Sting 30

The saying that dancehall is a crucial part of society's violence is a myth. If that were the case, Sting would not have been sustained over the years. We don’t hear the same thing being said about cartoons, books and movies," said Entertainment Minister The Honorable Damion Crawford.

Crawford was speaking at the launch of Reggae Sting held at the Jamaica Pegasus on Monday evening.? ?The Minister added that however, this attack is not only subjected to dancehall music as other genres like hip hop and rock are also chastised.

This year marked the 30th anniversary of the event dubbed as the 'Greatest One Night Show on Earth and according to organiser Issiah Laing, everything is in place.

"Although we are not exactly where we would want to be, things are much better than previous years. Everything is in place as the majority of the artistes have been booked since July and for the first time the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) has come on board," Laing explained

The promoter also stated that security continues to be a ample part of Sting and guarantee a safe and comfortable environment.? ?"There will be absolutely 'No Bottles’ allowed into the Sting venue. Supreme has it locked," he stated.

Downsound Records Head/Sting Promoter Josef Bogdonovich also has high expectation of this year’s staging saying that year sting will attract an audience of millions.

"With our pay-per-view inclusion this year, we’re looking at 350 million viewers across the world for reggae dance- hall," he stated.

An expansion of the audience base via Pay-Per-View he believes will not only bring in the big bucks but will also be a major move for brand Jamaica.

Production director for Sting 2013 Ricardo 'Ricki' Chin said that this year production will be a little more than awesome saying that the venue will be similar to one of a rock and roll type.

"Twenty one palettes of lighting, the largest number ever used, will be part of Sting 2013 production and I will also be bringing in a a specialist rigger to manage the process," Chin stated.

The 30th edition of Sting will be held at Jamworld in Portmore on Boxing Day December 26, St Catherine and will feature the likes of Two Chainz, Supercat, Mavado, Kiprich, Lady Saw, Ninja Man, Romain Virgo and Beenie Man.

This year's ticket prices ranges between $2,500 to $30,000.


STING HISTORY

In 1984, Isaiah Laing’s love for music caused him to establish an event that would play an integral role in the history Of Jamaica’s music. This event would be known as "STING – The Greatest One Night Reggae Dancehall Show on Earth”, a launching pad for many of Jamaica’s popular entertainers.

Through his company, Supreme Promotions Limited, “Laing”, like any visionary, struggled through start-up difficulties with STING. These however, did not deter him as he was committed to the STING vision: producing the ?best dancehall event in this part of the world. In 1984, the name STING was born from a local popular song’s slang "Sting yuh a sting an’ a shock yuh a shock”, which means, “You are doing very well”. The first year saw over four ?thousand patrons turning out to Cinema 11, to hear acts such as Papa San and Junior Reid.

After the initial staging, Laing further developed Supreme Promotions into an artiste ?Management outfit and booking agency, along with services such as event coordination. STING was subsequently held at Cinema 11 every year until 1986 when over 13,000 patrons packed the venue. After this large turnout; STING Had arrived and needed a larger venue.

In 1987, over 22,000 patrons packed into Cinema 1 to witness the inaugural “Four The Hard Way”, which was a friendly rivalry between fast talking Papa San and Lieutenant Stitchie, Admiral Bailey and Professor Nuts.

Leading the singers’ lineup were Pinchers, Leroy Gibbons and Frankie Paul, who were managed by Supreme Promotions Limited. In 1988, Laing had the task of finding an even larger venue, as Cinema 1 was definitely not suitable for the growing number of supporters for STING. The Jamaica National Stadium was chosen and coming to the fore were Ninja Man, Red Dragon, Flourgon, Sanchez and international star, Maxi Priest.

In the following year, 1989, STING was where the most popular singers got their chance to prove who could be the best at serenading the over 27,000 patrons. They were: Barrington Levy, Gregory Isaacs, Freddie McGregor and Dennis Brown. They left the patrons screaming for more and there was no doubt that they all performed equally. The Fat Boys were also featured at that year’s staging, which was broadcasted for the first time to the United States and Canada. Jamaica anxiously awaited the performance of Rexton Ralston Fernando Gordon a.k.a. Shabba Ranks in 1990. Over 30,000 patrons were entertained with the “Clash of the Century” between Ninjaman and Shabba Ranks, who had risen to the pinnacle of the deejay scene from the year before.

