Experience knocks soca song ‘slackness´

Members of The Experience Calypso Tent are concerned about the level of slackness being promoted across the country via some of the bashment soca songs in their content and videos.

Speaking yesterday during the launch of their tent at Ball Park in Christ Church, some of the artistes in the lone gospel calypso tent expressed concern about what was being put out on the airwaves by some of the younger artistes.

Calypsonian and songwriter Billboard said he had no problem with the bashment soca as a genre, but with everything else associated with it at present.

Members of the Experience Calypso Tent yesterday during the launch (from left): Jose Trotman, De Salt, Apache, Errol Griffth (tent manager), Susan Griffth, Njeri and Billboard.
Members of the Experience Calypso Tent yesterday during the launch (from left): Jose Trotman, De Salt, Apache, Errol Griffth (tent manager), Susan Griffth, Njeri and Billboard.

“It is quite interesting. I think right now bashment soca is the only thing we can really call ours. Anything the young people are going to get into to help revive the culture, I have no problem with that.

“But as it is right now in 2016, bashment soca equals worthlessness and slackness. If it weren’t the majority of the songs, that would be fine; but we have a bashment soca competition; you have 16 songs in the semi-finals, and about 13 or 14 of them are just pure slackness, and playing on the radio –– songs that just saying ‘bam bam, push back, juck she, pluck she’.

“I mean, where does it end?” Billboard questioned.

He added: “The bashment at present, the lyrics, the content . . . seem to be synonymous with slack and worthlessness. I have seen some of the videos, and some of them have over 100,000 views in four weeks, while some of our top calypsonians have just 30,000 or so. I really don’t know what to say!”

Fellow artiste Apache alluded to the developing a culture of bandwagonists in Barbados, which he said was the reason for the surge in such questionable songs of recent.

“We seem to have a culture of persons jumping on the bandwagon. If you have a drink or rum song that is successful, you have a whole set of artistes who would pick it up and run with it. So it’s the easiest thing to do as a writer during Crop Over.

“We need to be more creative; put a little more effort into songwriting,” he said.

Tent manger Errol Griffith said his concern was that the “lewd and crude” songs were allowed to be played on the radio. He cautioned young people to find other ways of having fun.

“Back in the day, some of those songs could never be heard on the airwaves. Now, you are hearing all sorts of things on the airwaves. For all those who don’t share the value system that we now do, we want to say there are ways of having fun. It doesn’t have to be lewd or crude or suggestive; nor does it have to be about alcohol.

“We are all Christians and we believe that some of the lyrics go contrary to the Christian foundation that we believe underpins Barbados and the quality of life that we have enjoyed for so long,” Griffith added.

He stressed his tent was committed to doing its part in providing quality and wholesome entertainment for all.

“We are committed to wholesomeness. Many people want to tell us we don’t belong in Crop Over. It begs the question then: what do we as a people think about ourselves and our culture? We are committed to nothing lewd, nothing crude and nothing suggestive from the tent,” the manager stressed.

Apache, a repeat semi-finalist, echoed Griffith’s sentiments saying The Experience’s main purpose was to provide an alternative
to the public.

“We are a wholesome calypso tent. We offer clean calypsos for the entire families. We do not condone any form of slackness. We try to walk what we speak. We bring out nothing that is derogatory to man, woman, or child,” he said.

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