BY SIMONE MORGAN-LINDO—
With the uncertainity surrounding its future due to cancellation this year, many have written off Sting, the long running Boxing Day show.
But not Ninjaman, the flamboyant deejay whose clashes helped make Sting the biggest show on Jamaica’s entertainment calendar.
“Sting has not done its time. It has gotten derailed, but if the promoters get back to the drawing board and get back the show into that [lyrical] battlefield that it is known for, it will work. Also the organizers need to start showing the artists, especially those who build it, respect. No promoters nuh get hit down, but it is the artists who face the bottles, boos, and clap-off. We are the ones on the battlefield,” Ninjaman told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.
The controversial artist was slated to collect an Icons of Sting Award at Monday’s Sting Awards, but was among several no-shows. He explained why he did not attend the ceremony at Devon House in St Andrew.
“The overseas promoters were willing to pay me $3,000,000 for Sting this year, but the local promoters told him not to. So, if I am not good enough for the money, I don’t see why I should collect the award,” said Ninjaman, who first performed on Sting in 1988.
He added that the show had devolved from entertainment to a war zone.
“It has become one filled with animosity, confusion and persons, including myself literally got hurt. A few years ago, Vybz Kartel and his entourage attacked me and the promoters turned a blind eye. Only Kartel apologized for his actions and I didn’t even think about suing the organizers for getting hurt at their event,” he said. That onstage brawl occurred in 2003.
Ninjaman, however, credits the 32-year-old Sting for giving several dancehall artists their break.
“Every artist that I clashed with reached a higher heights…from Shabba [Ranks] to Cobra. Sting was a show that would break or give the young acts their shine from 8:00 pm to midnight. After that, it was like a battlefield. It wasn’t about an artist singing about girls, it was about the lyrical battles. People would talk about it for months,” he stated.
The Observer contacted Sting founder Isaiah Laing for a comment, but he declined.