Late ‘Soldiers’ to be lauded

The occasion forms part of the Jamaica 50th year of Independence celebrations, and is scheduled for the Irie Fashion Rave in Manhattan, New York.

Syntyche ‘Syn’ Dawkins, founder and coproducer of Irie Fashion Rave, had high praises for the late recipients.

“Even as he achieved international acclaim as a successful actor and hip-hop/R&B artiste, Heavy D loved his country and always embraced his Jamaican roots. He was a prolific artiste who demonstrated his love for our music by his many reggae recordings and collaborations with Jamaican acts,” Dawkins said.

She shared similar sentiments of Chin, who she saw as an extraordinary producer who had some of the biggest reggae/dancehall songs.

“These two reggae soldiers were extremely talented individuals who contributed significantly to our musical legacy, so as part of our Jamaica 50 celebrations here in the diaspora, we plan to salute them,” Dawkins said.

Louis Grant, VP of Irie Jam Media, said Heavy D was a trusted, supportive friend of Irie Jam Radio.

“His contribution to reggae and hip-hop will long be remembered. From his early career with Heavy D & the Boyz to his career as a solo artiste which inspired collaborations with Super Cat, Buju Banton and Frankie Paul, the ‘overweight lover’ gave the music industry an extensive catalogue of hit songs that is unparalleled.”

Grant said he fondly remembers Joel as ‘The Jolly Giant.’ “He was a true soldier who was always in the fore, fighting for the worthy endurance of the reggae/dancehall genre, and by extension for Jamaica’s culture. He was a very dear friend and an amazing talent with whom I spent many hours in vigorous and enthusiastic discussions not just about music, but on many aspects of life itself including family” he said.

Heavy D (given name Dwight Myers) made his mark in hip-hop circles, releasing hits like Now That We Found Love, Black Coffee, and Big Daddy. He also released reggae combination hit songs including Big & Broad (Super Cat & Frankie Paul), Dem Don’t Worry Me (Super Cat) and Hotness (Buju). Last year’s Soul Train Awards, paid tribute to the late rapper who died on November 8, 2011, at 44.

Joel Chin, who was murdered on August 16, 2011 outside his home in Stony Hill, St Andrew was responsible for creating popular VP Records reggae compilations – Reggae Gold and Strictly The Best. He was instrumental in launching the careers of international reggae stars Sean Paul, TOK, Beres Hammond, Wayne Wonder, Beenie Man, Sizzla, Morgan Heritage, Tarrus Riley and Etana. He was the grandson of VP Records founder Vincent Chin and the son of famed reggae producer Clive Chin.


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