Reggae Month ends with another death

Chad Young, CEO and Managing Director of IRIE FM and ZIP 103 FM, died Thursday, February 27, 2014, three and a half years after his father, Karl.

Chad Young, CEO and Managing Director of IRIE FM and ZIP 103 FM, died Thursday, February 27, 2014, three and a half years after his father, Karl.

By Carmen Glover

On February 27, one day before the official end of Reggae Month, Chad Young, 27, the son of Karl Young, who died June 2010, died. Like the case of his father, no cause of death was revealed for Chad. Instead, IRIE FM, released a statement to the media. The statement is as follows:

Chad Young, CEO & MD of IRIE and Zip FM passes away (Official Media Statement)

At approximately 5;00 p.m. this afternoon (Thursday, February 27, 2014), Chad Young, the Chief  Executive officer and Managing Director of IRIE FM and ZIP 103 FM, passed away after succumbing to illness. He was 27 years old.

Mr. young continued the tradition of his father, Karl “Chief” Young of innovation and futuristic thinking with IRIE FM and ZIP 103 FM being the first local media houses to have mobile apps, creating a new corporate home for ZIP FM and building the most powerful and best sounding music truck in Jamaica, the Shockwave. He was also keen on being as original and cutting edge as possible on air as well as online. Chad was loved and respected for his happy nature, affableness and down to earth personality.

The family of Mr. Young and the Management and staff of IRIE FM and ZIP 103 FM are grateful for the outpouring of affection and promise to carry that with them as they from strength to strength.

We join the reggae community in mourning the loss of both father and son in this impactful music family.–OnPointPress.net.

Honoring NBA greats who paved the way for today’s superstars

Bill  Russell deservingly, receives a great deal of recognition for his accomplishments.

Bill Russell appropriately receives a great deal of recognition for his extensive career accomplishments.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

As the National Basketball association (NBA) exits the month of the All-Star game, many fans are looking forward to the playoffs and the MVP race. The recent conversation about all-time great NBA players always features Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and many, many, more. This has prompted OnPointPress.net to honor some of the all-time greats who deserve as much recognition as those who are regularly mentioned.

At the end of each month, for the rest of the NBA season, we will highlight a center, forward, and guard who deserve to be recognized publicly and often.

Moses Malone is one of the best centers of all-time.

Moses Malone is one of the best centers of all time.

At center, we recognize Moses Malone. Malone started his professional career in 1974 in the American Basketball Association (ABA) as one of the first players to go straight to the pros from high school. Malone played for 9 different teams during his 21-year career, while earning MVP honors 3 times (79′, 82′ and 83′) and making the All Star team 14 times (2 ABA and 12 NBA).

Malone was the key acquisition of the Philadelphia 76ers in 1983 and the Malone\Julius Irving-led team finally captured the NBA championship in a sweep of the Lakers that season. Malone was named MVP in the Finals as well. Many basketball fans remember Malone for his serious demeanor and exceptional rebounding prowess. Malone retired in 1995 with 29,580 points, 17,834 rebounds, and 1936 assists. He should regularly come to mind when discussions of best centers of all time is raised.

Elgin Baylor, is not only one of the best players of all-time but is also the best scorer (27.4 ppg) in Lakers history.

Elgin Baylor, is not only one of the best players of all-time but is also the best scorer (27.4 ppg) in Lakers history.

At forward, we recognize Elgin Baylor. Baylor was the first overall draft pick of what was then the Minneapolis Lakers in 1958, and won rookie of the year honors in 1959. One of the best scorers of all time, Baylor would later average 27.4 points per game in his 13-year career (currently 4th best all time). Baylor would put together a phenomenal stretch while averaging 34.8, 38.3 and 34 points per game, respectively, in the 1960-63 seasons.

