WORLD CLASH 2002
This past Saturday, Club Amazura in Queens, NYC hosted World Clash 2002. The club was packed. When we reached, the line went around the whole block. Amazing that the hefty $ 50 cover did not keep away more of the dancehall massive. Elephant Man was introduced after some awards had been given out. He set the rules and the clash started.
Matterhorn began with Johnny Killer mixing up a storm, featuring wicked dubs from artists such as Bounty, Beenie and Buju. Matterhorn was mute on the mic, refraining from doing ANY talking (!!!). Tunes were coming so quick, mixed so skillfully, that they absolutely flattened the place. Matterhorn must have rinsed 2-3 dozen tunes, all of which received forwards, so they took the early lead.
Matsimeila from Trinidad followed with a number of solid foundation dubs before juggling some selections on the BUZZ riddim. They were the first to feature a custom-built dub for WC 2002 calling King Agony Queen Agony. They ended their round with more foundation. Overall a solid effort from them.
Rebel Tone came out next, playing exclusively cd's. They started with some foundation as well before moving onto the DUCK riddim. They actually received a number of boos, leading me to think that they would be one of the first sounds eliminated. The weakest round so far.
Sound Trooper was fourth and he came out raging, stating that it was HIS time now, as he had been absent from World Clash for the past 2 years. His MY WOMAN riddim tore up Amazura but he played back a Glen Washington (Rise & Shine), which Matsimeila had already featured, causing him to get booed at the end of his round. Still good. 2nd or 3rd place so far.
NYC's own King Agony was up next and they started with custom-built dubs from Jr. Kelly and Damian Marley before rinsing a few numbers on the ZION GATES riddim. Their version of the energy god Elephant Man's "Tall Up Tall Up" dun di place and King Agony proceeded in the hardcore direction with some selections on the DIWALI. Afterwards they cooled down the pace again with some nice foundation but made the mistake of playing over a tune as well. Still a good round as Killa Bo's speech was right on point.
Red Spider from Japan were next and many wondered if they could match or even outdo the hype and the skill of their fellow countrymen Mighty Crown. After a promising custom-built Cocoa Tea they went downhill fast though. The MC never even moved from behind the set. Why was he hiding ? How do you motivate a crowd like that ? Red Spider juggled a few classics on the SICK riddim but failed to move the massive AT ALL. A total flop.
Now it was time for the defending world-champions Bass Odyssey and they demonstrated immedeately that they were there to defend their title. Squingy's speech was wicked . He told Trooper: "Mi ah di one dat mek yuh stop wear di army suit!" which was by far the biggest speech so far. He continued, telling Matterhorn that his round was only good because he kept his mouth shut, with the crowd,again,voicing its approval. Bass Odyssey juggled some classics on the REAL ROCK and played a few Biltmore selections from Bounty Killer. They DUN di place and moved ahead of Matterhorn to lead after round one.
Matterhorn picked up in Round Two exactly where he had left off. No talking which was amazing to witness. Are NY people really that tired of his speech? Are they really that bias? Their reaction seemed to prove it. For as Tony started introducing tunes, the vibes went slowly downhill. He rinsed a custom-built Bounty dissing all sounds. Not much of a reaction. He played some foundation from back in the day including Capleton's "Jah Jah City" re-titled "Matterhorn Town". He then did something extra wicked. He requested the crowd to part as he walked through it (like Moses parting the Red Sea) while he played hip-hop artist 50 Cents calling everybodys' name. This got a huge forward. I thought his round was strong but you could tell that the crowds' enthusiasm had let off.
Matsimeila continued by playing PLENTY more foundation artists. This was their main focus, as the MC was hyping up tunes quite well, screaming a lot. Too much effort still beats too little any day, so NY( and I )liked this Trini sound. They probably didn't possess enough bashment material to win a prestigious event like World Clash, but as the focus was more on foundation this time around, they fared rather well. The highlight of their round was a custom Terry Ganzie/King Kong combo which rammed the dance. Another solid round from Matsimeila.
Rebel Tone returned far more on point than before, stating that they had nothing to lose. Newby told Trooper he was getting too old since he played back a tune. He took another stab at Trooper, mocking the way he walks on stage ("Like a woman."), and called on Matterhorn to play some decent tunes rather that the bashy bashy style. The Canadians played custom dubs dissing Trooper and Red Spider. Overall they were much better than before, showing everyone that they were ready for war.
