We Culture | DJs Play FOREIGN Oldie Goldies at 2017 Pic O De Crop Finals

Submitted by Hamilton Hill

Stephen Lashley, Minister of Culture

Just last Tuesday I called the Fireworks program on the Voice Of Barbados and had what I thought was a spirited chat with its hosts relative to the scant regard shown to the art form of Calypso in Barbados. I made the point that the nationally owned TV station opted to feature Whitney Houston one Kadooment day, in a slot that easily could have offered some much needed exposure to one of the exponents of the art form. As soon as the call had ended the text message came. “one thing bout you….once it got anything to do wid this guvmant, um gotta be bad“. The idiot had missed the fact that I had made reference to an incident that happened back in the decade of the nineties. Last night towards the end of the broadcast of the “Pic O De Crop” finals at Kensington Oval any residual doubt to my claim surely would have dissipated.

In an unforgivable act of disloyalty the hard work of the Calypsonian was again passed over, for while the judges deliberated the audience was subjected to the voices of Heidi Hauge, Scooter LEE, Johnny Rodriquez and others. Oldie goldies for a crowd that had spent good money in very bad economic times to support Calypso. This was the event held so as to choose the Calypso King or Queen of Barbados. It was held under the auspices of the NATIONAL CULTURAL FOUNDATION, and as such the adage of he who pays the piper calls the tune obtained. This writer therefore places squarely at the feet of CEO Mr Cranston Browne the bucket of teardrops we cried last night for our culture. Did you Sir not feel the emotion, did you not see the exhibited passion as the following lyrics were belted out? ” when duty calls, yah put the world on pause….and be a PATRIOT for de cause”. In this instance the cause is the survival of the exponents of Calypso. Perhaps you missed it. Please do not miss nor take lightly the following observations.

Calypso is the fuel that propels this festival. Time and again we have heard ministers of Government speak magniloquently to the take of the festival. We have also heard of the difficulties experienced, the costs incurred as contributions year after year are made to this festival oftentimes at financial loss to some contributors. Exposure Sir at every turn is of the essence. The Mighty Gabby called for a quarter million dollars in prize money. The Red Plastic Bag made the more realistic proposal of one hundred thousand dollars per competition. The NCF’s proposal is to combine Sweet Soca with Party Monarch. Fah real? Do you not recognize why is it that the biggest names in calypso have ran away from the Pic O De Crop competition? Have you forgotten that over the years Crop Over and controversy have had a synonymous relationship? Rather than rewarding these hard working men and women by a reinjection of some of the capital their efforts generate, the NCF continues to shower them in disrespect. Last night’s occurrence was a slap in the face of every single person who in anyway made a contribution to this festival. One for which the foundation should publicly apologize. My wish is that the Calypsonians find a creative way to remind the NCF that calypso drives this festival.

Just desserts.

23 thoughts on “We Culture | DJs Play FOREIGN Oldie Goldies at 2017 Pic O De Crop Finals

    • @Hants

      Can you imagine this happening in Jamaica or even Trinidad many patrons would have booed or walked out.

  1. It was a crowd of ‘young-old’ people and many enjoyed the oldies. I personally didnt like it at all. Maybe the DJ ran out of tracks because they was playing the same soca songs at end of 1st half and end of 2nd half. The switched to oldies.

    • @Kevin

      Dont be an ass, as Ronnie Clarke commented on air last night, VOB has over 700 songs produced for the season in the system.

  2. @ David, Im not being an ass, I’m just saying. The DJ replayed many of the songs in the end of the 2nd half that they played in the end of the first half. Why didnt the DJ had a wider selection of soca? Why did they play the oldies? You know a wide complaint of DJ’s playing in fetes is that they playing the same songs over and over and over, when there is a vast array of songs that were released.

    • @Kevin

      Can you get it through your skull that this is not about the decision making by DJs? It is the NCF at first instant providing leadership that Pic O De Crop represents the inacle of our national festival of which calypso is integral and then ignorant Bajans who sit at a calypso final and listen to oldie goldies.

  3. @ Kevin….this is a mindset that exists within this country and it is sickening. Do you understand the costs incurred by these guys year in and year out,as they seek to contribute to a national festival? Some times family life is disrupted and on their own dime they travel all because of crop over. Same songs played over my foot! In this the digital era there is access to a ton of songs from this year and years past. Last year I drove from St James New York to Nashua New Hampshire while listening to 98.1 the one.Just that very evening Carol Roberts was boasting about having just over 250 songs in their system. During that five hour drive not one effing crop over song on a government owned radio station. Should not be a surprise though for our government once gave a license to a Jamaican dub Artist to hold a show here in the midst of our independence celebration and it flopped an independence calypso show that was already planned. Only bout here. A bajan trident team wid only one bajan pun it and we holla go get them! Only bout here. Only team wid a foreign captain is whom? The bajan tridents…the CARI CLOWNS!

  4. Hey Kevin did ya get a chance to read the blog posted right here about two weeks ago, the one about the dancers coming for Carifesta, but none from the host country? Now tek a guess as to who is de host country?

  5. And to add to this, The Djs consistently plays Soca from the 90’s/2000 every year on the day of Crop over when they are an abundance of music for the year at hand – Such a turn off! I never know why the Calpysonians never spoke out about this. I would feel disrespected hearing Allison Hinds – Faluma, over and over when I have a polpular song for the year. Not that I have anything against the very talented lady.

    • Do calypsonians or artists for that matter come together to defend their positions in the industry?

  6. LOL @ David
    What calypsonians defend what position what…? BAJAN calypsonians?

    Do you remember the calypso “The Poster” some years ago?. ..’ that did not have a single calypsonian?’

    Bushie would be unsurprised if we soon had a CropOver with all illiterate Jamaican artists featuring to sellout crowds of UWI educated Bajan brass bowls…

  7. Quick story…….in 1986 the Calypsonians had a truly pertinent grouse with the NCF and pulled out of the competition just after the semi finalists were named. The week of the semis cracks started to appear in the alliance that they had formed. I will not call the names of those that chose the path of self aggrandizement , for surely they remember the shit line they bandied about the place.” Professionalism says that we should sing”. Suffice to say that the alliance fell apart, save for The Untouchables and Romeo’s Calypso College who were principled enough to hold their ground and pass up the $1000.00 paid back then for an appearance at semi finals. In Romeo’s tent there were Romeo and a first timer as the two chosen . RPB was favored highly to win it all that year, for his compositions of BLACK MAN and WE MUST REBUILD were easily the two most popular songs that year, yet in his eyes it made no difference. In the eyes of the Barbadian Calypsonian back then profit preceded principle, hence their stand taken. For those chosen from the UNTOUCHABLES, ROMEO and his lone charge it was the other way around. Bushie is saying that nothing has changed……..God knows that I hope he wrong.

  8. I am so happy that the festival came off without the threat to the police coming to past. Thanks be to God. Kudos to the police and the army.

  9. QEH issues call for staff to come in to deal with multiple gun shot victims, at least 13. One dead at Spring Garden, one police injured.

  10. While I agree with this post, it should not surprise those who follow Bajan radio. We have an almost morbid obsession with foreign “oldies”. Unfortunately, it seems that “oldies” by Barbadian singers seldom make the cut: Richard Stoute, Jackie Opel, Wendy Alleyene, the Escorts, the Opels etc are only played around independence. After that it is back to El Paso, Connie Francis, Doris Day ……and so on. As Gabby says ” all this talk about culture driving me mad-making me sad.

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