Standpipe stays hype ... community still a place for entertainment

January 05, 2018
Steve 'The Ugly Hot Boy' Thompson, also called Dippo, always brings the vibes in Standpipe.
Tessi 'Saki' Walters
Leon 'Ratty' Lue-Fong hangs out with his niece.
Showayne Blair stands beside a poster honouring the late Rossi 'The Standpipe Prince'.

If you are a regular listener of dancehall music, you would probably hear the name of this small 'uptown ghetto' community off Old Hope Road mentioned.

Lyrics like Alkaline's "any bwoy try that, Standpipe man bruk him up" in the single, Youngest and Baddest, and various mentions of Standpipe in the music of Vybz Kartel, Busy Signal, Demarco, and Jah Vinci will probably come to mind.

However, the lyrics often times portray the community in a negative light, which residents will tell you is not the case.

The community includes streets like Standpipe Avenue, Gentle Lane Cedar Valley Terrace and Confident View Lane - which could probably be the centre of the hype.

Street dances, including Early Mondays, Feel Good Fridays, Tuesday Night Bingo and Water War, which grew into a bigger event known as Water Madness held annually in the summer, started right in that lane.

Many of those events were stopped by the law due to the noise, late lock-off times, and a few violent incidents, including the killing of Rossi 'The Standpipe Prince' in June 2017.

The dancer, who created Gallis Bounce and Sassa Step, was from the community.

When THE WEEKEND STAR walked on to Confident View Lane, more popularly known in entertainment circles as 'S Corner' because of the shape of the road, residents were in high spirits.

A group of friends, including Showayne Blair, Tessi 'Saki' Walters, and Dippo known better as The Ugly Hot Boy, sat on the corner sharing conversation over a few cups of mixed liquor while playing dice.

There is no music, but the link-up did not call for a selector or radio because The Ugly Hot Boy entertained, spitting catchy dancehall freestyles through his gold teeth. Another member of the group, Lil' Jayy, with the vocal range of legendary pop artiste, Michael Jackson, held the vibe.

The community had a few events over the holidays, including Christmas Paradise, but most of the street dances have to be held in designated areas like "ova Turf and the neighbouring parking lot of a plaza close by, but not on the lane," mentions one resident.

"The events have not been cancelled because of crime. No criminals are around here, but when we do keep them, is at those venues," Saki said.

"A bare strong people around here. We work fi wi own. Things like Rossi death is just an unfortunate incident: One man a defend another and one next man get inna the middle," Showayne said.

The weekly nightlife may have died, down but Saki maintais that Standpipe stays hype.

"Standpipe get mention because of the respect entertainers have for the area and just to hype it up," she said.

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