The Canadian Air & Space Museum Photo Essay

A photo essay encompassing a day in the life of the Canadian Air & Space Museum and its many artefacts and volunteers who’ve made this building a historic landmark.

Despite the Museum facing its last days, many people are hard at work on planes and models in an attempt to preserve the building’s history

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Murder charges could spell beginning of the end for Vybz Kartel

Embattled Dancehall superstar, Vybz Kartel, is no stranger to controversy; seemingly thriving at every opportunity in spite of endless speculation circling his personal and professional life. However, the mounting legal woes Di Teacha faces may be too much to overcome.

Controversy was the moniker that helped build Kartel’s reputation as one of Dancehall’s greatest and most improvisational lyricists. His rise to super stardom from 2002-2005 featured singles such as Tek Buddy, Emergency, Sweet To Di Belly & Picture This; showing a blatant irreverence for political correctness whilst winning legions of fans with his ability to paint vivid, realistic images of several topics. Additionally, Kartel never showed a hesitancy to share his views on political and social issues; displaying an intellect and consciousness that few Dancehall/Reggae artistes in history have shown since the genres became popular.

During his 2007-2009, a feud with fellow Bounty Killer protégé, Mavado, Kartel sparked debate with singles like Send a Hell and Weh Dat Fah over his religious beliefs while intensifying the Gaza-Gully rivalry that, at one point, turned increasingly violent amongst fans. Additionally, his “Daggering” songs, most notably, Ramping Shop, raised the eyre of many established Jamaican figures; from Ardenne High School principal, Esther Tyson to the Jamaica Broadcasting Commission, who temporarily banned his song from airplay. Nevertheless, Kartel’s resoluteness to test boundaries and provide shock value set him a cut above the rest as an artiste and a pop culture icon.

However, Kartel’s burning desire to create attention through unique means has taken a bizarre turn in recent years. His never-ending bleaching controversy, a Devil tattoo, amongst other things led many to wonder if he was leading himself and fans astray with such unusual behaviors.

Now, that desire may have landed his legendary career in serious jeopardy after being charged for, not one, but two murders in the last month. Kartel was charged for the killing of a promoter in St. Catherine on October 3rd, as well as a murder in Havendale, St. Andrew on October 24th. It’s even been reported that a third murder charge may be looming for the man, who proclaimed this past Spring that he would no longer do gun lyrics.

Though the fact should be stressed that these are charges and not convictions, the negative stigma associated with such damning accusations could cost Kartel both his musical well-being and his deserved place as a successful Dancehall entrepreneur. Whether or not a possible conviction would cause him to lose the fans he worked so hard to attain remains to be seen, given their undying loyalty to him. A few weeks ago, one fan suggested on Television Jamaica’s (TVJ) Entertainment Report went as far to say that fans might riot for Kartel if found guilty of murder. Whether Jamaica will mirror the recent London riots should Kartel be convicted remains to be seen.

For the self-professed “Dancehall Hero,” this will be the ultimate test of wills. For a man whose used controversy to his utmost advantage, for the sake of self-promotion, this uphill battle Kartel faces will by far be the trickiest to overcome. Having previously been in battles with the law, Kartel always stood confident. He used his music as a self-haven while providing hit singles after the fact that replaced public scorn with lyrical dexterity and chart-topping success.

Going forward though, music may not be enough to save Vybz Kartel. The man who once implied that his body was a canvas, may have to paint a completely different image of himself if he’s to save face as Dancehall’s most impressionable artiste.

Check out never before seen pictures of Vybz Kartel, courtesy of MTVIggy.com entitled, THE JOYS AND TRIALS OF DANCEHALL KINGPIN, VYBZ KARTEL: http://www.mtviggy.com/photos/exclusive-the-joys-and-trials-of-dancehall-kingpin-vybz-kartel/

Jamaican Facebook page organizes New Year’s Eve even for the homeless

A Jamaican Facebook page, aimed at bringing smiles on people’s faces, is attempting to share that positive nature with the homeless.

Members of the popular, MAD PEOPLE CORNA Facebook page, an outlet for laughter and societal discussions, are organizing a Feed The Homeless Day; scheduled to take place on New Year’s Eve (December 31,2011) in Downtown Kingston. The event stresses emphasis on providing hope and a better standard of living for homeless persons to adapt to

Administrators of the MAD PEOPLE CORNA page are asking for interested persons to donate JA$500 or US$6 for the cause. Additionally, persons with cooking skills as well as those that can provide transportation for the event are encouraged to take part in the New Year’s Eve initiative.

