Monday, April 27, 2009

Beenie Man shames Rihanna

Cheeeeeese... on.

Rihanna is a bigger woman than me - and I don't mean just in the literal sense that she's five foot nuff.

I would cuss two claat or several rholes at Beenie Man last night for what he did.

Hear de scene  that went down last night in Barbados at Reggae on the Hill.

The show was great - Buju Banton, Queen Ifrica, Morgan Heritage and a whole host of other artists, with Beenie Man closing the all-day show.

Anyhow, for the whole day, Beenie breezing up in the Prime Minister's VVIP stand, drinking Hennesy straight from the bottle, bun'ing a lil weed, going down every now and then to hug up the crowd just on the outside of the stand and clearly fulljoying himself.

Towards the late afternoon, Rihanna, who has been in Barbados for the past week or so, came into the stand as well and was just chilling.

Anyhow, when Beenie touch the stage now at about 7:30 and gave a generally decent performance - certainly the crowd was with him.

Thennnn... he start calling for Rihanna to "report back stage immediately".

And then he start talking up a set of things about the infamous beating incident between her and Chris Brown, asking the crowd if they didn't think it was "ah eediat ting weh Chris do" while singing a very off-key version of  the hook to 'Umbrella'. You could hear a collective 'ooooohhhh!' as the crowd sucked in its breath when he said it.

Honestly, you could tell that he was well-meaning, because he was definitely on her side and he was trying to hype up the crowd against Chris Brown but jeez ... you feel the girl really want to be reminded of that incident in front of tens of thousands of Bajans?

Said I to myself 'well no way she coming up on stage now!'

But Beenie kept calling for her and singing 'Umbrella' and lo and behold, she actually came up on the stage. Then he start singing his version of Umbrella , part of which went "Mi nuh have no fancy car/But mi neva give you no scar".

Trust me.

I. was. shame. for de girl. Everyone was shame because the crowd didn't really hype up and carry on the way they had been earlier when he was just performing all his hits. I just wanted it to end.

You could tell she was a little shame too because she was waving an Ethiopian flag at first and then she put her arm over her face but kudos to her, she mostly kept her game face on while he went on and on bout the incident and smiled and waved to his singing.

Like I say, better than me because no way I was coming up on stage and worse, staying on while he reminded everyone of something she is clearly trying to put behind her. Obviously it's hard to put behind her when it caused a global stir but to have it brought up so, right in front your face and on stage in front of thousands... that rough still.

Anyhow, after a little bit she waved to the crowd and came off stage and you would think it would done there. But Beenie wasn't done. He told her that Chris fi get vex when he see the pictures of him (Beenie) and Rihanna hugging up on stage because he is the 'girls dem suga' and anything the sugar touch get sticky and that when Chris see it he must get Heart Attack and then he went into that song.

And the crowd hyped up for it and thank god, that was the last of it.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The browning hijacker - what does it tell us?

Wow, it seems all the hot news is down a yaad these days.

So the week started with the shocking news that a young Jamaican man had hijacked a CanJet charter plane in Montego Bay.

After a nine hour standoff where he released all of the passengers but kept the crew and where his family and friends were called to talk reason into him, the JDF eventually stormed the plane and overpowered him.

But the real shock was when everyone saw who the alleged hijacker was. Not some bad man and (despite what has been said) not a mad man either - at least, not our stereotypes of what a bad man or mad man should look like.

[caption id="attachment_858" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The face of a hijacker? phot credit:"]The face of a hijacker? phot credit:[/caption]

Instead, the hijacker was  21 year old Stephen Fray, your quintessential, even stereotypical, cute brown-skinned, stoosh-looking MoBay boy.

From the time I saw this pic of him on Go Jamaica, I was taken aback. That pic said to me middle-class, Cornwall College, the type that parties at 'Ville and hangs out in Ironshore. I knew his type. Sure enough, my FB home page started to be dotted with Montegonian friends expressing shock that Stephen could have done something like this.

