Police reports are that Gerald Levy, 40, popularly known as the dancer “Bogle” of a Lincoln Crescent address, along with four other persons were traveling in his F150 van on Constant Spring Road, Kingston 10 on Thursday, January 20 at about 2:35 a.m., when they stopped at a service station on Constant Spring Road.
While there, two men armed with handguns rode up on a grey Honda F4 motor bike and opened fire, hitting all five who were in the vehicle. They were taken to the hospital where Levy was pronounced dead and three others admitted in serious condition. A fourth person was treated and released. Jahworks.org received news on Monday that another of the men shot during the incident who was admitted in serious condition, died on Sunday night. He has been identified as Tony Reid aka “Matterhorn” (not the sound system selector).
“All dem deh, whey all dem did deh? Cause mi a straight weddy weddy, mi not a lean weddy weddy”– excerpts from late dancehall icon Bogle’s controversial lyrics said to be at the heart of recent heated arguments between himself and rival dancer John Hype, who responded with “Yuh ready? How dem sey dem ready, dem nuh ready ’cause dem a par wid Freddy. A wha duh yuh? A wha duh yuh cookie monster an yuh crew?”
It’s a new twist to the dancehall culture dancers turning DJs. The ongoing feud between dancers/DJs Bogle and John Hype dating back to last year is no secret, even though persons from both camps are trying to downplay it.
Reports garnered by XtraNews from several fans here in Jamaica and abroad are that physical showdowns and word dropping had taken place between the two dance crews at several dancehall events as they grumbled about “who better than who, who bring who, who done and who a mek more money and dress better than who.”
“Dem wet up dem one anodda, drop wud, even bax dung, kick dung and spit pon gwaan between the followers,” one female fan close to the wrangling reported.
Some persons are also blaming a popular sound system operator for causing the fiery rift between the two dancers, by breeding it and encouraging it at his weekly events.
There are reports of a conflict that took place at Standpipe last year in which female fans of Beenie Man had verbal arguments with a member of Bogle’s entourage who threw Guinness at them, which caught Beenie Man on the hand. It is alleged that another member of Bogle’s camp talked it over with the DJ. However, reports are that by the time they returned to Black Roses, two men, one armed with a rifle and the other a shotgun, opened fire on them. Recognising the men, Beenie Man was called and he was reportedly upset that the men from a section of the community had taken it up on themselves to retaliate. A meeting was called and the matter quelled.
In another instance, it is reported that at a popular Monday night session, there was a confrontation between Bogle and John Hype’s dancers. Men from Bogle’s corner went around to John Hype’s corner. Things got physical and punches were thrown. Allegations are that one man from Hype’s corner went to a nearby street for a gun and was on his way back when he was held by the police. Bogle and Hype were not involved in that brawl.
The night of Wednesday, January 19, 2005, turned out to be a fatal one. One eyewitness, a member of Bogle’s crew, reports that there was no confrontation between Bogle, John Hype or any member of the crew at the popular Weddy Weddy night in Kingston that night.
“The only argument whey tek place a between Beenie Man footballer bredda and Kid Kurrupt. Mi know sey di man dem inna Beenie Man camp did vex when wi let out the two fowls from inside a suitcase. The black fowl whey have on the bead on the top of him head fly go over whey Beenie Man stand up and everybody start laugh. Beenie Man wasn’t amused as him face did ben’ up. Mi jus’ step out a di crowd and observe whey a gwaan,” he said.
It is understood that followers of Beenie Man took offence at the fact that Bogle had brought the fowls to the dance, and the implication was made as to who the fowls represented. Some considered it disrespect and even vented anger at Bogle.
The eyewitness said that for a while he did not know where Bogle had turned until a man brought two six-packs of Guinness and Bogle instructed to
“Mi nuh know if a dat time him an anybody get inna nuh argument and him woulda sey supp’n to a man, yuh see mi,” the eyewitness said.
