Last night, at Mas Camp in Kingston, Jamaica, Bass Odyssey beat out Sound Trooper to win the second (hopefully) annual Guinness Sounds of Greatness competition. Last year’s winner was Rebel T, who beat out Bodyguard for the title and the cash. The travelling roadshow competition provides a series of free events across the island, but requires that sounds keep it clean. This makes for very different contests from the no-holds-barred variety. Creativity kicks in here, and upsets abound. The second time around, Guinness’s flagship showdowns were more popular than ever and perhaps provide some hope for the otherwise flagging Jamaican clash scene.
In this year’s final, the country took the city by storm: St. Ann to be exact. Though Bass Odyssey killed Flava Unit in Port Antonio, the Old Harbour performance against Bredda Hype was not as decisive. Trooper, on the other hand, was there in Port Antonio, handily conquering Jam Rock and then providing an awe-inspiring destruction of Blacc Widdo in Old Harbour. The chance to watch Bass Odyssey and Trooper compete one after the other allows for a level of comparison that would otherwise be difficult. Though Bass Odyssey has dubs for days, it is clear that Trooper’s advantage is in his argument. This being said, at clashes leading up to last night, tunes were the key. All in all, predictions were therefore tough to make, though Bass Odyssey edged out Trooper as a favourite entering last night’s clash. Here’s hoping that soundsystem expert, writer, and all around great commentator, Mr. Mel Cooke was there.
Considering the whole situation, my money was on Trooper in the final, though I am not surprised by the fact that Bass Odyssey’s dubs won the day. As Mr Vegas tweeted: “I just saw bass odessy write off ricky troper bad bad dem play a ifrica weh seh ‘a bwoy draw trooper round di corner’ mi laugh till mi drop”. Bass Odyssey are masters of this type of low blow, and apparently Trooper couldn’t recover from the repeated hits. Bass Odyssey therefore took an early victory.
It may be cliched, but among soundclash fans there are no losers here. Guinness’s Sounds of Greatness is clearly a successful venture whether in country or smack dab in the centre of town. The competition can’t help but improve all the more next year.