The first staging of the “BLACK AND PROUD” Reggae Concert brought a piece of Jamaican culture to Queens, NY, on Saturday, February 25th, 2023. The concert was inspired by Anthony B’s “Black and Proud” track on The World Rebirth Riddim released by Reggae Vibes Music in 2020. Discussions between Anthony B and Reggae Vibes Music CEO, Marlon Folkes, inevitably led to using Reggae Month/Black History Month as the perfect timing for the inaugural concert.
Various media outlets and fans alike showed up to lend their support and get a few photos with the artists at the Meet and Greet event hosted by VP Records at their flagship Retail store in Jamaica Queens at 12 noon. The air was abuzz with talk of the recent activities of each artist from tours across the USA and the world, to the most recent Grammy win for Kabaka Pyramid. The energy was infectious, and one could tell that patrons were in for a one of a kind experience that would unfold later that night at the concert.
The gates opened at 10:00 pm and for one night, Amazura Concert Hall became a reggae paradise with live performances, island-inspired food, and nothing but good vibes. The night began with early juggling from Kulcha Kartel, Mountain Lion Sound and also Massive B (Bobby Konders and Lando Hype) representing HOT97. Irie Jam Radio’s Dubbmaster Chris was the energetic Master of Ceremonies who kept the vibes elevated between performances. The event boasted an impressive lineup. Patrons greatly received the opening acts which were Rufftop Rock I, KenDallaz, and Dreama who warmed up the crowd with their catchy lyrics and melodies. The leading performers graced the stage shortly after midnight. Prominent reggae acts such as Perfect Giddimani, Turbulence and Pressure Buss Pipe kept the crowd moving and belting out lines from well-known hits like “Hand Cart Boy“, Love and Affection” and “Name and Number”.
First-time Grammy award-winner Kabaka Pyramid, who won best Reggae album for ‘The Kalling’ in February 2023 was welcomed to the stage by reggae veteran Anthony B. Surprise guest Iba Mahr also joined in to add more fuel to an epic collaboration on stage. Together the three entertained their fans with great backing synergy from the Gennaroots Band and Bonfire Band’s drummer. Anthony B was true to form with his usual high energy performance making his way across the stage with his gravity defying moves. The fans were definitely entertained as they rocked and chanted out messages of freedom, hope and equality.
Anthony B expressed gratitude after the event by saying “Thanks to the fans for their amazing love and support. It’s good to take this journey together to strive for a better world that we can all be proud of and our children and their children can still sing the songs of roots and culture reggae music. Let’s say it loud we are black and proud and all we are saying is one love to all human race on planet earth”
Despite the frigid temperatures, those who braved the cold were not disappointed as all the artists delivered electrifying and stellar performances. Reggae enthusiasts from all over the tri-state area, and those who flew in from other states as far as Florida, and countries as far as Jamaica and Colombia had a fantastic time. The organisers Bornfire Music Promotions and Reggae Vibes Promotions are looking forward to the second staging of the concert in 2024.