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Dancehall truck brings Jamaican flavour to LA Carnival

Published:Monday | July 3, 2017 | 12:00 AMCarolyn Sinclair
Tiffany wore the limited-edition costume ‘Jamaica’ to the parade, designed by Jamaica-born designer Reign.
Sisters Autumn (left) and Kaija chose costumes from the ‘Savage’ section for the parade.
The Reggae on the Road truck. - Photos by FnsStudio
From left: Cynthia, Lina and Candis at the parade.
Amy (left) and Isani wearing ‘Passion’, designed by Jamaica-born designer Onella Benjamin.

Jamaica's dancehall and reggae music were brought to the streets of the City of Angels (Los Angeles), California on June 24, when organisers of Reggae on the Road introduced a 'big truck' to the LA Cultural Festival for the first time, pumping 80 per cent dancehall music and 20 per cent soca down the Hollywood Boulevard.

Under the theme 'Forbidden', boasting three sections: 'Menage a trois', 'Savage', and 'Passion', the Jamaica-themed truck saw revellers being entertained by the juggling of DJ Lank from Code Red Sound alongside DJ Courtesy and Christopher 'The Party Minister' Foster of Krossfayah sound in LA.

The largely dancehall music-playing mass band in the annual festival saw dozens of masqueraders, captured on video, jumping, prancing and waving their flags to the tunes of Gas by Ding Dong, featuring Bravo and Chicken and Beer, and rocking while singing the words "every little thing is gonna be alright" from Bob Marley's song, Three Little Birds, while The Party Minister, perched on speakers atop the party tuck, shouting, "You think is only Jamaican's and Caribbean people alone love Reggae music?!".

Dancehall queen

Reggae on The Road followers were also treated to the expert dancing skills of California Dancehall Queen Moiika Miss, who was captured on one occasion dancing on the side of the party truck to Kalado's Personally, before jumping off the 18-wheeler flatbed truck to hit the road in a perfect split.

One of the organisers, Mr Foster, said "the truck drew a lot of attention", which they capitalised on, as they were the only ones playing dancehall while others were playing soca. Foster also said the feedback has been great, as many persons who were not aware of the band, became excited about joining next year, because of the energy and excitement they brought.

Foster also noted that Reggae on the Road is looking to attract sponsorship next year, as they intend to be a part of the 2018 staging of the Hollywood carnival.