Best of the Best, Miami’s premier concert for reggae, soca and dancehall, returns to its Memorial Day weekend slot at Bayfront Park this Sunday. This weekend’s show is the first “back to normal” Best of the Best concert since the pandemic began, said Jabba, the concert’s producer and DJ for New York City’s HOT 97.
This year’s lineup features up-and-coming Caribbean artists and established reggae legends Mr. Vegas and Beres Hammond. The concert, now in its 16th edition, is a cultural cornerstone for South Florida, a place Jabba calls “the heart of the Caribbean.”
As COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, the concert held a smaller event in October 2021. Now, the community is ready to soak in the West Indian vibes, Jabba said.
“Every island lives in South Florida, from Jamaica to Trinidad to Haiti to Guyana to St. Vincent,” he said. “Every Island is out here, so to have massive events in full blast — words can’t even explain how excited I am for this event.”
This year’s concert is an opportunity for several new artists to break into Miami’s scene after the pandemic put a damper on live performances. Yaksta, an emerging reggae artist hailing from St. Mary, Jamaica, is a newcomer to the Best of the Best stage.
Despite the challenges, Yaksta has been able to make a name for himself in Jamaica and abroad. His biggest hit yet, an inspirational track called “Ambition,” has garnered 11 million views on YouTube since it dropped last year. Yaksta, who worked at beach resorts and sold clothes before pursuing music, focuses heavily on entrepreneurship and generational wealth in his songs.
He said fans at Best of the Best can expect an energetic performance with his popular songs like “Boogie Woogie,” and of course, “some fresh new ones for the ladies.”
Yaksta will be sharing the stage with comedian Majah Hype and artists 10Tik, Patrice Roberts, Cham, Lyrikal, Laa Lee, Ricardo Drue, Chris Martin, Pressure, Mr. Vegas and Beres Hammond, also known as “the love doctor.”
“The ladies love him,” Jabba said of Hammond. “Anywhere he’s at, the ladies will come.” (MiamiHerald)