Barbados Nation
By David Comissiong[br]
August 21, 2001[br]

SOMETIMES it takes an “outsider” or a “foreigner” to observe and recognize our ugly flaws and to draw them forcibly to our attention. I believe that this is the case with Trinidadian calypsonian Denyse Plummer and her comments about Li’l Rick! Admittedly, Ms Plummer went too far in calling for a Trinidadian boycott of Li’l Rick. In addition, she herself is not without blame: after all, “if you lie down with dogs -– especially “hyper” dogs – you will surely get up with fleas!” But there is a certain underlying truth and relevance to Ms Plummer’s complaints about what she saw as the crassness and crudity of our Party Monarch’s performance. There is also a great cause for concern that our Barbadian entertainment community and our society in general have become so wrapped up in accommodating crassness and crudity, that we have seemingly lost the capacity to make appropriate judgments about what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. Take Li’l Rick’s Party Monarch – winning performance for example. I was not at the East Coast Road to witness the event in person, but I did see what was considered to be the “highlight” of Rick’s performance on CBC television. And what I saw was – a man dressed up as a dog; a woman on stage turned her back to the “dog” and bent over; and the “dog” jumped on the woman’s back and proceeded to simulate sexual-type movements on the woman’s behind. I don’t know how the rest of Barbados assessed this performance but what I seemed to be witnessing was the dramatization of a “hyper” dog having sex with a woman! And nobody, least of all the judges, appeared to see anything wrong with this. I am no prude, but I am concerned that we are losing our way in a rapid descent into mindless, sex-crazed, lewd behavior. During the latter stages of Crop-Over, the Commission for Pan African Affairs hosted a veteran African-American photographer, who has traveled extensively in Africa and the Diaspora documenting “black” cultural life. He subsequently confessed to me that the sexually explicit behavior he witnessed on the streets of Barbados on Kadooment Day left him “stunned”. And, if I needed further confirmation of the sad, culturally confused state of affairs that exist in our society, such confirmation was provided by the Nation newspaper’s popular teen publication – Hott Magazine. In its Friday, August 9, review of Grand Kadooment, Hott Magazine carried a photograph of what appears to be a young teenage girl in shorts, “sandwiched” between two young men who are holding her and simultaneously “jamming” her from in front and behind. To my utter disbelief, the caption that the magazine’s supposedly responsible editors saw fit to attach to this photograph was – “good, clean, wholesome fun on the Kadooment route”. Now, my young daughters, and thousands of other impressionable Barbadian youth read Hott Magazine. Are we telling our children that the national value system that we subscribe to in Barbados has decreed that publicly-performed, sexually-explicit gyrations now qualify as “good”, “clean” and “wholesome” behavior, which is to be encouraged? What kind of messages are we sending to our young people in this deadly age of an HIV-AIDS epidemic that is threatening to decimate our people worldwide? No, I am afraid something is seriously wrong with our current mainstream cultural trajectory! Where are our young calypso and soca artistes taking themselves and their legions of admirers, with their over-weening emphasis on “wuk-up”, “wine”, “bumpers”, “pork” and dog-like names and antics? Why is it that after Bob Marley, Black Stalin, Peter Tosh, Mighty Gabby, David Rudder and Jimmy Cliff our young musicians and entertainers are seemingly incapable of seeing themselves as artistes with something of cultural value to say to their people and to the rest of the world? In my humble opinion, Li’l Rick and the other young musicians, the National Cultural Foundation, the Nation newspaper and our assorted cultural gurus would be well advised to use the controversy over the Plummer remarks to do some serious self-analysis. However, it would be remiss of me to end this article without making some mention of what was the undoubted “gem” of our recent season of festivities. I refer to the Emancipation Roots Experience Show, which was organized by Mr. Clyde Layne. Here was an event of outstanding cultural merit in which the young contestants explored and communicated the essence of our history, culture and artistic heritage.


Registered User
[updated:LAST EDITED ON Aug-22-02 AT 11:17 AM (EST)]Oh please....

This is nothing different from what goes on at carnival all over.
You should also included how Barbados whole crop-over season was based on HIV/AIDS protection.

Barbados is as ulgy as any country.

yankee kitt

Registered User
Let me preface by first saying everyone is entitled to their opinion but I am really starting to feel like this issue (lil rick and denise) and its sidetracks (this article) is really getting old. Maybe I'm crazy, deranged, insane, but I do not see the problem with the "sexual-type movements". Give me a break! So now there has to be a distinction as to what is decent and what's not? Impossible goal to attain. Furthermore, I saw Lil Rick's East Coast performance and yes it was raunchy but I did not find it to be offensive. I also do not see how raw artists like Lil Rick somehow devalue the culture of soca music. I believe it takes all kinds to make sweet soca what it is.

So with that being said, people need to get off they high horse and go WUK UP BAD SO DE WUK UP POLICE CAN LOOOOOOOK. :)

Proper Pork...
"Leve Pou Manje Sa"


First i was reading de article shaking my head.. but at the end i scrolled back up so see who is de writer..

"By David Comissiong" ----- oh the COMMUNIST..... his bull-##### does not even warrant a response from me...

juck bwa an patat la
woooooooyyyyy mi fè


SIGH, the damn song doesn't even have anything to do with sex. These people need to get a life really...


New member
Yankee Kit hit the nail right on the head.

As a full fledged member of the pelt waist posse, I believe there's a time and a place for all wukkupism and Crop Over -- especially Kadooment Day -- is the time and place.

I feel sorry for Commisong's daughters, I'm sure they wear chastity belts!


Senior Member
Although I think they are beating a dead horse with all these spin-offs of the Lil Rick issue, SSS makes a good point.
He doesn't mention all the HIV/AIDS awareness that was taking place thru the country. He doesn't mention how these people were in the fetes spreading awareness and thing. People see what they want to see.

Carnivals shouldn't have all this analysis behind it, really.

Awright den :)

[font color = red][font size = 4] "Love is blind. Marriage is the real eye-opener." [/font]


[font color=Purple]Text[/font]doan worry commisiong daughter gine get ketch up bushill one o these nights:D

Dougla Ting

Happily Ever After
I don't think that one person that is not familiar with the West Indian culture and the history of carnival has the right to make that kind of judgement. That is just utterly ridiculous!!!!