Hennessy Artistry delivers
Jamaican dancehall artist Dexta Daps said he felt like he was in heaven when he performed at the Hennessy Artistry concert this past weekend, and it wasn’t hard to see why – hundreds of adoring fans, mostly women, screamed for him as he sang some of his greatest hits.
Perhaps that’s why he launched his sweat-glazed body into the crowd about halfway through his set – to get closer to them.
Daps, who has become something of a sex symbol in the dancehall community, was one of several artists to take the stage at Commonwealth Brewery’s (CBL) signature event at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium on Saturday.
The diminutive but powerful Wendi added some serious Bahamian flair, Julien Believe brought the vibes of Junkanoo, Spice electrified the stage, Alkaline slowed things down and Dexta Daps brought the heat.
As he took concertgoers on a journey with him through his latest music, Daps, the concert’s headliner, shed his jacket and his shirt. When he finally revealed his chest, he was rewarded by his screaming fans. Their screams swelled as Daps, who is known to bring at least one woman onstage to share a dance, switched it up, and instead, jumped into the crowd.
“It [was] like heaven, man,” he said after the show. “You see how many woman [were] there, pure girls.”
“It was a crazy moment,” he added, referring to his decision to jump as he performed his 2015 hit song “Shabba Madda Pot”.
“It’s just ‘Shabba Madda Pot’, that song does something. It makes me feel crazy and I just tested the crowd, you know what I mean. Thanks to the ladies for keeping me safe.”
But the ladies did more than keep him safe.
In fact, many of them refused to allow him to return to the stage. Daps only managed to extricate himself from his fans when two police officers came to assist him.
Smiling as he recalled the moment, Daps said it was a great feeling.
The dancehall artist went on to perform several of his hit songs, including “No Underwear”, “Morning Love” and “Jealous Ova”.
He said watching Bahamians sing along was wonderful to witness.
“It’s different,” he said. “It means your hard work is paying off. It means that people appreciate me like that. You know I’m a person that loves people and I like to see that reaction. Bahamas is home, man.”
As for what’s next for the ladies’ man – “The same fire,” he said. “The same flame. I’m gonna burn the place the same way, keep it hot. I’m singing for the ladies, just as we always do.”
Dancehall artist Spice hit the stage around 1 a.m. She paired signature aqua hair with a yellow hooded body suit and white boots.
Despite an ill-fitting costume that was ripping at the seams by the end of her hour-long set, Spice put on a high-energy performance that was rife with attitude, sexuality and, believe it or not, a cooler of ice.
Spice told the crowd that she would not allow the costume to diminish her show and she stuck to that.
The bodacious, 180-pound artist captivated the crowd.
She took her fans through the paces, at one point inviting Bahamian men to show her their best wines as she belted out her hit song “Sheets”.
One lucky guy got a dance with Spice dancers, who put a whole new meaning to the move jumping splits.
During the interactive show, Spice also grabbed the phones of several concertgoers and shot selfies and videos with them during her performance.
By the end of her performance, Spice’s dancers were throwing ice on one another and into the crowd as Spice performed her song “Cool It”.
Alkaline’s performance was chill compared to Spice’s, but he still managed to fire up the audience when he sang crowd favorites like “Champion Boy” and “Fleek”. The Jamaican dancehall artist introduced some of his newer material to his fans as well.
Also performing were Wendi and Julien Believe, and the Bahamian artists were not to be outdone.
Wendi, who kicked off the show with her backup dancers, proved why she is among the top Bahamian female artists.
“It was short, but sweet,” Wendi said minutes after she wrapped up her performance. “I didn’t think it would be that short, but the stage was great and the sound was amazing.”
The new mother showed no signs of slowing down as she sang some of her more recent songs including “Weakness”, “In Front of You” and “Bang Bang”.
Julien Believe hit the stage next and ended his 20-minute, high energy performance with his newest single, “I Believe in You”.
The song, which is a tribute to the resilience of the Caribbean spirit, particularly in light of Hurricane Dorian, was the perfect way to cap his set.
He said the experience on stage was humbling.
“To see the amount of love for our brothers and sisters in Abaco and Grand Bahama says a whole lot about us, and to be able to see the response from the foreigners speaks volumes,” he said.
He said he was especially happy to see concertgoers singing along as he performed.
Julien said he hopes to continue to spread the message of hope globally. He is expected to perform in Canada this month.
“It’s all about the love, it’s all about keeping this momentum going for The Bahamas and letting them know that we’re open for business, and two, this is a marathon and not a sprint,” he added.
In light of the recent devastation of Hurricane Dorian on Abaco and Grand Bahama, CBL has also committed to donating part proceeds from the event to The Bahamas Red Cross, in addition to an upfront donation of $10,000.
Education: Benedict College, BA in Mass Communications