He went on to say that, “Beenie Man and his followers were the first to leave the venue and Bogle said him not going anywhere until him ready to go to Passa Passa where he was planning to do the same fowl thing.”
Bogle and a van load of followers later left Weddy Weddy heading for Passa Passa when Bogle realised that he was low on gas and stopped at the Esso gas station on Constant Spring Road. Bogle was sitting in the passenger side of his F150 vehicle driven by one of his colleagues.
THE DRIVER SPEAKS
Speaking to Jahworks.org, the driver of the vehicle said, “Bogle go inna him pocket and come up wid a $500 and sey “a ongle this mi have inna mi pocket.” Him hand mi the $500 and push him hand inna him pocket again and come up wid $100 whey him push back in him pocket and say a it alone him have. “Him did give me $2,000 to hold on to at Weddy Weddy. A it him teck and buy the Guinness. A entertainer did deh pon the pump so Bogle come out a di van and guh stand up unda di shed inna di gas station.
Meanwhile mi a wait pon di entertainer fi come off when mi see a bike ride up and a man in a helmet reach fi him waist and start opening fire on Bogle. As mi back up fi use the vehicle and drive dung pon him, mi only hear a shot and feel supp’n lick mi inna mi head back and tun roun fi see a man a aim a gun at mi head. All mi coulda do is drive the vehicle up in a corner and jump through the window and run go ova through Pavilion and run fi mi life. When mi a run, mi see a nex’ yute a run and the gunman shot him inna him back and him drop.”
As news of Bogle’s death spread far and wide, persons who knew of the ongoing feud, and who were at Weddy Weddy, immediately linked the death to Beenie Man and John Hype because of previous friction.
The torching of premises at 12 Dillon Road belonging to John Hype’s parents is considered retaliation for Bogle’s death.
As rumours circulated linking Beenie Man and John Hype with Bogle’s death and death threats were issued against the two and their camp, Shocking Vibes, issued statements dissociating the two from the murder and even offered an initial $1 million reward for information leading to the arrest of the murderers.
A GRIEVING MOTHER
In an interview with Jahworks.org, Bogle’s mother Dorothy Smith, affectionately called Mama May, said, “A Bogle buy [everything], up to mi panty fi mi. Mi leave everything to God and mi doan want nobody sorry fi mi. God is my revenge and no amount a money whey dem a put up naw bring back mi pickney. Same way people know di names a the two man, and since a dem friend and dem doan know nutten ’bout mi pickney death, dem fi just come clean and give up the man dem.
“When mi hear Beenie Man pon TV a talk ’bout a nuff people waan kill Bogle, him need fi talk who is dem nuff people deh. Bogle nuh nyammy nyammy. A mi cook him food still. A Tuesday (day before he was killed) mi cook beef and food fi him.”
Mama May sat back and lamented on the good relationship she had with her son.
According to Mama May, “A waiting on some family members abroad to come in for the funeral and February 6 is the most likely time. I’ve already gotten the go ahead from the MP to lay the body in state at the Tony Spaulding Complex.”
On Sunday at a candlelight church vigil being held at Black Roses corner, another of Bogle’s colleagues told XtraNews that, “Bogle did a prepare fi see dem do a counteraction, dress up two black Doberman dogs inna chain and sey a him. Him sey all him woulda do a jus deejay sey, ‘Mi a di ongle dawg wid di bark roun’ here, walk and dance roun here.’ Jah know sey a so Bogle stay. Him just love them things deh.”
Dancehall is now in limbo as nobody knows for sure why Bogle was gunned down, nobody is saying who really killed him, or if, when and where reprisals will take place, as several persons here and abroad are bent on avenging his death.
As a result of what happened on that fateful night, and the uncertainty of what will happen next, the police have encouraged promoters of street dances and weekly sessions in certain areas to desist from hosting these events until further notice.
Whether these events were still being kept or not would have been redundant, as following the incident many dancehall patrons stayed home, very few brave enough to venture out.
Reprinted with the permission of XNews Jamaica.