Mel Cooke, Gleaner Writer
Now that Sting 30 is over, it is anybody's guess as to what songs - if any - will be produced from the 2013 staging of the marathon concert experience which is a landmark event on the Jamaican popular music calendar.
As the songs are almost invariably centred around the clashes, with Lady Saw trouncing Macka Diamond and Ryno dethroning KipRich, there are few choices for this Sting.
Of course, there are the clashes which are brewing but did not materialise at Sting this year, notably Stein/Popcaan and Major Mackerel/Elephant Man, if those who were verbally attacked decide to respond.
In one of their perennial 1990s verbal jousts, Beenie Man fell ill and was unable to perform at Sting. In reaction to that, Bounty Killer put his feelings that he had intimidated Beenie Man on record:
Dem leave de worl' inna suspense
Say dem riding horse an dem a talk wid experience
An see mi work an take sick to de treatment
An ova Sting dem coulden' please dem audience
Beenie Man did not take it lightly, of course. He replied that "Christmas come but only once a year ... ". And, he said, Bounty Killer should "give thanks to dengue fever". Save for that, he said "mi no know how yu would a manage".
In 2000, Merciless claimed victory over Ninja Man, Bounty Killer and Beenie Man at Sting, going on to release Sting History.
However, in a STAR story published on January 22, 2001, the price of the single was dampening demand. It read in part:
"The controversial single Sting History by self-acclaimed clash king Merciless is hot off the press but some customers are giving sellers the cold shoulder because of the price. Record shops are selling the single for as much as $100 but many customers are flexing their muscles and walking away, leaving the record at the counter, THE STAR understands.
A single regularly sells for $60."
Sting History, written and sung by Merciless, documents the clash between himself 'The War Head' and the 'Don Gorgon' Ninja Man as well as the interaction with Bounty Killer and Beenie Man. The demand for the single was said to be so great that the producer, Orville 'Gadaffi' Hart wasted no time in getting the record out less than two weeks after the historic Sting clash on December 26, 2000.
Fans were already saving to buy their copies. But, when they stormed shops like Aquarius Records, Half-Way Tree, and found it was selling for $100 they changed their minds.
Dem saddle up an come tes' mi
Neva know say Jah bless mi
Bway dem get dem kill an nuh police nuh arrest mi
Dem waan fi depress mi
None a dem nuh impress mi
Wait mek mi gi oonu di history
Yes because mi been there
2000 Sting dere ...
However, in his 2011 clash with KipRich, the song would come back to haunt Merciless as KipRich taunted "yu say yu kill three a Sting/but yu neva do a ting/cause all now yu bank book naked".
In his history of Sting 20 in 2003 at Jamworld, poet DYCR refers to one of the more famed Sting tales, when Super Cat returned a bottle to the crowd - and none too gently. In that year of the encounter between Vybz Kartel and Ninja Man on stage which got physical, there were some missiles flung on stage but, DYCR said, there was always the temptation to "return one back like Super Cat".
And in 2008, within hours of the clash between himself and Mavado, Vybz Kartel recorded Don't Run (Last Man Standing). The STAR recorded on December 29, 2008, that:
"Hours after the clash between Vybz Kartel and Mavado at Sting 2008, Kartel has recorded a song boldly declaring that Mavado ran from the war.
Entitled Don't Run (Last Man Standing), the song was recorded Saturday morning and was produced by Portmore Empire affiliated producer Not Nice. In the song Kartel dubs Mavado the 'runner' stating that the artiste ran before completing the clash."
Di boy run like a wounded dawg, bruk Usain record,
Don't run barber boy don't run,
The boy dress up like police an a run like thief,
Don't run barber boy don't run
We a di last man standing ...
And Kartel advised Mavado "gwaan a di barber shop and trim, next year nuh do no more damn Sting."
Mavado has not cut his hair and performed on Sting 2013.