By Marc Parc
Reggae Sumfest 2011 closed out in style early Sunday morning following the second round of International Night at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Complex.
The night was headlined by Trinidadian-American rapper, Nicki Minaj who was the most anticipated performer on the Sumfest lineup card going into the event. Minaj, decked out in tiger-like colors, lived up to expectations by performing an energetic set; dishing out many of her hit songs such as "Your Love," "Moment 4 Life," "Dungeon Dragon, "Bottoms Up," amongst others.However, Minaj did stir up some controversy by dropping expletives during her set; something Jamaican artistes aren't allowed to do during their performances. Unlike I-Octane, who two nights earlier was told by law enforcement not to perform the weed anthem, "Puff It," Minaj enjoyed the freedom of performing her songs uncensored, to the delight of the thousands in attendance. She also tried her hand at Jamaican patois & showed off her dancing skills while amazing the crowd with her songs & stage presence. Some fans were critical of the fact that Nicki's set was somewhat short, but it was still effective.
Internationally acclaimed Reggae singer & Montego Bay native, Jah Cure also performed a memorable set; soothing the ears of listeners with his hits such as "King Of The Jungle," "Reflections" & "I Know Jah Jah Bless Me." He then engaged with the ladies in the audience by asking, "Girls can I ask you a question?" whilst taking his shirt off & asking them "Do you think I am sexy?" to a resounding yes from the female contingent in the crowd.
Dancehall-Reggae singjay, Protoje also delivered a strong performance, dishing out songs such as "JA," "Arguments," "Rasta Love," & even paid tribute to the recently incarcerated Buju Banton by performing Buju's classic, "Champion." Turbulence also delivered passion through his set; connecting with fans with songs like "Name & Number," & "Ex-Girlfriend." He also chastised artistes who portray women in a negative light; intimating that "women should not be disrespected," women should not be disrespected, they are princesses and mothers of the earth."
Other notable performances on the night included Reggae superstars, Gyptian & Wayne Wonder, who delivered many of his hits such as "Bashment Girl," "No Letting Go," & "Nothing But Love," before also doing a tribute to Buju Banton by performing some of Buju's hits including "Untold Stories." Female Reggae acts such as Cherine Anderson & Denyque also delivered soulful performances whilst showing their musical versatilities while American acts such as Ashley Martin & Laza Morgan also performed for the Montego Bay crowd into the early hours of Sunday morning.
An award was presented during Sumfest's final night as veteran Reggae singer, Errol "ET" Webster received a Reggae Icon Award for his contributions to the Reggae industry. Webster was serenaded by Janet Jones with Tina Turner's classic song, "Simply The Best." The Chalice Band would then close out the week-long event in front of a near empty arena by paying tribute to the late great Reggae superstar, Gregory Isaacs before bringing on George Nooks to sing some of his favorites like "Red Rose" & "Night Nurse."