Looking back: Reggae Sumfest 2001 Image

by Biko Kennedy

A 'groomer of greats' since its inception, Reggae Sumfest have given Reggae lovers worldwide something other festivals haven't; breath-taking moments that seemingly leaves patrons mystified and yearning for more until the next staging. As the clock on the 21st showcasing ticks away, Jamaicansmusic.com looks back at the years that was and how it have evolved as time passes.

The year is 2001; Spragga Benz and Lady Saw shared their lyrical love on Backshot while Tanto Metro and Devonte pleaded to Give it to Her. Sean Paul was steadily turning heads internationally with Gimme the Light as Bounty Killer and T.O.K. represented for all thugs on Man Ah Badman. Now dubbed 'Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest' the gates were opened for the ninth staging, pumped up and ready to give show goers the best of the best.

Spinning the latest and greatest tracks at the Heavyweight Countdown event Sound Waves International, Jah Creation along with Tony Matterhorn, Fire Links, Delano from Renaissance, DJ Lippo and DJ Khaled brought Pier 1 Montego Bay to life and official get the motions of Sumfest running with superb transitions and freelanced voice overs.

With a delectable variety of music - from calypso to dancehall to rap to reggae to R&B – Reggae Sumfest was a delight.

Damien Marley showed that the 'Junior Gong' was now all grown up now as he did cuts from his Half-Way Tree album and looking militantly elegant in coarse khakis with red, green and gold trim. Freddy McGregor underlined his status as the statesman of reggae with a class act including his hit laced catalogue while Tony Rebel sang Otis Redding's classic Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay much to the rave cheers of the crowd as Sizzla stayed clear of any controversy.

Cecile's performance:

One of the most talked about moments of Reggae Sumfest 2001 certainly came from the closing performance of the lone Wailer, Bunny. The living legend took the Catherine Hall main venue from the darkness of 4:30 a.m. through the pale grey of 5:30 a.m., finally releasing the faithful to the first golden sun rays at 6:35 a.m.

With an impromptu speech, Bunny Wailer in a white and silver outfit complete with cape, reminded the world of his legacy as he address issues of politics, law enforcement and of course religion.

John Holt's performance:

A khaki-clad Luciano, who opened with the classy religious ballad, Zion Is An Holy Place, demonstrated what it truly means to entertain a crowd reeling off hits Ulterior Motive, Faith, Glory Be, Save the Children amongst others. While the prolific hit-maker Coco Tea, earned a well-deserved double encore as he gave the crowd hits including She Loves Me Now, Weh De Drugs, Love Me, Stand Up Straight and Down In Montego Bay.

Luciano's performance:

Shaggy's performance

Barrington Levy armed with his tongue twisting "shwildlibaps" excited the crowd with Teach The Youth, Too Experienced, Under Mi Sensi, Murderer and Black Roses as rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg drew some of the greatest crowd response for the night with his laidback persona. Alicia Keys impressed the crowd with her piano playing skills as she wowed show-goers with her smash hit Fallin'

Snoop Dog's performance

Sourced at the Gleaner Archives.

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