Crop Over & Carnival – What is Caribbean Culture? What Does it Mean? Where Are We Going?

Submitted by Pachamama
... festivals in the Caribbean hold any particular excitement any more...

… festivals in the Caribbean hold any particular excitement any more…

We are working with a few ideas.

The people who seem to know, like to consider a culture as the beliefs, enactments, values, mores, stories and maybe traditions of a people. We always talk about the dead-endedness of the political and economic cultures in the Caribbean but it is also difficult to measure any higher level of vibrancy in any other aspects of the general ‘culture’. This is true from Trinidad to Barbados, as we will argue, if we are permitted to use Carnival and Crop Over as metrics.

The project to create a new Caribbean identity is no more visible in Jamaica than it is in St. Lucia and it is doubtful how festivals contribute. The radio call-in programs seemed to have served their purpose of absorbing critical public expression, as a release valve, like these festivals, but not much more. The market share of church attendees maybe more and more consolidating into a business organizational revivalist camp. They take their orders from elsewhere. In all this, it is difficult to reconcile the visionary, even hopeful, articulations by eminent Caribbean statesmen/women of yesterday, people like CLR James, Lloyd Best, the Great George Lamming, William Demas, Derrick Walcott, Rex Nettleford, Michael Manley and others, with what is happening today. Thankfully, none of these could have sung the praises of the queen and accept a knighthood.

Maybe it is a function of age but none of the carnival festivals in the Caribbean hold any particular excitement any more, seem chronically staid, represent a ‘monotony of a sameness’ year after year, unable to transform themselves far less their societies, but pass for the most popular cultural expressions still. And we seem not to be able to break out of this downward spiral. Disconnected from the visions which our leading sons and daughters held for us. We can no longer see the wisdom of writing another social commentary, as a calypsonian.

Continue reading

Queen On the Horizon

Submitted by Old Onions Bag

…a child shall lead them…



Have you all been listening attentively to some of these calypsos coming out for Crop Over this year? If you have, then I am sure that you would agree with me. There is a most effervescent  and  future repository rising star on the horizon; a now so called ‘guardian of  calypso’ by her own making, that has easily out shone most of her seasoned contemporaries. A sizzling first timer to the adults competition, having just  achieved her elevated status from Junior Monarch. A fresh and most destined spirited lassie by the name of Aziza  that will be kicking butt this year.

I say this with no reservation having listened to both the Junior Monarch Finals and the Pic of the Crop semi finals that  given the calibre of rendition and diction exhibited by some of the juniors, they have definitely out shone their masters. The Junior Monarch show was a better place to be on the night and that is no idle boast. Why I can recall only a few seasoned  boast like Crystal Cummings-Beckles, Blood, TC Serenader, (Symphony in C minor) AC and Ian Webster that stand a chance of really pulling a rabbit out the hat on the night of the finals, now that this young lady is seemingly exploding on the airwaves and  more importantly the stage.

Continue reading

A Picture Sums It Up!


The sights and sound…yes the pic is meant to arouse sensibilities on a Sunday morning

There is a lot one could blog about this image. In this case the less said the better (check those grinning in the picture). All who witnessed this and similar incidences on the road, what was your thinking? Have we become numb to the point it makes no difference?

Recently Minister Stephen Lashley commented on the slack dress sightings at the popular  Wadadah’s Back 2 School Party. What does he and others in authority plan to do about it if anything? Yes individuals are responsible for their actions but some times one has to save jackasses from themselves.

Crop Over Costumes Cost Too Much

Submitted by Old Onions Bag

Barbados Superstar Rihanna ‘jumped’ in 2011

What you pay for, is what you get?
As promised I said I was going to write this one…a no brainer. Last price obtained for a band costume et al was $ 5oo flat…Horse shoed for real for that green. But has one ever wondered or done the calculations on this ask. What are you getting for your hard earned cash?

