Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Bigga Dreams Tracy Hammond Wants to Use His Bigga Enterprises to Make St. Louis a Warm Home for Reggae

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Bigga Dreams Tracy Hammond Wants to Use His Bigga Enterprises to Make St. Louis a Warm Home for Reggae

Article excerpt

Bob Marley "Earthday" Concert with Sugar Minott

Where: Transit Union Hall, 1611 S. Broadway

When: 8 p.m. Saturday How Much: $12 adv., $15 d.o.s. More Info: 865-2845 or 773-3892 So that's why they call him "Bigga." Tracy Hammond, topping out at 6 feet, 9 inches tall and weighing in at 350 pounds, must be the biggest promoter of concerts in the area, even if he's not yet the promoter of the biggest concerts. Hammond introduces himself, reaching down to shake hands. Then he draws a breath deep enough to suck half the air out of the room. "It's been a tough week," said the man who heads Bigga Enterprises, a fledgling promotion and entertainment enterprise that he operates from his home on the south side. "What is it that the Jamaicans say? `It's tough for a Dread to make a bread?' Yeah, mon. I can relate to that now," he said, mimicking the island patois. Hammond, 32, had just returned from a trip to Little Rock, Ark. to scout talent for the concert that he's promoting Saturday night (Sugar Minott, one of the all-time greats of dance-hall reggae, will perform to honor the late Bob Marley at the Transit Hall across the street from Soulard Market). "It was supposed to be a two-day trip, and it ended up being a week of hassles," Hammond relates. "Got my wallet stolen. Thieves maxed out my credit card. My transmission went out. I guess that's show business," he said, laughing resolutely. Saturday's concert marks the fourth anniversary of Bigga Enterprises, a business that Hammond only tinkered with for three years but is now pursuing with vigor. "I've learned a lot about promoting shows since last year: Following up on phone calls, posting fliers everywhere, taking out ads, getting the word out on FM 88 {KDHX}." Last year, Hammond threw his first Marley "earthday" party ("That's what they call `birthday' in Jamaica," he said) at Buffalo Soldiers, a private club on the near north side that caters to motor-cycle enthusiasts. The concert drew a crowd of 225. "I was really surprised at the racial mix at that show," Ham mond said. "And I think it could have done even better, but a lot of people got intimidated by the idea of going to a bar on the north side. …

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