Baylor, along with Jerry West, led the Lakers to the NBA Finals on eight different occasions but had the dubious distinction of losing every appearance. As fate would have it, Baylor would suffer a serious knee injury that cut his career short. In fact, he retired early in the 1972-73 season, the same season the Lakers would set an NBA record winning 33 consecutive games and finally winning the championship. If not for the Celtics domination of the sixties, Baylor would definitely be brought up more regularly. Baylor (6’5″) was also an exceptional rebounder, who averaged 13.5 rebounds per game (career high 19.8 rpg in 1960) for his career.

Hal Greer holds the career scoring record for the 76ers.

Hal Greer holds the career scoring record for the 76ers.

At guard, we recognize Hal Greer. Greer joined the NBA in 1958 with the Syracuse Nationals, which eventually became the Philadelphia 76ers ,in 1963, and would play his entire career with the franchise. Though he played many years with Wilt Chamberlain, Greer holds the record as the 76ers all-time leading scorer.

The 10-time All Star would team with Chamberlain to lead the 76ers past the Boson Celtics in 1967, ending the Celtics 8-year championship run and culminating in the first title of the 76ers franchise. Greer actually led the team in scoring (27.7 ppg) during that playoff run, which marked the pinnacle of his career. Of the guards that played throughout the 1960’s, only Oscar Robertson and Jerry West are more accomplished than Greer.

This article is not intended to be a biography for these players. Instead, the writer’s intent is to remind fans of the contributions these players made to the exciting game of basketball and to the NBA in particular. Stay tuned as we honor more NBA greats in the near future.–OnPointPress.net

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and management training consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com.

Wayne Marshall shows “Tru Colors” in whirwind NYC trip

Reggae singer Wayne Marshall has returned to the dancehall scene with a bang.

Reggae singer Wayne Marshall has returned to the dancehall scene with a bang.

By Carmen Glover

The adage “good things come to those who wait,” has never been more true than what has been exemplified by reggae singer Wayne Marshall, who has made a triumphant return to the dancehall scene with his sophomore album, “Tru Colors” (Ghetto Youths International), eleven years after releasing “Marshall Law” (VP Records). But as far as the smooth-voiced singer is concerned, the timing is perfect and that’s all that matters.

Speaking to OnPointPress.net during a telephone interview from his hotel room on Wednesday, February 26, Marshall sounded relaxed and thankful as he basked in the glow of overwhelmingly positive feedback for “Tru Colors.” The eleven-year wait, Marshall explained, was a matter of divine order. “It’s about waiting for the right time, the right camp, for everything to fall into place,” he said reflectively. “The first CD was just a compilation, rather than doing a focused album, like I did with ‘Tru Colors.’ Now I feel like everything is right.”

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From all indications, Marshall’s slow simmer approach has yielded spectacular dividends. “Tru Colors” sits comfortably in fourth place on Billboard’s reggae chart, and with each layer of exposure the album receives, another veneer of excitement  is lavished on the album, which, in turn, fuels even greater interest and industry buzz. As he counts down the hours to his album release party Thursday night at The Delancey in Manhattan, Marshall points to his early musical influences, while simultaneously lauding the expertise of his current producer, Damian “Junior Gong” Marley.

“My biggest musical influence is Bounty Killer,” Marshall stated unequivocally. “As a youth when I was 13, Baby, King Jammys’ son, introduced me to a new artist that his father was working with. That artist was Bounty Killer and I always thought that he was bringing a new flavor to dancehall. When we started working together and he showed me that he liked what I was doing, that felt good.”

L-R: Stephen and Damian "Junior Gong" Marley, who are actively involved in Marshall's triumphant return.

L-R: Stephen and Damian “Junior Gong” Marley, who are actively involved in coordinating Marshall’s triumphant return with his sophomore album “Tru Colors.”

Marshal has collaborated with Bounty Killer, Elephant Man, Sean Paul and Beenie Man in the past. Like he did with his debut effort, Marshall has collaborated with a legion of stars on “Tru Colors,” including Bounty Killer, Ace Hood, Cham, Waka Flocka, Assassin, I-Octane, Vybz Kartel and Tarrus Riley. While Marshall spoke earnestly about the importance of the diversity embodied on the tracks, he was unmistakable in emphasizing that the central component for the success of “Tru Colors” is the hands-on approach taken by the album’s producer, Damian “Junior Gong” Marley.

