Mighty Crown wins Death before Dishonor
When the insults settled and the dub plates were played out, the 'Far East Rulers', Mighty Crown, hoisted the 'Death Before Dishonour' trophy at Pier One, Montego Bay, for the second consecutive time,yesterday morning.
Their winning margin of six dub plates to the Panther-led Black Kat's three, came before an audience vastly reduced in size and enthusiasm from previous years. For not only did many persons refuse to come in initially, a large crowd forming outside the crowd control barriers as people resisted the $1,500 entrance fee, but also four sound systems instead of five participated in the clash, which came after a dub plate display from four veterans.
Care free attitude
And as Tony Matterhorn, who took a carefree attitude towards the clash and was the first to be sent packing by the standard show of hands from the crowd, said as he played first, "I miss the days of Trooper, Fire Links, Squingy. Dem soun' too predictable".
The other competing sound system was newcomer Hype Zone from Hanover, which seemed to have substantial crowd support. However, the hype of insults and frenetic stage movement did not sway sufficient people for them to make it into the final, best of 10 dub plate stage.
It was in this final segment that the clash was really elevated over a tracing match of predictable motherly and sexual insults standards (many of which however, pleased the audience immensely), as Panther and Mighty Crown went into 'foundation' tunes to change totally from the earlier fare of Mavado, Kartel, Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, Tarrus Riley, DeMarco and Bugle dub plates.
And it was the Crown, which had mixed older dubs of Tempo and Conquerer in the final group round to good effect and to ensure that they would not be sent packing, which prevailed. There was added excitement to the generally high standard of selections, too, as after they had leapt out to a four to nil lead with dubs from Jimmy Cliff and Junior Murvin, among others, Black Kat won three straight.
There were some protests from the Black Kat fans, though, about the fairness of the judging on the fourth round, and when co-organiser Chin's assessment of the show of hands went his way on the fifth round, Panther said "yu know why yu gimme da one deh? Yu get coward".
But after his Toots Hibbert dub of 54-46 made it four to two and then Black Kat pulled within one, it was the closest he would get, Mighty Crown's dub of "too much tin pan sound" sealing the issue.
In the earlier going, at few minutes before 1:00 a.m., when Pier One was relatively empty and the mood depressed, Downbeat with Tony Screw up front, King Jammys led by Jammys, Jack Scorpio taking charge of Black Scorpio and David Rodigan presented older dub plates. The mainly young audience was overwhelmingly appreciative of Rodigan, whose outstanding selections of Supercat, Bounty Killer, Johnny Osbourne and others was complemented by his natty dressing and nifty moves.