Cocoa Tea (with a little Kaffi) was sweet at Rebel Salute
Veteran singer Cocoa Tea looks on from the background while his protege Kaffi performs at Rebel Salute. (PHOTOS: Marlon Reid)
Cocoa Tea kept the thousands at Plantation Cove in St Ann asking for more with an electrifying performance on Friday's opening night of the 25th Rebel Salute.
During his performance, Cocoa Tea kept asking the crowd if he should leave the stage and with a resounding “No!” coming each time, he continued his act that stretched way beyond the 20 minutes he was allocated.
To boost his set, the veteran entertainer brought on stage a young female act, Kaffi, whom he said is 17-year-old and is from Spanish Town - she didn't disappoint, as the audience lapped up every moment of her two-song performance, with Cocoa Tea in the background directing.
But the night belonged to Cocoa Tea.
He started with 'Rumours' and then 'Can't Tek The Fire Bun', closing the latter with Chaka Demus and Pliers' 'Murder She Wrote'. He followed with 'Love Me Truly' that had the crowd singing along.
With the crowd responding favourably to 'She Loves Me Now' he left them dry by cutting it short to introduce Kaffi. She crowd was not disappointed though, as Kaffi lit the fire and poured conscious lyrics in their soul, and they showed their appreciation.
Cocoa Tea didn't out the flame when he resumed with 'Good Life', before going into Bob Marley's 'Wait In Vain', 'Israel King' and 'Holy Mount Zion', with the huge crowd going wild for the latter. It prompted the veteran to cheekily ask the crowd if they want him to leave.
Getting their approval to continue, he blessed them with 'Hurry Up And Come', 'Stand Up Straight' and then gave another veteran singer, Sanchez a nod, by doing one of his songs. 'Come Again', 'Sonia' and '18 and Over'.
After doing Gregory Isaacs' 'Hold Me Tight', Cocoa Tea sat on one of the speaker boxes on stage and teased the crowd by asking if he should leave and after hearing their screams of “No!”, he told them to tell the promoter.
He then did another Gregory Isaacs song, 'Number One', after which he departed the stage.
Bugle, nattily attired in black jacket, black pants, white shirt and black and white tie, also had the crowd singing and dancing during his set, during which he did a number of hits that had the women at the front of the stage dancing.
He paid homage to Bounty Killer, Sizzla and the incarcerated Vybz Kartel in a speech, but gave the biggest effort to Buju, by doing three of his songs. He also talked about his struggles and missing his dead brother, whom he said sold peanuts to give him a start in music.
Meanwhile, Charley Black said he was asked to cut back on the ‘girls music’, but still delivered a set that kept the audience, especially the ladies, engaged with songs such as 'Wine Up Your Body'. He also reminded them that he is a "countryman" and loves being one.
Lutan Fyah also made an impression. His best moment came when he engaged the crowd during 'Habbit', which kept them laughing throughout.