Talk Hard at Limelight Cafe – Coarse Language in Barbadian Poetry for emphasis or shock effect? Which is more potent? (PG-13: Language, Sexual Matter)

I have been having very intermittent service from C&W since late December, part of the reason this is only now appearing. I have been taking the precaution of saving the entries on Microsoft Word before Publishing so if the Net goes off at least I have an entry to restore later despite Blogger’s autosave facility, their programme is normally a few paragraphs behind what I have scripted…

Now for the Talk Hard event at Limelight (the club’s first anniversary is coming up and they should update their website as part of the celebration) that everyone was looking fwd to, let’s get the bad out of the way one time – cussing…

Ebonnie Rowe was guilty of it (Prince wrote a song on it – MF, but more on her performance anon), so amazingly did the heroes of the night – Amenyama and DJ Simmons too, but theirs was mild (they used the good ol’ Bajansh**eas in rhymes with Kite, who were in Holetown for Saturday nite, but the word was uttered three times by that Dynamic Duo if so much, further in I will say why); then there was this guy called Kashi Brown…

The woman in the audience who have heard him before were sort of like “Oh, that again,” but initiates were agape at his oft-called references to his penis, his ability to bring a woman to orgasm and generally the use of as direct words as possible.

Suppose someone brought children with them to show Barbadian culture is not just wuk-up? The speakers were working well, what if Police wandered by to see if the Cafe was alright and they decide to close the place down as a haven of obscenity?

Until the new administration revamps laws of Freedom Of Speech, Freedom Of Information as well as matters of Integrity – we do have to abide by archaic legislation favouring those who wield or rule – instead of an even distribution of rights as vindicated by all the people.

Don’t forget, in Trinidad they lock you up REGARDLESS of what or who your connections are – DMX, Foxy Brown (she’s a Trini descendant too) and quite a few Jamaican chanters have been brought to bear under Trinbago’s long arm of the law for using coarse language at a public venue.

I am by no means a prude, if something irritates me or if I stub a toe or mash a finger then you may hear more than a few delightful invectives from me… Even if only in a private convo between friends, I may let go a few dirty jokes, but it is not ALL the time nor is it every other word and certainly not necessarily in an open forum!

Nor am I saying there should not be social commentary, far from it ? in fact there was one dude who does not shy from the issues?

Fitzroy uses one cussword and not very often, it is one of two cuss-words which identifies a Barbadian, this being the infamous R-word (the other is the variation on the F-Bomb that sounds like SOUP) but he did not use it Saturday night and had no need to – yet he was powerful and brought the house down!

He did “Bad Mana cappella (that was one of his earliest references to his sword, what we call a collins), then he brought Garvie on stage for “The Way I Move,” he was so serious about his delivery the man took off his socks and boots!

There were also appearances from Denise Charles who sang and talked ?Discovered Faith? (her son Sergio created the back-beat for the song) ? a tune where it seemed a little too structured this time around and I feel she may be one of those artistes who are just better off pre-recorded.

The song seemed to be critically examining how commercialized many religions are growing into and how this can conflict with a true search for God, then two of Denise?s sons ? Nikolai and Sergio ? delivered their original yet 50-cent flavoured ?Checka Da System.?

The group As Man also was part of the lineup, as well as a young lady from Ethiopia (set to appear again at Limelight again tomorrow night) with stirring accompaniment on saxophone and a Guyanese lass also cussing too.

Alyson Holder, one of the Barbados Advocate’s bright sparks, came on stage to deliver an untitled peon to sensuality, without getting coarse ? showing that a simple touching of lips or holding of hands and even a meeting of minds can create more sizzle than the surface of white hot dwarf during the middle of summer!

Granger (also one of the deejays that night for Mayhem Soundz), one of the very first ppl to appear on my Blog, spoke at Talk Hard ? he chanted in a completely relaxed manner of snakes walking and cats slithering and hinting at politics and change and sent the audience to their feet in their approval of his one serving!

Also on a political tip is Le Mot Juste co-founder Enricco Bohne back from Tokyo and minus his locks, apart from giving a preview of what he plans to slam February 10th, he also dealt with how when one of his events had a sponsor they didn?t want too many controversial issues.

This made Enricco look hard at himself and that sponsored show and he ended up composing a piece called, ?I Been Censored.?

Garvie Griffith played separate to Fitzroy that night and delivered a tune of heartache called ?Out Of Season,? while lyrically intellectual like Sting or Michael Franks, nevertheless his vocal stylings are his own, and his guitar fretwork can be construed by some as reminiscent of the fingering found in the Animals? version of ?House Of The Rising Sun.?

The words spoke of chasing innocence and chasing intelligence and seemed to make a slight reference to Mr Mister’s “Broken Wings” from 1985.

