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THE THREE GREATEST DANCEHALL CLASHES OF ALL TIME – PART 1!

Supercat and Ninja Man at Sting 1991.-FILE
Supercat and Ninja Man at Sting 1991.-FILE——

By Mel Cooke—–

Although Desmond ‘Ninja Man’ Ballentine officially handed over his Sting clash title to KipRich at the Boxing Day concert’s 2012 staging, he retained the belt as champion for life. His clashes have been well chronicled, but Ninja Man has his own perspective on the deejay wars that went a long way to making him the enduring Don Gorgon of dancehall. Recently, Ninja Man spoke to me about three of the greatest and most well-chronicled of those clashes. See tomorrow’s Gleaner for others.

Ninja Man vs Supercat, Sting 1990

“Supercat come een like mi faada an Shabba (who he clashed with in 1991) a mi bredda. But Supercat competition a di one whe I did want,” Ninja Man said. “Mi di wan’ kill him long time. Dat was a war mi did ready fa and want it.” He had long told himself that he needed to be ‘badder’ than Josey Wales and Supercat, “not in physical badness, but lyrical confrontation an’ da demanding power whe mi see dem have. Mi haffi get da energy deh, so dem is like my momentum inna de business”.

WAR DEEJAY

Supercat held a special place, as “dem a seh dis is a war deejay. Memba seh Supercat kill all soun’ pon Kilamanjaro, after Jim Kelly an’ dem man deh. When Supercat dem tek over Kilamanjaro, nutt’n nuh live. Jaro a kill before Cat, but when Cat come een Jaro killing range high.”

“Him have di highest banner of killing, him have de mos’ ratings of fear inna di industry,” Ninja Man said.

That made Ninja Man the underdog, a fact he did not mind because winning would mean he gained something but there was no shame in losing.

“People expec’ Cat fi win, but mi tell myself come out wid one intention di morning. If you hate mi tomorrow morning a so, but yu a go dead, an if yu a go love mi yu a go dead,” he said.

Although he is known for his spontaneity, Ninja Man said on the clash night none of the lyrics he used were put together on the stage, although he did not plan ahead when he would use a particular one.

Super Cat

Super Cat

“Them lyrics ready an a wait pon him,” he said. Still, he said, he did not plan for a lyrical war but if it happened he wanted to be ready. “All mi waan know mi fully loaded,” Ninja Man said.

“If you don’t prepare fi war, a man wi ketch you as a sitting duck an’ no sitting duck no get up back again and walk. Dem dead or cripple.”

At one point in the confrontation Supercat referred to the Christian scriptures and Ninja Man reeled off one in reply. “Dat a Psalm 68. Let God arise and let my enemy be scatter. Mi read di Bible outta mi head, yu understand,” Ninja Man said.

NO CHANCE OF A FIGHT

At another point in the clash Supercat said he was the only man who had ever boxed over Ninja Man. However, Ninja said there was never a chance of it becoming physical.

“Mi wi mek di crowd tell you seh a lyrics we want up yah, wi nuh want nuh war,” Ninja Man said.

“An once you have di crowd a tell you say a lyrics dem want y’nuh, you cannot win.”

Ninja Man

Ninja Man

“If yu notice whe me do Supercat. A tree time Supercat mek mi shake pon di stage. When di man say ‘warning warning, clear the way the Apache is coming’, di whole a Stadium a shake y’know. When him draw de tune killing p … an him kill dem fi fun, Stadium come een like a bomb drop in deh y’know. An all mi do, mi wait til him get well aggressive an mi jus’ look pon him an seh ‘Supercat, yu box mi, yu do anything, I gwine murder you wid lyrics’. An from him a talk him a de only man box mi, mi seh ‘mi nah box yu back. Mi nah make de press write a morning seh me aggressive. Me a make de worl’ know say you a dead wid lyrics,” Ninja Man said.

“Di whole Stadium say murder him wid lyrics, Gorgon. So dem leave from ova da side deh whe Supercat a prove him badness an come ova di side whe mi say a lyrics wi a deal wid. An when mi draw di tune ‘before you die, seek di Lord’ a de whole place a sing it. An di whole a grandstand stan up. An mi watch di forward a walk like wave pon sea. An when mi say ‘reverse di hearse an make mi put een di dead’, all Supercat heart get weak an’ him knee get weak.”
 

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