Fri | Apr 19, 2019

King Addies celebrates 35 years of boom vibes

Published:Thursday | March 29, 2018 | 7:59 AM


Internationally acclaimed music influencer, King Addies, came out with a win in their first performance in the 2018 All Star Sound Clash series versus St. Martin’s Entourage Sound last Thursday, March 22nd. 

Although it was indeed a tough night for the King Addies team, selectors Kingpin, Sir Maphead and Wynterfresh, will continue on in the series to clash Hemp Zion at BOOM HQ on April 19th.

It’s exciting to note that the BOOM Energy brand is toying cunningly with the heartstrings of nostalgic King Addies and Ricky Trooper fans around the world. Both are billed for this year’s series and they both clashed one-on-one, in arguably one of the most defining moments in the history of Jamaican sound clash culture, in Portmore 23 years ago. That historic clash is still a passionate debate—almost daily—among worldwide clash fans on social media forums today.  So, all eyes are on BOOM in ripe and anxious anticipation that they’ll meet again on the battlefield during the series.

Internationally regarded as North America’s number one defender, just 48 hours after their appearance in BOOM in Jamaica, they went head to head with Italy’s Northern Lights and Japan’s Yard Beat in Amazura, in New York City.

Needless to say, the King Addies team, which featured Kingpin and Killaboo in this particular clash, triumphed by way of unanimous crowd decision.

Having clashed and killed many of the best in the business, such as Bodyguard, Bass Odyssey, Black Kat and Black Scorpio over the years, King Addies has been at the global vanguard of premier sound systems with heavy clashing and touring in America, Europe, Japan and the Caribbean for over three decades.

Originally from the McGregor Gully section of Jamaica’s bustling capitol, the king sound currently has three selectors based in Westmorland, Trelawny and Kingston.

However, their management and four of their selectors are based in New York City, where the sound has had a major impact on the NYC reggae scene dating back to the early 80s. 

Revered for being at the centre of many of the most historical moments in what New Yorker’s refer to as the “Golden Era” of sound clash—essentially the 90s and early 2000s—King Addies, has been an ambassador of sound system culture since 1983. 

In 2018, when most iconic sound systems around the world are either no longer operating, or holding on extremely tight to their established legacies, the sound is currently deliberately playing alongside and/or competing with younger sound systems on and off the battlefield across the industry, in the hopes of pushing the culture forward by showcasing authentic vibes to younger audiences.

However, in bringing the culture forward, King Addies also makes it a point to draw on the strength of a 35-year-old legacy in many ways.

Last Sunday, their pioneering selector, the iconic Danny Dread, made his first ever guest appearance alongside selector Gabre Selassie at the Kingston Dub Club in Jacks Hill.  

King Addies’ elder statesman, featured their special foundation catalogue in front of an enamoured crowd that didn’t want to leave at 2:30 a.m., even though the venue was slated to close at 2 a.m.

Also the owner of the Kingston Dub Club, Gabre Selassie declared that it was, “Pure musical niceness inna Kingston Dub Club first night with the great Danny Dread!” 

Affectionately known as “Danny Dread the Teacha”, the eldest selecta on the sound both in age and tenure, is deeply respected by his peers, artistes, producers and fans for his countless contributions to reggae, dancehall, soundclash and sound system culture, such as being the first selector to ever record a dubplate special of the crowned prince of Reggae, Dennis Brown. 

With clearly quite a lot accomplished in the lifespan of the sound, the official kick-off of their “year-long celebration” took place in February at their sold out 'Welcome to Newlots' dance in Brooklyn, which featured the legendary Stone Love and Guyana’s top sound, Stereosonic. 

Several additional projects, releases and events are in the works to commemorate this colossal milestone, to include the industry buzzing biannual show, featuring top artistes and sounds, slated for December 15 in New York City.