Garvie asked the audience what they wanted to hear and the consensus was for “Rythm of A Soulmate,” which used music to describe the connection of a budding romance – I have heard him do it before without guitar – but for this occasion he had his trusty instrument with him and therefore we heard a sweet stringed backbeat accompanying the beautiful tale of serendipity bringing ppl closer together.

Ebonnie Rowe, an erstwhile compatriot of Virgo Communications, delivered a spoken word item on being tired – how she is tired of Britney Spears; tired of men not knowing her G-Spot is between her ears and she knows that she can find a book on “THINGS HE TOLD ME” under fiction. She used M***er-F***er twice, so I think which while not abusive was a bit superfluous as the way the freestyle poem was structured, I am sure she could have found an alternative for that situation.

The article itself was aimed more for an overseas market than a Barbadian audience and many of the references she drew seemed to sail clean over the crowd’s heads and brows. For me it’s a typical female Afro-American men-bashing diatribe.

Apart from DJ Simmons and Adrian Green – a fellow to watch for is Rommell Griffith * aka * “Yoshi,” who gave two performances – one immediately apparent and the other deceptive in its initial innocuousness.

You” started as a song and became a poem when he left the world of bachelorhood, it’s a very sweet yet potent recount of adoration and appreciation of a person’s personality quirks.

I Am Confident” could be considered political or social commentary it is also a pep-talk, yet is all and none of them! I loved the part when he stated his self-awareness of his abilities was such that as Yoshi told the ppl,”…cut my own umbilical cord…” and had the crowd bawling with glee.

Louisa Nurse was running late because she was busy composing a spoken poem celebrating the night’s event and that was her topic, “Talking Hard” and she gave truth and the crowd lapped it up.

Adrian Green and the newly revamped DJ Simmons (he wore green that night, and he chanted like he was ready for WAR) wound up the folk at the beginning and the end. Like when Amenyama looked at political constipation and how Parliament needs a laxative (that’s when the Bajan version of the S-Bomb was dropped as inpoliticians do a lot of…), while DJ took a more socio-economic view; for when a body goes and buys a big-up car yet barely has $5.00 to put for gas and nurses a Sprite for the night!

For my vote, Talk Hard has a good cabinet but the fringe elements need to be more carefully selected.

3 Responses

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  1. Firstly, I must commend you for your continuous coverage of spoken word events in Barbados; however I must admit my disappointment in your review of certain aspects of Talk Hard. The show was indeed a very good one, kudos to Adrian and DJ, but the show was in no way marred by the use of profanity by me or any other artist present. From the moment I read your blog I was tempted to reply, using the most scalding of adjectives towards you, but that would only have aided in your attempt to portray me as a filthy mouthed perverted youth. I am amazed that someone who claims to be a journalist would present such a one-sided and inaccurate review of a person’s performance (besides your review of my performance, there were a few other inaccuracies in your report).I will waste no time correcting this blot of a blog that you have obviously spent so much time in preparing, rather what I would recommend is that in the future, should you dare venture to these paradises of filth, walk with the panadol that you so aptly prescribe for your readers. The content of my pieces is hardly reason for the closure of such an establishment by the authorities (especially in comparison to its neighbour, club 360), and anyone daring to bring a child out after dark in search of ‘culture’ is gonna have quite a task. Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, and I believe that diversity adds much needed spice to this societal stew that we live in. What can ruin things is when people taint the pot with misguided perceptions and then try to ask others to take a taste. Mr. Bourne, please do not see this reply as just a backlash by someone who got a bad review. I am not only here in defense of myself, but I am defending the good emerging name of the Talk Hard show. The headline of your article does a grave disservice to the hard working organizers of the show ? regardless of whatever good is in the body of the story. I am a serious, multiple award winning poet on the national level, and there are many sides to my work. To quote a couple lines from one of my poems (no cuss words): “I have only one thing on my agenda, and that is to continue to commend, offend, defend, mend, amuse, sometimes confuse, even seduce with each and every rhyme I produce”. Any of those can apply to a person at any particular time; however, I would not expect to be crucified just because a person is uncomfortable. This wasn?t intended to be posted as a blog, but you can feel free to do so, if you don?t mind a differing opinion on your blog spot. Even if this reply doesn’t see the light of day, at least one person, that being his airness would have seen that I have a voice both on and off the stage. Hopefully I will see you at the next event…and don?t forget the panadol.

    Regards
    Kashi Browne

  2. Wow, damn.

    Naw, this en’t a backlash – the same way I never had cursing or bad language in my News-Blog (a delivery of personal views and opinions apart from data from other islands – thus the invitation for Panadol), oh but wait a minute? Why do I have such a category in my Blog? Also “SEX”? H’mm, what have we here? Uh, Kashi, I leave it to YOU to check those references…

    Let’s look at the comment that is “NOT (sic)” a backlash?