What you can see upfront of course….(no pun here) a lil pantsy and bra-D covered with beads and feathers from Samaroo’s here or in T&T..(either case forex outbound) cost of materials and time..give it $100 max. $120 if elaborate head gear. What else? Why there is security, $10, Admin $10,drinks $50,Food $20,Band party $ 25 and we being generous here.
How much that is let’s see…I make that $215- $235. Hmmm…nice bottom line of $285 per reveller. For a band of 2000 revellers , a nice profit of $570,000. Not bad for a budding entrepreneur planning to work three months a year.

But not being officious, people have been loving what they have been getting for years. Last reports the whole Sha Bangle is said to rake in $100 Million in economic activity….so who gives a care?

After all, the people do need to unwind and thereby releasing all pressures,so what if a few “blenzas” with it as well…… Long Live Crop Over!

Should The Barbados Board of Tourism Lead The Way In The Revival Of Our Crop Over Festival?

Submitted by People’s Democratic Congress (PDC)

Another Crop Over Festival in Barbados has ended, with entertainer  Blood capturing the Road March title from other contenders with the song “Foot on Fire”. And truth be told, had NOT for its own capacity to be made so intensely commercially viable but so wretchedly politically exploitable by a few power-hungry money-grubbing people, this Crop Over Festival would have long gone by the way side like it previously did.

But, like the wider society, polity, and so-called economy in Barbados, this really little, cultural extravaganza, a micro-cosm, is being used by many elites/government functionaries for the primary purposes of aiding in the elite/state political exploitation of the masses and middle classes by ideological financial cultural imperialist means.

So, while there is no longer – as it really was – during the old Barbadian plantation enslavement society  – the burning of “Mr. Harding” to signal the ending of Crop Over festivities and the beginning of “hard times” in between the Crop Seasons then, and while there is no longer in today’s post-independence Barbadian society too – but quite regrettably however – the burning of Mr. Harding to signify the end of the modern day Crop Over Festival, it can be safely argued by the People’s Democratic Congress (PDC) that long since those days when the Crop Over Festival was revived by the Barbados Board of Tourism in 1974, to principally woo more tourists to the island during the so-called summer season in Barbados, following its demise in the 1940s owing to the continuing decline in the importance of the sugar industry to the Barbados economy, there would have been many fundamentally wrong and senseless decisions and policies linking the Crop Over Festival more and more to local Tourism,
a very fickle, culturally destructive industry, to increase its commercial income generating potential.

Continue reading

Squeezing The Culture Out Of Crop Over

BU has stepped out of our comfort area a few times to comment on our premier festival, Crop Over. It is a festival which has morphed from a cultural expression of a people to a wukup, mash up, drink up party. The National Cultural Foundation (NCF) appears to have lost control of the festival.

Continue reading

Is Wuking Up "Without limits" Barbadian Culture?

Submitted by Yardbroom

Youths ‘wukking up’ 2 ‘Go Stabby’ during the Bajan Kadooment

In recent years a certain type of wuking up has become a popular Barbadian pastime. Its popularity has meant there is now a license to do anything in public, providing it is accompanied by music. My intention is not to take a moral view on this issue as I do not have that authority. However, if participants display in public, they cannot be surprised if people comment on a public medium.

Last year I saw a boy not more than ten years of age wuking up behind a fully grown woman. As the tempo of the music increased the boy got closer to the woman, encouraged by a crowd of adults who witnessed the spectacle. I moved away on seeing this exhibition, as I felt uncomfortable. Continue reading

Red Hot Cohobblopot Compliments Of Lil Jon Pit Bull & Machel at Cohobblopot Cohobblopot – Edwin Nah Missing Me Cohobblopot – Edwin Yardie Cohobblopot – Khiomal Unleash De Beast Cohobblopot – Krosfyah Sake Passe Cohobblopot – Khiomal Til Morning Cohobblopot – Khiomal Bashment Bacchanal Cohobblopot – Edwin Handle Yuh Bizness Cohobblopot – Farmer Nappy Chippin Cohobblopot – Machel Montano part 1 Lil Jon’s Interview at Cohobblopot Patrice Roberts’ Interview at Cohobblopot Cohobblopot – Machel Montano part 2 Cohobblopot – Rupee Cohobblopot – Machel Montano part 3 Cohobblopot – Machel Montano & Patrice Roberts Cohobblopot – Machel Montano & Poonka Cohobblopot – Zan Cohobblopot – T.O.K Cohobblopot – David Rudder Cohobblopot – Patrice Roberts Cohobblopot – Machel Montano Oil and Music

