You never knew who you would run into on the deck at the Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise. Headliners Damian Marley, Shaggy, Sean Paul and Stephen Marley mixed casually with guests on the five-day floating festival from Miami to Jamaica this past October. The ship was also so jam packed with talent (in addition to the main outdoor stage for performances, the Norwegian Pearl’s nightclubs were staffed with some of reggae music’s greatest selectors), you couldn’t help but find yourself witnessing unique scenarios.
One particular morning, as the sun rose over the Caribbean following a late night of performances and bashment sessions (in addition to the main stage, the Norwegian Pearl includes several clubs set up for DJs), LargeUp encountered three of the Jamrock Cruise’s MVPs flexing their skills in a sunrise cipher: Shinehead, the NY reggae/dancehall pioneer who shelled down the cruise all week with his vinyl DJ sets and never-ending lyrics; Supernatural, the battle rap legend and holder of the record for world’s longest freestyle, onboard for the cruise as a host; and Mr. Williamz, the highly underrated London deejay who brought his toasting skills to sessions by King Jammy’s and others.
Here, each MC brings a different style (check the hip-hop flow from Shinehead, who’s got a deep history in rap) but all highlight the shared lineage hip-hop and dancehall, which both have their roots in informal lyrical demonstrations like this one. Watch the video below, and go here for our roundup of the Toppa Top 10 moments on the inaugural Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise. Tickets for the 2015 edition go on sale today.