Resident MC Nuffy (centre) raises the hands of Daryl Vaz (left) and Damion Crawford. – Anthony Minott photos
Damion Crawford (second right) and Daryl Vaz (left) accept gift baskets after their ‘clash’.
After playing his first three tracks in the 45 round, where the competitors are required to play commercially released songs only, Damion Crawford declared his face off with fellow Member of Parliament (MP) Daryl Vaz over.
“Clash done already, y’nuh. A overdo me a overdo it,” Crawford told the large audience at Famous Nightclub, Portmore, St Catherine, on Thursday night. And they seemed to agree, even as Crawford buried Vaz musically a little deeper with Bushman’s Call The Hearse, to conclude a perfect round as all three judges scored it the maximum seven points. Still, Crawford continued the shellacking, dropping heavy dubs in the final dub for dub round. Although they did the talking, introducing tunes and throwing jibes at each other, professional disc jocks were at the consoles.
After leading the opening juggling round 14 to nine, Crawford’s first two songs in the 45 round played heavily on his outfit for the night, which by itself had taken the house down when he made his initial appearance. Vaz played first, wearing a version of the camouflage gear popular among those engaged in musical battle. But when the lights were dimmed for Crawford to make his stage entrance, he then stepped out in crisp khakis with Rastafari-style trim topped off by white headgear which his coiled locks made into an exclamation mark piercing the sky, there was pandemonium.
perfect 45 round
And despite Vaz’s efforts to scoff at Crawford’s Rastafari gear, dubbing him a fraud, in opening his perfect 45 round Crawford leaned heavily on the Rastafari theme to very good effect. “Daryl Vaz new to music. Him no know music. How yu fi come kill Rasta an’ dress like yu a go a bird bush?” Crawford said to howls of laughter. The merriment turned to the belly roar of a dancehall forward as Crawford dropped Bob Marley and the Wailers’ Time Will Tell,with the opening line “Jah would never give the power to a baldhead”.
After referring to Bobo Hill, which is in the East Rural St Andrew constituency which he represents, Crawford dropped Buju Banton’s Hills And Valleys, the opening line of which states “only Rasta can liberate the people”. Again Famous resounded with cheers. Kartel was in the mix and then came the Bushman, the music stopping and Crawford putting in Vaz name to complete a line that “him need to leave the turf”.
At the end of the round, the daylight had really opened between the two, as Crawford scored a perfect 21 to Vaz’s 13. Crawford also got the extra point determined by crowd response – as he did for all three rounds.
not all bad for Vaz
It was not all bad for Vaz, who had started on a high in the first round, holding up a blazing lighter at points and taking a couple gentle prods at a young lady who danced in front of him. Playing first in the opening round, the West Portland MP started on a high with a Jamaican take of the Beatles’ Let It Be, after chastising Crawford (who is also state minister in the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment) about dances being locked off. Then Bounty Killer intoned “if a war oonu want make it start” and again Famous erupted. It was a dub plate.
“Me a red man, but me a Jamaican. Mi name whe mi name an’ mi name cyaa change. Mi name Daryl Vaz, heartical to the heart,” he said, dropping a Sizzla double of Rise To The Occasion and Solid As A Rock.
Still it was not good enough to top Crawford, who announced himself as “10 step ahead a dem”, then Chronixx welcomed the general. “We no inna argument like a Parliament!” Crawford said, to a massive forward. Then he went for Sizzla’s Get To The Point and the crowd thundered the “hey hey hey” section of the song.
In the dub for dub section, unfortunately Vaz saved his best dub, Cobra’s Press Trigger for last and played a weak dub of Police In Helicopter first. On the other hand Crawford was on point from start to finish, opening with an introduction by someone impersonating Edward Seaga who said he did not like Vaz. Famous went ballistic and Crawford said “de war done!” And, in more ways than one, it was.
A section of the packed Famous Nightclub.
Crawford, Vaz in epic selecting battle
Damion Crawford speaks to the audience in the club.