Harvel ‘Gadafi’ Hart, manager of Merciless says he regrets that he wasn’t able to attend the late entertainer’s funeral because of issues with his US passport. Still, he’s peeved that Beenie Man and Bounty Killer among other dancehall heavyweights were no shows at the event.
“The family actually put photos of Bounty and Beenie on the programme. Why did they do something like that? The family members thought there was love between Beenie and Bounty and Merciless because he spoke highly of them to his family. They were co-workers but the family thought there was love and respect,” Hart, who is now based in the United States, told OBSERVER ONLINE.
“I want to criticise Capleton and Sizzla as well, everyone who sit down and turned a blind eye to Merciless’ funeral. Even if rasta burn funeral, they could have made an appearance at the set up, to show their appreciation there; all who don’t want to come to a funeral, who bun funeral, could have turned up to represent,” he said.
Hart lauded Spragga Benz for attending and giving a tribute at the St Gabriel’s Anglican Church in May Pen, Clarendon.
“I give Spragga 6.8 zillion respect, all those people who marked the passing of an icon, big up Ricky Trooper. All those artiste who were in Jamaica, I am not talking about who are overseas, all who were in Jamaica and never come out for their co-worker, shame on you! God going to deal with them drastically,” an upset Hart said.
Hart said that the absence of top flight deejays, Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, Sizzla and Capleton proved that there was ‘no love’ in the entertainment fraternity.
“There is no love in the industry. Merciless died from a broken heart to how the industry treated him and everyone come and witness what I was saying, see it there, Bounty, Beenie, no shows, not even to show up at the singing. God note everything, but there was a great turnout, this was like a state funeral. The industry needs to show more love to their co-workers,” Hart said.
Sound system operator Ricky Trooper also expressed disappointment over Bounty and Beenie’s absence. He was also nonplussed at the failure of several sound systems to send representatives to the thanksgiving service.
“I was looking for Bounty Killer and Beenie Man but they were absent,” he said.
“I was disappointed with the turnout from the sound system fraternity, only Kush International, Natural Vibes from St Bess, Barry from Black Scorpio and me, but otherwise it was a great turnout from other people, the people dem really come out for Leonard, big crowd.”
Fellow selector Tony Matterhorn lambasted the entertainment fraternity regarding the poor turnout saying they had “no humanity.
“The entertainment fraternity of Jamaica show seh unuh doh have no humanity. True Merciless neva currently hot when him drop out, none of unuh nuh guh the man funeral thinking nobody nah guh notice,” he ranted during a live session on social media.
“Yuh nuh see the people dem notice the handful of people who were there?”
Matterhorn himself was absent from the event, but that did not stop the Dutty Wine deejay from heaping hot coals of criticism on the head of dancehall and reggae celebs.
“The handful of celebrities that were there…that mean none of unuh neva deh deh,” he continued.
Trooper, who attended the funeral himself, praised the artistes who showed up to remove ‘egg from the face’ of the entertainment fraternity.
“A lot of artistes came though, Spragga Benz gave a tribute, Mr Lexx gave a tribute, also Alozade, Twins of Twins, Don Mafia, Egg Nog, Little Hero, Don Mafia, Predator, Carl Dawkins, Bunny General, Ninja Ford and Wasp were present,” Ricky Trooper said.
Spragga Benz performed an a capella version of ‘Sleep with Angels’, a moving tribute to Merciless, that went over well with the audience. He also told the audience that Merciless had reached out to him during a difficult emotionally turbulent time during his life.
Hart said he was unable to attend because of problems with his passport.
“I applied for my US passport at the Consul office in San Francisco two weeks ago. It was beyond my control, I couldn’t get to express the passport request because there was a COVID-19 back up. When I heard the funeral date, I never turned a blind eye, made sure that the family got what they needed financially for the event,” Gadafi explained.
The family purchased a property on which they have built a mausoleum to house the deejay’s body.
“I am going to sit and have a drink with Leonard and have a drink with him. I am going to have it in the spirit,” Hart said.
Merciless, whose given name was Leonard Bartley, was found unresponsive in a motel in Kingston on July 19 and was later pronounced dead at hospital. He is known for the fan favourites Ole Gallis, Whodini, Let Dem Have It, Mama’s Cooking and Long Till It Bend, featuring Lady Saw.