Look out for us again next time, you know, in more organised environments,” he said.
The matter of time and stage management have plagued many events in Jamaica, with Sting being no exception. Benz also highlighted this in another post which chided artists, who monopolize the stage.
“How mi observe some artist move at stage shows is like nobody else no fi have nothing where music is concerned,” he wrote.
Popular selector Supa Twitch echoed the sentiment, even pinpointing cyclical disrespect hurled at Benz throughout the years.
“Clean heart above all things,” he commented. “I sit and watch you support EVERY ARTIST IN THIS BUSINESS but all I see (are) selfishness and egotism directed ur way. I’m not asking you to change who u are, but a line has to be drawn at some point bro.”
Benz responded, “Sadly, love can be mistaken for weakness at times.”
Though he refrained from name-dropping the culprit, some netizens are blaming Bounty Killer for Benz missing the mic. The ‘Warlord’ had a hour-long set that featured run-ons from multiple acts like Cham, Richie Stephens, Jahshii, and K Queens. Other spectators screamed injustice at jester artists like Queen Ladi Gangsta getting to perform over a seasoned act like Benz. In any case, the disappointment was pronounced.
“Dem caan have some little baby artist and depression granny in a the star time line up,” one comment read. “Waste dem waste out the star time and never mek the legend work.”
“Chaaa..so will you be doing any other shows while on the island? I literally only wanted to see you!” another said.
“We stayed up late waiting to see you. So sorry this happened to you and the team!”
“Spragga so sorry about this! I was looking forward to your performance.”
Another chimed in, “Jah jah knows best mi Breda. 1 monkey can’t stop your show memba dat. You a Lion mi king.”