Soon come…these are the very terms that come closest, quickest, to explaining for a foreigner what to expect when you reach this vibes out island. Music is key to the history and life of the people of the Virgin islands…from the calypsonians of yesteryear, to the soca monarchs & road march champions …to the upful reggae vibrations that can currently be heard resonating the whole world over, music has always been, and will always be a large reason the islands are the way they are. But don’t get it twisted, struggle and fighting brutal oppression are an even bigger reason why St. Croix is such a powerful place. Kings and queens, emperors and empresses abound, and it’s the lineage of these royalty whom we have to site up when giving thanks for who we are today. Nothing comes easy in life, and if it does you should check it twice.
In the Caribbean it’s no different, people struggle, people hustle, people go hungry and people rob and worse. What do you expect a man to do who has children but no food to feed them? Lie down & die? Of course not…and since the bloodline of the virgin islanders is that which runs as a mirror image to west African bloodlines of yesteryear, you must know the men are lions and the women lionesses’. The colonialists learned very early on that those held captive had explosive rebellious abilities. That is why the Caribbean freed itself from the oppressors a long time before it’s American counterparts.
Everything must have balance, and St. Croix has a long history of both triumph and oppression. Go site up the discussion board for some very captivating stories of Virgin Islanders who have helped to shape world history. But let’s get back to the music, since I am a musician and that’s why you’re here, to hear music. I grew up listening to all kinds of music, but the order of what caught my attention goes like this; 1st I listened to my parents old records, blues, jazz, rock, reggae and everything in between.
When I was around 11 I started getting into soca music, the likes of ‘Arrow’, the mighty ‘Sparrow’, ‘Byron Lee & the dragonaires.’ Then when I was 12 I had this craving for all things Bob. I went around to all my parents fren’ dem and recorded as many Marley cassettes as I could get my hands on. Then I got into hip hop. From about 13 to 15 I was really into rap, collecting over 100 cassettes and reciting my favorite tunes and writing the lyrics down until I remembered them on my own.
Then I tired of the bragadocia of the American streets and returned to the reggae which courses thru my veins. I picked up Ninjaman, went to Shabba ranks, Mad Cobra, Maxi priest, Ziggy Marley shows when they passed thru the island...I listened to my fathers steel pulse vibes, of course Robert Nesta, Peter, Bunny. By 10th grade I was back deep into reggae music, moved by the foundation but even more interested in the dancehall dj’s who ripped microphones to pieces with rapid fyah deliveries. Shabba ranks was a big time reggae artist, and I have to site up his style as a major influence in those early years.
When Garnett silk was at the top of his game, when ‘Pinchers’ came out with “Bandelero”, When Tony Rebel did ‘Nazarite Vow’, when Ed Robinson did ‘knocking on heaven’s door’..yu can be sure I was right there in my bedroom..listening to the late night reggae jam with Kenny cool J, recording every thing that appealed to me…Shelly Thunder, Ninja Man, Super Cyat, Nardo ranks, Cobra, Capleton..the whole ah dem. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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