Words by Eddie STATS Houghton
Thought you should know: our boy Gyptian just received his first international award since busting in a big way with “Hold Yuh,” taking the ceremonial statuette of stacked letters for the category of Best Reggae Artist at the 2010 MOBO ceremony, broadcast live from Echo Arena in Liverpool, UK. It seems like sort of a no-brainer considering the excitement that “Hold Yuh” and it’s follow up “Nah Let Go” have generated abroad. But then when you consider the crowded field of nominees; Vybz Kartel, Mavado, Damian Marley and UK singjay Gappy Ranks, it is kind of crazy that a breakout artist like Gyptian beat both the established kings of dancehall AND the hometown favorite to take the title. In true JA style, the singer will immediately head back out on tour, joining Mary J. Blige for her UK dates but on November 10th he will be in Atlanta for the Soul Train awards–where he is also nominated. Once again, his closest competition will be Kartel and Jr. Gong. Gyptian may be armored against the Marley magic somewhat by the lack of a stand-out single from the Nas & Damian Distant Relatives LP but Atlanta will surely be another opportunity to test the popularity of the street anthem “Clarks” against the infectious vibe of “Hold Yuh.” Personally our money is on Gyptian for the repeat–it’s his year.