Best of the Best 2013 Festival Guide, From Beenie Man to Beres Hammond
King Beenie Man's gonna be headlining Best of the Best 2013.
Come summer, reggae festivals are as commonplace in the States as Bob Marley tees are at reggae festivals.
Held every Memorial Day weekend in downtown Miami since 2007, Best of the Best is one of the only annual fests in the U.S. that puts the emphasis squarely on dancehall, and it's certainly the largest.
After taking on more and more hip-hop acts in its last few editions, this year's festival returns to its roots with a strictly Caribbean lineup.
"Best of the Best started as a reggae, dancehall, and soca show," says promoter Joseph "Joey Budafuco" Louis Jr. "But the intent has always been to integrate different genres of music to draw a more culturally diverse crowd.
"The show became so popular with the urban, hip-hop audience that we were approached by Radio One to put on the first two-day Best of the Best Concert [in 2011] and Best of the Best 2013 was initially supposed to continue as a two-day show. We were in talks with several hip-hop and R&B acts. But by the time they confirmed, it was too late to adequately promote that show."
So while there's no Rick Ross or Nicki Minaj to lure the patois illiterate this year, Caribbean music enthusiasts will be treated to a full schedule of up-to-di-time dancehall, classic reggae, and manic soca.
Hailed by many as Jamaica's greatest living singer, Beres Hammond got his start fronting reggae soul band Zap Pow in the '70s before '80s dancehall hits like "What One Dance Can Do" elevated him to iconic status. He'll make his Best of the Best debut on the heels of November's double-disc, One Life, One Love, among the best reggae albums in years.