Dancehall star Macka Diamond has jumped to the defense of the promoters of Sting, the clash-centered stage show organized by Isaiah Laing, which has been widely derided online by netizens after the show ended in a fist-flinging fracas on Boxing Day.
“I have to be grateful for this show because this show started me out as a young artist and it is still starting out a lot of young artists. I feel great to see a lot of these new acts who came from all over the world, and I think Sting is still doing great and Mr. Laing is trying , and he is one of those that loves our culture and he is bending his back to keep it going,” Macka Diamond said in an interview with DancehallMag.
“I am so excited and I was so grateful to be a part of the Ten Giants and the coming back of Sting in the right manner in terms of the mixture of artists, both new and old, who is around and still around and going strong.”
Macka Diamond has a strong and storied Sting tradition, having lost clashes at Sting to Queen Paula in 2003 and again to Lady Saw in 2013. She walked away from a clash with Spice in 2012. In between those performances, she has consistently been one of the best performers on the show, earning raves for her witty banter, colourful costumes, and hit songs like Bun Him, Dye Dye and Cow Foot.
She raved about what she called the ‘professionalism’ of the Supreme Promotions team.
“Apart from the glitches backstage, and I might not have worked my time, but I was glad to go on, I was excited and prepared. Honestly, I know it was done ina different and more professional way this year. I saw the professionalism, the team of Supreme Promotions did a great job with the stage and lighting and sound, and the Sting brand did a lot of professional things: the new armbands, designated space to park at the venue,” she said.
She said that Sting’s chaotic ending is symptomatic of the climax of most stage shows in the local entertainment landscape.
“It was organised up to a point, everybody knows that’s how stage shows go. I am not going to agree with certain things and talk down on the show. Sting has the potential to grow more and get back on form, because it start this year, 2023 and we’re getting good feedback, I don’t agree to the negative energy,” she said.
Some of that negative energy is emanating from performers such as Anthony B, Tanya Stephens and Spragga Benz, who have lambasted Isaiah Laing, the organizer of the iconic Sting stage show, and criticized the production quality.
These Streets singer Tanya Stephens wrote that: “I would be disappointed if I had no prior knowledge of this deplorable behavior, but I do – hence previous avoidance,” the These Streets artist wrote in an Instagram post today. “And how can I, a perfect stranger, be disappointed in someone who takes a fat dump on his own offspring’s legacy?”
“The sad thing is, what I mistook for growth and maturity was just escalation of a lack of integrity. I saw evolution but unfortunately it wasn’t evolution of character, just evolution of a distasteful characteristic,” Tanya Stephens added.
But Macka Diamond sees things differently.
“Sting is back, and 2024 is going to be greater so big up Mr Laing on your 40th year and we nuh care, negativity cannot stop you, keep going, thanks for giving up your strength, and for your love of the culture, yu still ah do it no matter what yu a go through , no matter how much losses, yu keep pushing this thing and brand for the music and for young artistes to make a mark and for older artistes who still de ya, cause once we do this show, we can hear the promoters dem calling,” she said.
Macka Diamond has quietly transformed her brand in 2023, with the help of a new team of creatives, expanding her presence beyond music, recently inking a brand ambassador deal with popular perfume company Dossier and another with Walmart.
Over the weekend, she released a new single, Still Gotti on producer Rvssian’s Dutty Money riddim. She will be releasing her upcoming third album next year.