Downbeat The Ruler won the Vintage Rumble sound system clash on Saturday at Amazura nightclub in Queens, New York.
Promoted by Irish and Chin, Vintage Rumble saw intense musical juggling and showmanship from the winner, Silver Hawk, Mighty Crown, Black Scorpio and Bodyguard.
The ‘clash’ kicked off early Saturday morning with the rivals utilising dub plates and paraphernalia to whip the crowd into a frenzy.
In the end, it was Downbeat The Ruler’s Studio One ‘riddims’ that got the nod over Japan’s Mighty Crown in the deciding tune-for-tune section.
Tony Screw, owner of Downbeat The Ruler, said “It’s very nice to have won. I think I really deserve it for all the hard work that I have put in over the years.”
Originally from Kingston, Downbeat The Ruler is based between Mount Vernon and The Bronx.
Co-promoter Garfield ‘Chin’ Bourne said the competition achieved its objectives.
“I think we have now just discovered another annual event that can continue to grow and tour from New York to other cities,” he told us. “Vintage Rumble is strictly about keeping the concept of vintage songs alive in the dancehall. It is something that is needed.”
Black Scorpio, guided by producer Maurice ‘Jack Scorpio’ Johnson, had a good run. He threw in dub plates from Bounty Killer, George Nooks and Mega Banton which had patrons ‘bussing blanks’ and flashing lighters.
Silver Hawk, with selector Richie Poo, represented well and got the crowd’s approval from Leroy Smart dub plates ( Talk Bout Friend) and Garnet Silk’sTalk if Dem Talking.
A flip of Bounty Killer and Anthony Red Rose’s Intimate helped Silver Hawk advance to the third round.
Bodyguard, which emerged from Clarendon in the late 1980s, made it to the second round with a series of Garnet Silk dub plates. However, they lost steam and were eliminated.
Mighty Crown hit the right chord with a mix of old school reggae, dancehall, ska and rockers that eventually earned them the runners-up spot.
The towering Johnson was happy to be part of Vintage Rumble.
“Well it’s a wonderful event and I am happy that they remember elders like us in the business. Give thanks to Downbeat as the winner. I feel all of us who competed are winners,” he said.
In a show of unity, the competing ‘sounds’ gathered on stage to congratulate Downbeat the Ruler.