“Working with Damian Marley is an advantage for any artist because he’s a legendary, excellent, writer, singer and producer: a real triple threat,” Marshall mused. “It’s a dream come true for me to be working with the Marleys because growing up as a youth in Jamaica you saw the Marleys as reggae royalty.” Marshall described Damian as “a perfectionist” who knows the exact sound that he wants. Marshall credits Damian with unleashing his raw, intense, musical essence. “That’s why I call it “Tru Colors” because I think this is me showcasing my true self,” he explained. “It’s been such a long time since the last record that my sound, my lyrics and my style are more refined; a true evolution. Musically I am much more adept at my craft.”

Wayne Marshall is reflective and thankful that his sophomore effort is favorably received.

Wayne Marshall is reflective and thankful that his sophomore effort “Tru Colors”  is favorably received.

But his music is not the only thing that has evolved. Marshall, who describes himself as “very spiritual,” sports long dreadlocks these days, but he distinguishes himself from the Rastafarian faith, and explained that he focuses on solidifying his spiritual base instead. When asked how he is responding to his whirlwind two-day New York City jaunt, Marshall did not hesitate, “I’m enjoying the press coverage. All the media reviews so far have been good,” he said. “Just as the great ones have paved the way for us, this is my opportunity to pave the way for a younger generation.”

Marshall will be touring the United States in April and May with Stephen Marley and Jo Mersa to perform songs from “Tru Colors,” which is a 13-track collection. The album features fan favorites such as “I Know,” “Stupid Money,” “Go Hard,” “Go Harder,” “Be on the Alert” and “Nah Give Up.”  Marshall, who is married to Tami Chynn, the sister of Tessanne Chin of ‘The Voice’ fame, collaborated with his sister-in-law on the “Tru Colors” final track, “On the End.”

For Marshall, “Tru Colors” is his coming-of-age party and he is determined to savor every minute of it.-OnPointPress.net.

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“The Prodigal Son” tells cautionary, albeit authentic, tale

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By Carmen Glover

Kimberla Lawson Roby’s latest installment of the Reverend Black books “The Prodigal Son” (Grand Central Publishing, $26) offers a cautionary tale for anyone who has been tempted to act without giving careful thought to the worst case scenario. Replete with lessons that are applicable across generational lines, “The Prodigal Son” is a smooth, enlightening and entertaining read that quotes lavishly from the Bible to buttress its central theme of unconditional love and the importance of forgiveness.

The book details the lifestyle and family dynamics of the Reverend Curtis Black, who has two sons and two daughters. Matthew, 20, abandons his four-year scholarship at Harvard after a year to pursue other passions, while Alicia and Dillon, in their late twenties, seem content to drift along and live off their father. At 6, Curtina is the youngest. Each adult in the story feels justified in approaching life from a particular perspective, without carefully examining the potential consequences of hasty decisions and the impact of those actions on others.

The relationships that the Reverend Black has with his children, their mothers and partners have varying degrees of closeness and conflict, which cause a range of emotional upheaval and uncertainty.Not without fault, the Revered Black finds himself caught up in a tsunami of emotions as his children’s lives spiral out of control, thrusting the family into chaos, anguish and tumult. Relationships fray, secret plots are hatched, deceptions are uncovered and  promises are broken with impunity until emotions boil to a crescendo of rage, resulting in unimaginable horror and pain.

Religious skeptics often cite the dysfunction of church life, its members and the pastor’s family in particular, as deterrents for embracing religious practices in everyday life. While the “The Prodigal Son” carefully tackles these issues and more, it introduces elements to the story that raise legitimate questions about churchgoers, their activities and the quality of the examples they set for their children based on the lives they lead themselves. At the same time, the book outlines the message that dastardly deeds contrived in secrecy will eventually come to light with devastating consequences that are often hard to envision when emotions cloud people’s thoughts and logic. “The Prodigal Son” is expertly written and authentically told.  –OnPointPress.net.

