It was a final sound clash like no other. Music, Guinness and a whole lot of vibes characterised the Guinness Sounds of Greatness finals held at Mas Camp last Saturday. In what can be described as one of the most competitive clashes ever, Rebel T outperformed Bodyguard to become the first winners of the competition.
Walking away with a quarter million dollars, the Guinness Sounds of Greatness trophy and bragging rights, Rebel T ended the night on a high, after a keen battle for the top spot.
Performing in front of a capacity house, Rebel T and Bodyguard entertained the crowd as they delivered hits after hits throughout three rounds of the competition. Guinness also had the crowd buzzing with bucket deals and cash giveaways, while early juggling by Area Code and Turbo Crown set the stage for what turned out to be an electrifying sound clash.
Beginning in the juggling round, Bodyguard was up first and frontman Junior Vybz, dressed in a white mid-calf pants and matching hat, encouraged the crowd to let loose, while team-mates Quick Mix and Thuggy Thuggy released a slew of popular hits, to mostly enthusiastic responses from the crowd. After the allotted 30 minutes, it was time for the self-proclaimed Mad Ras from Rebel T to take the stage.
Making his appearance with his usual energetic antics, Mad Ras jumped and danced for much of their 30 minutes, even leaping off the stage at one point. During their set, the crowd responded with much fanfare as they waved their rags and punched the air to show their excitement. Judging from the crowd’s response, Rebel T seemed to have claimed that round.
The tune fi tune section brought just as much excitement, as the sounds dug deep and played a bunch of songs—from oldies to the more current hits. With tensions high and MC Elva reminding the sounds of the prizes, the clash took a more serious turn as the selectors unleashed their “secret weapons” in an attempt to secure points from the crowd. This was important as crowd response, coupled with the decision of judges Jack Scorpio and Isaiah Laing, would ultimately determine the night’s champion.
“Bodyguard is known as a clash sound and people know we as a juggling sound, but a clash mi come fi clash,” declared Mad Ras, as selector Kirky Mental happily gave the crowd what they wanted to hear. Bodyguard experienced a few technical glitches during their set, but this didn’t dampen the energy of Junior Vybz, who skilfully mastered the crowd. Despite this, the crowd had once again given this round to Rebel T.
“Mi hear Mad Ras a say wi mus go back a country go look after animal, a wha kinda ting dat him a say?” questioned Junior Vybz, shortly before they played their “newscast” in the final dub fi dub round. The newscast, a version of which was unleashed during the semi-final round in St. Mary, featured a farmer complaining about the disappearance of his animals, in which “Mad Ras” was a prime suspect. This elicited wild laughter and applause from the crowd, who grew quiet in order to hear every word. In response, Rebel T unleashed dub after dub featuring some of dancehall’s more popular artistes, including newcomer Konshens and seasoned artistes Sizzla and Vybz Kartel. In what can be described as the most competitive round in the final, both sounds certainly brought their A-game, eliciting deafening screams and whistles. The crowd it seemed handed this round to Bodyguard for their creativity and versatility.
At the end of the night though, there could be only one winner. After much waiting the judges announced that the results were too close to declare a winner so the crowd would have to weigh in again. Elva asked the crowd to register their votes, not by shouts but by a silent show of hands. They complied and at the end of the night history was written in the name Rebel T.
“It is a great feeling knowing that Rebel T is on top. From I first step on the stage and I see how the crowd explode I know that we win,” declared Mad Ras. He says winning the competition has meant increased gigs for the sound, which has always been a “touring sound.”
“It explode our career all over the world because people been running down Rebel T for dates now, ever since we join this Guinness competition,” he said.