|The Comeback Kid|
Legendary Sound System David Rodigan Triumphs In World Clash R.E.S.E.T.
Newbie to a sound clash, the boisterous Fire Links.
Sami T of Mighty Crown.
Sir Rodigan doing his signature 'Rodigan Hop'
David Rodigan with his sound clash DJ Pee Wee (Left) and Chin (Right - One half of Irish and Chin)
More like a vet, as oppose to a youngin, 'kid' simply makes for a nicer title, but the fervor and energy David Rodigan continues to have for Reggae, spanning 30 plus years to now, bears a most youthful essence.
During World Clash R.E.S.E.T., hosted by Irish and Chin and held at Amazura this past holiday weekend, 7 sound systems engaged in audio fisticuffs, but at certain points in the evening it came close to the physical. In an intense 5 round battle, each sound system (comprised of a DJ and Master of Ceremonies) was allotted 10-minute intervals to move the audience with reggae selections not limited to current dancehall, but included everything from the 1960s to the present. After drawing numbers, Mr. Rodigan luckily began each round, with the other 5 sounds in the middle and the 7th turn as Bass Odyssey's (est. 1989). Consistently within the 1st 4 rounds, Bass Odyssey received general approval from the masses on his choice of tunes and it seemed as if he would have easily prevailed. Most probably didn't foresee Mr. Rodigan in the final battle, after his mild start in the 1st 2 rounds. However, by the 3rd round, Mr. Rodigan found his grounding and pushed forward with exclusive dub plates, plus relying on other solid tunes, which brought him up to the 5th round to go toe-to-toe against Bass Odyssey. Both sounds went tune for tune, for what was suppose to be the best out of a 10-song showdown, but ended up in a tie breaking 11th. Bass Odyssey went a good 4 songs knocking out Mr. Rodigan and seemingly going for a sweep. Not until midway, Mr. Rodigan began inching his way on the scoreboard, but Bass Odyssey shook things up a bit and tied everything with a 10th selection from the sweet vocals of Marcia Griffiths. In retaliation, the final say went to Mr. Rodigan in the 11th set, when he dropped an exclusive Barrington Levy dub plate of 'No Fuss.'
Although verbal lashings are customary in sound clashes, Mr. Rodigan chose to refrain from it and stuck to a more humble demeanor, while the other 5 sounds hurled insults at their competition in futile attempts to gain the tough crowd's favor. Some sounds went as far as playing prerecorded skits mocking the others, which did make for some comedic relief from the competition's seriousness.
The unassuming victory was inarguably well deserved and the trophy will probably be placed next to Mr. Rodigan's new MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) Medal recently acquired and honored earlier in February of this year. Occasionally in the past some icons have rejected it, as there is a division of the MBE that commemorates military accolades. For instance, in the late 1960s John Lennon had relinquished his as a sign of peace protest. When asked if there were any conflicting emotions with regards to receiving the MBE, in relation to it's occasional martial associations and reactions of prominent figures in the past, Mr. Rodigan stated: "I was proud to receive it and accept it for Reggae music, the people of Jamaica and the culture I love. It was for my services to Reggae, as a broadcaster."
Words by Mister Lee
All images courtesy of Nolan Conway, except last shot courtesy of Irish and Chin.
|OWN magazine  4/12/2012 11:11 EDT|