Eye Unit: Hunter - Puncheon (Video), my cultural critique

>> Monday, November 16, 2009

I'm posting this video for three reasons:

1.  The song is popular
2.  I know most of you haven't seen the video yet
3.  I would like to use it to illustrate a point

Allow me to be honest with you for a moment.  I'm tired hearing the same themes in Soca and Chutney "OVER and OVER"....(Benjai, you were ahead of your time).  The fact that this song is about drinking rum comes as no surprise.  But why not? Is there nothing else to sing about?  Honestly, not being much of a drinker myself...and a bit of an intellectual at that, I tend to crave a little substance in music, in order to help us a West Indian people to elevate our consciousness using our most influential cultural medium, the music.

Instead, the trend is to make songs about stereotypical behaviour.  Releasing another chutney song about rum drinking is akin to a black artiste making a song about eating chicken and watermelon.  And that would be downright ridiculous, right?  Well, in my opinion, it all is.  Sure, carnival is about fun and revelry, but I can't imagine looking back at my career and discovering that my only lasting legacy is the glorification of alcohol use and sexual promiscuity.

 DISCLAIMER: This is not an attack on Hunter.  He's a decent guy, trying to continue growing his career in a tough market, where he is but a small part of a big machine that has already prescribed his role.

As we seek to take this music beyond the sandy shores of our islands to the world at large, what do we want to say?  As we invest in our cultural art forms to give Caribbean youth a sense of identity and place in a shrinking world, what do with wish them to believe about themselves.

Many of you will disagree with me.  Some will say I'm too serious.  Others still are only interested in soca music because of its apparent lawlessness.  To each his or her own.  As for me, I believe our men are more than drunken limers.  Maybe that's just me.

With no further ado, it's my (dis) pleasure to present to you the latest full length TV commercial for Puncheon and White Oak.

Love and Legacy,

Nurse Karen

5 x 2 cents (comment, nuh!):

ban-d-wagonist November 16, 2009 at 2:53 PM  

thanks for this karen... one of the reasons i chose not to highlight this track is coz it contains nothing new... its like a part 2 that totally wasnt necessary... it seeks to make my point of why SOCA music will continue to be Caribbean FOLK music...

i happened to make comment today while listening to Chromatics new Mixtape... the problem with 'local' music making it international is the use of terminology that only 'locals' may understand...

these artist need to get serious and delivery and lyrical content are important to me... if they ever want to reach acquire the status like other artists whove come fom the Caribbean... as i type RiRi is online broadcasting an album preview...

Anonymous November 16, 2009 at 2:53 PM  

Well said, you're simply making a point which we all know to be true. It should still be about the quality not the quantity.
Your point is heard, and accepted.

-The iDude

Jdid November 16, 2009 at 3:24 PM  

the question is do substance and soca mix? do people in the fete want substance?

Anonymous November 16, 2009 at 6:44 PM  

Re: does soca and substance mix?/do people in a fete want substance?

Of course! Maximus Dan made a career out of turning over fetes with songs that were lyrically substantive (see "Kick it Way", "Be Humble", "Soca Train", "Love Generation", etc.)

ORLANDO November 16, 2009 at 7:00 PM  

Well said, Karen.

Jdid, there are plenty of Soca songs that people can still enjoy a good dance/whine to.


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