Dancehall star Elephant Man made black music history in 2010 when he united two of the biggest R&B stars, Usher and Chris Brown, in a mini dance-off while performing at that year’s edition of Reggae Sumfest in Montego Bay, St James, Jamaica.
Elephant Man stepped in as choreographer, with Chris Brown in tow, and took the stage during his and Usher’s set, showing off several popular Caribbean dance moves as the fans egged him on with their screams.
“I remember the history that dancehall created. It was a good look for dancehall; it was a good look for Jamaica–our culture. It was a good look for Reggae Sumfest,” Elephant Man told Loop News.
“I am the one who made them become friends because when Chris Brown buss, they were rivals. And at Sumfest, Chris Brown worked the Friday, and Usher was working the Saturday.
“And Usher say, ‘Yo Elephant, I want you to stay back, I want you to perform with me. And I am like, ‘Okay, no problem’, ’cause ah mi two yute dem,” the deejay reminisced.
The ‘Pon Di River’ deejay then had a eureka moment: why not invite Chris Brown to join them?
“Chris Brown send call me, and I say, ‘Look, come over on the show with Usher and me, I am going to call you guys up, full time the world see da unification ya…’ I made Usher and Chris Brown become friends, that is the first time Usher and Chris Brown ever performed together, so check the history,” Elephant Man said.
During their impromptu performance, Usher and Chris Brown shared a warm hug. Then Brown delivered a great improvised dance routine, gyrating in a circular motion before doing a handstand while moving his limber legs in the air to the beat. Elephant Man showed both of them how to do the ‘Gully Creeper’, sending the fans into a tizzy.
Elephant Man has shared the stage with Chris Brown on multiple occasions, including a Smile Jamaica concert in 2012.
“It’s not just Sumfest alone, I brought him to the Bob Marley show in Ocho Rios, me and him was on the plane and told him Rihanna is on the show, and I was the one who brought him. Me and him deh pon the jet, and me and him reach ah Ochi and a mad ting,” he said.
At the time, after months of denials, Rihanna and Chris Brown were photographed kissing in a swimming pool at a hotel in Kingston, the Jamaican capital.
Elephant Man told Loop Entertainment that he isn’t sure if he will be able to make it to Chris Brown’s performance in Jamaica on August 27.
“Big up Chris said way, ah mi G. Last time, mi teach him the Gully Creeper, mi woulda waan teach him the Ugly Creature, mi woulda waan teach him the Coast Rock, the whole ah the new ting dem, but the promoter dem a joke,” he said.
The ‘Energy Gad’ said that Chris Brown is one of the greatest entertainers that the US has ever produced.
“Chris Brown ah go bring the house down. When it come to performance outta Jamaica, you know ah Elephant Man rep for Jamaica as one of the best performers, and when it come to the US, Chris Brown ah one of the best, too, so him ah go sheg it up, mash it up,” he said.
R&B singer Chris Brown (File photo)
The Chris Brown and Friends ‘Under The Influence concert will culminate BZR Weekend in Jamaica.
According to a release from the organisers, they are anticipating over 50,000 patrons over the five events, built into a mesmeric 72-hour experience.
“The weekend will be headlined by R&B sensation Chris Brown. The greatest master of stage, since Michael Jackson, Brown hasn’t performed on the island in over a decade. This is a rare opportunity in the Caribbean to witness his evolution live, the organisers said.
The four events leading up to the Chris Brown and Friends concert are: the invite-exclusive Haute Jamaica, followed up by Memba Dis on day one, in keeping with the theme of independence. Memba Dis is an honorary ode to sound system culture in Jamaica and will host the Immortal Stone Love and Renaissance Disco.
Day two will host the ‘Rise & Toast’ brunch, featuring Jada Kingdom, and ‘Indigo Soir?e’, featuring Walshy Fire.