Ryno defeats KipRich, Saw shatters Macka Diamond
Mel Cooke, Gleaner Writer
As Sting 30 headed to its inevitable clash conclusion at Jamworld, Portmore, St Catherine, yesterday morning, the tension ratcheted up in proportion to the cash at stake. For while in previous Sting clashes belts and reputations were on the line with the musical fighting fee a private affair, in this case all knew that US$30,000 was up for grabs.
It was carried to the stage by a suitably suited Ninja Man, checked and verified by MC Nuffy (clad in Magnum-branded referee gear) and then it was up to those who would wrest it from KipRich lyrically to step up to his camouflage rag-clad figure.
In the end, close to 7 a.m., in an encounter that fell far short of any expectations of keen lyrical battle, it was Ryno who was US$30,000 richer - but the clash-hungry audience was left short of what had been touted as a keenly, extended contest with multiple contenders.
On the other hand, they got enough musical guts and blood to last a while in the earlier going, as an enraged Lady Saw, who still kept her lyrical wits about her, gutted a hapless Macka Diamond.
KipRich came out with lyrics aimed at Cobra (for whom the audience hollered when asked who they wanted to see join the fray), Wyclef Jean (who started off the pay-per-view segment at midnight and had to go beyond the expansive VIP area in order to connect with the energy-giving segment of the audience beyond the chain-link fence) and 2 Chainz (a rapper whose use of the epithet mother ... was about as frequent as calling his own name).
But it was Ryno, who initially appeared a reluctant combatant as he claimed to have been slated to perform earlier, who blindsided KipRich.
Reeling off his lyrics rapid-fire, Ryno let the hammer drop as his opponent either faltered after a couple lines or did not respond at all, meandering across the stage as the audience booed the soon-to-be ex-champion.
And while KipRich had said he would not clash any of the women, Ryno had no problems turning back a ninja suit-clad Stacious with two lines, to the effect that she was for bedding, not battling.
Stacious was promptly seen off the stage.
The clashes capped off a landmark anniversary Sting staging in which the audience on television was as important as the one at the venue, Richie B prepping the substantial showing to put on a good face for the electronic attendees. Other MCs were Nikki Z and Sample Man.
However, there was a false start, with Wyclef Jean asking the audience to pretend he was coming out for the first time when he had to retreat in order for the pre-performance interview with Ms Kitty to be shown.
2 Chainz got the stand and stare treatment for most of his showing, the response so bad that the camera operators avoided crowd shots, only briefly picking up a sole person who was getting into the music. It was only in the very end of his set that 2 Chainz started to strike a chord with the audience and then the link was broken by time.
Super Cat, in his return performance to Jamaica, had his highs and not so highs in-between opening with Vineyard Style and closing with a medley after Permit Fi Gun.
Then came Lady Saw, who was in her sexual element up to Heels On before getting quickly into war mode and attire to destroy Macka Diamond.
Sting went for somewhat extended performances (although there were still consistent complaints from Beenie Man). Tommy Lee (seated because of his leg injury from a car wreck) spoke at length about his connection with God and the accident and Aidonia connected solidly with his audience, which was tuned in to his gruff tones.
Beenie Man smiled his way through a set that included some Rum and Red Bull and Dweet Again.
Ninja Man said it was the first time he was doing a rehearsed set with a band, D'Angel getting up on stage close to the end and receiving a clever devaluation of her personhood in the process.
Mavado's set, which hit home, spanned Full Clip to the chortle that "on the top it's just us" and, in the veterans performance which involved Josey Wales, Burru Banton, Brigadier Jerry and Major Mackerel, Mackerel walloped an absent Elephant Man until his fellow artistes begged him to stop.
And in the early morning pre-clash run, I-Wayne and Sizzla were searing in their criticism of some sexual practices, while melodious to varying degrees in their familiar material.
However, Harry Toddler was not appreciated by the audience, some saying he should have performed 12 hours earlier, when the bands were setting up.