Renowned Japanese sound system Mighty Crown celebrate their 30th anniversary and forthcoming retirement at Sound Forge, Port of Spain on Wednesday, as part of their global Final Round Tour.
An eight-time world clash champion, Mighty Crown is now in the twilight of their illustrious career and has embarked on a world tour to allow fans one last chance to see the “Far East Rulers” in action.
According to mightycrown.com "Mighty Crown was founded in 1991 by friends from Yokohama, Japan. Mighty Crown gradually got their fame by playing at clubs and by selling self-produced mix tapes throughout Japan.
"After building their sound system (movable speaker boxes) in 1994, they started clashing with other Japanese sound systems and became the undisputed and undefeated sound clash champion in Japan (1998). Since then, they have been influencing and leading the whole dancehall scene in Japan. Japan was not the only place they have been playing."
Members Masta Simon, Sami T, Cojie and Ninja are world renowned certified “sound killers” and master jugglers and have entertained the masses with three decades of top-flight sound clashes and shows, rooted in reggae and dancehall music.
The website said the group "started living in the United States from the early 90's and gradually learned the Jamaican language and the dancehall flex by hanging out in studios, record shops, and in the streets of Brooklyn, NY. They started playing at local clubs in Brooklyn and Manhattan around 1992 and eventually lead their way to the World Clash '99 held in Brooklyn, NY. On their first appearance in World Clash'99, they defeated sounds from Jamaica and the United States and became the first Japanese sound to get the World Clash trophy. Since then, they have been touring major cities in the United States, the Caribbean (Jamaica, Antigua, Bermuda, TT, St Lucia, Barbados, St Kitts, and etc), and Europe (England, Germany, Switzerland, and others)/"
Event organiser, Kwesi Hopkinson (Hypa Hoppa) of Scorch honoured Mighty Crown’s legacy. He said it was mandatory they visit Trinidad before bringing an end to their musically, barrier-breaking career.
“They’ve been so influential in the sound system fraternity and even the spreading of Caribbean culture in places like Asia, particularly in the 90s, early and mid-2000s come up.
“They would have played songs that even Jamaicans weren’t playing. Their versatility and appreciation for a culture that is not theirs first, was very inspiring for us.
“It would have inspired us to go on and a sound system from Trinidad. I was also the first promoter to bring them to our shore in the early 2000s and it was only right that I go the honour of doing this last showcase.”
Hopkinson and DJ Dane (Lord Hype) are the faces of TT-based sound system Radioactive. They are arguably one of the nation’s top-ranked sound systems and hold a wealth of experience and internationally-acclaimed dubplates to back their name.
With such a rich history in sound system culture, Hopkinson does not believe the art-form is dying and said, “It has evolved as the music has evolved.”
He however, wants the legacy of Mighty Crown and other renowned sounds such as David Rodigan, Stone Love, Bass Odyssey and Killamanjaro, and local sounds like Radioactive, Jugglers, Matsimela and Sel Construction to live on.
“The world stage is smaller now because of the internet. But back then, they brought light to our Caribbean culture of dancehall and soca.
“We’re paying homage to these guys, the dancehall culture and local sound systems who made sound system culture so big in those years. Am bring out all the legends, It’s about legacy.
Is Radioactive still alive?
“Once Dane and I are alive, Radioactive is alive. We did our part in spreading the sound system culture and we’re still carrying on that path in different ways. Scorch is the DNA of Radioactive,” he added.
In addition to the Final Round Tour, Hopkinson will also be using this event as part of the launch of his new radio station, Scorch Radio 101.1FM. The frequency has been on-air since Carnival and is expected to officially kick off with programming in the first weeks of June.
Owning a radio station was always a dream for Hopkinson.
“The opportunity was there for me. It was always something that we would have dreamt of growing up. Opportunity without preparation is not nothing. I’ve been working on getting a license (radio) for the last couple years; so I guess nothing before its time.
“It’s just the natural progression in life and being an entrepreneur, you always want to reach the next level. The Mighty Crown show is also going to be part the month-long launch of Scorch Radio 101.1FM. It’s all tied into the whole occasion.”
According to him, Scorch Radio is open-format music station “but with more Caribbean flavour and swag” which “meets the on-demand format of today’s world.”
He confirmed the radio station will be heavily deejay-based with less interruptions.
To listen to Scorch radio download the Scorch radio app or log on at www.the scorch.com.