Pon Di Wire would like to extend condolences to reggae DJ Spragga Benz, whose 17-year old son, Carlton “Carlie” Grant, Jr., was fatally shot by police. Sources say that Spragga’s son was with a friend when Kingston police stopped the pair. One of the men pulled out a gun and fired at police, who returned fire. Grant was taken to the Kingston Public Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Benz was out of the country at the time.

Eek-A-Mouse was arrested in North Carolina last week and charged with drug possession and rape. The DJ (real name Ripton Hylton) posted bail and continues his U.S. summer tour dates. The charges are being disputed, after facts emerged that an undercover cop may have entrapped the entertainer.

Bounty Killer was ordered to pay a $5000 fine this week for using indecent language at Reggae Sumfest in Montego Bay this past July.

Bounty Killer and Upliftment Jamaica’s Gary Foster co-present the Saddle to The East 2k8 charity concert October 18 in St. Thomas, Jamaica. In addition to Bounty, the event will feature Sizzla, Mavado, Busy Signal, Serani, Bling Dawg, Wayne Marshall, Bugle, Voice Mail, Assassin, Kiprich, and Tony Matterhorn. According to the event’s press release, the moderately priced show gives less fortunate populations the opportunity to see the biggest and best names in Jamaican music. Proceeds are donated to schools and charities in the country’s inner-city communities.

40,000 fans crammed Yokohama stadium in Japan on Saturday, August 16, for the county’s major summer reggae event. Headlined by Japan’s world-champion Mighty Crown sound system, the concert also featured Mr. Vegas, who told OutARoad.com that it was the largest crowd he’d ever played, before adding, “Japanese fans have a committed love of reggae dancehall music, making this opportunity more than worthwhile.”

Beenie Man spoke to the BBC radio personality Chris Goldfinger during a recent stop in Spain. The artist, whose real name is Moses Davis, talked about a paternity case involving a British woman and said that the U.K. government is requiring him to pay child support. Davis, a father of seven in Jamaica, acknowledged that the British child is his, and is negotiating the amount he agrees to pay.

Mavado will return to the U.S. to perform for the first time in six months. The DJ is confirmed to play Sunday, August 31 at IRIE Jamboree at Roy Wilkins Park, Queens N.Y. “IRIE Jamboree will give me the perfect opportunity to reach thousands of my fans one time,” commented Mavado.

A grand event commemorating Jamaican National Hero Marcus Garvey’s 121st birthday was put last week by the St Ann-based Irie FM radio station. The event featured performances by Dean Fraser, Cherry Natural, Queen Ifrika, Etana, Tony Rebel, Tarrus Riley. and dub poet and radio host Mutabaruka.

Boston filmmaker Generoso Fierro, who debuted his documentary, Lynn Taitt: Rocksteady, at Jamaica’s first Reggae Film Festival this past February, has announced that his next film will be about ska pioneer Derrick Morgan.

Meanwhile, U.S.-based Jamaican actor Orville Matherson is shooting a feature film highlighting dancehall culture’s positive side. Saving Grace is about a substitute teacher who has to raise $100,000 for his mother’s brain surgery and enters a dance contest. Jamaican groups Black Blingaz and Sample Six are helping to teach the cast the latest dancehall moves.

Beres Hammond’s new album, A Moment in Time (VP), was released digitally on August 19, and is out on CD/DVD on October 14. Beres’ daughter, Nastassja Hammond, shares production credits on the jazzy, bass-driven title track. Hammond’s American tour continues in September, with dates in Atlanta, New Orleans, New Haven, New York, and Washington DC.

The Specials bassist Sir Horance Gentlemen has a new limited edition single titled “Goa Blues,” available from Rockers Revolt. Gentleman (Horace Panter) has played with Specials, General Public, and Rankin Roger over his three-decade career.

Dancehall Top Ten Singles
1. Elephant Man “Nuh Linga” (Board House)
2. Elephant Man “Gully Creepa” (Seanizzle)
3. Beenie Man “Gimmi Likkle” (Born So)
4. Serani “Stinking Rich” (Daseca)
5. Konshens “Winner” (Natural Bridge/Cash Flow)
6. Assassin “Dem Nuh Want Nuh Gal” (Board House)
7. Andrew & Wada Blood “Hustle” (Fire Links)
8. Flippa Mafia “Dem Yah & Dem Yah” (Board House)
9. Vybz Kartel “Trailer Load of Money (Adidjaheim)
10. Mavado “Inna Di Car Back” (Big Ship)

Photo of Mavado by Martei Korley.