Sterling shows now is the time to stand up and be counted’

RAHEEM STERLING is the Man of the Year. If you have been following his comments about the British media and how it feeds racism against us you’ll know why it wasn’t such a difficult decision. At the age of 24 (just turned) he has taken on the might of the British establishment on his own and got it licked simply, morally and intellectually. You have to wonder why other black footballers are not following his lead and, not only coming out and supporting him strongly, but also getting up and standing up for their rights too.
Let’s not forget that Raheem’s also the most gifted footballer of his generation. The £300,000 PLUS he earns a week means nothing to me but for the youngers coming up, they must look at that and think, “Rah, racism or no racism, it is possible for any of us to be the best paid employees in our chosen professions, as long as we work hard for it like Raheem”.
And, boy, look how hard he has worked for it. The 24-year-old has started to make Messi and Ronaldo (bless ’em) look like senior citizens. And while England relies on Harry Kane for goals, it depends on the Man of the Year (and Etihad player of the month for November), to dribble rings around everybody else standing between Kane and the ball.
Cast your mind back to the World Cup in Russia in the summer and you’ll see how Raheem pretty much carried a relatively average England team to the semi-finals of the tournament. But he barely got praise for it. If England had beaten Croatia in that World Cup semi-final, I would like to have seen anybody give that Ballon d’Or to Luka Modric instead of Raheem.
Instead of praise, Raheem suffered the opprobrium of the media ahead of the tournament for a simple tattoo that ran vertically down his leg of a semi-automatic rifle pointing at his boots. In explanation we were told that he was sending out a message to all the yutes out there, particularly the yutes that look like him, that they too can substitute their feet for a weapon. It made complete sense to me. Especially as he, on a daily basis, probably lives with the trauma of having lost his own father to gun crime. But the press was not having it. It was determined to have another pop at English football’s boy wonder with its spin on the story, which suggested that at the very least it was inadvisable of Raheem to have such a tattoo given the levels of gun crime and knife crime among our yutes and, at worst, that he was propagating the violence with a tattoo that was actually some sort of coded gang message – bad bwoy stylee.

Raheem is made of strong stuff though. If you’ve followed his career from the age of 17 as a first team player at Liverpool of all places, you will know that. I remember how he became the darling of the Kop at Anfield and was so well known in the city he could not sneak into a single bar there because he was underage and everybody knew it.
In those days he was sporting dreadlocks and I hoped that the hair wasn’t just a fashion thing, but that it signified what it once upon a time signified – a certain consciousness. You cannot tell nowadays, with every other black footballer sporting locks like it’s going out of fashion, whether they are in the least bit aware or interested that it’s not just a style. There is power in dem there locks (as long as you keep ’em away from “de-lie-lah”). Raheem does not need locks to show his “consciousness” however. And he’s become even more militant as a baalhead.
In fact, Raheem Sterling has become one of the most conscious or, if you prefer “woke” black celebrities in the country. (As you can tell I’m really proud of him and how he has represented for us all.) Just look at the way he has dealt with the issue of the racism he endured from the usual morons at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea beat Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday December 8, which also happened to be his 24th birthday.
Instead of ranting and raving – as some sections of the press would love – he elevated the conversation about the abuse black players suffer from so-called football supporters by stating that the media have to take some part, if not a large part, of the blame. He argued that the way the media portrays young black men in general fuels a lot of the racism he and every black player faces from the terraces. That statement has resounded so much that you wonder why no other black footballers have pointed out the obvious so blatantly.
Sterling points out, for example, the stories of two of his football colleagues – one black and one white – and the way they were individually treated when they used their earnings to buy a home for their mums. Whereas the white footballer was seen as having done something noble, the black player was ridiculed.
That is how racism works. That is what gives permission to yobs on the terraces to throw banana skins at black footballers. There is no point in Lord Herman Ouseley trying to kick it (racism) out of football unless he takes the media to task. And until we have the power to hold the media responsible, we cannot hope to change the negative narratives that are told about our lives every day.
Until the media stops demonising us in all its subtle ways, we will struggle as a community to build our businesses, to succeed in schools, to bring up our families and to seize the time of our lives. It doesn’t mean we cannot succeed unless the press amends its pernicious bias, simply that we will struggle as they have such power. But they are not more powerful than our superstars like Raheem Sterling combined. That is why now is the time to stand up and be counted. That is why Raheem Sterling is the Man of the Year. He has shown the way at the age of just 24-and-two-days. SOURCE :

Jamaican reggae star Buju Banton released from US prison

Jamaican dance hall reggae star Buju Banton is free after serving seven years of a 10-year sentence in U.S. federal prison on drug charges.

