Meadowbrook High School's head girl for 2012/2013, 17-year-old Krystal-Gail Crooks, outshone 17 other contestants to win the 'Miss Red Hills 2012' on Independence Day. The competition, staged in Red Hills for young ladies between 16 and 23 years old from communities in Red Hills, including East Kirkland Heights, Pleasant Valley, Sterling Castle Heights and Rock Hall, was a tremendous success.
De-Andrea Bryan was the first runner-up and Meadowbrook High sixth-form student, Robyn McKay, was second runner-up. Rounding out the top five were Kidesha Bennett, an aspiring attorney-at-law, and Keia Goodger.
The contestants showed creativity, some of them writing their talent pieces. Kora-Ann Thomas, a student at the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) who danced to a Buju Banton medley, won the Most Talented sectional prize. Goodger, the reigning Miss St Mary's College, and Mishka Murphy, a University of the West Indies (UWI) student, were named first and second runners-up in the category, respectively.
All 18 young ladies displayed a high level of national awareness and exuded grace, poise and confidence throughout the pageant.
Crooks, who represented Pitcairn Valley, also won the sectional prizes for Most Aware and Best Body, while Bryan won Best Smile. Crystal Crooks from Mosquito Valley was awarded Best Poise, while Goodger was voted 'Most Congenial' by her peers.
None of the contestants went home empty-handed. They were showered with gift baskets and gift certificates, and each received a certificate of participation. In addition to being given a sash and crown, Krystal-Gail won $50,000 cash and two scholarships valued at $50,000 each, donated by Paul Buchanan, member of parliament for West Rural St Andrew, and Dr Rosalea Hamilton. She also took home US$250.
As Miss Red Hills 2012, Krystal-Gail will serve as the community's ambassador. Throughout her reign, she will undertake various community development projects in collaboration with the other contestants, as well as other individuals and organisations in the community. She will also represent Red Hills in the Miss Kingston and St Andrew competition in 2013.
Miss Red Hills 2012 - Jamaica 50 Edition was an official Jamaica 50 celebration fully endorsed by JCDC, which also sponsored the event. Part proceeds from the pageant will be handed over to Red Hills Basic School.
Dancehall star Popcaan completed a big summer by making big steps in Canada, including linking up with Canadian rapper and international star Drake.
While the world was focused on the Summer Olympics in London, Popcaan was busy in Canada earlier this month, with two shows over the Caribana Weekend. The deejay wowed audiences while performing at Coconuts and the Sound Academy in Toronto.
It was a long, performance-filled summer for Popcaan that included a two-week European tour, several Caribbean shows including in Martinique, Guadeloupe and Trinidad, and electrifying performances at Reggae Sumfest and Dream Weekend.
He said, "It's been a crazy summer, but mi give thanks, especially to all di fans that show up and pack di shows. Di fans dem mad, dem fry. Canada always shows me nuff love. Respect to the Canadian fans straight".
While in Canada, Popcaan met with hip-hop artiste, Drake. Drake sent an invitation to Popcaan's team to attend the rapper's third annual OVO Fest. OVO Fest is Drake's yearly concert hosted in his hometown, Toronto, and this year featured Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, Snoop Dog, 2Chainz, The Weeknd and Meek Millz.
The rapper has been an admirer of Popcaan and has taken to social-media networking site Twitter to tweet the deejay's song lyrics and slangs. Popcaan said, "I met Drake backstage at OVO Fest, then linked again at the after-party on Sunday, (August 5). After that, di vibes did mad so we went to two private parties on Monday, following di show." The two also discussed working together soon.
"Meeting Drake was good. He's cool and wants to come to Jamaica again. Him rate my Yiy Change mixtape. His whole crew knows the mixtape well. He likes my music and knows all di slangs," Popcaan added.
Currently back in Jamaica, Popcaan will be returning to Canada for the Montreal International Reggae Festival tomorrow, as well as doing other shows in Hamilton, Winnipeg, Ottawa and London. After Canada, the deejay has appearances in the Caribbean, Europe and Africa.
On September 1, Popcaan will host a back-to-school treat in the 3 West community of Portmore. He said, "This is my small way of giving back to my community, to help the parents with some of the expenses by giving school bags and books and also to give the children some fun before the serious schoolwork starts."
Shabba Ranks, dubbed the Dancehall Emperor, has teamed up with producer Calibud to release a new single called War. Calibud is the son of legendary producer Bobby 'Digital B' Dixon.
War sees Shabba spewing lyrics denouncing violence. Turning to his community, Shabba calls for Jamaicans to unite so that positive upliftment may take its course.
"Ah who win the war/the police in the jeep or the soldiers in armoured cars?...Ghetto people a star/nah splash nuh brain pon tar" Shabba Ranks sings to the pounding reggae beat.
