The Counter-Revolution is Here

Historically, Caribbean compositions have been naughty, cheeky, filled with double entendre, especially Calypso, which was designed to lightly criticize and cleverly comment about the ruling class, male-female relationships, and life in general.

What was once light-hearted, has over the years become more heavy-handed, and in the 2019 Caiso & Soca Monarch competition, one of the contestants practically lashed, mauled and destroyed, a member of the media, now under investigation, he didn’t ‘know,’ he couldn’t obliterate a person from stage, it wasn’t written in the rules.

I wonder what he did in kindergarten, that he failed to learn civility and respect.

The local music videos went down the same path, going from cute and sexy to raunchy and lewd, twerking becoming the exclusive female stance, as the so-called dancers throw and thrust their hips, attached to huge squatting buttocks, usually in yellow spandex.

Take for example the recent bar and street scene in Fuerte Pa Bo, which I find terribly degrading to the females in the clip, suggestively sucking their ice pops every time they take a break from twerking. The video also features weed smoking, mock doggy-style intercourse, and the sweetest children, as props.

OK, so now you understand the backdrop.

In walks Tabitha Smith-Heemstadt. She was the LAST performer during the Caiso & Soca Monarch competition, around 5am, when she took to the stage with MY HOPE written by her in collaboration with her brother Dwain Heemstadt.

And she snatched the crown, as Lady Ambiente.

She blew everyone out of the ball park with her message of unity, lecturing the crowd about taking responsibility, being a good neighbor, telling friends and family members that you loved them, getting involved, breaking off the chains of passivity and mental slavery to consumerism, and by doing so rising from poverty, individually first, then the society as a whole!

She sang beautifully, and had a stage loaded with her own musicians, members of her church. One of my friends explained that Tabitha Smith-Heemstadt isn’t just a gospel singer, she has been a Worship Director for years, coordinating musicians and a choir, and that her win on Saturday was a result of a lifetime of Sunday worship excellence, in Aruba in her parents’ church, and in the Netherlands.

As it turns out, in recent years here, Tabitha conducts the Sunday service at Paseo Herencia, spreading love within her Christian Community, stimulating members to live their BEST life, at 10am, every Sunday.

Tabitha also had a Soca in the race, called Shine, you get it, reminding us to never dim our lights. That song she says, was a divine download, written overnight.

Surprise. That same day, Aruba’s most popular, internationally recognized musician Jeon, writes on his Facebook wall: “I never realized how much damage I have done to kids, with my lyrics, when they sing and repeat the inappropriate language. I must have corrupted a whole generation. Letting them believe in what I said and influencing them with my stinking-thinking. These are things I regret. But God saw my heart and knows I am his messenger, and maybe one day I can inspire all other musicians to just do what God intended us to do. One Love. #positvevibes

Wow, does this means that twerking bit the dust?!

Not sure, but it is an interesting Counter-Revolution, a welcome pull-back.

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February 12, 2019
Rona Coster
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