One More Time Brewster Road Crew Aug 08-08

Chairman Of Sanitation Service Authority Dr. Don Marshall Clears The Air

Dr.Don Marshall - SSA Chairman

SSA Chairman Dr.Don Marshall

Coming out of the recent Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) conflict with the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW), and the debacle involving the termination and reappointment of General Manager Stanton Alleyne, some not so favourable comments were directed towards Chairman Don Marshall. Also in our blog post of yesterday, BU published an item which placed Chairman Marshall in a less than favourable light. BU is appreciative to Chairman Marshall for coming to the blogosphere to clarify matters. We must warn him that discussion can get robust at times but we wish to assure him that he will get a fair hearing whenever he feels motivated to come to Barbados Underground.

On another note we would entreat Dr. Marshall given his prominent role in the CARIFORUM/EPA negotiation, to submit his unfettered opinion to BU on the subject. We have made this simple request because we believe that the matter has been presented to the PEOPLE of Barbados and the region as a highly technical matter. Can we rely on you Doctor to bring this matter to the blogosphere framed in a manner which shows relevance to a national, regional and global strategy?

Here is Chairman’s Marshall clear the air statement posted on BU today: Continue reading

Bajantubes Weekly Crop Over Top 20

1. Edwin Yearwood – Handle Yuh Bizness
2. Pong – On Pon It
3. Lil Rick & Gorg – Wuk Up U Hear Wha I Tell U
4. Lil Rick – One More Time
5. Nard – Socarobics
6. Edwin Yearwood – Nah Missing Me
7. Bobo – Riddem Of The West Indies
8. Rupee – Feet Don’t Fail Me
9. Alison Hinds & Lil Rick – Wash Off
10. Fraud Squad – Pork Mout
11. Abacu & Fakaroo ft Stabby – The African Song Rebootah
12. Stabby De Guard – Stabby
13. Natahlee – Sun Til Sun
14. Khiomal – Unleash De Beast
15. Jana & Rashida – Candy World
16. Mikey – Explosion
17. John Mahameed – Hold The Brass
18. Mr Dale – Til Um Dun
19. Square One ft Alison, Blood & Oshaka – We Gine Down
20. Hypasounds – Party Mood

Khiomal Start De Madness Music Video

Edwin Yearwood Nah Missing Me Music Video


Crop Over 2008 Under Threat


Who gabby think he is….

I waiting to cuss he stink

Who gabby think he is…

Before you get all excited and telephone Gabby with the news that Boyce say he gun curse he, the opening you see above are lyrics from Gabby’s own calypso “Who Gabby think he is”. Which brings me to my point, Gabby seems to think he will be Cultural Ambassador forever. Anthony “Gabby” Carter is more than my friend, he gave Madd comedians our first big break performing in Battleground calypso tent when we had just left Combermere in 1982. I have a tremendous respect for Gabby; you need to read one of my first posts “What the ass is a cultural ambassador anyways?” where I lamented that Gabby was not given enough real power and authority to go with his prestigious title.

However, the Government has changed and protocol dictates that all ambassadors and boards of directors appointed by the previous administration make their resignations available to the new government. I read in the newspaper where ambassadors from New York, United Kingdom, Africa and Timbuktu have sent in their resignation letters. But not Gabby. He is maintaining his position and waiting to see what the new Minister will do. So all the remarks wunna drop, saying that Gabby like he “switch sides” and how he sing pun de DLP celebration motorcade, even Kidsite throw a song punch at he at the Rihanna tribute show. But Gabby is not budging.

