The most violent and gun filled streets of Kingston, Jamaica seems like a day at a Beverly Hills’ spa as compared to the unscrupulous and underhanded dealings of some in the film industry. Don’t believe it? Ask Harvey Weinstein. Better yet, ask Richie Effs, Kingston’s original gangster and co-creator of the international cult classic film Shottas. The alleged former drug king-pin turned film producer has been battling former business partner and director of Shottas, Cess Silvera. Rather than his traditional “street” way of settling disputes, Richie took Cess to court over allegations of theft and financial misdealings. According to Richie, Mr. Silvera attempted to transfer the rights to the film away from Access Productions, Inc., in a scheme to become sole owner. He also alleges that Cess Silvera systemically removed his accredited contributions to the film. Most egregious, during the 2006 Access Production & Sony Distribution deal, Richie claims Cess received over 2 million for Shottas. The problem, with the exception of Spragga Benz, no one saw a dime from the deal. That’s huge considering the film featured DJ Khaled, Wyclef Jean, Ky-Mani Marley and Louie Rankin.
Similar to Movie Producer and former CEO of Rock-A-Fella Records, Dame Dash, Richie discovered there is no honor amongst business partners in the movie industry. In Dame Dash’s case, during the making of his 2002 film Paid in Full, he was forced to confront his former partner aggressively. Dame’s former distribution partner for Paid in Full is the now tarnished movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. Rumors swirled around the industry that Dame smacked Mr. Weinstein during their altercation concerning the distribution of the film. In a recent video interview with Hip-Hop Motivation, where he refers to movie executives as nerds; Dame was quoted saying: “the crazy thing is how much disrespect I have sustained from nerds. All the killers I’ve known in the streets; none of them has ever disrespected me, but the nerds… Every violation. Because they have no idea of repercussions and you can’t do nothing to a nerd; Because he has no honor anyway.”
Both Dame Dash and Richie Effs grew up abiding by street etiquette and principles. Devoid of these ethics, clashes like these will always happen. That said, Dame Dash and Harvey Weinstein’s situation pales in comparison to Richie’s issues with Cess.
Mr. Effs recently decided to air out all the dirty laundry concerning the filming and distribution of Shottas. His timing couldn’t be any more apropos given all the recent allegations of sexual abuse swirling on the news. Of course, Richie is not revealing tales of molestation like actor Terry Crews, but to a Jamaican gangster; breaking the honor code is just as bad. Richie is preparing to discuss everything from Cess Silvera’s shady dealings to the tragic death of his partner and friend Keith “Fada” Deans. Many in the Hip-Hop and Reggae community are anxious to hear from the original shotta; whose life is portrayed in the movie by legendary musician Wyclef Jean.
Richie has learned the hard way about the means streets of Hollywood. The movie industry is full of deceitful and shady characters accused of everything from financial improprieties to sexual misbehavior. Nevertheless, like a real gangster, Richie has not been deterred from his experience. He is planning to drop a television series based on his life and the original film. Moreover; according to sources in the know, Richie plans to revitalize production for the infamously elusive sequel to Shottas.
If you have been living under a rock for the past two decades, or if you are simply a self-indulgent millennial, chances are you probably never seen the film. You can check out the entire movie on Youtube. Just type Shottas into the search bar, and you are all set. As for Richie, rest assure that all of Shottas true fans will be waiting with bated breath for his next move.