The vintage Calypso contest returns to for its 2nd annual go around for the 2007 Carnaval San Francisco weekend. The big news is two of the most respected senior members of the esteemed Trinidad and Tobago musical family will be joining us, Brother Resistance and Chalkdust
''the depth and contradictions that
enrich a place like Trinidad. It is so varied and concentrated in its
variety that it is probably one of the most exciting places in the world
to work in.''
|Lutalo Masimba was born
in the East Dry River area
of the Trinidad capital of Port of Spain, , the man known today is better
known as Brother Resistance, the most acclaimed and active founding
elders of rapso.
Brother Resistance's 1980 hit "Ring De Bell" was rapso's breakthrough call to arms. The bell, and the refrain of “Ring it all over / Ring de bell down dey”, is used to draw attention to the need for justice, freedom and other human rights issues.
As a young boy, Brother Resistance was told by his teacher that what he was writing was not to be considered poetry so early on he understood that he would create a new form, a new tradition for himself and others who did not fit the narrow definitions of poets outlined by a British system. Working a series of menial jobs after graduating from high school Brother Resistance continued to be drawn to music.
He assumed the leadership of the Network Riddim Band by 1970. Eventually he earned a bachelor's degree with honors in economics and history from the University of the West Indies, all the while continuing to chant and write his own songs, switching to electric music by the mid-'70s.
Throughout the seventies he continued to chant and write his own songs, switching to electric music by the mid-'70s. Following the release of their debut album, Busting Out, in 1981, Brother Resistance the Network Riddim Band returned to Trinidad and Tobago at the request of Prime Minister Dr. Eric Williams.
The musical experience which fuelled the new art form of Rapso came from the rhythms of the street, the steelband yards, the drum yards and the calypso arena of Port of Spain, Trinidad. The movement maintains its Carnival roots through its celebration of colorful characters who only become larger than life during the Carnival season. The vibes and the flavour harkens to a social movement of a people striving for true liberation and self determination. This is food for both the soul and spirit.
It was the Network Riddum Band that coined the term rapso. Since then Brother Resistance, also known as Lutalo Makossa Masimba, has gone on to become one of the Trinidad's best known and most widely toured rapso performers.
Brother Resistance along with Karega Mandela and Brother Book, was instrumental in establishing a day of celebration for rapso in Trinidad and Tobago. In 2007, both organizers and audience were blown away by the Rapso performance delivered by a fan and patron in attendance, the legendary cricket player Brian Laura performed impromptu a ditty from his school days.
Rapso is the sound of the youth vibe...the consciousness of Soca, the poetry of Calypso. Rapso is the voice of the ancestors, the opening for storytellers, the queue for Carnival characters. Rapso is the light to the dark shadow of today's hip hop misogyny.
|Dr Hollis Liverpool,
performs as “Chalkdust”, when he is not educating students as an
Associate Professor in History at the University of the Virgin Islands
or conducting seminars designed to produce the next generation of social
bards by imparting the value of cultural arts in the school curriculum.
Liverpool is well known as an engaging lecturer and knowledgeable lyricist who was The Trinidad and Tobago Minister of Culture between 1993 and 1999.
Chalkdust has recorded more than 300 songs. He is the eight-time winner of St. Thomas’ (USVI) King of The World contest, the seven-time holder of Trinidad and Tobago’s Calypso Monarch title. Only the Might Sparrow with 8 crowns has won more Calypso Monarch titles, but he no longer competes.
He is the author of the books "Rituals of Power and Rebellion: The Carnival Tradition in Trinidad and Tobago" and "From the Horse’s Mouth", a socio-cultural history of calypso from 1900 to 2003.
The Mighty Chalkdust comes strong in 2005 and wins the Calypso Monarch title.
Author of six books on Caribbean culture
Professor of Sociology at the University of the West Indies on St. Thomas
Liverpool was born in 1941 and raised in a middle class section of Laventile as part of the Catholic school system