Monday, 22 December 2008

Sting Lyrical Battles confirmed

Dubbed 'the Final Frontier, the settlement of all arguments', Sting 2008 will have no clashes, instead there will be lyrical confrontations.

There will be an evolution in the 25-year-old event to be held at Jamworld, Portmore, St Catherine, on December 26. While lyrical shots will most definitely be fired, the promoter of Sting is trying to keep the 'greatest one-night show' as peaceful as possible.

When THE WEEKEND STAR spoke with Sting director, Isaiah Laing, he emphasised that they will ensure that there are no clashes. "It will be a lyrical confrontation, a tune-for-tune kind of thing cause when yuh seh clash, it fuelling a war vibe and we nuh like war. There are no winners in war but in a tune for tune somebody has to win," he said.

So far, six persons are being mentioned as possible candidates for clashes at the event. They are Ninja Man and Merciless, the 15-year musical rivals Beenie Man and Bounty Killer and the most talked-about face-off between Vybz Kartel and Mavado.


While he is not sure about two of the artistes, Laing is already guaranteeing fans a face-off between Kartel and Mavado as well as Merciless and Ninja Man.

While many persons are expecting the continuation of the lyrical feud between Beenie and Bounty, Laing was unwilling to confirm a face-off. Laing did, however say he wouldn't be surprised if the two faced off.

"I've known these guys for years and they have always been on top, how di ting set wid Mavado and Kartel on top of them, they will want to come and take back the hype," Laing said. The promoter believes the two veterans could steal the spotlight from the battling newcomers.

As for Ninja and Merciless, Laing said: "I had dialogue with Ninja and he's saying he killed Merciless three times already but if the crowd wants him to kill him again, he will. While Merciless is ready and waiting."

In an effort to ensure that these lyrical confrontation happen, Laing said that a number of security measures have been put in place.

"We're being very careful. We'll definitely be securing the stage. The problem most times is not with the artistes but with their entourage, so we will have security around the entourage," he said.

He added: "Few members of each entourage will actually be allowed onstage. The two artistes will be entering the stage from different sides, security will be onstage to act as barriers."

Added to these measures are reminders for the artistes from the organisers and others about keeping the event peaceful. At the launch of the event recently at the Jamaica Pegasus, Dr Donna Hope (University of the West Indies lecturer) urged the entertainers to let the better words talk.

This is not the first time Laing has attempted to change the 'clashing tradition' of the event. In the past, the promoter said: "we try to change it (clashing) cause we have come under pressure at times from society, but it doesn't work. This year, Sting is stepping up the game not promoting a war vibe, we basically trying to tone down the ting."

Outside of lyrical confrontations, Laing said there are other performers to look out for at the show such as Terry Linen, Stevie Face, and Flippa Mafia. He said he also expects excitement from the Monster Empire and Kiprich. In terms of the women, he expects strong performances from Spice who is lyrically loaded and Pamputae who is a crowd favourite.

For the event, the promoters are anticipating a turnout of at least 40,000 patrons.