(Eye Unit): Happy Birthday Benjai!

>> Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Benjai turned 33 recently and he marked his big day with a performance on Friday at the 601 Liquid Lounge in San Fernando, Trinidad.  The artist whose real name is Rodney Le Blanc, is recognized for his quirky antics and signature sayings on the mic.  Many current day soca artistes have been compared to their dancehall counterparts for their aggressive chatting style, but in my opinion, Benjai's sound harkens back to the golden age of dub, with a laid back sing songy playfulness that reminds you more of jazz scatting than fire flinging lyricism.

Carnival 2009 reminded Trinidad and Tobago that Benjai is very much alive and well.  After a couple of seasons bumping around with the HD Entourage, he was seen in concert gracing the stage with an updated version of his original band of Guntas, Asylum.  

So today, lemme pay a wee tribute to the guy who had had me forgetting that I was in Trinidad to work!  When the tunes "Tanty Seh" and "Drunk Again" came on the loud speaker, I was a screaming 14-year-old girl, just loving the carnival.

Thanks Benjai, and Happy Birthday!

Take in his much criticized stripped down, but completely infectious performance of "Drunk" again at the Grooy Soca Monarch Competition on Carnival Friday 2009. For this, he landed a 3rd place finish with nothing but a smile and his music.


Need more?  I posted the video once before with commentary.  Check it.

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