According to the page’s creator, Shevez Morgan, there’s a desire to make Feed The Homeless Day an island wide event, but for now, the group intends to roll out this cause on a smaller scale before going across Jamaica.

There was question as to why we are only doing this in Kingston but please understand that while we know the need exists everywhere, it’s their first time doing this so they would prefer to try it on a smaller scale before they can do an all island event,” Morgan said.

Persons interested in Feed The Homeless Day are being encouraged to join the MAD PEOPLE CORNA page at www.facebook.com/Madpeoplecorna and get account information regarding possible donations. You can also email the page at madpeoplecorna@live.com.

Mavado and Drake to unveil joint album?

After working as well as performing together within the last year, prominent Dancehall singjay, Mavado and Canadian hip-hop superstar, Drake are set to put their chemistry to the ultimate test.

According to reports, the self-professed “Gully Gaad” and the Young Money rapper will soon be releasing a joint album; combining Dancehall and hip-hop styles. The collaborative album bares similarities to Distant Relatives, the joint effort by Reggae superstar, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley and American hip-hop veteran, Nas that was released in May 2010.

A source within Mavado’s Gullyside camp revealed the news to Urban Islandz; intimating that the new album will be done through the conduit of DJ Khaled’s label, We The Best Music Group.

“Since ‘Vado return to the States and sign with Khaled there are a number of collaboration requests coming in from several rappers, but definitely he is looking forward to drop a full length LP with Drake. Drizzy and Vado are close friends so it’s only natural,” the source insisted. “You can look for appearances from Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Khaled and Busta Rhymes to name a few,” he continued.

Mavado recently hinted in an interview that he’s had a desire to collaborate with Drake’s mentor and internationally acclaimed hip-hop superstar, Lil’ Wayne. “From a couple years ago I’ve always wanted to do a mad record with (Lil) Wayne,” Mavado said. That kid is crazy, trust me he’s out of this world. It’s gon’ happen in due time. “We gon’ put some steroids to this game and turn it up, loud!”

Meanwhile, Mavado is in Miami with Morgan Heritage relative and hip-hop star, Laza Morgan to shoot the music video for their popular hit single, One by One. The song earned #1 chart status in Jamaica and has been a regular on American airwaves since its initial release in March.

Dennis Brown honored during Heroes Day ceremonies in Jamaica

One of Jamaica’s most decorated Reggae singer, the late Dennis Brown, led the honors list of entertainers at the annual National Awards ceremony on Heroes Day.

Brown was awarded the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander (CD) for his contribution to the Jamaican music industry at King’s House on Monday. The posthumous honor was received on his behalf by his widow, Yvonne; accompanied by members of the Brown family.

Brown’s widow was ecstatic with her late husband’s achievement; intimating that it was a great day for the family. Despite many Reggae fans suggesting that Brown deserved this award, Yvonne Brown remained humble; telling the Jamaica Observer, “Nothing happens before the time and Dennis is still with us… in spirit.”

The “Crown Prince of Reggae” passed away in 1999 at the tender age of 42 following a long battle with respiratory issues. However, his music has continued to pave new roads for present Reggae artistes to improve their own craft. Song samples of Brown’s have been used by prominent singjays such as Chino for the single Handwritings and Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley who, alongside hip-hop superstar, Nas did a remix of Brown’s legendary hit song, “Promised Land.”

Brown released over 50 albums during his career and unveiled other timeless hits such as “Rocking Time,” Have You Ever Been In Love,” & “Here I Come.” Following his death, he was buried at National Heroes Park in Kingston.

Other notable musicians who received awards on Monday include veteran singer, Millie Small who recorded the internationally acclaimed single, “My Boy Lollipop” in 1959. The singer, who currently resides in England, also received the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander for her contribution to the Jamaican music industry. Unable to attend the ceremony, Small’s award was received on her behalf by former Jamaican Prime Minister, Edward Seaga.

Additionally, legendary singer, Dolly Dobson and Robbie Lyn also were awarded; receiving the honor of Order of Distinction in the rank of Officer. Dobson, who rose to prominence in the 1950s, is known for singles such as “Muriel,” “Loving Pauper” and “Wonderful Sound” while Lyn is renowned for songs such as “Love Notes,” and “Street Talk.”