This is the final instalment in our six-part interview with Supreme Promotions' Isaiah Laing. We have been through the history of the Boxing Bay mega concert and now, from his up close and personal view of the performers who have been on the stage, he tells us what he thinks about some of the top deejays.
STAR: I'm going to call some deejays names and you tell me what you think of them off the bat. Supercat.
Isaiah Laing: Supercat. Is a man full of lyrics, but at the same time is the baddest deejay we have in the business.
S: You mean like real.
L: Real bad man. Supercat. Real bad man. I'm not saying any more. (There are some chuckles.)
L: A deejay that grow from strength to strength, because I've been carrying Buju from the first song, 'Browning', through the transformation to the Rasta thing. The man still holds his own, to this day. He did one of the biggest songs over the years, 'Driver'. It had the biggest impact in the past 15 years in the reggae industry.
S: Bounty Killer.
L: Bounty. Very aggressive. If you don't know him, he will be misunderstood. He is a very misunderstood person. Bounty is very easy to talk to, if you go and reason with him. The man's lyrics powerful and if we listen to Bounty's songs sometimes things could be different. He deejays from his heart, and he deejays the things that him see and feel. When people hungry, it not so easy when you don't know where the next meal coming from. That's why him say "anytime, me hungry again yu ago see me nine".
S: Beenie Man
L: Everybody loves Beenie Man. Beenie Man is just being loved. I watched him at Reggae Sumfest the other day. I stood by. I watched Bounty Killer work and it's the best I've seen him work in a long time, even though I see the paper say they 'booed' him. When I saw Beenie Man come out I said this man is at a level. The man just came out and everybody go mad. Everything the man said is like people say yeah. The man go over there so and said "oonu over here so do this", them do it. Him go over the other side and say wave, they do it. Anything him tell them to do. People jus' a eat from him.
L: Shabba is one of the ... deejays in this world, I've never heard anybody else sit down on rhythm, apart from Josey Wales and Yellowman, I've never heard anybody ride a rhythm like Shabba Ranks. Those two, with Shabba, best ever in the business in sitting down on a rhythm.
L: Ninja is the on the spot deejay. It no take chicken to do that. And he can do it anytime, anywhere. Just say one word and he will make a lyrics from it. (STAR says 'on stage or off stage). On the stage, off the stage, anywhere. He's just sharp.
L: Very, very unique. I was listening to a song this morning and the way he twined the word, draw it, carry it round the corner and come back and sit down on the rhythm I said yeah. Da yute yah. He has a different sound. The man sing-jays better than anybody else. He has far to go.
L: A lot of lyrics. A lot of lyrics. He just needs now, when he goes on the stage, to put the right songs in the right place. Kartel has a lot of lyrics that the people listen to. The girls love Kartel, the bad man them love him, he's almost next to Beenie Man. If he would just get serious and put his songs together, say I'm going to do that song and then that one after it. He jumbles his songs. Him do one song that talk about girls and then him switch to something that is too far-fetched. Just get your things in sequence and your thing will go over proper.
L: Capleton now, he is one of those deejays coming from way back in the '90s, 1991 y'know. And he is always there, always with something. A lot of the rhythms you hear the deejays on and the air you hear them with, Capleton has gone on that air already. The air. Him bad with that. Him always find some nice air to do some tune and he is one of the Rastaman who always have him fire with him.
S: Elephant Man.
L: Elephant Man now. The Energy God. Him still have some energy. I was watching at Sumfest and he wasn't bad. He lost a lot last year, but I think he's coming back to where he rightly belongs this year, so I'm giving him some time.
S: Who is he best deejay ever to work Sting?
L: Mr. Sting himself, Ninja Man, because right now him work Sting most. It used to be Papa San. Since Papa San here comes Ninja.
S: And who is the best singer?
L: (He pauses a bit) Pinchers did very well in his time when he came (he pauses again) Leroy Smart did very well in his days, Dennis Brown back in the earlier days and Freddie McGreggor. Freddie used to go on very well. Consistent. From '88 to about '92, Freddie used to do very well. Barrington Levy too. I had a clash with Barrington Levy, Dennis Brown, Freddie McGreggor and I think it was Frankie Paul. And I think it was Barrington Levy who came out on top.
S: You have any plans to stop Sting anytime?
L: Honestly I don't know. I'm watching to see what the 25th anniversary will bring. Because we might do 25 and stop. You never can tell. And change it to a different series. I might very well do that. So I'm watching the vibes with the 25th anniversary and then we might be starting all over again.
Supercat's name is forever linked with Killamanjaro. - File photos