In 1991, STING had its largest crowd of over 42,000 and it has been recorded as the biggest turnout for any one-day reggae dancehall event in Jamaica. That record still stands! In1992, over 10,000 children turned out for “Kiddies Sting”, which was headlined by U.S. teen stars: Kriss Kross. STING remained at the Jamaica National Stadium until 1993 when it was moved to Jamworld. That year, STING celebrated its tenth anniversary in fine style. Laing staged a three-part event: “Slam” on Christmas Eve - a pre-Christmas party for teenagers; “Golden Memories Filled With Love” on Christmas Day - an event, which showcased Jamaica’s best from the ska and vintage eras. The climax took place on Boxing Day where all of dancehall’s best out did themselves.

During the first ten years, Laing received assistance from Dimario McDowell, who provided the creative and graphic expertise for the event. Between 1993 and 1996, Laing saw the need to get additional expertise to redevelop STING into the Mega event it could become. Junior “Heavy D” Fraser, Howard “Big Mac” Mcintosh and Courtney “TT” Bahadur became members of the team and provided financial, strategic, marketing, production and Promotional advice for the event.

STING went back to the Stadium in 1997 with Busta Rhymes and Foxy Brown as headliners. Due to Jamaica’s preparation for World Cup ‘98, STING returned to Jamworld and since that year, the Jamworld location is STING’s permanent home. STING ‘99 was centered around bringing together some of the top reggae acts of the preceding ?twenty years as well as those who had made the event over its 13 years.

In 2001, STING only featured local acts; Bounty Killa, Sizzla, Elephant Man, Ninjaman, Merciless and Morgan Heritage. STING 2002 is still fresh in the minds of over 20,000 patrons who attended. This was the “come back” year for STING as the performances of the “Ten Giants” of dancehall far exceeded every one’s expectations. The giants were Capleton, Bounty Killa, Buju Banton, Beenie Man, Ninjaman, Elephant man, Sizzla, Anthony B, Lexus and George Nooks. History was created, as these artistes have not been on the same stage in over a decade!! Bad Boy gang-  ster rapper, DMX, gave a stellar performance at STING 2004.

STING 2008 – the 25th anniversary was a STINGING show, a lyrical clash between dancehall’s baddest Adijah Palmer a.k.a. Vybz Kartel and David Brooks a.k.a. Mavado. Jamworld saw over 30,000 patrons and over 5000 watching it live on www.stingjamaica.com.jm. It was the most anticipated clash of the decade. Headlines on various Media hyped the clash; there were Gaza fans and Gully fans. Persons wanted to know who was going to take the crown at STING’s 25th Anniversary. To date, there is still discussion as to who won, but as Supreme Promotions CEO Isaiah Laing declared, “it was a tie.”

Since 2012, Sting has partnered with DSR’s Josef Bogdanovich, an unlikely individual paired easily with dancehall, who is creating waves and doing more for reggae dancehall and the Jamaican music industry than most, taking the Greatest one night Reggae danchall Show on earth to Pay-per-view this year with the aim of 350 million viewers, evolving the show and Jamaican Music, with the support of the Jamaica Tourist Board. Every Jamaican who is interested in the forward movement of the industry and the country should support the 30th staging of sting. Its is the only show of its kind to amass 30 years under its belt, while setting the trends in event production, security ?and technological advancement


A WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE?

I took a little walk down memory lane with Sting's Isaiah Laing. Laing lit up as he told me, 'Yow the wickedest Sting was wid Super Cat and Ninja Man, 1991 inna de stadium, 42,000 strong. At 7:30 there were ?already 10 thousand people in de venue." He says he was standing in the bleachers at the back of the crowd when " the Don Dadda Super Cat" took the stage and the crowd railed and waved. "When Ninja Man posed and said "reverse de hearse mek we put een de dead" de place dun!" The Vibe was strong, Dancehall was lyrical, ?the riddims ruled and reggae was sweet. I was there, I remember it well. Three-the-hard-way that night was Tiger, Papa San and Admiral Bailey. Portable mic (headphone) had just come out and Tiger had one on. When papa San had the crowd swaying wid 'Lawd me cyan tek it nuh more', Tiger jumped out and rocked the crowd wid 'cry cry baby and then he did 'when' Sting 1991 was beyond memorable.

Every die-hard Sting fan has a memory of 'Lieutenant Stitchie' and 'Papa San' Clashing.They were the two fastest talking DJs, intellectually lyrical..madmadamadmadmadddamadda.., they had the crowds on edge…silent, trying to catch every word and trying to repeat it. 1994 was another memorable Sting, It was the year of the culture revolution, Tony Rebel, Garnet Silk, Everton Blenda, Utan Green were highly advertised. Silk didn't make it to STING 1994 though as we lost him to fire and Sting that year ?became a tribute to the young scripture quoting entertainer who had already made such a tremendous impact.

