Youthman Promotion Soundsation
Youthman Promotion has the distinction of starting the first dancehall crew, a phenomenon which has been emulated time and time again.
The Youth Promotion crew included Yami Bolo, Michael Palmer, Junior Reid, Garnett Silk, Andi Livingston, Shalom (then known as Steve Harper), Nitty Gritty, Tenor Saw, Tony Rebel, Daddy Freddy, Color Man, Daddy Ants, Daddy Shark, Little John, Triston Palmer, Trevor Junior, Thriller,Blacka T, Dona P and many more.
These artistes honed their talents at Youthman Promotion under the guidance of Sugar Minott and showcased their talent alongside a popular sound system of the same name - Youthman Promotion, which is also owned by Sugar Minott and was used to promote the stable of artistes.
The sound system was one of four sounds which participated in another first for the dancehall - the first ever sound-clash. The landmark clash was held at Cinema II in New Kingston. The other three sounds were King Jammys, Black Scorpio & Arrows Intl. Youthman Promotion with its battalion of young artistes led by Sugar Minott, crushed all opposition and took home the crown.
This was the beginning of a trend, which has made clashing an art form with famous encounters, which are talked about even today. During this period Sugar made two very important songs
- Dancehall Stylee and Dancehall We Deh, the latter produced by veteran DJ Jah Thomas. The songs became Dancehall, which at that time still meant the venue where the dance was held. The naming of that genre of music as dancehall music came about in 1984 when a popular promotions company called Inner City Promotions started a concert series that featured artistes who were popular in the dancehall but were mainly played by sound systems. Mike Tomlinson and Lois Grant called the series Dancehall. The first concert took place at Harbour View Drive-In but was later transferred to Cinema II.
Sugar’s song Dancehall We Deh was the theme song for the series. After this, the word dancehall took on a new meaning and has developed into what we now regard as simply dancehall.
Sugar Minott and Youthman Promotion have toured England , Asia, the United States, Europe and was one of the first reggae acts to tour Japan. In fact, his impact in Japan was so tremendous that he played a critical role in establishing Reggae in Japan. After over 60 albums and thousands of singles, Sugar Minott can be referred to as one of the fathers of the dancehall phenomenon and one of Jamaica’s most versatile and prolific singers.