10-11-2003 NYC 2003

by Eyewitness

Yow! Live & direct from World-Clash 2003 we are lucky to have our man Eyewitness inna New York to give us the run-down. Here is what happened.

The line-up this year somehow failed to impress much, as most of the high-caliber yard sounds (Jaro, Odyssey) were missing and even tough NYC stalwarts as Matterhorn & Agony were not invited/did not qualify. At least Mighty Crown from Japan were back. The cover was $50 again and Bounty Killer hosted/Mc'd the event alone (Ele didn't show up-they were supposed to do it together).

ROUND 1 (15 minutes each-no elimination)

Poison Dart from Florida kicked things off after qualifying for World Clash just last week by winning the U.S. Cup Clash in the Bronx. Stating that the trophy would not leave the US this year, selector Kirky C played a number of foundation tunes. Artists like Sizzla & Luciano on riddims like Hypocrites. It was an ok round for them but nothing spectacular.

Mighty Crown came in like a raging storm, drawing instant forwards for their wicked speeches. They played a SERIOUS first round featuring nuff Cocoa Tea combinations (with Spragga & Bounty I believe), as well as some classic Bounty Killers. A WICKED start for the Japanese, who clearly showed that they meant business.

One Love from Rome were next and they surprised a lot of people, as they played quite well. The MC's had strong Italian accents, which werent too pleasant to my ears, but at least you could understand them. They began with a Mafioso type of intro that had NYC weak. One Love went down the foundation-lane as well , playing nuff Sizzla; maybe every second tune was a Sizzla and the people showed their appreciation. Good round for the Italians.

The Trinis of Matsimela Sound for some reason failed to connect with the crowd this year, after such a good performance in 2002. I thought I recognized many of the same dubs they played last year: King Kong & Capleton didn't get them nowhere & the MC simply wasn't able to get much vibes going. Basically a flop.

The only Jamaican sound in 2003, Black Kat was led by Panther. They kicked off with Yami Bolo, followed by George Nooks and pretty much cruised down foundation-lane as well. It was their regular set of dubs-nuttin new, nuttin too special. Mediocre.

The defending World-Clash champion from 2002 Canada's Rebel Tone were last and Newby made some excuses about visa and rae rae for not coming to NY more often since his victory in order to defend his sound. He was having SEVERE problems with the cd-unit (as Rebel Tone is a cd sound that plays all of its dubs off cd), causing him to play many dubs for far over a minute each. Newby was in trouble and his first round pretty much flopped.

Mighty Crown was determined to be the winner of round one.


ROUND 2 (10 MINUTES, 1 elimination)

Poison Dart came back explaining they had only 3 days to gather some extra ammunition for World Clash and therefore didn't have many custom-built specials but I think that it is NEVER very smart to make excuses during a clash-just cut and go through star! Focus on your strengths and try not to draw any attention to your weaknesses. You waan win, dontcha?!!! Anyway: they ran Barrington, a Reggie Stepper I believe, Sizzlas and a Shabba, but Kirky, again, did not really move the crowd.

After running some more foundation, Mighty Crown realized that it was time to shift gears and started rinsing some brand-new tracks on Coolie Dance,Bad Company and Fiesta. They ROCKED NYC & got a HUGE forward for a custom-built Beenie Man & Ms.Thing combination on the Fiesta riddim about how they kill the other 5 sounds at World-Clash. Simply wicked & it seemed like the Japanese were reaching for the trophy again.

One Love came in counteracting a speech from Poison Dart who claimed that "Nuff battyman a come from Italy". One Love replied that all the battyman they find in Italy, they gather them and ship them out to Florida to keep Poison Dart company. They saw how successful Mighty Crown were with the new tunes selection and burned off quite a few of their own, the highlight being Sean Paul's "Like Glue" and the same Beenie Man/Ms.Thing combo but cut differently to effectively counteract the Crown tune. Another good round for the Italians.

Black Kat was determined to be the winner of round two and Rebel Tone, the defending world-champion, was eliminated.





