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REGGAE ON BROADWAY

CaribZone Commentary: Aubrey Campbell –Monday, August 29th

Folks, Give God the praise for another day above ground. I’ve got so much things to say right now, coming out of a very busy weekend.

It’s the end of another month. Floridians are headed to the polls on Tuesday, August 30, for local, city and state elections. The post mortem of Jamaica’s most recent general elections continues. Reggae returned to Broadway in a big way, last evening. Is the United States of America the greatest country on planet earth? The race for the White House or is it more like a six of one, half dozen of the other, kinda matter, continues to play out in dramatic fashion! Urgently need, a Consul General at 767 Third Avenue, NYC. What’s taking so long? And yes, Black lives, as do all lives, MATTER! Sports becoming the great unifier/equalizer!

Indeed, folks, so much things to say, right now!

Let me start with the heartbeat of a people, it’s popular culture, like what was on display, on TV last evening, and what a show that was! If you missed it, if you have lost your ‘hipness’, if music in the visual form is too young for you, if the ‘moon man’ token, symbolizing the best of the art form, means nothing to you, then I cannot help you. And I am serious!

Watching the Video Music Awards (VMA), presented by Music Television (MTV), there were some noticeable ‘take aways’.

Sex, or by any other name, sells, BIG TIME! No mistaking that. Not much was left to the imagination, at least not mine, on that stage, last evening!

Ladies, women, if you prefer, run t’ings! And if Queen B-eyonce is the leader, island princess Rihanna, is waiting in the shadows.

What was most telling from my VP, in HD, here in the DS (hip speak for you, dude), was the influence and the confluence of a little known genre called reggae, borrowed some, by Mrs. Beyonce Knowles Carter and Rihanna, for good effect.

There have been many attempts and with varying degrees of success, to bring the drum and bass inspired cultural artistry to mainstream audiences and I dare say, the awards was a crowning moment that shone bright, like a diamond, yes, indeed!

That Broadway block party throw down by Ms. Barbados, could have easily been mistaken for Half Way Tree Square or Negril. My word!

Simply mind boggling choreography or, dem people deh kno’ how fi get on bad. Loved it. Never mind that the lyrics and/or rhythm were used with permission. It will surely add more fuel to the fire of talk that the music, the genre, is no longer just about Jamaica, it’s birthplace.

Although we may want to say that she is the girl, now woman from next door, it stands to reason that her score is a testament to the international, global appeal of the music. What happened on Broadway last evening is worth taking note of.

I, for one, used to frown at people who try to tell and convince me that their music is big ‘ a farin’, in Japan, Australia and Germany, hoping that I will not bother to ‘google it’, do any research, which I did not. That has changed, thanks to information technology and piracy.

I have heard and I have privy to very constructive discourse on the present state and projected future of reggae music, a major concern to many industry insiders and rightly so, because some aspects of the music have not kept pace with development trends in the pop culture arena.

The absence of any of the known standard bearers at such a showpiece event, says a lot! Rihanna represented well, if not Jamaica, certainly the Caribbean sub-region in that reggae/dancehall block party and we congratulate her on being presented with the iconic MJ Video Vanguard Award for a trailblazing and trendsetting 11 years in the business!

Reggae was broad on Broadway. Thanks MTV!

Chris Brown has nothing on her, anymore!

Folks, before there can be a transformation towards relevance of political parties and their policies, there has to be some shame and scandal. It happened here in these United States, not so long ago, for those who care to remember.

The conspiracy of weapons of mass destruction, engineered by a Texan and Caribbean man, rendered the GOP, useless and out of touch. That party is now trying to re-invent itself along unconventional lines. Donald Trump stands on the threshold of brilliance or oblivion with D-day just two months away!

What is interesting is that there is no confusion, no grey area between the last two candidates vying for the POTUS. The confusion is who has the better publicist, The Donald or Hillary. Trump speaks his mind, from the heart while Mrs. Clinton speaks from a position of careful thought.

In Jamaica, the PNP’s need for transformation and relevance is taking some painful but seemingly necessary twists and turns. And how ironic that a medical doctor has written the prescription after careful diagnosis but the patient is refusing the medication. How is that?

The JLP went thru’ it and that was no secret. Some called it then self destruction. Today, that unit is a puff of fresh air on the political landscape. What was hidden from the wise and prudent, is now being revealed to babies!

It’s time for me to go! Read my lips, silly.

By the way, I need to speak with the Consul General in New York but I don’t know how much longer I can wait. And notice, I did not say the Acting CG! Derron McCreath is someone I know and the question I have is not for someone who is action. No offense to the gentleman!

And so I will wait but I don’t know for how much longer. February gone long time and Andrew and Mrs. Kamina Johnson Smith need to understand the worth and importance of the New York City office. I will just say, the NE Diaspora matters and hold my tongue, until such time.

Making Jamaica great again! SMH

Folks, that’s today’s conversation. You have the last word. Share your thoughts.

–end–

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