Banton, whose real name is Mark Anthony Myrie, was convicted in a federal courtroom in Florida in 2011.
Prison officials told the Tampa Bay Times that Banton was freed Friday from Georgia’s private McMcRae Correctional Institute.
At trial in Tampa in 2011, federal prosecutors showed the jury audio and video recordings of Banton that they said proved he was involved in a deal to buy 11 pounds (nearly five kilograms) of cocaine for US$135,000.
A Drug Enforcement Administration informant provided evidence of the musician brokering a cocaine deal in Florida.
Banton was found guilty of illegal possession of a firearm and conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute.
The Champion musician was originally sentenced to 10 years in jail but a judge dismissed the gun charge and reduced his time by two years.
Footage surfaced on social media which showed Banton arriving home in Jamaica shortly after his release from prison.
Diddy shared the footage on his Instagram page. “Today is a glorious day,” he wrote on Instagram. “Buju is free. Let’s go! King sh*t. True greatness.”

The Jamaica Observer also reported that crowds gathered at the airport to await Banton’s arrival.
According to CNN, Banton headed straight to the recording studio soon after arriving in Jamaica.
Banton was reared in Kingston and rose to prominence as a reggae and dancehall artist in the 1990s.

Dalton Harris Is The X Factor UK 2018 Winner

Jamaica’s Dalton Harris is officially the winner of The X Factor UK 2018.
The 24-year-old singer wowed from the start to capture global love, admiration and a £1m recording contract.

Scarlett Lee was announced second and Anthony Russell, third.
No stranger to winning, At 16, Dalton Harris won the local Digicel Rising Stars show in 2010. He has also set an enviable track record with a number of the studio recordings of his performances on the show climbing as high as the Top 20 on the iTunes singles charts for the UK.
Dalton Harris marks the first time that a Jamaican singer is winning the X Factor UK, a talent show founded by Simon Cowell, who called Harris’ performance on Saturday as one of the best he has ever seen on the show.
“You hear a lot of hyperbole and all that, but in my opinion, this is up there as one of the best performances I have ever seen on this show,” Cowell said.

Overwhelmed with emotions, Harris bent forward then placed his hands on his knees to support a weakened torso. “I won the X Factor?” he asked. “You won the X Factor,” host Dermot O’Leary replied. source :

Believe the hype — the Majah Hype


Backstage at Baruch College, all comedian Majah Hype could think was “this is only the beginning.” It was a Friday night in New York City, and close to a thousand people had come out to see some of the biggest names in soca music, including Bunji Garlin, Fay Ann Lyons, and Lyrikal. And for the first time ever, that audience would experience Majah Hype’s comedy live.

Behind the curtain, before his name was announced, the comedian thought back to the phone call that brought him to this moment. The college’s Caribbean Students Association asked him to host their annual cultural show. Majah Hype laughed to himself, because although he had never done standup comedy before, when his manager got the call and asked him, “Do you do standup?” his response was, “Well, I do now.”

The rumble of cheers from the massive crowd grew, and Majah Hype was excited, but also recalls that “it was nerve-racking, you know. I kind of had the butterflies and all that, wondering how they would take to what I had to say.”

Before his mind could wander much further, someone at the front of the crowd yelled a question. “Are we going to hear a ‘Dat does piss me off’ segment?” “Yeah, wey Grandpa James dey,” shouted another, referring to one of Majah’s most notable characters. That night, he would perform twenty-minute freestyle comedy segments over four hours between the musical acts. “It was an experience that taught me to always be ready for the unexpected.”

After that show, the Brooklyn-based comedian got invitations to headline live standups shows in Canada, Britain, Guyana, Trinidad, and the US Virgin Islands, just to name a few. But it was only a preview of what this multi-talented funnyman brings to the world of Caribbean entertainment.

“Growing up, my mother always told me that I belonged on someone’s stage,” Majah says. “I mean, all my family recognised I had this gift, and that I should take it seriously — because I didn’t just try to be funny, it was a natural thing.”

Majah Hype — all he’s revealed of his real identity is his first name, Nigel — started performing at the age of eight, when his grandfather taught him how to play at least seven instruments, including alto saxophone, trombone, and drums. Seeing his grandfather’s passion for entertaining is what created Majah’s strong ambitions for the industry and will to succeed. “He is responsible for making me the man I am today,” he says.

At the of age fifteen, his love for music brought him to deejaying. Over the years, he played with multiple New York City sound systems, including the iconic Massive B. This man of many talents also writes, sings, and produces music, and has worked with reggae and soca artists like Gyptian, Tarrus Riley, and Lyrikal. But what he always wanted to do is comedy.

