The Alliance's 5-Star General blazed the stage on Dancehall Night at Reggae Sumfest 2011. Photo by Radcliffe Roye.
Bounty Killer, the 5-star general of the Alliance, blazed the stage in classical "Cross, angry, miserable" form, blasting his forrmer protege Vybz Kartel and his long-time nemesis Beenie Man. Beenie came out next with a smile on his face, whipping the MoBay crowd into a frenzy without breaking a sweat. He later called Mya out to perform their hit "Girls Dem Sugar," although he declined to wine pon her, saying he was now a married man and his wife would kill him.
The Long-Distance Stulla invites Niki, one of his legions of female admirers, on stage at Reggae Sumfest 2011. Photo by Radcliffe Roye.
The task of closing Dancehall Night 2011 fell to the Gaza Worlboss himself. By the morning light, his skin was pretty like a coloring book. Photo by Racliffe Roye.
Finally it was time for the Worlboss aka Vybz Kartel, who held the crowd till the dawn's early light, giving much shine to Gaza Empire artists like Popcaan, Sheba, Vanessa Bling, and new recruit Tommy Lee on the same night that his former protege Jah Vinci made his solo debut on the Sumfest stage. But clearly Kartel was not tripping: "As one gone," he said, "another one born."
To say that Beres Hammond had the ladies eating out of his hand at Reggae Sumfest 2011 wouldn't be a lie. Photo by Radcliffe Roye
A funny thing happened in the run-up to International Night 1: after a last-minute cancellation by headliner R.Kelly, who was reportedly suffering from a throat ailment, Reggae Sumfest promoters had 48 hours to scramble and find a replacement for the Pied Piper of R&B. After scouring the whole world for options, they decided to call on two legends of Jamaican music: Cocoa Tea and Bunny Wailer, both of whom performed brilliantly along with the island's #1 soul man Beres Hammond—who was honored with a Reggae Icon Award this year. Cocoa Tea did not hesitate to needle Sumfest management for calling him in on a last-minute rescue mission, asking the crowd over and over "Do you miss R.Kelly?" Some of the night's other standouts included Christopher Martin, Half Pint, and Tanya Stephens, whose fearless songwriting addresses topics that some women won't dare to discuss even among their closest friends. Tanya's pungent performance and kick-ass boots definitely left a lasting impression. But nobody could surpass sixty-something-year-old Bunny Wailer's two-hour-plus set—ranging from solo hits like "Cool Runnings" and "Ballroom Floor" to Wailers classics like "Simmer Down," "Dancing Shoes" and "Trenchtown Rock." Although much of the crowd had gone home, those who remained were treated to a legendary performance, skanking tirelessly in his Rasta finery as the morning sun beat down, Bunny and his band—complete with a live horn section—put the exclamation point on an evening that shall forever be remembered as International Reggae Night. Friday night was more than a great show, it was also a great opportunity for debate and discussion about Reggae Sumfest's mission as it moves into its 20th anniversary next year.
Jamaica's #1 Soul Man receives a Reggae Icon Award onstage at Reggae Sumfest 2011. Photo by Radcliffe Roye
Iya Cure soaks up some unconditional love on the final night of Reggae Sumfest 2011. Photo by Radcliffe Roye.
The original raggamuffin soldier Half Pint sends "Greetings" to the Reggae Sumfest posse.
The original dancehall master Cocoa Tea stepped in to fill R.Kelly's shoes at Reggae Sumfest 2011.
Once the audience tuned in to Cocoa Tea's oh-so-sweet sound, they seemed to forget all about the Pied Piper. Photo by Radcliffe Roye.
Dancehall dominatrix Tanya Stephens test out whether the Reggae Sumfest crowd can "Handle The Ride." Photo by Radcliffe Roye
Christopher Martin got his start on the Jamaican talent show Digicel Rising Stars and hasn't looked back. Here he rocks the final night of Reggae Sumfest 2011. Photo by Radcliffe Roye
Vyba Kartel surveys the damage after an unfortunate run-in with an oversize mampie on Dancehall Night at Sumfest 2011. Photo by Radcliffe Roye
album, "Jamaicanization," drops later this year.
Fresh from foreign, the starbwoy stepped up his game for Dancehall Night 2011. Photo by Radcliffe Roye
The Doctor checks one of his dancer's vital signs on Dancehall Night at Reggae Sumfest 2011. Photo by Radcliffe Roye
Beenie Man stepped onstage in full mack daddy attire at Reggae Sumfest 2011. Photo by Radcliffe Roye
Whether you call him Agent Sasco or Assassin, there's no denying that the DJ was lyrically armed and dangerous on Dancehall Night at Reggae Sumfest 2011.
The Energy God was channeling Captain America at Dancehall Night 2011, but the sounds were straight yardcore. Photo by Radcliffe Roye.
Konshens gets it poppin inna Trey Songz stylee on Dancehall Night on Reggae Sumfest 2011. Photo by Radcliffe Roye
Rocking mirrored platforms and an Angela-Davis-meets-Marge-Simpson wig, "Mad Gyal" Spice upped the style ante on Dancehall Night at Reggae Sumfest 2011.
Rising dancehall queen Tifa stood out from the crowd during Dancehall Night 2011 by spitting hard rhymes and adorning her dress with shattered CDs. Photo by Radcliffe Roye.
night of Reggae Sumfest 2011.