Source: Boyce Voice Blog

We have been following the issue of Gabby making his feeling known about how he wants to remain as the Cultural Ambassador of Barbados. According to media reports he has refused to tender his resignation which protocol usually dictates he should have done by now. The Boyce Voice blog is also reporting sources close to the National Cultural Foundation as indicating that CEO Ian Estwick’s contract will not be renewed.

In a related matter:

Although the BU household are not the greatest Crop Over fans in the world, we concede that the festival does generate a tidy sum for the treasury of Barbados. Against this background we have become somewhat concerned about the rapid fire changes which have been made, and others which our sources have indicated are to be made public soon. We have no problem with the new government wanting to make Crop Over Festival for 2008 bigger and better but it is a little late in the day to be ringing the big changes. A sensible approach which Minister Steve Blackett might consider is to let this year’s festival play-out and look to next year to make his mark.

Crop Over is our premier national festival and its success impacts all economic activity in Barbados. As “David” (If KB can do it so can we) stated in a press conference recently, it also has socio-political implications. We urge all the stakeholders to thread very carefully on this one. Along with other Barbadians, Barbados Underground will be watching how this developing saga unravels at West Terrace in the coming days and weeks.

Is cronyism and yardfowlism still alive and well under the Democratic Labour Party reign?

A Senior Barbadian Journalist Gives A Rare Insight Into The Challenges Of The Local Media Extracting Information From Government Regarding GEMS


I have called both Parliament and xxxxxx, to ask them for copies of the Gems’ financials which were laid in House some time ago, apparently.
You might not be surprised to learn that these are only up to 2001, and no information is available on when anymore might be coming down from the mountaintop.

Also, I am concerned about your implication of journalists n this non-transparent behaviour of the government. There are so many government reports and financial statements which are technically public documents but cannot be even read, far less commented on by reporters, until they are “laid in Parliament”. We would have to mount a 24/7/365 operation to learn when any of these are finally sneaked into Parliament. There are no trumpets sounding and no fanfare: somewhere, as quietly as possible. I don’t even know if “laid in Parliament” means that someone has to tell the Speaker while P is in session.

A basic rule of transparency, it seems to me, would be to routinely make those documents available to the media. The Parliamentary person told me they had only been given enough copies for MPs and their library, so I would have to ask the PS Cabinet Office. He then said he would have to cal Parliament to see if they had spies.

So you see, the media is purposely left out and kept in the dark as much as possible, yet we are supposed to somehow follow all these things up, YEARS after documents should have been laid.

Barbados is not easy, hear.


lsbusprf.gif The quote above should be very easy to contextualize. It is a response to a prominent Barbadian citizen from a leading journalist in Barbados. Those readers who think that BU, BFP and the many other citizens who are demonstrating concern about the threat to our democracy are partisan political poppets, please wake up and smell the coffee!

We can sit back and do nothing or we can all start to do what civic minded citizens are obligated to do. Take your pick.

Previous Stories

Barbadians Do You Want To Discuss The Financial Statements Of Hotel And Resorts Ltd, AKA GEMS?
Media Houses In Barbados Should Take Note Of What Their Counterparts In Dominica Are Doing
The Third Estate Has The Final Power~The Voices Of THE PEOPLE Must Be Heard
Media Houses In Barbados In Collusion With Government To Suppress News, Press Freedom Under Threat ~ The Voices Of The People Must Be Heard



Owen Arthur To Rescue Crop Over Festival~Whose Heads Will Roll?


Crop Over Out Of NCF’s Hands
Web Posted – Wed Aug 22 2007
This year, 2007, is the last year that the local Crop Over Festival will be managed under its present institutional arrangements. The above was disclosed by Prime Minister of Barbados, Owen Arthur, as he spoke at the Prime Minister’s Meeting on the Crop Over Festival, held at the Barbados Hilton Hotel, yesterday. The one-of-a-kind meeting was one in which the Finance Minister, who is also Minister of Culture, set back his day’s schedule, to address issues relating to the future of the festival as presented to him by the many stakeholders of Crop Over, who turned out for the special meeting.


