Echo One reigns supreme - St Catherine-based sound system crowned clash champs
The Magnum All-Star Sound Clash Finals buzzed with anticipation as fans gathered in downtown Kingston on Saturday night to witness the electrifying show. The venue was filled with excitement, and the stage was ready for an unforgettable clash of musical prowess, knowledge and wit.
As bright lights dazzled on the Waterfront, the bass from the speakers throbbed and vibrated, ready to amplify the talents of the competing sounds. The two contenders for the crown were 5 Star General and Echo One Sound. After winning four out of five rounds of entertaining competition, Echo One emerged victorious and walked away with a $1-million cash prize.
"One! One! One!" Echo One's MC Fire Wayne exclaimed after being presented with the winning cheque and trophy.
"Mi wah big up the people dem from Clarendon, whole heap of respect. From Waterhouse, from Portmore, from Spanish Town. One! We could have come out and collected this by ourselves tonight, but we had to acknowledge the great Barrington Levy, who supported us from the start to the finish! Big up all the supporters!" he continued.
It was almost clear from the judges' reaction to the first round of the night's clash that Echo One certainly had an edge over their competition. While 5 Star General managed to open with some strong songs during the first 10 minutes of their 20-minute set, it unfortunately grew flat as it progressed, and the judges marked them down for this. However, Echo One maintained high energy throughout the round and thus was declared the winner.
With four more rounds to go it could have been anyone's games if 5 Star General had managed to overshadow Echo One with stronger selections and a greater display of wit from their MC Bad Stain. Echo One, however, took the second round by default as judge Admiral Bailey pointed out that the use of expletives by an MC is strictly prohibited.
The third round ended in a draw and the fourth round served as the decider. Both teams were asked to present their five best singing dubs. Both sounds had dubs from Cocoa Tea and Bushman, but with a dub from Barrington Levy and Garnett Silk in the arsenal, Echo One took home that round and won the overall competition.
Though they did not emerge the winners, 5 Star General walked away with a $300,000 cash prize and was still happy to have had the platform to display their talent for several weeks.
"I want to say big respect to Magnum. It is a very good highlight for 5 Star General in Jamaica and London, England, and in Atlanta, Georgia of the USA. I want to big up all who supported us from out of St Thomas. This is all about sportsmanship and if you don't have sportsmanship, you can't do what we did up here right now," Craig Genus of 5 Star General expressed.