ROUND 3 (2 eliminations)

Although there were still 5 sounds left, it was pretty clear that this World-Clash was all about Crown, One Love and Black Kat. Poison Dart played yet another unspectacular round and pretty much lost it. People were not into them/taking them serious, making it hard to even remember tunes or anything worth mentioning.

Mighty Crown were second and rinsed some unusual specials by Beres and Barrington. Somehow they lost a bit of their hype and werent connecting as they did before. I thought the round was ok for them, especially once they featured some HUGE hip-hop specials by 50 Cents and Little John ("I don't give a fuck Remix") plus a Little John/Elephant combination.

One Love continued throwing down their favorite artists:they had infinite Anthony B's and Sizzlas, complimented by decent speech, yet somehow the air was outta the clash at this point and it was to be seen as to who could tek it to a higher level again.

Matsimela claimed they could tek it easy as Poison Dart and One Love played back tunes and should therefore get disqualified. Still NY wasn't into them at all. They blended Buzz and some foundation:pretty much the same as last year and from the crowd's reaction it was pretty clear that they would get eliminated, as neither Poison Dart or One Love were likely to get disqualified, as the dubs were cut in different ways (on different riddims).

Black Kat managed to tek advantage of the fact that everyone had been slacking this round so far and Panther came storming in with big statements bout how Mighty Crown have whole heapa bling bling to buy any dubplate they want, yet its talent, not money fi win sound-clash. He continued now he was going to play HIS 50 Cents and ran a Garnet Silk, causing Amazura to go BIONIC !!! He mixed some classic Black Kat selections with some other material and it was apparent that he won Round Three.

Poison Dart and Matsimela got eliminated, while Black Kat won the round, to take a 2-1 lead over Mighty Crown.


ROUND 4 (5 minute 45 round)

If Black Kat won this round they would take the trophy. If Mighty Crown won, they would go dub for dub with Black Kat in a 5th round. It was not clear as to what would happen if One Love won though.

So for Round Four no dubplates could be played, only regular 45's. Mighty Crown came in and freakin' RIPPED it with a whole heapa foundation by Jacob Miller, Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. They turned the heat on One Love and tore up Amazura!

Next was One Love and the sound-system's owner stepped outta the shadows and took over the mic, claiming he's been listening to reggae music for more than 20 years. One Love then went on their own rampage to BURN UP Amazura, getting the place weak with vintage selections by Marley, Tosh and Wailer. I thought they even topped Mighty Crown, they were simply HOT !!!

Last, Black Kat was up and Panther was confident bout his victory. He also played VERY WELL, but reached nowhere near either One Love or Crown. Still NY people were going crazy, even though Panther played a number of tunes that NYC had already heard on dubplate earlier. Did this count as playing back a tune ? If so, Panther played back at least 3 and should get disqualified. Amazura didn't care or were unaware.

Somehow Black Kat was declared the winner of Round Four and of World Clash 2003, while nuff people were chanting "tune fi tune". Chin then explained Black Kat had won the most rounds so people should be fair and treat them as winners. If he had given the round to Mighty Crown and they had won the dub-fi-dub, word on the streets and the net would have been that Chin had fixed the clash for Crown to win, which is actually true. Panther WAS wicked all night (with the exception of his initial crying), yet I'm still vexed that his 45 round won, as it was clearly worse than either Crown's or One Love's. It would have been better if he had killed Crown ina dub-f-dub. Still: in my eyes One Love took this round-then it would have been Black Kat:2; Mighty Crown:1; and One Love:1 and Black Kat should have been the winner without going to the tune fi tune anyways.

On a parting note, I think that Bounty Killer got the people prejudiced against Mighty Crown with his anti-Japanese rae rae bout reggae being a Jamaican thing and such. It is a good idea to do away with the celebrity mc's and judges, as they DO have the power to influence the crowd's opinions through their status as dancehall icons. Plus Elephant's performance in 2002 (also culminating in some nasty anti-Japanese comments) was rather poor, as much as I enjoy the energy god as a performer.

Personally, I missed Jaro, Odyssey and Matterhorn: three of the biggest sounds in the world and I certainly hope them to be present next year.
Until such time:


check out the 2002 world clash

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