A major improvement over last year is the fact that fewer award winners collected their awards onstage, allowing more time for performances. Although that adjustment was made, the show was still lengthy, with some people leaving long before the end.
There were also other glitches. At points, the music was too loud and there was some level of feedback coming through the speakers. In addition, the show still suffers from organisational issues, as it was not smooth flowing, both onstage and on the red carpet that had a huge build-up of traffic, photographers and cameramen hustling to get their shots, and people staying too long.
Again, the show got off to a late start, more than one hour after the scheduled 8 p.m. start. Nonetheless, Dance Xpressions paid tribute to the acts who were nominated in the Artiste of the Decade category like Elephant Man, Sean Paul, Sizzla, Beenie Man, Shaggy, Bounty Killer, Luciano, Buju Banton, Junior Gong, Beres Hammond, Marcia Griffiths, and Wayne Wonder.
Then there was the dubpoet group Nomaddz doing Trouble Deh Ya in which they were expressive while throwing an expletive in the mix. Singing about the death of a man at the hands of police, they got the audience laughing when they said, “dem try to aim at him foot but him head get in the way”.
Not a perfect fit to the occasion but there was also some modeling with outfits from Grandeur, Biggie and Romeich. The men in the audience seemed to enjoy seeing the women strut the designs.
This was followed by more tributes. On this occasion, respect was paid to artistes who passed recently like J.O.E (Lil Joe), Copper Cat, Gregory Isaacs, Voicemail’s Oneil Edwards, and Sugar Minnott. This was done in the form of dance, video presentation and singing.
It was after this point that the first award was announced, approximately one hour after the show started. Nonetheless, there was a less than commendable performance from the Downsound Records crew, including Toya and Harry Toddler. They were followed by Khalil and Leba Hibberts.
After about the third time of being announced, Trina finally took the stage and did songs like Here We Go Again and Single Again. She was followed by Etana who sang People Talk that was well received by the audience.
But some of the better performances came later with Lady Saw, Eve and Wayne Wonder. “Now as you know, a big people time,” Lady Saw said, before introducing rapper Eve. They performed He’s At My House that appeared on Lady Saw’s latest album. With an energetic set, the women entertained the audience.
Entertained The Audience
Singing I Still Believe, Wayne Wonder entertained the audience as he walked down the aisle and sang his heart out while being followed by numerous photographers. When he went back onstage, Wonder held nothing back as he voiced his displeasure about the many artistes who were absent from the award show. “A ediat ting dat,” he said. He went on to sing some of his older songs and even included one of Buju Banton’s songs in his performance. “Unuh fi tek di ting serious,” he said as he was about to exit the stage.
Although something that was mentioned earlier by Etana, Shaggy also spoke about the no show of many artistes. “Mi just waan Wayne Wonder know seh mi come collect da one ya,” Shaggy said, laughing. “A Jamaica ting dis, unuh fi come support unuh local artistes and local music people.”
Some of the artistes who were not present to collect their awards on stage are Vybz Kartel, Don Corleon, Gyptian, I-Octane, producer Notnice, Bounty Killer, and Beenie Man.
EME Award winners
1) DJ OF THE YEAR (MALE)-Vybz Kartel
2) DJ OF THE YEAR (FEMALE)-Tifa
3) VOCALIST OF THE YEAR (MALE)-Tarrus Riley
4) VOCALIST OF THE YEAR (FEMALE)-Etana
5) PRODUCER/LABEL OF THE YEAR (DANCE HALL)-Notnice Productions – Ainsley Morris
6) PRODUCER OF THE YEAR (REGGAE)-Donovan Bennett – Don Corleon Label
7) BEST NEW ARTISTE (MALE)-Popcaan
8) BEST NEW ARTISTE (FEMALE)-Denyque
9) DUO/GROUP OF THE YEAR-Voicemail
10) BIGGEST COMEBACK ARTISTE-Future Fambo
11) SONG OF THE YEAR (DANCE HALL)-Clarks
12) SONG OF THE YEAR (REGGAE)-My Life – I-Octane
13) ALBUM OF THE YEAR-Pon Di Gaza 2.0 – Vybz Kartel
14) CULTURAL ARTISTE OF THE YEAR-Tarrus Riley
15) BREAKTHRU ARTISTE OF THE YEAR-I-Octane
16) SINGJAY OF THE YEAR (MALE)-I-Octane
17) ARTISTE OF THE DECADE (2001-2010)-Beenie Man and Shaggy
18) RHYTHM OF THE YEAR (REGGAE)-Pleasure Rhythm – Cash Flow
19) RHYTHM OF THE YEAR (DANCE HALL)-One Day – Seanizzle
20) MOST IMPROVED ARTISTE- Nicky B
21) GOSPEL ARTISTE OF THE YEAR- Prodigal Son
22) COLLABO OF THE YEAR (LOCAL)-Clarks – Vybz Kartel, Popcaan & Gaza Slim
23) BEST INSTRUMENTAL GROUP WITH VOCALS (BAND)-Live Wyya
24) BEST THEATRICAL PRODUCTION- GhettOut
25) INTERNATIONAL ARTISTE OF THE YEAR-Gyptian
26) Performance of the year- Beenie Man and Bounty Killer at the Arthur Guinness Celebration
27) International Friends of Reggae- Trina and Eve
Writer: Sadeke Brooks