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As Dule Hill’s career soars, he highlights Jamaican heritage

Dule Hill

Actor Dule Hill has been enjoying a successful career that allows him to play diverse roles.

By Carmen Glover

Charisma and fun oozed from every pore of Dule Hill’s body as he spoke breezily about his career to Wendy Williams on a recent episode of her show. Acknowledging that he moved seamlessly from The West Wing, where many television viewers first took notice of his acting skills, to Psych, which earned him a recent NAACP Image Award nomination, Hill made it clear that he’s grateful for being able to work consistently, hone his craft and have fun at the same time.

Dule Hill with cast of After Midnight

Dule Hill takes center stage with cast of “After Midnight” which is currently playing on Broadway.

“Filming ended on The West Wing in April and I started filming for Psych in May. I am very grateful that I am able to work consistently,” he said. Hill. who was born in New Jersey to Jamaican parents, is currently appearing on Broadway with singer Fantasia Burrino in the production, “After Midnight.”  Laughing, he shot down any talk of a romance with Burrino.

fantasia and dule at After Midngiht premier

Dule Hill says there is no romance with his co-star Fantasia Burrino, despite suggestive photo at the premiere of the Broadway show, “After Midnight.”

“Oh no, we have not dated. She’s an attractive woman but no, we are not dating,” he said as females from the audience professed their admiration for him. When Williams admired his appearance and commented that he didn’t seem to be aging, Hill had a quick answer: “It must be my Jamaica genes. Big up Jamaica!,” as the audience erupted into applause.

Dule hill

Dule Hill is introspective as he gazes ahead at a future that seems as bright as the past.

Hill’s passion for his craft, fun-loving personality and zest for life all shone through in the interview and he made it clear that he is eager to continue thrilling his fans for as long as great roles are presented to him.  Much to the delight of the audience, he spoke directly to them, even telling a bold admirer that he would “see you backstage,” as more laughter rang out. Catch Hill on Broadway in the play, “After Midnight” and explore another taste of his vast talents.–OnPointPress.net.

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NAACP Image Awards reflect diversity, balance, fairness

Forest Whitaker received the NAACP's Chairman's Award and Best Actor Award in a movie for "The Butler."

Forest Whitaker received the NAACP’s Chairman’s Award and Best Actor Award in a movie for “The Butler.”

By Carmen Glover

The 45th NAACP Image Awards, held on Saturday, February 22 in Pasadena, California, achieved what the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild combined failed miserably to do: honor a broad range of deserving African-Americans who showcased outstanding performances during the past year. Broadcast live for the first time on TV One, the 2014 Image Awards got off to an entertaining start with a phalanx of stars such as Judge Greg Mathis, Dennis Haysbert,Tatyana Ali and Tika Sumpter walking the red carpet. Actor Anthony Anderson hosted the event and made an effort to connect with the audience.

Oprah Winfrey delivered a tribute to late South African President Nelson Mandela.

Oprah Winfrey delivered a stirring tribute to late South African President Nelson Mandela.

Oprah Winfrey and Stevie Wonder honored the late international icon and South African President Nelson Mandela. “Nelson Mandela was a true hero. His spirit was never broken. His life was an example to us all,” Winfrey said, describing being in his presence as “sitting with the face of grace and majesty.” Stevie Wonder performed a medley of his hit songs including “Higher Ground” and “Always.”

Stevie Wonder performed a musical tribute to Nelson Mandela.

Stevie Wonder walked the red carpet and later performed a musical tribute to Nelson Mandela.

Paris Barclay and Cheryl Boone Isaacs were inducted into the Image Awards Hall of fame for achieving significant firsts: Barclay is the first African American President of the Directors Guild of America (DGA) while Boone Isaacs is the first African American President of the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences.

