After a nearly five-year rift between two of Jamaica’s top sound systems, Fire Sound and Stone Love, the respective heads have sought to mend fences.
Last Tuesday evening, the heads of both sounds, Fire Links and Wee Pow met at a private meeting, arranged by Lena British (Promoter of ‘British Link Up’) at the Hilton hotel, where they made a decision to forget about the past and move on for the sake of the music.
“Basically wi just need the promoters to know that Fire Sound and Stone Love is good to go again. Me and Mr. Powell iron out everything and the little feud, wi just put it aside and know that is just music and the betterment of dancehall,” said Fire Links
“It’s been a while, I think it’s about four years now it (the rift) a gwaan, from, bout late 2003, 2004 it did jump off, but after four years, wi good to go again. Mr. Powell and myself, we also made an arrangement to have this meeting, because 2008, as wi sey ‘two thousand and great’, wi want to set a trend for the rest of the fraternity that malice is not the way to go an wi a endorse this unity thing.”
It supposedly began with people in the streets ‘carrying news’, and apparently Wee Pow heard that Fire Links said something about him and vice versa, but neither actually confronted each other to get to the real story, and so the issue escalated. As a result, promoters were not allowed to book both sounds for the same show.
Said Marc Johnson, consultant to Stone Love: “It was a situation where police would lock off Fire Links’ Sound and he would make utterances that would suggest that it was his rival (Stone Love) that was responsible. Swamp King and Fire Links would over a period of time, use the opportunity to bash each other, indirectly hitting at Stone Love, for whom Swamp King was a selector. And so certain remarks were made of Stone Love. But I have seen maturity in Fire Links’ behaviour and even in attending the meeting, I see where there was some amount of remorse and he was very accommodating. But it is a new day and we hope that it will last.”
Now Fire Links says the past is the past and he is looking forward to sharing the stage with Wee Pow and Stone Love once again.
“The official reunion party should be at British Link Up, but there are many parties before like Jim Brown Memorial in February and both of us confirmed for that already. And who knows maybe we pass through Weddy Weddy and they pass through Uptown Mondays,” Links said. “After so long, to see two trendsetter sounds, playing together again, I think it’s a plus for dancehall.”
Wee Pow says he too is happy that amends have been made, as he says he is now relieved of a great deal of stress.
“Basically, my feelings is that I am relieved, a lot of pressure have come off my head, like from promoters from all walks of life who want the combination. There is no doubt that I was very hurt by the accusation of the past, but my wounds are gradually healed, so it’s all good for the music to have unity,” Weepow told The STAR.
Wee Pow says he too is looking forward to sharing the stage once again with Fire Links and hopes “the whole union will last, and it is not just a one night thing.”
“I know the promoters like the vibes, and him (Links) have him vibes and we (Stone Love) have our vibes so it will benefit the promoters greatly and they want the different ingredients rather than playing with just the same set of guys,” Wee Pow said.
Lena British, who had a major hand in reuniting the two, said she was pleased with the outcome, as the music needed more positive moves like this.
“Well as a contributor to the dancehall music, in my role as a promoter and a regular patron to events, it’s of interest to me to encourage good harmony and positive vibe between all parties. I am for peace because the love of dancehall/reggae music is the language of the world, so we have to foster and encourage the basic respect of each personality in this exciting yet sensitive industry. So I hope that this renewal process will be a standard bearer for upcoming and established music personalities in the future,” she said.
The official reunion of the two sounds and their leaders will take place at British Link Up on March 22 at La Roose.