    …The show was indeed a very good one, kudos to Adrian and DJ, but the show was in no way marred by the use of profanity by me or any other artist present. From the moment I read your blog I was tempted to reply, using the most scalding of adjectives towards you, but that would only have aided in your attempt to portray me as a filthy mouthed perverted youth.

    Da-yum! Show me where I refer to you as what you called yourself? Inever said all of the show was bad only what I did not like or any concerns I felt.

    I am amazed that someone who claims to be a journalist would present such a one-sided and inaccurate review of a person’s performance (besides your review of my performance, there were a few other inaccuracies in your report).I will waste no time correcting this blot of a blog that you have obviously spent so much time in preparing, rather what I would recommend is that in the future, should you dare venture to these paradises of filth, walk with the panadol that you so aptly prescribe for your readers.

    LMAO – “paradises of filth,” you love purple prose, nuh? At no point in my News-Blog does it say ISO 9002 Journalism Certified, ok? I offer my views on how I see an item. I also stated that many women in the audience were not impressed and heard it before to many times! In offering my views readers may get offended and need Panadol – in your case Extra-Strength Tylenol!

    The content of my pieces is hardly reason for the closure of such an establishment by the authorities (especially in comparison to its neighbour, club 360), and anyone daring to bring a child out after dark in search of ‘culture’ is gonna have quite a task. Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, and I believe that diversity adds much needed spice to this societal stew that we live in. What can ruin things is when people taint the pot with misguided perceptions and then try to ask others to take a taste. Mr. Bourne, please do not see this reply as just a backlash by someone who got a bad review.

    Um, ok… Sure, uh-huh!

    I am not only here in defense of myself, but I am defending the good emerging name of the Talk Hard show. The headline of your article does a grave disservice to the hard working organizers of the show ? regardless of whatever good is in the body of the story.

    Did you read the WHOLE item? Or just what I said about you? Please look again at the final paragraph…

    I am a serious, multiple award winning poet on the national level, and there are many sides to my work. To quote a couple lines from one of my poems (no cuss words): “I have only one thing on my agenda, and that is to continue to commend, offend, defend, mend, amuse, sometimes confuse, even seduce with each and every rhyme I produce”. Any of those can apply to a person at any particular time; however, I would not expect to be crucified just because a person is uncomfortable. This wasn?t intended to be posted as a blog, but you can feel free to do so, if you don?t mind a differing opinion on your blog spot. Even if this reply doesn’t see the light of day, at least one person, that being his airness would have seen that I have a voice both on and off the stage. Hopefully I will see you at the next event…and don?t forget the panadol.

    Personally I prefer Excedrin but that did not seem Bajan, anyhow, your item made light of day – but ya need to spend a while getting to know of the topics I write about. This is is an online journal where you may not find sweet li’l ole homilies like what is found currently in print, tv and radio media here – this is arts/entertainment/sports WITH A DIFFERENCE! Your response is proof of that effort to be unlike mainstream media and call it as I see it, not CBC/Starcom/Advocate/Nation but MOI! Thanks for the laugh, but you are right, TALK HARD is good, but as I said until the new administration enforces Freedom Of Speech legislation, we still should be wary… Give the ENTIRE item a complete oversee, even check the links I provide – they carry you SOMEWHERE, and you actually may learn a thing or two, ok? Peace!

  3. yo Ian, i was just decided to read about what u thought about Talk Hard. I had a grand time, enjoyed majority of pieces presented.

    The whole bid about language is always a funny thing. I rememeber when i first started writing, my mom told me people who use profanity have little to none in creativity, as i got older i thought how wrong that is and its the other way around, its people who use it senselessly and all the time IE rappers. Before preforming at Talk Hard, i wrote Adrian and DJ and asked what were thier views on languague and the said the similar, just dont cuss for cuss sake. My use of language is usually for the bajan venacular purpose, no MFs, Bitches,none of that, its usually to highlight and emotion instead of just plain ol’ cussing. Either than that i dont really use cussing in my pieces, maybe only 20% of them.

    As for Kashi, i have respect for him as an artist, i do enjoy his work. Though he siad he was backlashing, it may not appear that way to him,but looking at it from the outside, it looked petty talking back. Criticism is always and a big part of the art. Instead of taking things personal, u take what u think is useful, and disgard what u think is not needed. If ur peers dont critique your work, they dont want u to grow, its just as important as congratulating them.

    Well, thats my $0.02
    I’ll see you two gentlemen next meet

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