The Game Heads to Jamaica
A series of events will be held around the Caribbean to kick off MTV's Caribbean channel, Tempo. James Bond Beach in St Mary will be the venue for two days (October 15-16) for the Jamaican launch. Controversial US rapper The Game is among the line-up of acts scheduled to perform at the launch.
Senior vice president and general manager for Tempo, Frederick Morton says that the strength of Jamaica's contribution to the entertainment industry warranted for the two days of celebrations.
"We wanted to pay proper tribute to the genres of Jamaican music, the reggae champions and the legends so we decided to have the launch held over two days. Tempo is about celebrating our culture. It is also to provide a platform for our artistes so that they get seen to the world," Morton said in an interview shortly after he arrived in the island yesterday.
The channel according to Morton will be headquartered in New York, but eventually there might be little offices set up outside of the US.
"We will not be having an office in Jamaica right away. We have to build on an economic model that works. There will be an established presence in the Caribbean and Jamaica will be the core. We are specifically targeting Caribbean people in the US, and we will spread out the UK and Europe afterwards," Morton said.
Rapper the Game whose manager Jimmy Henchmen is from Panama, will be coming with his string of hits to thrill fans at the Tempo launch. His hot-selling album The Documentary has scored with hits including Hate It Or Love It, Dreams and This Is How We Do. He recently wrapped up shooting a movie, and he is in the process of launching a line of sneakers.
In a recent interview with this writer, The Game said that it was his son that kept him going at what he does.
"My son is the inspiration for everything I do. He was born at a time when things were hard for me. I came into this rap game to secure my family's future financially. Making music was second."
Born Jayceon Taylor, The Game hails from the infamous Compton in California. His debut album, The Documentary, made it clear from the outset that geographic squabbles weren't a part of his agenda. Rapping hadn't been at first, either.
Having gotten involved in the drug trade after a rough childhood, it took being shot during a home invasion for The Game to have an epiphany.
He began rapping in 2001 and has never looked back. His barbed and bold freestyles caught the ear of top-notch hip-hop producer Dr Dre, who signed him to the Aftermath label in 2003 and assumed the executive producer chair for his debut.
It was delayed a few times, but The Documentary was released earlier this year and climbed straight to number one on Billboard's 200, R&B, and Hip-Hop album charts. Singles including This Is How We Do and Hate It Or Love It featuring one-time sparring partner 50 Cent, quickly shot up the charts, topping the Pop, R&B and Rap singles tallies.
When asked whether or not The Documentary is a reflection of himself, The Game said: "The Documentary isn't reflective of anything except my life. Just my life strung over Dr Dre's beats."
The Game said he got his moniker from his grandmother. "I was a real active kid and I was smart and played a lot of sports. My grandmother said I should be game for anything, so that's where the name came from," the rapper explained.
With his recent much publicised falling out with fellow G-Unit member 50 Cent still fresh, The Game offered no comment about the situation.
"I don't have regrets. I don't live with regrets", adding that he wouldn't change a thing.
Interestingly, The Game doesn't have any musical heroes, but he pointed out that the late R&B legend Marvin Gaye was a musical inspiration and he sampled an old Marvin Gaye classic on his recent chart hit Dreams.
"Marvin Gaye is somebody that I listened to while I was growing up," he said. "His music impresses me. Anytime that someone can pass on, and his or her music can still live on, then that's a definite inspiration."
Apart from The Game, other performers at the Tempo launch at James Bond Beach will include Jimmy Cliff, Toots Hibbert, Mario Winans, Musiq Soul Child, Vybz Kartel, Bounty Killer, Assassin, Wayne Marshall and Spragga Benz.
Other Tempo launches will be held in Trinidad, St Croix, Nevis, St. Martaan and Barbados during the month of October. Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico will see their launches unfold in December. Tempo will officially go on the air at the end of November.
Local mobile phone provider Cable & Wireless and MTV Networks recently signed a partnership to promote the music of the Caribbean through various events, promotions and live performances throughout the region. The partnership with MTV concerns the use of the network's Tempo channel which will be dedicated to Caribbean music and culture.
Source: Kevin Jackson, Observer