It is very difficult for producers to tie down the dancehall veteran, who performed at Reggae Sumfest 2012 recently. According to Shabba Ranks, in a recent interview he has no problems recording new music; however, he will not release his material without shorting out his financial aspect of the business.
Terminal 3 Productions artiste Iatana believes his music is heading in the right direction. He said he would love to see the Caribbean merge as one musical unit for positivity.
"It is always a good idea to integrate and come together as one big fraternity. This would make Caribbean music stronger and more accepted by all. I think that classical reggae music promoted worldwide always stood for positive entertainment, and that is what we should all strive towards," he said.
According to Iatana, hardcore dancehall is too vulgar for the public. "The legends of reggae mostly sang about love and unity and equal rights for all. However, I think dancehall/underground reggae is a little too vulgar and violent, and sends the wrong message to our youths," Iatana said.
He thinks positive music will turn around Jamaica. "I believe artistes have a power to heal the nation. A man might see music as just music, but it is socialisation and people live what they learn. So if we give of a music that is vulgar and violent, then the people will act in such a manner ... . So a just some positive vibration we need," he said.
Based in the United
States, Iatana has collaborated with a number of hip-hop artistes such
as Jadakiss, Wyclef, Lil Flip, Keith Murray, ROYCE 5'9 and Spida from
the Fugees camp, among others. Iatana has also released the single
Rich Righteous Teachers. The artiste's team can be
followed via social networks @terminal3p
@jpbeatst3p, @fame_mdv and
The physical Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award bestowed on reggae icon Bob Marley in 2001 has been replaced.
Reports are that Recording Academy representatives recently visited Jamaica and, during their stay, realised that the original version of Bob Marley's Lifetime Grammy Award had been damaged. The Academy decided to create a new rendition of the award for the reggae legend.
Ziggy Marley, along with his sister Karen Marley, recently accepted the award following a Recording Academy screening of the popular documentary, Marley, at the Los Angeles Film School on Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, California.
Recording Academy president and CEO, Neil Portnow, dubbed Bob Marley's music as "songs of faith, devotion and revolution".
Bob Marley has earned
several prestigious awards since dying of cancer at the tender age of
36 in 1981. The reggae superstar was inducted into the Rock and Roll
Hall of Fame in 1994 and earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in
2001, among other coveted accolades.
Kanye West is designing an engagement ring for Kim Kardashian.
The Gold Digger hitmaker has asked a private jeweller to craft a piece for his girlfriend using diamonds and rubies from his late mother Donda's personal collection, as he wants to propose when the reality TV star's divorce to Kris Humphries is finalised.
A source said: "Kanye picked out some of Donda's most expensive pieces, including some diamond earrings and a ruby ring. He then gave them to a private jeweller friend to make Kim a one-of-a-kind engagement ring."
"Donda was such an important person in Kanye's life; he thought the world of her and was devastated when she died. So he kept all her jewellery as keepsakes - a lot of the pieces were items he bought over the years after he made it as a hip-hop star. And now, Kanye has found a woman he respects and loves just as much as his mom, so he wants to share her jewellery collection with Kim."Sceptical friends
However, friends have advised the rapper against the gesture as he would struggle to get the precious jewels back if he and Kim were to split. The source explained: "His friends think it's a terrible idea and are advising him not to give Kim the ring. Because it's a gift, it would be difficult for Kanye to ask for it back if they ever split up."
Kanye wants to marry Kim in either Chicago, where
he was raised, or Oklahoma, where Donda is buried. The source told
RadarOnline.com: "Kanye is an emotional character and
has earmarked Chicago or Oklahoma as the two places he'd love to wed
Multi-platinum, Grammy award- winning Sean Paul's latest album, Tomahawk Technique, comes to the US officially next month.
The album, which has done extremely well with hit singles She Doesn't Mind and Got 2 Luv U, will hit US stores in September, following its June Caribbean release and introduction to Asian and European audiences earlier this year.
Enthusiastic about the album, Sean Paul stated that "Tomahawk Technique is doing amazing" in a recent interview with The Gleaner. He has been touring Europe to promote the album since Thursday, June 21. The collection is particularly special to the artiste because of his production role, in particular, on Roll Wid Di Don.
Explaining the album's name, Sean Paul said "I call it Tomahawk Technique because I think it's cutting edge as to what dancehall can offer to the world right now."
The album has received strong reviews. Among them are from thegrizzlereview.com, which said "Tomahawk Technique is poised for international success with its string of easily likeable dance-floor beats ...". It said the set showcases new rhythms that add to the artiste's creativity and musical style, showcasing Sean Paul's signature, down-to-earth sound amid the various artiste collaborations with Kelly Rowland and Alexis Jordan, among others.
Got 2 Luv U and She Doesn't Mind have shared the number-one spot in Switzerland and Austria and are among the top 10 singles in other countries.