The Mighty Crown Sound System hails from Yokohoma, Japan. They were inspired by the big sound systems in the early 90s like Kilimanjaro, Saxon and Stone Love.
They have been DJing since 1991 but really started getting into the sound system business from 1993, playing in nightclubs in Japan and New York.
First trip to Jamaica
In 1993 they took their first trip to Jamaica where they went to get their first stack of dub plates. It was nothing like they expected. They assumed that because Bob Marley was preaching about love they would as guests receive love. It was nothing like that. The artists were basically ripping them off as they were foreigners and believed "de Japanese bwoy dem have ah whole heap ah money to spend." Regardless, they went back home armed with their dub plates and introduced Japan to their new–found specials. Now they have made it to the big league and are no longer simply a Japanese sound, they are THE Japanese Sound System!
Manager, Chin says "There are a lot of clashes that they enter and don't win simply because they are Japanese, particularly when we compete in Jamaica." However they won the World Clash in 1999 – the first time they entered - and the UK Cup Clash, held in Nottingham's Marcus Garvey Centre, in April 2002. Chin reveals "We have learnt that clashing has a lot to do with entertaining, as well as DJing and MCing, the people appreciate a good performance.
What's the difference between the Dancehall Scene in Japan – compared to NY, UK and JA?
Firstly the difference is the language and then it's like a total different world between Jamaica and Japan; different culture, different situation, the girls are different and the whole vibe is different. There are things that we experienced in Japan that I could never experience in Jamaica and vice versa. In Japan, Mighty Crown play to crowds of about 1000–3000 people and also play Japanese Reggae.
Secret to Mighty Crown's success
Chin explains, "The team of DJs and Management. I approach people more than them because I am Jamaican, so people deal with me differently, as well as the fact that I'm one of biggest clash promoters in the world.
Ironically, I went to Japan to look for a sound called Judgement. I was told that Mighty Crown was badder than Judgement. I staged a three day clash tour with Mighty Crown in the US and they won every single clash by a landslide victory. The most memorable one was in Boston against the veterans Downbeat the Ruler and the UK's Sir Coxsone. It was a Vintage Cup: 60s, 70s and 80s music. They managed to beat two legendary sounds and they went home with the cup"!
Documentary: Land of the rising riddim
UK Cup Clash 2004
World Cup Clash 2004
:: Bounty Killer v Mighty Crown
:: Mighty Crown official site
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