Calypsonians Get Personal--Clash Over "Born Here"

Melissa Edwards, Senior Reporter | 0 Opinions
Published: April 17, 2017 11:17 am AST
Chico B during his performance of "Outsider", April 26, 2017
Photo Credit: Melissa Edwards/BVI Platinum News
It was what some patrons found to be repugnant, as three calypsonians had a war of lyrics over who's "born here" and who is an "outsider".

The three artistes portrayed an expat vs. local issue at centre stage during the 2017 Virgin Gorda (VG) Easter Festival calypso competition, last evening, April 16.

Singing about the issue were participants, Roland "Chico B" Veira, Joycelyn "Sistah Joyce" Searles and Shereen "Queen Shereen" Flax-Charles, who did not compete for this year's monarchy, but performed as a guest artiste.

The issue stemmed from questions raised last year by some calypsonians, after Chico B was crowned the winner when he was not living in the BVI for two years as yet. Chico B is a native of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

It is the rule of the Festival Committee that in order for someone to compete in both the VG and Road Town calypso competitions, they must be living in the BVI for at least two years. However, in Chico B's case, there was an oversight last year, but that has been sorted out.

In one of his songs last evening, "Outsider", Chico B went hard after Queen Shereen and Sistah Joyce.

"So many people came here before me and contributed significantly; some even invest their money...Most of your parents are outsiders and your fore-parents are outsiders; some of your husbands are outsiders...Outsiders and islanders we can come together. I know it's your home and you cannot build it alone," he sang.

"Lets build with this outsider. Let's have inclusion...nurses are outsiders, majority of police men are outsiders, prison officers, lawyers and doctors are outsiders...So unite with this outsider and let's build with this outsider."

Chico B claimed that a calypso queen told him to shut his blasted mouth when he spoke about the issue, after calypsonians met and agreed that they would not have performed in Road Town last year if he was performing.

"Of course I know from whence you come...(I understand that) the population of 30,000 was 8,000 in 1961...Half of the BVI are outsiders...50th anniversary (VG Festival) let's unite...Don't end my competition, embrace my presence in this land...Yes, you can call me an outsider, but I live here on Virgin Gorda...Love and respect to all islanders..."

In his second song, "Licks", he portrayed that he would deliver licks to both men lyrically during last evening's competition. Chico B also claimed that Queen Shereen did not participate because she was afraid.

"It's licks like peas for them in this song...Last year I was to compete in Tortola, but they came together and deiced if I am in, all of them out...So to prevent any bacchanal I kept out the festival...They troubling me, this stage is my home, they in my zone, they getting licks..."

Chico B placed first runner-up and Kingo Paido won the monarchy. Chico B also won most humorous song.

You Shouldn't Mess With Us

Sistah Joyce took on Chico B in an extra verse to her song, "Too Late Shall Be The Cry".

"There is a wannabe calypsonian, Chico B...Sending threat for me, but I hope he enjoy his monarchy, lyrics cannot hold me...I want him to know that I am the Vybz Kartel of calypso...Now pressure bust pipe and he realize his monarchy is in jeopardy...Chico B you should have never mess with Shereen and I."

Sistah Joyce and Chico B following their performance at the 2017 Calypso competition.
Photo Credit: Melissa Edwards/BVI Platinum News
She continued in her second song "Raise It Up", "I ain't taking no licks..."

Meanwhile, Queen Shereen denounced the claim that she was afraid to compete. She said that her daughter was ill.

However, she performed more than one song last evening, where she used the opportunity to respond to Chico B.

She said that everyone can hold strong views about their country, but when BVIslanders use the "born here", it's an issue. She said that Chico B must follow the rules when in another man's country.

"The rules are the rules...I born here...We waiting on you boy," she said as she exited the stage.

It was noted at the event that when ancestors were put on the ships from Africa, all were insiders, but were just dropped off at different locations.

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