Cheryl Boone Isaacs was inducted into the NAACP Image Hall of Fame.

Cheryl Boone Isaacs was inducted into the NAACP Image Hall of Fame for achieving a first.

Paris Barclay

Paris Barclay was inducted into the NAACP image Awards Hall of fame for achieving a first.

Among the winners at the venerable awards show was Oscar Award winner/director/producer Forest Whitaker, who won both the NAACP Chairman’s Award and the Best Actor award for his riveting performance in “Lee Daniels’:The Butler” which was snubbed by the other awards shows. The ever classy Whitaker acknowledged his fellow actors and said a humble “Thank you,” in accepting his award. Whitaker also starred in “Black Nativity” and produced “Fruitvale Station,” both of which were recognized during the event.

Kerry Washington won for Scandal while Lupital N'Yong'o won for "12 Years a Slave."

Kerry Washington won for Scandal while Lupital Nyong’o won for “12 Years a Slave.”

In recognition of the diverse and compelling roles that performers brought to life on the big screen, the NAACP also honored the following: “12 Years a Slave,” Outstanding Picture; Outstanding Actress, Angela Bassett for “Black Nativity”;  Lupita Nyong’o, Best Supporting Actress for her remarkable role in “12 Years a Slave.,” David Oyelowo was named Best Supporting Actor in “Lee Daniels’: The Butler;” while the riveting “Fruitvale Station” was finally recognized with a Best Independent Film award.

Kevin Hart was named Entertainer of the Year.

Kevin Hart was named Entertainer of the Year and  thanked his late mother for inspiring him.

Kevin Hart was named Entertainer of the Year, cementing his status as a star who is serious about his craft and utilizing expert marketing strategies to broaden his fan base. Hart also won two awards for television as Outstanding Actor in a comedy series and for the series itself in “Real Husbands of Hollywood.”  A solemn and visibly moved Hart walked to the stage, paused, then said: “First of all I gotta thank God,” as he accepted the final award of the night. He thanked his late mother and said: “I’m a mama’s boy but my mother passed away and is not here to share it with me but I know she’s smiling down on me right now.”

Idris Elba finally gets love, walking off with a Best Actor Award for the television show "Luther."

Idris Elba finally gets some  love, walking off with a Best Actor Award for the television show “Luther.”

The television categories were nuanced and broad. Morris Chestnut won Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for “Nurse Jackie,” while Brandy Norwood won for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for “The Game.” The dominant series “Scandal” was named Outstanding Drama Series with Kerry Washington winning for Outstanding  Actress in a Drama Series and her father on the show, Joe Morton, winning Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. Accepting her award, Washington, who is due to give birth soon, thanked her “Gladiators” as the audience cheered.

Michael B. Jordan's film, "Fruitvale Station," was named Best Independent Film.

Michael B. Jordan’s poignant movie, “Fruitvale Station,” was named Best Independent Film.

L.L. Cool J won Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series for “NCIS: Los Angeles.” Taraji P. Henson won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for “Person of Interest” while Wendy Raquel Robinson won Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series. Idris Elba did not go home empty-handed, winning Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Miniseries or Dramatic Special for “Luther,” while Gabrielle Union won the female equivalent. Kristoff St. John and Tatyana Ali, won Best Actor and Actress, respectively, in a Daytime Drama Series, for their performances on “The Young and the Restless”

Dr. Heny Louis Gates, Jr. won for Outstanding News/Information (Series of Special) for “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Steve Harvey’s syndicated show won for Outstanding Talk Series, while “Iyanla Fix My Life” won for Outstanding Reality Series. “Black Girls Rock” won for Outstanding Variety Series or Special, “Wynton Marsalis: A YoungArts  MasterClass” won for Outstanding Children’s Program while China Anne McClain won Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children’s Program for “A.N.T Farm.”

Both John Legend and Robin Thicke won in the music category.