Source: Advocate

Prime Minister Owen Arthur is a master tactician. For many of the months he has been Minister of Culture he could easily be described as one of the most invisible Ministers to have held the portfolio. As General Elections rapidly approach Arthur has seen the opportunity to curry favor with Barbadian voters by announcing a restructure of the Crop Over festival at a time criticism has become more strident. We have witnessed the taken for granted band leaders threatening to boycott the festival next year which prompted an emotional outburst from the President of the Police Association Mr.Hartley Reid. There has been the public admission by followers of the calypso art form that standard of the music has been slipping and the time has come to chart a new path. Some pundits will say that the straw to snap the camel’s back was the “boycott” of flagship Cohobblopot 2007 by leading entertainers. It also became obvious that the Barbados Tourism Authority is being placed in an untenable position if they are asked to market key events in the festival which encourages people to travel thousands of miles and then our key entertainers refuse to perform.

Continue reading

Barbados Crop Over 2007 Continues To Swirl In Controversy

New NCF D.D.A (Diss De Artistes) Dept Doing Well

Posted by: peter


The National Cultural Foundation (NCF) yesterday announced the establishment of a new department dedicated to the cultural industries of Barbados. The CEO at a press conference proudly introduced a new initiative of the NCF entitled D.D.A meaning – the “Diss De Artistes” department.
Source: boycevoice blog


This weekend is the last lap for Crop Over 2007.  It seems appropriate given all that has happen during the season to donate some BU space to examining one of the many issues troubling the festival…

Peter Boyce’s name is sure to always surface around Crop Over time. He and his school mates on leaving school have been able to brand themselves in the entertainment industry in Barbados. Few would deny they have demonstrated over the years that they are excellent businessmen given their success with Bachannal Time calypso tent. Peter Boyce is often credited with challenging the status quo at the risk to his personal reputation. Regrettably, most Barbadians because of their inclination to want to avoid conflict prefer that Peter Boyce would shut-up and just go away. BU over the years would not have agreed on some of the issues which Peter has introduced, but in general we have a healthy respect for the man who has not been afraid to air and defend his position on behalf of his colleagues involved in Crop Over industry.

Continue reading



The National Cultural Foundation (NCF) has reconsidered plans to host this year’s Pic-o-de-Crop Finals and Cohobblopot at Kensington Oval.

This decision has been taken in light of the circumstance in which covering available for the protection of the field from possible damage is deemed to be inadequate.

Covering such as would be adequate has to be sourced from overseas and time constraints do not allow for this. As a result, both events will now be held at the National Stadium.

The decision to return to the Stadium has the approval of -both the Ministry responsible for the NCF and that responsible for Kensington Oval.

Al Gilkes

National Cultural Foundation.

Looks like the new Barbados Cricket Association President Joel Garner has put his foot down. The NCF attempt to justify Kensington’s existence has been bowled for zero!


Catch-up on the latest on the entertainment scene in Barbados by reading the informative blog hosted by our best Bajan Reporter.

Trinidadians "Take-Over" Of Barbadian Kadooment Bands

Big stick over Baje

Published on: 6/21/07.


SOME THICK FANS wanting to jump with the popular Baje International Kadooment band feel they’re getting the thin end of the stick. A complaint about discrimination and the unavailability of large-sized costumes has been making the rounds, claiming that only a limited number of “special orders” – which includes double and triple extra-large costumes – were offered to customers by Baje’s band, Lost Tribe. According to a few full-sized women who wanted to jump with the band, Baje only made five “special orders” for each of its eight sections.

Source: Nation

Read this news article and almost choked.

Hell, even the Kadooment bands getting “take-over” by the Trinidadians. This morning the story broke that fat people who want to jump with the popular Crop Over band Baje International are being told a loud, NO! The “official excuse” provided by the band leader Richard Haynes__only five “big costumes” were made for each of the eight sections of the band. Consequently Baje International is unable to satisfy the demand from the “big, fat and thick” Barbadians.

Continue reading