So in 2013, when he was laid off from his full-time job as a certified electrician for New York City’s transit authority, Majah Hype took it as a sign: this was his opportunity to go after his goal of becoming a professional comedian. “I took a leap of faith, and I knew it was time to take what I really wanted to do seriously. I took my comedy seriously.”

A small home studio in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, is where it all started. With an iPhone in hand, topics in mind, and the ability to effortlessly capture the accents and mannerisms typical of various Caribbean nationalities, Majah Hype started recording a series of short sketches inspired by the people and situations he came across daily in Brooklyn, no practice needed. “None of my skits are planned out. Nothing is written or anything,” he says.

These daily sketches, released online, were simple yet hilarious depictions of Caribbean as well as African and American parents, grandparents, and friends, plus regular segments and recurring characters. Majah credits his musical background and observant nature for the ease with which he pulls off his repertoire of accents and personalities. “I’m like a tape recorder,” he explains. “I hear something and I just say it back you.”

His seamless accents, comedic timing, and true-to-life material quickly made Majah Hype a a Caribbean and Caribbean diaspora social media sensation. “My platforms are a melting pot for the Caribbean,” he says. “I think there’s strength in numbers. Everyone can unify and we all laugh and joke as one.”

Still, it almost didn’t happen. Shortly after being laid off, the comedian was offered his old job back. He briefly contemplated a return to life as a transit authority electrician, but then Majah read a few posts from his fans. “All of the comments were, like, he ran out of gas, he has no more jokes, you see I told you — and I was like, really?

“I’m a very competitive person,” Majah says. “You have to wake up real early in the morning to beat me, you know what I’m saying? So when I saw that, I’m the type of person that likes to prove people wrong. I just went even harder.”

That’s when Majah Hype introduced the world to now-well-known characters like Di Rass, a no-nonsense, foul-mouthed Rasta from Jamaica; Grandpa James, a bearded and cranky elder from south Trinidad; and Sister Sandrine, a tell-it-like-it-is Jamaican woman who dishes out tough love advice in the comfort of her nightgown. “I wanted to really separate myself from [other comedians] and raise the bar higher,” he says. “What I want is when people see my videos, they don’t just see the same face doing two different accents — I want them to see a totally different image.”

Characters like Grandpa James and Sister Sandrine, the comedian explains, represent the influence of elders in the community, as well as the kind of tough love that Caribbean grandparents often give. “They speak they mind. They tell you what they want to tell you. They don’t care how you feel ’bout it. How you take it. I’m telling you the truth. ‘That jacket don’t look good.’ That’s it. They don’t care . . . That’s just what they do,” he says.

Majah’s characters also include Jean from Haiti, Peter from Grenada, and Colin from Guyana, among others. “For me, it was a way to represent every island or country in their own special way, but still have us all unified,” he says, smiling. His dedication to not just entertaining but connecting the Caribbean through comedy is how he garnered his now more than half a million followers on social media — including 366,000 and counting on the photo and video sharing site Instagram, where he first started posting those hilarious improvisation sketches.

He says he uses this platform to share Caribbean culture with the world. But what Caribbean country does Majah Hype himself represent? Before I can even ask the full question, he’s laughing and shaking his head. He knows it’s coming. “I was born on a cruise ship in international Caribbean waters,” he says, this time in what sounds like a fusion Jamaican and Trinidadian accent. He deliberately doesn’t reveal where in the Caribbean he is from. “I don’t disclose that, for the simple fact that my main focus and my main goal is to unify everyone. I’m doing it for the Caribbean, instead of just one nation.”

No matter where in the Caribbean Majah is actually from, he’s showing the world that not only is the hype for real, he’s just getting started. The multitalented entertainer is currently working on a television show, and his first film, Foreign Minds Think Alike, is scheduled for release in March 2016. He says it’s a comedy that will give audiences the backstories of some of his most notable characters, and how they met. “Hopefully the world is ready for it — ready to laugh and cry.”

Majah will star alongside the likes of Bunji Garlin, Damian Marley, Gyptian, and other prominent Caribbean entertainers. “It’s sort of a dream come true to go from watching these people perform and watching these people on TV to now working with them and filming and just directing things that they want to be a part of.”

He personally funded the project, because he feels the breadth of Caribbean culture isn’t well represented in mainstream media. “I want to show a different side of us. We have comedy, drama, romance, stuff like that. I want to be able to bring that to the table, instead of people seeing the stereotypical weed seller or gangster.”

As for the daily comedy sketches that made him famous, Majah plans to expand them along with the repertoire of Caribbean accents he’s known for. “I am going to be adding accents you haven’t heard from me yet, like St Vincent, St Lucia. I mean, I have it,” he says, “but I’m sort of a perfectionist. I don’t want to put it out there and have people say that doesn’t really sound like us.”