Cham performs some of his hits at the Wingate Concert Series.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

The title legend is not earned easily. This was proven, when “Third World,” the longest reigning Reggae band, enthralled thousands of Caribbean nationals, many who had travelled from the Bronx, Staten Island, and Queens to be entertained at Afro-Caribbean night at Wingate Park’s concert series.

Borough President, Eric L. Adams, honored the popular crossover group who has thrilled audiences across the globe, with funk, pop, rock, dancehall, rap, and R&B, during the Tuesday, July 16 presentation.

They each received citations, while three of the original members were given Keys to City of Brooklyn for their renowned contribution to music.

Stephen “Cat” Coore, Richard “Bassie” Daley, AJ Brown, Norris Webb, Tony “Ruption” Williams, and Maurice “Smooth Lion” Gregory, expressed their love for Brooklynites, exciting the crowd with acclaimed hit songs, “Try Jah Love,” “96 Degrees in the Shade” and a slew of others.

The ‘Reggae Ambassadors,’ and 10-time Grammy nominated band, introduced their newest hit “Loving You is Easy” and kept their endearing fans dancing on the grounds for more that one hour, showcasing their flair on guitar, keyboard and violin, in addition to rap music skills, that garnered much applause.

The staple concert, that included R&B and Gospel presentations this same week, brought to the stage two of Jamaica’s dancehall music greats, Spragga Benz, and Cham for loud, energetic performances.

The zestful Carlton Errington Grant, show name Spragga Benz, a dancehall deejay, who was also honored with a citation, could not contained himself, blaring out, hits like “Jack it Up,” “A1 Love,” among others, during a rousing set.

He sat on a speaker on stage in an emotional cry, calling on the country to unite, “show youth a life is worth living, “numb the pain,” he cried out, as sweat dripped from his body, during a captivating and incredible performance.

The Honors Wingate Series highlighted the talents of Afro-Caribbean with various artistes singing songs including “Roots Rock Reggae,” “Waiting In Vain” by legend Bob Marley, and the music of Dennis Brown and Gregory Isaacs.

The night was packed with top ranking acts, and a star-studded cast, that included, Leon, Hollywood singer and actor, of movies, Cliffhanger, The “Temptations”, and “Five Heartbeats,” among others at the helm, sharing the stage with the “Rocking You,” “Rocking You,” deejay of WLIB 107.5 FM, Dahved Levy.

They kept the show lively, bringing to the stage another giant in dancehall music, the “blinged-up” fireball himself, Cham, a citation recipient.

Cham, who received the honor from Deputy Borough President, Ingrid Lewis-Martin, Assemblywoman Latrice Walker, and Assemblywoman, Rodneyse Bichotte, on behalf of Borough President Eric L. Adams, brought the audience to the front of the stage with cell phones.

The hip-gyrating dancehall king, who recorded, hit, “Ghetto Story,” with Grammy-award winner songstress, Alicia Keys, rammed a slew of songs, including hit, “Wine Up Me Body,” into his routing, as he “scanted” up and down the stage.

The earthshaking night of music could not come to an end without carnival-clad revelers. They brought, spice, rhythm, and gyrations to acclimatize the audience to the beautiful tropical Caribbean. It was a memorable evening that transformed nationals back home.

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