And sure enough, he did indeed attend MoBay's most prestigious schools - Cornwall College and Mount Alvernia Prep.

Sure enough, he was firmly middle class - the Frays own several businesses in Mobay.

And sure enough, people are shocked and puzzled that someone like him would do something like this. But should we be, though?

Jamaican blogger rachelhaye, commenting on the situation in a deeply interesting post on DJ Ace's Kormantyn blog, noted:
The most amazing thing about the hijacking of the 737 in Jamaica is that it gives us an opportunity to examine our personal biases and national prejudices. I must say that there is a tendency in Jamaica to vilify the poor Jamaican youth of African decent–He is seen by the average Jamaican as the person to fear and target for prison. Whenever we are awakened by the news of crime and violence, no matter where it occurs in our country, the first picture that we paint of the perpetrator is that of an African Jamaican youth from the inner-city.

Interestingly, Stephen Fray is an affluent Jamaican of Indian decent, who it would seem had no socioeconomic difficulties that would predispose him to a life of crime. Every Jamaican is thus left in shock, as he does not fit the traditional profile of the Jamaican criminal. As a result, key pieces of information are being denied and the media is trying to convince us that he is mad.

Many Jamaicans may not see the value of a class/race/color analysis of the Stephen Fray hijacking, but the issue is central, because they explain Fray’s access to: the airport, a legal firearm, an excuse for his crime, strong family support while perpetuating the crime, and media’s attempt to excuse his crime.

Rachel hits the mark pretty closely, because whether most of us like to admit it or not, we were shocked when we saw not just who but what kind of person Stephen Fray seemed to be.

It certainly raises a lot of troubling questions, going beyond the actual incident itself.

Like, should we really have been so surprised?

The light and bright upper classes in Jamaica in particular (but in other islands as well) has long harboured some of the real 'bad men' who fund the drug trade and funnel the guns to the yutes dem who may think they are operating of their own volition.

Certainly when I lived there, it was not uncommon for Fray's female compatriots - light skinned, curly-haired, well to do girls, to be involved with 'businessmen' whose money came from means everyone knew were not entirely legit.

And these were not rough looking garrison dons either but men that were their social match - brown, well to do etc.

There has long been a sense that these light and bright upper classes can commit crime with impunity because dem run t'ings. They have judges and politicians as friends and their business dealings are rarely, if ever investigated or disrupted.

And if I could pick that up from the few years I lived in JA, would Fray not have picked up this sense of impunity after a whole lifetime?

I'm just asking... like I said, it raises questions.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Zoe Saldana is rocking it

Islandista Zoe Saldana has been mashing up the fashion game in recent days as she circles the globe to promote the new Star Trek movie which she stars in, playing the iconic role of Uhura.

For non-trekkies (i.e. probably most of you), Uhura, played originally by Nichelle Nicholls was one of the first significant (i.e. non-servile) black characters on American television and in the role, was part of what is frequently referred to as American television's first interracial kiss - in 1968 this was no joke.

So a big deal and big role for islandista Zoe and she has been raising the bar on her usually tight fashion game as she promotes the movie. Check out her outfits that she wore to press junkets in Germany and Madrid, Spain recently.




Sigh... y'all know I get dotish for any outfit with origami-like fold detailing already (as evidenced by the multiple previous posts dedicated to this trend) and it is displayed at its best  here on the dramatic shoulder of this cold-shoulder outfit - gorgeous! Btw, one-shouldered outfits are also a big trend for 2009 - blame Mrs. Obama and that Jason Wu dress at the inauguration, so Zoe is combining two key trends here in this dress.

Not to mention the sexy strappy, gladiator-esque shoes - the outfit is tops, no lie.


Also loving this black and white patterned dress that she wore in Madrid - and the shoes again, make the outfit.


And this outfit that she wore earlier this week to yet another Star Trek press junket is yet another instance of her shoes making the dress.

