As the year 2011 draws to a close, veteran rhyme slinger Assassin can look back at the past 12 months and mark it as the point where he finally staked his claim as one of the top dancehall acts in Jamaica.
With incredible verve and hard work, he has generated so much momentum that he has eventually become an undeniable force. Assassin wants, and deserves, to be the top dog.
During 2011, he scored three major number ones on several ethnic charts in the US, and locally with Run The Place for his own label, Boardhouse Records, Talk How Mi Feel on DJ Frass Production and Caan Do We Nutten for Big Ship Records. Other songs such as Late and the socially conscious JPS also charted in the top 10 of the ER Dancehall charts.
"2011 has been my best year and I have a lot more in store for dancehall. Just watch," Assassin said in a release.
Being an ambassador of Jamaican music is nothing new to him. "It's what we do every time, head on out to represent Jamaica, dancehall and the reggae community. We're ambassadors at all times!" he said.
The deejay established his own entrepreneurial venture, partnering with his brother Gareth Campbell, to form Boardhouse Records a few years ago. This year, Boardhouse Records became a household name when Assassin wrote and produced Ready Fi Dem, Bounty Killer's biggest breakout hit and number 1 for 2011.
"That was a great project that helped solidify Boardhouse Records as a bonafide label in the reggae-dancehall industry and you haven't seen anything yet. We have some incredible releases to unleash in 2012," Assassin said.
Boardhouse Records also produced the Look Gal Riddim aka Nuh Linga Riddim back in 2008 that had a string of number ones including Billboard hit Nuh Linga by Elephant Man, Assassin's Wha Do Dem Guy Deh and Dem Yah by Flippa Mafia.
Assassin's ambitions extended beyond regional boundaries when he assembled acts for Boardhouse Records, scouting not only Jamaica but the wider Caribbean and various cities in the US, and eventually inking a deal with up-and-coming Lady Ali from New York, and also signing young deejays Scacha and Ricky Frass.
Assassin had marquis performances all throughout the year, wowing a 20,000 strong audience at Reggae Sumfest in August, and showing without a doubt that he can 'Run The Place' with a well-rehearsed, and wonderfully delivered on-stage stint. The high point of his performance came when he delivered a Buju Banton-like delivery of Almighty Protect Me and even paused to deliver some social commentary regarding a spate of beheadings in the Corporate Area.
He did several shows in the Caribbean and the US, and headlined major reggae festivals in Europe, with strong performances at the Reggae Geel Festival in Belgium and the Reggae Jam Festival in BersenbrŸck, Germany, both in August. He also headlined the recent Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange project performing in the UK in November.
"Assassin is booked on all the major festivals for Europe next year," Campbell, who is also Assassin's manager said.
Assassin has taken the approach of building a solid catalogue, based on the importance of the message and composition, to ensure a lifelong musical career. "In general, my fan base covers a wide cross section of people, young to old, a diverse mix, not any one group. I appeal to anybody who loves music and dancehall reggae," Assassin said.