In the wee hours of the morning, 3x Grammy Award winner Wyclef Jean made his way to the “World Bash” stage with his guitar and security in tow to salute the international Mighty Crown sound system upon their retirement. Unbeknownst to the famed Japanese sound, Wyclef Jean hopped off his tour with Ms. Lauryn Hill and Fugees to serenade them with a live dubplate performance of “911” before a global audience Thanksgiving weekend in New York. Roars erupted from the sold out crowd, who celebrated every ounce of this epic moment.
During the unprecedented salute, the Haitian rapper, singer-songwriter, musician and actor praised Mighty Crown and all the powerhouse sounds on the Irish and Chin “World Bash” line up, citing their significance to him and sound system culture. He paid respect, credited the premiere sounds for inspiring his Refugee Sound and reminded the wall-to-wall audience that Caribbean people and culture have been doing great things. What’s extra dope is that Wyclef stayed following his performance to soak in the raw music and vibes of the killer sounds.
“It was an iconic moment for the sound system movement, as it’s not often Hip Hop stars are in authentic dancehall spaces,” says “World Bash” promoter Garfield “Chin” Bourne of Irish and Chin. “While many have been influenced by and borrowed from dancehall music, very few show up for the culture. Wyclef is one of the exceptions. He boldly bridges the gap between the Hip Hop and Caribbean worlds.”
The “World Bash” musical farewell to Mighty Crown was a once in a lifetime event. The legendary Japanese sound, whose members include Masta Simon, Sami T, Cojie and Ninja, have celebrated reggae, dancehall and Jamaican music and culture for more than three decades.
The Wyclef and Mighty Crown connection is not new. In fact, to date, “Da Far East Rulaz” have the only dubplate combo of Beres Hammond and Wyclef. Funny enough, the relationship started exactly 20 years ago in Hartford, Connecticut when Wyclef showed up through the back door of a dance (in similar “World Bash” style) to deliver Rodigan a dubplate, which killed Mighty Crown in a clash. But upon seeing how well the sound performed, Wyclef was impressed.
There is a lot to be said about the magnitude of authentic Jamaican sound system culture, as thousands of music lovers braved frigid conditions to attend “World Bash” at Amazura on Friday, November 24. Musical greatness culminated at the popular concert hall, as a who’s who of sound system culture graced the “World Bash” stage, including Soul Supreme, Bass Odyssey, Killamanjaro, David Rodigan, Dynamq, Tony Matterhorn, Pink Panther, LP International, Bodyguard, Metromedia and Mighty Crown. Artists, including the legendary Shinehead, Red Fox and more were there to take in the monumental event.
Hardcore juggling by big league sound systems, accentuated with infectious rumbling basslines, kept “World Bash” rocking the entire night. There wasn’t a dull moment at the incredible event, which saw the sounds unleash electrifying dub plate anthems that wowed concertgoers. As anticipated, hints of sound clash emerged during the intense performances.
During another high point of the buzzin’ “World Bash,” Di General Pink Panther, a 9x world clash champion selector, was crowned. “He has contributed so much to the growth of the sound clash arena, sound systems, reggae and dancehall. We had to celebrate him,” said Garfield “Chin” Bourne of Irish and Chin.
“More than a victory for Mighty Crown, this night was an unquestionable win for sound system culture, which has entrenched itself so deeply in the global consciousness that it was able to turn an occasion like this into a blockbuster affair,” reported VP Records on “World Bash.” “This night’s success made it clear: the art and appeal of events like this are here to stay.”