Prior to the Emancipation weekend, the question was not whether one was going to Negril, it was however, which would one be going to: RTI or ATI? Though there was an increase in the cost of the season band, this did not stop patrons from being fully supportive of Alex Chin and the Absolute team; the numbers were amazing. Unlike RTI 2007 where many patrons were disappointed that not all the parties were drink inclusive, RTI 2008 proved to be different; drinks poured like rain. Artistes like Elephant Man, Leftside, Chino, Demarco, Jah Cure, Black Rhino and many more came out to support, not as deejays but just to have fun.
Thursday July 31 saw Delano’s birthday party, Tempted kicking off the RTI series. Although it may not have lived up to a number of persons expectations, the turnout made it alright to say that a party was actually taking place. It really could have been better when you compare it to the crowd at other RTI parties, but then one must also consider that many persons never came to Negril until Friday August 1 and it showed as soon as you entered the gates of Daydreams. The all white, all inclusive event at Long Bay Beach began at 2 pm and from the beginning, had patrons feeling like their money was well spent. If patrons came for the food then they would have enjoyed the Jerk Pork, Sweet and Sour Fish, Curry Mutton and a whole lot more. The Drinks need not be mentioned because nobody could complain and as for the music, Renaissance and Bambino had the crowd reveling to the sound of music but Coppershot released a string of hits that had crowd saying “a Coppershot di ting deh”. Even the Energy god after changing his name to ‘Broomy’ kept shouting “it’s caliente.” DNA’s Pretty In Pink followed right after Daydreams and proved to be a great effort. Again, no problem with drinks, they were accessible and available. The Promoters promised more space and this they fulfilled. Temptation Live later on that night also had a good turnout but really the performances were lacking. With only two deejays on the line up, the event was nothing to write home about.
Saturday August 2, was a bitter sweet day; perhaps the most disappointing of the four days and yet also made it as one of the better days. Stages got of off to a very late start due to the rain and although one cannot blame the promoters solely because it was an act of nature, the promoters should have anticipated that it would have rained considering the season and should have made precautionary measures prior to the down pour. However spacious it might have been, the venue was not at all what anyone would have liked it to be. There were so many people sliding in the mud that even one Jazzy T played a dub that said the party was not sponsored by Red Stripe, it was sponsored by mud slide. The crowd grew as time passed and the once not so full venue became jam packed. Later on that night saw one of the most highly anticipated parties of the series taking place. Joker’s Wild Colours never disappointed and built back the spirits of everyone who was disappointed by Stages; hence the bitter sweet. From the very beginning to the very end the deejays rocked the house as if they were playing for the last time. Xcaliber featuring Mr. Slaughter, Bambino and the Gambino family, Renegade and Jazzy T and DJ Smoke from Renaissance all ignited the crowd. Patrons danced all night and the party was so good that there were men singing and dancing by themselves to Rihanna’s Take a Bow; that was phenomenal! Coloursfulfilled all the promises. The Mardi Gras theme was enforced and the paint was unlimited. The party ended at about 5am and patrons took to the streets to continue the party. Joker’s Wild Colours could easily be called one of the best parties of the series if not the best.
On the final day of partying, Sunday August 3, Margarita Ville was so packed that it seemed as though ATI patrons came to support Wild Sidesas well. Truly, the music selection was great and the party would have been much better had there been less people there or a bigger venue. After some time there was a shortage of ice at the bar and nobody wants to drink a hot Red Stripe. Fusion took place immediately after and that was also an event to remember. The promoters of the RTI parties and the RTI selectors went head to head in a battle of hits and wits. Perhaps the funniest of all the RTI parties, one would have had to be there to really understand how great it was. After the battle was over, Mr. Mental himself, Tony Matterhorn came out to give the ladies one last reason to ‘dagger’ for one last time and even released a new riddim that he predicted would have been “maddest thing for the year”. It was nothing short of fun and patrons really enjoyed themselves with Asolute this year.