Both John Legend and Robin Thicke won in the music category.

Music was a mixed bag with K. Michele named Outstanding New Artist, John Legend named Outstanding Male Artist and Beyoncé named Outstanding Female Artist. Robin Thicke’s controversial “Blurred Lines,” featuring T.I and Pharrell, won for Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration. “The Songs of Stevie Wonder-SF Jazz Collective” was named Outstanding Jazz Album, Tamela Mann’s “Best Days Deluxe Edition” was named Outstanding Gospel Album, “Natalie Cole en Espanol” won Outstanding World Music Album, “Q.U.E.E.N” by Janelle Monae featuring Erykah Badu won for Outstanding Music Video, John Legend’s “All of Me” was named Outstanding Song and “Love Charlie” by Charlie Wilson won Outstanding Album.

Janele Monae was a winner at the NAACP Image Awards.

Janelle Monae was a winner at the NAACP Image Awards.

Pamela Samuels’ “Anybody’s Daughter won Outstanding Fiction; Envisioning Emancipation: Black Anericans and the End of Slavery” by Deborah Willis and Barbara Krauthamer won Outstanding Non-Fiction; Sheri Booker was named Outstanding New Author for “Nine Years Under;” “The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks” by Jeanne Theoharis was named Outstanding Biography/Autobiography; “The Vegucation of Robin: How Real Food Saved My Life” by Robin Quivers won for Outstanding Instructional,;Frank X. walker’s “Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers won for Poetry; Kadir Nelson’s “Nelson Mandela” won for Outstanding Children’s Book while Tanya Lee Stone’s “Courage Has No Color, The True Story of the Triple Nickles: American’s Frist Black Paratroopers” won for Outstanding Youth/Teens.

Morris Chestnut won an award for his role in "Nurse Jackie."

Morris Chestnut won an award for his role in “Nurse Jackie.”

The NAACP Image Awards reinforce the importance of African-Americans taking the lead in celebrating their entertainers instead of leaving it up to others who will probably never truly see the vast range, texture and power embodied in African-American talent.-OnPointPress.net.

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Reggae stalwarts pass on during month celebrating the music

Wayne Smith changed the course of reggae with his digital tune.

Wayne Smith changed the course of reggae with his digital tune.

By Carmen Glover

When the catchy rhythm “Under Mi Sleng Teng” was released in the 1980’s reggae lovers became immediately enthralled, sampling the smooth tune so often that the musical strains stayed in our psyches on our minds like a longstanding part of life. The death announcement that Wayne Smith, 48, the creative genius who introduced the blend of computerized range and reggae flavor for the memorable “Under Mi Sleng Teng” track, has plunged the reggae community into mourning, two weeks after the death of William ‘Bunny Rugs’ Clarke, 65, the late lead singer for the iconic reggae band, Third World.

The vinyl track for the famous tune.

The vinyl track for the famous tune.

Both deaths have come during February’s Reggae Month, when the music is examined, reminisced about and celebrated in various venues and methods. Clarke died on February 3 and Smith died on February 17. Joe Gibbs also died in February, years ago. When the impact of reggae music is examined, Dennis Brown, who was born February 1 and died in July 1999, Robert Nesta Marley, born February 6 and died May 11 are among the top names mentioned, along with Peter Tosh, Jacob Miller, Sugar Minott and Garnet Silk.

William "Bunny Rugs" Clarke of reggae group Third World.

William “Bunny Rugs” Clarke of reggae group Third World.

With the untimely deaths of Clarke and Smith, the conversation will become broader and more textured to reflect the diversity in reggae music and the expansive span of the creative forces who shaped it over the years.  Smith, who launched a new, digital, era in reggae with his exciting “Under Mi Sleng Teng” tune, will generate conversation as his legacy takes a lead in the hearts, minds and conversations of reggae lovers across the world, as the news of his untimely death continues to reverberate across the globe.  –OnPointPress.net

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