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Lewd\smutty calypso controversy
Posted: Saturday, January 25, 2003

THE EDITOR: Today I wish to share some ideas with you regarding the controversy on smutty/lewd calypsoes. Over the years sections of the public have raised objections to calypsoes they perceive to be smutty or lewd, calling for bans on radio airplay and performances at children's shows.

I myself made such a call some years ago. Calypsonians however have constantly made the point that the calypso is discriminated against since no one calls for similar bans on other types of music. This forced me to critically listen to songs of all kinds being played on the airwaves and I discovered that the calypsonians have a very valid point.

Pop singer R Kelly was rocking the airwaves recently with his popular hit where he describes in vivid details the sexual act. The Jamaican Dub Group Inner Circle goes to the extreme in its hit song "Make you Sweat", again a graphic description of the sex act.

Hip Hop Singer Tweet also seems to be in the same mode. I can call countless others now enjoying unfettered airplay. There are also countless dub and hip-hop songs currently enjoying widespread radio airplay, which project violence, gangsterism and hate.
We need to develop some kind of policy that would be consistent, fair and objective.

I would like to advocate that while we haggle about banning or not banning we should try to develop children who can think critically and are able to make wise choices. We should also proactively call on the radio stations to include music that is morally uplifting and motivating on its play list so there will be some balance in the types of music we are exposed to.

We have positive musical pieces in different types of music whether calypsoes, Hip Hop, Pop or Dub. There are many pieces, which can be utilised to facilitate music and poetry lessons in our schools.
Sugar Aloes' contribution is appropriate material to deal with the subject of good parenting while R Kelly's "I am the Greatest" is appropriate for building self-confidence and esteem.

Singing Sandra's "Empowerment" and Sparrow's immortal hit on Education are apt musical pieces for airplay and for use in the schools. David Rudder's "Trini to the Bone" is one calypso we can do some creative work with.

There are some features in the Trini to the Bone, which we need to keep, and some others as late coming, and unsubstantiated malicious gossip, which need to be flushed out of our bones and psyche.

Considering the fact that our children will have to face challenges and make decisions throughout their lives, it might be a better bet to properly equip them to critically analyse in arriving at choices rather than concentrating on having bans enforced. What do you think?


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