DANCEHALL NIGHT

Jamaicans and Trinidadians battle it out on the mic

Forget blondes versus brunettes, or the Yankees versus the Red Sox. On Labor Day weekend, all longstanding rivalries are dwarfed by one: Jamaicans versus Trinidadians. Year-round, Jamaicans have the upper hand, thanks to their vast demographic—and a certain dreadlocked reggae singer who made their island a metonym for "Caribbean." But Labor Day—climaxing in Monday's West Indian Day Parade, which attracts millions of carnival-loving revelers to the Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn each year—is Trinidad's comeuppance: The carnival-loving country is the indubitable lord of all bacchanal. This Labor Day, a pair of concerts, titled Best of Both Worlds, at Manhattan's Roseland Ballroom—featuring the two most lively, long-running acts in reggae and soca—could end the rivalry once and for all. On Saturday, September 5, the ever-entertaining dancehall comedian Beenie Man takes the stage, as does his arch rival Bounty Killer, known as the "warlord"; the two have been lyrically clashing for over a decade. On Sunday, September 6, Trinidadian soca legend Machel Montano will showcase waistline skills that are downright mind-blowing—and doubtless give the non-Yardies reason to wave their flags in victory.
Sat., Sept. 5, 10 p.m., 2009

 
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