Well people…what a weekend!!!!! ReggaeMania.com (represented by Problem Child) arrived in New York Friday night…and immediately went to Miss Sally’s Restaurant (owned & managed by Soul Supreme) to get a piece of her World-famous pudding before heading over to Amazura Niteclub (the venue with the 25ft LionHead on the front facade of the building that you cannot miss at the corner of 144th pl and Archer Ave in Jamaica, Queens, NY) for sound check.
Both Taranchyla (Poison Dart) and Ajax (Blunt Posse) were inside doing last minute videos endorsing the #USRumble. Of course, Chin and his ever-silent (and usually invisible) business partner, Irish, were also in the house, going over final preparations for the well publicized and promoted #USRumble scheduled for the following night (posters were everywhere as Reggamania.com drove into New York City). As time passed, all participating sounds would pass through Amazura and complete their sound checks with the exception of Innocent Sound; Dappa and Juxxi were not due to arrive until late tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon (stick a pin on that).
Saturday (Night of the clash). I arrived at the venue approx 10:50 pm after battling through some chaotic New York traffic….lol! Upon entering Amazura (side door), I spotted Dappa-Leethal from Innocent Sound. He had a look of concern, and told me that his Juxxi’s (his MC) flight was delayed, and that it may take until after midnight at best for Juxxi to reach Amazura! Inside, all the other sounds were present. It was early, and maybe 300 or so people were inside walking around and settling into their respective corners ready for war!
Ninja Crown from Mighty Crown was clash host for the night. Numbers (to determine playing order) were drawn roughly 11:20 pm;
Gary Famus from Love People Sound (Virginia) started off ok–played a few songs and was building a vibes, when all of a sudden the sound just went silent. After about four to five minutes the problem was rectified, with Gary wondering if the Gods are ‘not on his side tonight’ and ends his 1st round, ‘so-so’.
Next up, Brooklyn’s own King Fargo. I personally expected a lot from King Fargo Saturday night, and he started off ok. Overall though, nothing special – some good speech (like he is known for)…but round was jus ‘ok’.
Next up, (the eventual winner) Innocent Sound; Dappa started by letting the crowd know that things could get no worse for him, as his selector’s flight was delayed, that Nasheen Fiya (former MC) was no longer on the sound, and that the Innocent Sound owner had been ‘deported’ from the U.S. He let the #USRumble crowd know that ‘bad things happen in 3’s’, and so it was ‘God an him tonight’ before playing “One Man against the World” from Gregory Isaacs. The song got a great response and Dappa Lee never looked back from there. He also played one of the biggest dubplates for the night by dropping the Sizzla/Capleton/Stephen Marley dub, “Rockstone”. A maad 1st round for Innocent!!!!
Next up; Jimmy Spliff (King Shine) outta New Jersey. Jimmy introduced himself to the clash faithful by opening up with Popcaan’s “Unruly Prayer” and just put his arms out like he was flying…place nearly tear dung!!!! Jimmy then decided to let the crowd into his personal life when he told the crowd he was diagnosed with Cancer and that if Cancer cyaan beat him, no sound could and proceeded to play an acoustic version of Chronixx “They Don’t Know” which really connected with the crowd on an emotional level. Like Innocent, King Shine also shelled his 1st round.
Next up, NexxT LeveL from Brooklyn, reputed to be one of New York’s best juggling sounds. A solid round here, and a nice response from the crowd. Nexxt Level’s MC ‘Amazin’ told the crowd ‘wait till likkle more people – crazy tings tonight!’ The other two sounds (Black Hustler and Broken Silence) came on and didn’t really connect with the crowd all night…it was like they took this for just any old clash, rather than the life-changing experience it could be for a sound.
The #USRumble 2nd round saw more of the same; Dappa Leethal from Innocent played another strong round skillfully mixing dubs, 45’s and witty speeches to continue getting great responses from the Amazura crowd. King Fargo connected a lot more this round with the crowd but it was becoming more evident that the #USRumble was turning into a clash between Innocent Sound, King Shine and NexxT LeveL. The other sounds were trying their best to make an impact with the Amazura crowd but the three sounds just mentioned had the place rocking…and the place was rocking…I could honestly say that!!!!!
During the elimination rounds, the sounds were eliminated in this order;
1. Black Hustler
2. Love People
3. King Fargo
4. Broken Silence
Due to time constraints, a round had to be shortened and from the response of the crowd, NexxT LeveL was the last sound to be eliminated before Tune fi Tune.
Upon till this point in the clash, one would have thought that King Shine may have had a slight edge (just due to his animated, entertaining delivery and stage presence) going into Tune Fi Tune. When the Tune Fi Tune started, Innocent played first and got a good response off their 1st song; Heptones ‘Book of Rules’. King Shine then dropped his 1st dub (as the 45-shop was now padlocked..lol) which proved to be a song already played (it happened again for King Shine’s second Tune fi Tune selection) and the crowd did not appreci-love the play-back and would let King Shine know it!
From there, it was almost elementary as Dappa Lee and Innocent Sound went on to defeat Jimmy SpLiff and King Shine Sound, 4-to-love, using his dubplate ‘My Sound for Life’ by Dennis Emmanuel Brown, as it was a ‘best of 7’.
All in all, from Friday night till Sunday morning, this was an excellent, entertaining clash that went off well. At first the crowd looked like it was not going to be a good night from a promoter’s standpoint….but by 1am, the place was almost at capacity….if you ask ReggaeMania.com, I’n’I would say that if Club Amazura held 1200 ppl…….1000 ppl WELL were inside…..and that is great news for upcoming, lesser known sounds, and sound clash culture in general……..ites an ispeck i-tinually.
Written by: (ProbLem ChiLd fromDonRankinSound)
Photography by : (ProbLem ChiLd fromDonRankinSound)
Edited by Ron Nelson
Questions for the OnStage interview with the winner Innocent Sound (Dappa-LeethaL)-
o0. Listen to opening comments from Flair Lindsay of Irish and Chin (Publicity & Promotions) talking about the build up to the #USRumbLe
ReggaeMania’s Problem Child was the first person to interview #USRumble champion Innocent Sound, literally seconds after he was announced as winner of the event; Here are the questions and the answers from Dappa of Innocent Sound;
01. RM: “How does it feel to win?”
01. Dappa of Innocent: Listen to his answer:
o2. RM: What was your plan going into #USRumble?
02. Dappa of Innocent: Listen to his answer:
03. RM: What is the first thing you plan to do with this victory?
03. Dappa of Innocent: Listen to his answer:
04. RM: Who you waan big up?
04. Dappa of Innocent: Listen to his answer:
05. RM: Listen to comments from event promoter Garfield ‘Chin’ Bourne sharing feelings about the clash, how he felt it went overall and what he sees happening next in sound clash.
Listen to the Audio (5+ Hrs) of #USRumble 2015
Watch the Video of #USRumble 2015