Legendary Jamaican reggae singer Sizzla Kalonji (Miguel Collins) reaffirmed his stance against the LGBT community during last Saturday’s Kings of the Earth concert by regularly sampling the catch line of his controversial, anti-homosexual hit, Nah Apologise, throughout his hour-long performance.
At random intervals during his set, Kalonji sang the line “Rastaman don’t apologise to no…” and stopped to listen the crowd finish the lyrics, which they did. “…to no batty boy (homosexual man),” the line continues.
After singing popular hit Karate, he did lines from yet another controversial song, No Way, which is also anti-homosexual.
Kalonji headlined the experienced cast of Jamaican reggae crooners which included Caplteon (Clifton Bailey), Cocoa Tea (Calvin Scott), Louie Culture (Lewin Brown) and Kalonji’s son Meleku.
Joining the four reggae kings were equally-talented international genre queens Queen Omega (Janeile Osborne), Kushite (Tanesha Stowe) and Jalifa (Kalifa Alexis), all of TT.
Kalonji, who has produced over 40 albums and was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2014, had the crowd lapping up every song as he belted older hits such as Praise Ye Jah, Dem A Wonder and No Time To Gaze.
He captivated women with favourites like Just One of Those Days, Words of Divine and Woman I Need You, while also maintaining his conscious brand with hits Solid As a Rock, Taking Over and then teaming up with Queen Omega for a unique collaboration of Black Woman and Child.
Kalonji, who visited Rose Hill RC, St Barb’s Government Primary and Morvant Laventille Secondary schools last Friday to spread a message of unity, extended similar sentiments at the show and called on gangsters to “put down the guns.”
“We will not tolerate no crime and violence in Trinidad. It does not matter your religion or colour, class or creed,” he said during his performance.
At 8 pm, Kushite opened the show and set the stage for a night of conscious lyrics for every artiste which followed.
Jalifa came next and was equally on point with the execution of her songs such as Hear Ye and Whereas.
Queen Omega followed and touched on some of her older hits like Hypocrites and Babylon Pressure and included newer songs Fittest, among others.
Omega called Kushite and Jalifa back to the stage to perform their recent collaboration Wise Queens which speaks of women empowerment in all walks of life.
Sweet Cocoa Tea came next and he carried the thousands present down memory lane with popular “old school” tunes like Rasta Don’t Work for the CIA, Tune In and Idiot Sound.
Cocoa Tea also sang renditions of the late Bob Marley’s Rastaman Chant and Heathen and also touched on another deceased reggae icon, Gregory Isaacs’ songs with Night Nurse and Rumours lifting the crowd.
Another reggae icon, Anthony B, was scheduled to perform but was unable to make it to Trinidad for the show.
Before Louie Culture performed, a video was broadcast across the big screens with Anthony B saying he would not be present because of circumstances beyond his and the promoter’s control.
Just before the video ended, Anthony B introduced Louie Culture as his replacement act, which the attentive crowd roared to in delight.
Louie Culture, like Cocoa Tea, took the masses back in time with still-relevant hits such as If A No So, Love The Vibes, Foundation From Birth and Everybody to which the thousands all sang along to.
Capleton, however, brought the fire. Known as the “Fireman,” Capleton opened with one of his most iconic jams Jah Jah City and never stopped with hit after hit, partnered with an animated and energised performance.
He also called on the “powers that be” in Trinidad to listen to the cries of the people as the world seeks to gradually recover after a two-year pandemic.
Capleton’s fiery set included Cooyah Cooyah, Slew Dem, More Fire, Stand Tall and Hunt You, among a host of others.
Sizzla closed the show with an anticipated hour-long set which also saw Meleku join in and TT’s Orlando Octave.
Several snippets of their performances spread like wildfire on social media on Sunday as Jamaicans and Trinbagonians alike found joy in sharing different footage of each artiste “mashing up Trinidad.”
After the event, organisers thanked the protective services, venue staff and patrons for braving the earlier rain to come out for a night of conscious music.
They posted to all social media platforms, “To the cast, we could not have chosen a more professional, up full, supportive group of creative individuals.
“From the singers and musicians to the deejays and announcers – The islands of the Caribbean hold a wealth of talent equal to the value of the tropical climate, environment and cultures.
“Continue to make conscious content for us the fans to assist in the times we need music to help us get through everyday life.”