What A Controversy!

Why Dem Come Fi Visit Clash, When All Dem Wan Fi Hear Is Jugglin?

It was another tragic controversy in Antwerp, Belgium, last Saturday, as the first of 3 preliminary rounds of the Benelux Cup Clash was held, with Amsterdam (Netherlands) Cool Rock vs. Luxemburg's Tribulation Sound. Boom-A-Ranks did a fine warm-up, though I must add that I wasn't too impressed by neither their MC nor by the host for the night Treaty. But they did the most important thing, they built vibes at a crowded but not sold out venue. Everywhere were 'no horns'-signs, and I indeed never heard one, which is fine, as the sound was nicely balanced, but not loud enough, too encounter a group of horns....

'Our' Amsterdam Yute Cool Rock started, aided by Iggy-T, formerly known for his "Burning Ten" charts on this site, and did so with a fabulous 45 round, in my opinion the best I ever heard play by a European sound. Everything was right, or better, almost everything. The tunes, especially war tunes, and not aiming for easy forwards, with matching speech, were certainly worth some loud whistles and cheers. But one thing was not right: the Belgian massive couldn't give a d@mn. They seemed to have preferred a juggling-selection. And Tribulation's selector and MC (one of very few other one-man-thing-sounds in the lowlands) Smockey did guess/hear/see that from early on. Although Smockey did really come on strong with well thought over tunes like Garnett's "Keep Them Talking" and Jimmy Cliff's "The Harder They Come" combined with some well chosen speech and interesting tunes, but overall, it was too much bashment vibes. Cool Rock's 45 round was better, Tribulation's 45 round was better received.

Cool Rock. (Photo courtesy of www.vera-groningen.nl).

All through the night Cool Rock remained the sound with the better dubplates, but Smockey the man getting the bigger forwards, even for some very bad sounding tunes, and even for some of the worst foolishness and rae-rae. The only big mistake Cool Rock made, besides his refusal to 'kneel down for the massive' was drawing for the Johnny Osbourne "Buddy Bye" dubplate on 'Sleng Teng' as a counteraction to Tribulation's "No Ice Cream Sound". As in the next round Smockey immediately played some more Johnny Osbourne dubplates. Tribulation really went full steam ahead in the 45 round as well as in both 20 minutes dubplate round, but never showed enough stamina to maintain the vibe thus created. Near the end of his rounds even the left (i.e. 'his') side of the audience was standing with their back to him, and discussing whatever they were thinking of, instead of paying attention to the still smiling and dancing Smockey. (Some sympathetic presence on stage couldn't be denied, that is until his sexual violation announcement).

A simple roundup of the difference in quality; Tribulation Sound: Michael Rose, Johnny Osbourne, Ras Shiloh, Sluggy Ranks vs. Cool Rock: Don Carlos, Junior Byles, Bunny Wailer, Mighty Diamonds. Smockey then went astray, by telling Cool Rock, who was about to leave the stage during Tribulation's round: "If you walk away now, and turn your back on me, I'll f#ck your a$$". Stupid, senseless, probably the only way anywhere but in Antwerp to convert a sure victory into defeat.

In the dub-fi-dub this statement was made again by Smockey, challenged to do so by Cool Rock, and then followed up by a boring, way too long 'battyman is a peaceful man'-speech. Although Smockey did show the courage to repeat it when challenged, it seemed like committing suicide to me, but luckily for him, the Belgian bashment massive was pro-battyman as well, and Tribulation even survived a dub-fi-dub in which he was completely outgunned. Good for him, he admitted that, commenting almost every tune Cool Rock drew with "Mi can't play big tunes like that"...

Nevertheless the Belgian massive decided to order the coffin for the better playing sound, and Tribulation will be one of the three competitors in the final. He is a good addition to the roster of sounds, with several creative cuts in addition to one too many regular tune, but needs to work on his speech, and maintaining the vibes during his full rounds, and refering to his speech; he's gonna be getting bigger forwards for announcing experimental ways to kill someone than to rape someone, so hopefully he'll be wiser in the finals. Big Up! to Far West Crew for the tight organisation, Cool Rock and Tribulation for the entertainment, and Uruhu Sound (Kortrijk-BE), Apache Sound (The Hague-NL), and especially Ivoryman (Utrecht-NL), Whirlwind (Almelo-NL) and Herb-A-Lize It (Enschede-NL) for the nice vibes. But to the Belgian massive: "boo dem". Cool Rock should have won....

Text : Souljah

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