Glad bag ago explode
Look here nuh, I'm flying off today to share in an event that features more Kings than about four decks of cards, and if my gladness and excitement level rise any higher you'd have to call me the original 'Frighten-Friday-who-buckup-inna-Saturday-and-fainted-until-Sunday'.
Yeah man, if mi glad one more time mi glad bag ago explode!
The event, produced by Jermaine Wade of Fabulous Entertainment, is called 'Legends of Calypso - the Icons' and happens tomorrow at a spacious and salubrious space called 17 Degrees.
The performers include King Konris - multiple times calypso King of St. Kitts and Nevis and two times Calypso King of the Leeward Islands, alongside King Meeko, King Star Shield, King Short Shirt, De Bear - a five times calypso monarch of Monserrat and three time calypso King of the Leeward Islands and one of my all-time favourite purveyors of calypso music, the great King David himself, David Rudder. Plus two comedians, Chow Pow and yours truly.
Peeps, the privilege of my prospective participation in this Caribbean regional royal affair is particularly exciting for me for a few of reasons.
For one, it's taking place in St. Kitts and Nevis, one of my favourite places in the Caribbean.
Also, it blends comedy and music in an event that richly represents that real spirit of Caribbean unity and community that often seems like an impossible and illusive aspiration - especially for politicians.
The performers come from Antigua, Trinidad and Tobago, Montserrat, St. Kitts, Jamaica and Guyana.
I think that is very Carifesta and almost fully Caricom. What you think?
Mi nah lie, di promoter book mi as an artiste but I'm going kinda like a fan. Yeah, I'm really excited about personally meeting a man like Rudder whom I've long admired for his creation of some timeless classics including the anthem of West Indies cricket 'rally round de West Indies'.
I'm also genuinely looking forward to sharing stage with all these musical giants and icons.
And on the topic of musical giants and icons, I have to pause for a moment of sincere acknowledgement and a share a word of tribute to a Jamaican musical giant and icon who recently transitioned to join the ancestors.
I'm speaking of ska pioneer Cecil Bustamente Campbell OD better known as the legendary Prince Buster.
"Prince Buster was at the centre of so many aspects of the music: On recordings like Judge Dread, he criticized gang-affiliated rude boys for Black-on-Black violence. He was the first producer to take Count Ossie's nyabinghi hand drum ensemble into the studio to record the classic 'Oh Carolina'."
So says Klive Walker, Canadian-based Jamaican freelance writer and author of the book 'Dubwise: Reasoning from The Reggae underground'.
Walker adds that Buster "was also a significant purveyor of slackness with very popular sound system and jukebox hit like Rough Rider.
It was also Prince Buster's rhythms and lyrics that were especially attractive to the British ska revivalists who breathed new life into Jamaica's first popular music during the late 1970s and early '80s, twenty years after its heyday in the country of its birth. RIP Prince Buster"
Yeah peeps, we exist at the intersection of life and death. So in the midst of the bacchanal in St. Kitts I will pause again to pour some libation for Prince Buster other ancestral spirits.
In the meantime, I'm just here meditating prayerfully on the lyrics of 'high mas' by Rudder. Yeah, I singing 'our father who has given us this art so that we can all feel a part of this earthly heaven, amen. Forgive us this day our daily weaknesses as we seek to cast our mortal burden on this city, amen...'