Collectively sting has hosted a million patrons, and has brought some of the most entertaining moments in the history of Dancehall with lyrical clashes ranging from renowned deejays such as Super Cat, Ninja Man, Shabba Ranks, Bounty Killa, Beenie Man, Vybz Kartel, Mavado, Merciless, Kip Rich, Tony Matterhorn and international super- stars such as Notorious B.I.G., DMX, Kris Kross, Foxy Brown, Busta Rhymes and more.

I asked Laing why he continues to do it… he sighed and smiled. " It employs lots of people and I love dancehall, I love it" The STING promoter says thirty years of doing it has been tiring especially when you have 40 different artistes with 40 different personalities and egos, they drain you, but the outcome is tremendous.


Issiah Laing's Novel

Head of Supreme Promotion Issiah Laing has added the title of Author to his resume. The former ‘Bad Bwoy" police have penned the words to his debut novel Point Blank Range, A Jamaican Bad Man Police…the story of Isaiah Laing. According to the former cop, the novel entails details of his crime fighting skills.

"The aim of this book is to create awareness not only to Jamaica but the world on a hold. It will give them a feel of lawmen go through on a daily through my experience," Laing told the Jamaica Observer.

"It also has guidelines for police officers as not all of them are aware of some of the rules of the Jamaica Constabulary Force," he added.

Point Blank Range is published by US based company Create Space and will be available on Amazon during the first week of December. They will also hit the local bookstores on December 17th and be available for sale at Sting on later that month.

The Ex Police Detective joined the Jamaica Constabulary force as a constable in 1976 and was a uniformed policeman for a year and a half, after which he became a plain clothed detective. Laing was Stationed at Admiral Town for 12 years and Denham Town for two Years. He was shot during his first three months as a police officer. He is known in Jamaica as ‘Bad Bwoy Police Laing" and for bringing In almost 500 illegal firearms off Jamaican streets. Isaiah Laing served the JCF for 20 years before retiring in 1996.


Macka Diamond and Lady Saw 'War of Words' Based on their recent 'war of words' on the social network Twitter, female dancehall artistes Macka Diamond and Lady Saw may face off at Magnum Sting. The Queen of the dancehall has reportedly challenged Macka Diamond to a lyrical showdown. Macka responded on Friday saying that she was up for the challenge but said In Macka Diamonds Twitter response she indicates she is up to the challenge, but later stated in a press release "too bad mi cannot get fi do it at Sting because Laing or Joe dem nuh deal with the business part right yet so mi tek another show".

In the same release she made mention of her Christmas Eve booking but did not dish details of December 26th booking. Lady Saw and fued dates back to more than a year after Diamond recorded and released the single Forty and Fabulous. The entertainer recently released another single Ningy Ningy, which sparked Saw's temper even more. The burning questions on every lips are:

"Will Lady Saw & Macka Diamond finally face off". Will it be in the ultimate dancehall arena that is Magnum Sting? If 'bookings' is the issue, will Macka and Saw Agree to a mutual date to 'Settle All Argument'? And the biggest question of all... Who Will Be The Last Dancehall Diva Standing? Both entertainers are no strangers to the entertainment with each having a reputable career spanning over two decades.

Lady Saw, real name Marion Hall was born in St Mary and by the age of 15 she was performing on sound systems. She scored her first hit in the early 1990s with the single If him Lef followed by A Gud Man She soon became known for her slack style, with songs such as "Stab Up De Meat". Her performances were banned in some parts of Jamaica, though equally lewd male performances were not. This prompted her to record "Freedom of Speech" in protest. She enjoyed a big hit in Jamaica with "Hardcore" in 1985, and followed it with "Welding Torch. She also recorded "Condom," warning girls of the dangers of unprotected heterosexual sex. She recorded duets with several other major stars, including Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Beres Hammond, No Doubt and Spragga Benz.

In 2002, the 41-year-old earned a Grammy Award for Best Performance Underneath it all Saw is the first female dancehall entertainer to ever win an award and to be certified as a triple-platinum artist. Her female counterpart and lyrical rival Macka Diamond (Charmaine Munroe) emerged on the dancehall scene in the 1980s using the stage name Lady Mackerel. After recording several hits, she took a break and return in 2003 with a new image and sporting the name Macka Diamond. Her first hit under her new name was Tek Con which is a protest record to Vybz Kartel's track Tek Buddy. Other songs that follow include Done Already, Mr Tekki Back, Bun Him and Dye Dye.