Trooper was next, playing some of his foundation material, which got booed as it was nothing new. The same specials he cut for Jaro back in the day with a new name inna it. He played a weak Papa San (how are you supposed to dominate World Clash with christian tunes?) and an old Tanya Stephens and pretty much eliminated himself. Better selections on the SICK and HEAVENLESS riddims could not undo the damage and many people were surprised that he never really unleashed any of his big guns.
King Agony continued, representing as one of the new bloods. Killa Bo was wicked in his speech again as he received forwards for nearly every tune he introduced. He dissed every freakin sound in the house before finishing his round with another killer Elephant Man special: a version of Eminem's "Hey Mama" transformed to "Hey Maggie". Massive forwards. Could this be the next champion, after Killa Bo already won the prestigious 45 Shootout earlier this year?
Red Spider was up again and they dug out some more foundation. Still: they never got a hold of the crowd and continued to stand behind the equipment like some little schoolboys. Sound-system school tonite for these fellows. They never even challenged any of the sounds vocally. Sorry. Yuh no mek it !!!!
Bass Odyssey stormed back in, pulling a number of aces out of their sleeve, as a Bounty dub cutting down everybody, including Matterhorn , after the latter had claimed the warlord would NEVER diss him. Well, he did, and Odyssey featured more Biltmore vibes with Bountys galore. On the wheels of steel DJ Mark was smooth as ever and Squingy brought down the house over and over again. Bass Odyssey took Round Two also, clearly leading the dance so far.
Trooper and the Japanese got eliminated at this point. That Matterhorn had to join them clearly shows NY's bias against Tony. I had him in second place-certainly not in 5th. Matterhorn was vexed, refusing to acknowledge defeat. He told the people that if the vibes got too soft, they could call him back. In my opinion there is NO WAY that either Matsimeila or Rebel Tone were better than Matterhorn but the majority rules .
Rebel Tone followed. They also didn't impress me with their selection very much, yet they carried a good, positive vibes, and the people could feel that. The selector's speech was right on and somehow the Canadians just kept cruising without ever doing anything too spectacular.
King Agony was up next and played some good dubs, yet they also seemed intimidated by the "no cursing, no forced forwards" rule, as they juggled without announcing tunes at all anymore. Killa Bo then DID fall into the trap he must have been trying to avoid, by asking the crowd to put their hands in the air and King Agony got disqualified. Too bad because they payed some of the wickedest specials for the evening and appeared to be ready to challenge ANYONE.
Bass Odyssey also seemed to boil down a bit this round. Still, they featured some nice dubs from Luciano and Beres as well as part 2 of their trademark Sanchez/Cocoa Tea combination, as no sound really had a better 3rd round than them.
Matsimelia and King Agony were eliminated, leaving it up to Rebel Tone and Bass Odyssey to determine the 2002 World Clash Champions.
It boiled down to the "tune for tune" at the end now. Each sound got to play 10 of their best tunes, trying to continually outdo each other. Somehow the crowd was on Rebel Tone's side and classic artists as Alton Ellis, Dawn Penn and Leroy Sibbles received HUGE forwards. Bass Odyssey featured Ken Boothe, Edi Fitzroy, and a Tamlins that did not connect with the younger massive. They did play a Garnet Silk/Leroy Smart combo but were unable to get the crowd back on their side, so Rebel Tone took home the trophy.
in all World Clash 2002 was a very iffy affair. Rebel Tone should have
been eliminated instead of Matterhorn at the end of round two, turning
the rest of WC 2002 into somewhat of a farce. Rumours are abounding
that WC 2002 was set up for a new sound to win, as Squingy refused to
play many of his big guns in the tune for tune and Trooper obviously
held back earlier as well. Let's hope that this is not true. Matterhorn
and Trooper fans also seemed bias against Odyssey at the end, cheering
for Rebel Tone, as their favorites had been eliminated. I was also unaware
that breaking the "no cursing,no forced forwards" rule would
result in automatic disqualification. Then certain sounds should have
been eliminated earlier for playing back tunes as well. Still: a blessing
to see the upcoming new bloods: all of them (with the exception of Red
Spider) showed promise and Rebel Tone's taking the trophy with pure
cd's will certainly cause quite some debates amongst the massive.
time and blessings to the whole of y'all: Eyewitness