MEL COOKE, Freelance Writer
Left: Ricky Trooper takes the trophy at Death Before Dishonour. - FILE
David Rodigan got the second place trophy. - CONTRIBUTED
When Ricky Trooper collected the winner's trophy for 'Death Before Dishonour 6 at 4:45 a.m. yesterday, his voice was very different from the one he had used to introduce dub plates, declare his prowess and harangue rival selectors over the roughly four hours the sound clash lasted.
Trooper's voice cracked as he said "people, a cry me a cry y'nuh. People, a nuff fight dem fight me". He delayed touching the trophy just that bit longer, telling Chin of Irish and Chin Promotions, organisers of the world clash, "me no ready fi hol it yet".
"People me love oonu, a oonu gi mi dis. Thanks star," Trooper said, finally holding the trophy, and the huge audience at Pier 1, Montego Bay, St. James, applauded.
Just before, they had applauded David Rodigan, the man who Trooper beat soundly in a 'dub for dub' round of 10 selections each. As he collected his second place trophy, Rodigan said "thank you Jamaica, this is a night I will never forget. I thank you for your support over the years".
Before tears of triumph, though, came the hop, skip, smile and high five of a sealed victory, as Trooper answered a Nicodemus dub plate claiming "Rodigan get the title for King of Kings. "King of Kings is Selassie. When yu play big deejay yu play big deejay," Trooper said and Big Youth commanded "hit the road sound boy, don't you come back no more" to howls from the huge audience.
There were no celebrations from some Bass Odyssey fans, however, as about 14 bottles, mostly plastic, were thrown at the stage when they were counted out of the runnings and a brief volley of gunshots accompanied the sounds of many scampering for cover. However calm was restored and the clash continued.
The dub for dub exchange, introduced to the annual 'Death Before Dishonour' for the first time this year, was the end to a clash that was eventful even before first-time entrants Alaska, defending champions Bass Odyssey and their perennial rivals Black Kat, along with Trooper and Rodigan, started playing. It was announced that Mighty Crown would not be participating, as there had been a family death, a further absence being announced when Bass Odyssey's Worm said that selector Squingy, a clash favourite who led Odyssey to the title last year was ill. "Squingy is suffering from a form of cancer," he said.
With Ninja Man, a humorous host, and Jabba sharing the duties of ensuring a smooth running in the voting for eliminations, all done by hand, there was a draw for positions, Rodigan first Alaska second, Black Kat third, then Trooper and Bass Odyssey.
Alaska was first to be eliminated after the second round of 15 minutes then Black Kat after. The defending champions went after Rodigan turned the direction of the clash with a searing trip into yesteryear for the fourth round, including a spectacular double from Supercat and a telling Tenor Saw.
Although Odyssey attempted to hold the 'big tune' route, starting with Cocoa Tea and Sanchez dub plates, they fizzled and although the voting was run many times over and a query from Ninja if a further 10 minutes from each sound was required shouted down, the show of hands indicated that Trooper and Rodigan were to battle it out for the trophy.
Round by round coverage of 'Death Before Dishonour 6' in tomorrow's STAR.