So Klik Ja From L2PJA was invited by Steady Broadcasting to attend the first live performance of I-Octane in New York City. The event was held on February 7, 2011 at Club S.O.B in Manhattan. The venue was of decent size with a clear view of the stage from all angles, a wide bar, and seating sections for grubbing down.
When we arrived inside, three Disc Jocks from 106.3, Royal Radio, were spinning some interesting Old Hits that had the, then, scanty crowd jiving. Their collection of old school Reggae and Dancehall was impressive and it spanned the late eighties to early two thousands. As the crowd grew larger and time etched away, the songs got more explicit as Lady Saw advised us of her endeavors “Under the Sycamore Tree” and Wayne Wonder took us on a “Joy Ride”. As there were a few other jocks from 93.5fm and the live performance from I-Octane himself still to come, the 106.3 DJs started to wrap up their set by jumping an entire decade to twenty ten hits, to close their set. Di Genius “Nah friend Again”, Movado’s “Angel of Death”, Vybz Kartel and then friend, now rival, Di Genius “Careful” ended their musical reign.
Up next was DJ Wayne from 93.5fm, he quickly changed the pace to Hip Hop which had the American section of the crowd bopping; but the Caribbean peeps that where thumping the sky and firing shots earlier were noticeable subdued including Klik Ja. He must have picked up on this vibes as the Hip Hop turned into rather conscious Reggae which breathed new life into the venue. Marijuana Ode from Richie Spice as well as past favorites from Gyptian had us rocking and singing out loud. A few Soca tunes were wedged into the mix again slowing down the pace; but shortly after, Phacha Diamond joined Wayne on Stage to do the Bob Marley/Dennis Brown Tribute. This brought a whole other level of excitement as the patrons sang each note and offered their respect to the two Fallen Soldiers. After the back to back hits of Dennis Brown trailed off, the DJ could be heard saying “free Buju” as a bag a Buju tune filled the stereo, then it was none other than Sizzla Kalongi hits to get us going. Squeeze then cut in for a brief intermission.
There was a comedic talk about the use of condoms as a Yankee Rasta guy was issuing out New Brand Name Condoms. Squeeze was quick to inform the crowd that even though he promotes condom use he didn’t endorse those new brands. The crowd started to become restless so DJ Kevin Crown jumped in and hyped us up with some new age Dancehall.
At about 10:30pm the stage event kicked off; but of course we couldn’t just go right to I-Octane as there were two opening acts. First up was Recruit from Sherlock, he did about three tunes which were alright but didn’t quite impress the crowd much. Next up was Progress, he came onstage to a whole heap a forwards and delivered strong vocals. Then finally, it was time for I-Octane.
I-Octane jumped on stage singing “All type a things dem waan do” the crowd went coco loco and lapped on to every word. He was very poised onstage and delivered hits after hits with impeccable vocals. He had us wanting more, I for one was surprise he had such a big New York following, but he surely did and the group was very diverse and singing along to every song. To close his performance, an Ital Juvvy took to the stage and he serenaded her as she rubbed down his chest. It was a great first NYC performance.
Di man kill it, drop it a ground and kick it weh!