Nov. 11, 2007 — All roads led to the Rudolph Schulterbrandt Agricultural Complex on St. Croix Saturday for the Tempo networks second anniversary celebration, "Tempo Turns Two."
When founder Frederick Morton, Jr. told his mother of his idea for a TV network that would embrace and showcase all the cultures of the Caribbean in one area, she said: Oh, that sounds good, junior. But Morton said he didnt think anyone, not even his mother, could have predicted the phenomenon that Tempo has become.
In its first year, the network simply asked the audience to Feel the Tempo, Watch the Tempo. This year the network wanted to focus on ridding the Caribbean of negative vibes with its Badness Outta Style pro-social campaign.
The expansive Agricultural Fair Grounds comfortably accommodated the immense crowd. When ticket holders stepped onto the grounds they were embraced by the lights and sounds of Viacom's MTV Networks ultra-professional concert style. Three large monitors were set up around and in front of the stage; easier viewing for those further out in the crowd or those with their views blocked by enthusiastic audience members.
As dusk started to creep in, folding chairs were set out and people settled in for a long and entertaining night. Performances by JDPP Jammerz, Jovi Rockwell and Mr. Notch (formerly of Born Jamericans fame) gave the crowd the warmup they needed for acts like Ziggy Ranking and CeCile.
Rankings deep baritone boomed across the audience, telling the ladies he Love How U Whining. Audience members wouldnt have known that Ranking recently suffered the loss of his grandfather as he eagerly bounded across the stage claiming how tired he was of this Miserable Life."
CeCille came to St. Croix without backup dancers hoping to find two local young ladies to stand with her and represent strength and sexiness. Chenelle Brady and Shanelle Clarke say they owe thanks to DJ Pops of Isle 95 for hooking them up with CeCille. The girls rocked the house to CeCilles hit Goodie.
Pops and the Kamp, a group of DJs from around the V.I., kept the pace up between sets, teaching the audience their Kamp Cadence. Members like DJ Porter and DJ Chubby stepped in time to the beat, eliciting peals of laughter from the audience.
Denise Sauce Baby Belfon used her incredible bumper to work the crowd into frenzy. One brave member of the audience tried in vain to keep time with the Soca/Dancehall Queen, but was playfully booted off the stage.
When VI Reggae hit the stage, lighters flashed and cell phones were waved in appreciation and support for acts like Jahman, Niyorah and Danny I all backed by the unequaled Red I Band.
Jahman said it has been a rough road trying to get his music out and into the hands of his fans, but that the advent of Tempo has helped his efforts. For Niyorah, there was nothing like performing at home and being able to look out into the crowd and see your family, he said.
Danny I said his feel for the night was: Live and Let Live in support of the Badness Outta Style campaign. His smooth voice flowed through the crowd as he spoke of being Unchangeable.
But no one was quite prepared for the energy of Mr. Vegas and the unbridled passion that is Luciano. As the night became early morning and audience members should have begun to get tired, the grounds bursted with life and energy as Vegas told women to hold their Heads High and Luciano, dubbed The Messenger, brought everyone closer to the Creator one beat at a time.
Also on hand were Tempo personalities Hector Lincoln, Jabba, Jahbami, Empress Jeanille and Rock Citys very own Nikki D. Dashing to and fro backstage, the newest member of the Tempo family was excited and loving every minute of her experience. Nikki said the past few months have been a whirlwind, after she was picked from thousands who auditioned for the guest VJ spot.
If you believe in the movement, there is no downside to Tempo, she said.
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