Get in dey Ms. Saldana!

Friday, April 10, 2009

ATI and RTI back together again

Reunited and it feeeeels so goooood!

Big party news today islandistas - Jamaica's two biggest all-inclusive holiday weekend events are back together again!

That's right - ATI and RTI (which was also ATI at one point - confusing we know) have recombined to create a new Independence weekend party - Negril Dream Weekend.
News of this coming from datmad which reports NDW organiser Kamal Bankay as saying to the Weekend Star:


What's really happening is that the strongest events in Negril have come together to make one band where the strongest will survive. So, the so-called RTI band and ATI band that we're used to for the last two years is now one band.

Now as Jamaican islandistas would know for sure and genuine islandistas who party all over the Caribbean may know too, originally there was just one Independence weekend party which started back in 2001. Originally it was called ATI which stood for Appleton/Absolute Temptation Island (I think).

Then there was a falling out between Absolute Entertainment who conceptualised the event and Appleton in 2006.

Appleton continued with their own event, calling it Appleton Treasure Isle and Absolute Entertainment adjusted the name to Absolute Temptation Island.

In 2007, Red Stripe jumped into the ling and sponsored Absolute Entertainment's events, renaming it RTI - Red Temptation Island.

And now after two years of splitting the crowd (and making the really determined partiers pay out of their ass to attend both), RTI and ATI are back together again, thanks to the 'Dream Team'. No title sponsor as yet but Red Stripe and Wray and Nephew are expected to battle it out.

The Dream Team consists of the promoters behind the six events that will make up NDW , which runs from August 6 to August 9 - Daydreams, Twisted Spirits, Xtreme Wet and Wild, Yush, Wildsides and The Concert.

Bankay gushed to the Weekend Star:
 Persons will have it a lot easier this weekend, without having to decide which band to choose and which parties to go to. ... You'll be dazzled and astounded and know that it was money well spent and if you save your money and choose this party for the year, it will be where you will have the most fun

Yeah, yeah, yeah - whatever.

These promoters ent had no problems splitting the crowds and/or forcing people to pay for two events when the economy was good. But now tings a look sticky, they back together.

The recession is REAL peoples.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Michelle Obama in Europe - fashion hits and misses

The ever-fabulous First Lady of the US, Michelle Obama is in Europe with her husband right now on his first major foreign tour.

Thus far there has been a G-20 summit, a meeting with the Queen and there is still a NATO summit and a US-EU summit to go before the whirlwind trip is over.

There is the matter of a global economic crisis to solve (G-20 leaders decided to give a trilli to the IMF as part of the solution), the Afghan war and Gitmo detainees to discuss and North Korea is huffing and puffing and threatening to shoot off a missile in the midst of all of this.

But the prospect that has really captured the attention of fashionistas the world over and had them slavering is... what will Michelle wear?

This question has quickly been followed by fevered speculation over what will be worn when Michelle meets the other glamazon First Lady - supermodel Carla Bruni-Sarkozy of France.

The thought of it has had fashionistas dizzy with excitement for the last few days and the moment finally arrived today when the two met in France. Both ladies stuck to their favourites - Mrs. O to a patterned, black and raspberry Thakoon coat and dress and Mrs. B to cool grey Dior.

[caption id="attachment_826" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="photo credit: AP"]photo credit: AP[/caption]




I was a bit relieved when I saw Michelle in the dress and saw how lovely it was because I really did not care much for the coat.

Rihanna back in (Bridge) town

photo credit: Radar Online
Photo credit:

Rihanna continues to rack up her frequent flier miles as she returned to native island Barbados today for the second time in the last three months.
It’s been a case of ‘where in the world is Ri-ri’? over the last few days as she has gone from Hawaii to New York and now to Bim.
She was spotted arriving at the Grantley Adams International Airport a few hours ago... without a Chris Brown in sight.