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Brother Resistance
Lancelot Lane
3 canal at
Rapso Explosion by Brother Resistance  at

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.''
Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott

Brother Resistance
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.

"RAPSO is a unique style of street poetry from Trinidad and Tobago which draws on the musical experience of the Shango/the Kaiso (Calypso) and robber-talk (a Carnival Theatre) / The Steelband and some have described it as Soka-Poetry or Poetry-in-Soka, but the Rapso Poet has resisted all such labels. "Rapso" is a term originally coined by Network Riddum Band of East Dry River, Trinidad.

"RAPSO has its historical roots in the ancient African traditions of the GIROT. Therefore the practitioner of Rapso is considered as the vessel of speech, the storehouse of knowledge and history, the teacher and communicator for this new generation. The rapso poet—man, woman, person—is one who lives and practices the art of RAPSO. RAPSO is living street theatre.

Brother Resistance
   "Rapso Explosion" by Brother Resistance [January, 1986]

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.



“the power of the word in the rhythm of the word”

Popularly understood as the combination of

 Rap and Calypso

Roots of Rapso:

Lancelot Layne

 Although it was not known at the time, Lancelot Layne's 1970 hit Blow Away was the first rapso recording. Layne is also well remembered for his 1971 recording Get off the Radio. The term Rapso was not coined until 1980 by Brother Resistance and his band's breakthrough hit "Ring De Bell."

Lancelot Layne, who passed away in 1990, was one first Trinidadian artists to travel internationally to major Universities and other institutions, where he lectured on history and did demonstrations on pan

Drawing on the folk traditions of the Carnival characters of Trinidad and Tobago Lance recreated the vibes of the "Chantuelle", "Pierot" and "Midnight Robber" to establish the reality of what is today called Rapso.

"don’t believe wot foreigners do
is better than you because that ent true
is ah mental block dat hard to unlock
it hard like ah rock an wid it yuh doh wuk
yuh go live wid illusion… tryin to be anodda man
blow way"

Lancelot Layne


The 1990's gave birth to a new generation of young rapso artists who combined the positive messages of rapso with dance rhythms. Among these groups, is a rare gem, who are the toast of their motherland of Caribbean Carnival culture, 3 canal who won many fans in their 2002 Northern California tour with appearances at Reggae of the River and Ashkenaz in Berkeley. There are few trios who have ever harmonized with the authority and liveliness of Stanton, Roger and Wendell.
   In 2007, Rapso continued its slow and steady rise with the success of its most celebrated practitioners at Port of Spain's finest theatre. The 3canal Carnival Ritual of High Mas during de Carnival repeated its critical and box office success at Queen's Park Theater

3canal often describe themselves as Rapso soldiers "on a mission to spread the power of the word, the message of Peace Love and Possibility."

The never stray but rarely repeat themselves in this mission, beginning their production with a PREAMBLE; quoting Martin Carter, Fritz Capra and the I ching to raise consciousness that the Time of Crisis is also a time to hope for the possible.

"The Chinese, who have always had a thoroughly dynamic worldview and a keen sense of history, seem to have been well aware of this profound connection between crisis and change. The term they use for crisis – wei-ji – is composed of the characters for ‘danger’ and ‘opportunity’.

Fritjof Kapra - The Turning Point.

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.

“It you don’t have a certain level of education, you can’t make a calypso,” he declared. “It takes a certain amount of knowledge to be a good calypsonian; and so lack of education and training causes this big gap, abyss, as it were. When people look at the art form long ago and today, they see a big gap.”



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.

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Calypso: art form involving the use of metaphors, similes, alliteration to delver messages of social commentary
calypsoes include:
  • 1968 - Brain Drain; Devaluation
  • 1969 - Reply to the Ministry
  • 1972 - Ah Fraid Karl; Goat Mouth Doc; Immigration Problems; Our Cultural Heritage; Somebody Mad; We Is We; We're Ten Years Old; Who Next
  • 1974 - Ah Thief It From Kitch; Bernard; Clear Your Name; Joanne; Let The Jackass Sing; Massa Day Must Done; Old Creole Way; Stay Up; Telephone Call; We Blight
  • 1975 - Calypso Disease; The Energy Crisis; Nixon's Mistake; Spare The Children; Straker's Boat Ride; To Spree With Love; Traffic Solution; Why Milo
  • 1976 - Chalkie The Teacher; The Essence of Love; Hang Him; Message to George Weekes; Too Much Tempo; Twentieth Century Greats; You Can't Judge Culture; No Smut for Me
  • 1977 - The Cubana Crash; The Message of '70; My Way of Protest; To Lloyd With Love; Theme for African Liberation; Why We Attack
  • 1978 - Ban Them Kitch; Brooklyn Tourist; Calypso vs. Soca; Mastana Bahar; Money Ain't No Problem; Rasta Language; St. Thomas Singers Too Fresh; Letter to Eric; That Good, That Bad
  • 1979 - Black Inventions; Caricom; De Spirit Gone; Eric Loves Me; Jonestown Massacre; Tantie Merle; Thanks Geddes; Trinidad Money
  • 1980 - Bring the Ayatollah; Uncle Sam Own We
  • 1982 - How to Sing Calypso; Respect We Ting
  • 1983 - Ash Wednesday Jail; Let's Learn to Laugh; Black Child's Prayer; National Pride; No Toilet In Town; Watch the Mixture
  • 1984 - Ah Love Trinidad; The Drunk Monk; Learn to Laugh; Ram the Magician; They Ent African At All; When the Roll Called Up Yonder
  • 1985 - Grand Pa's Back Pay; It Ain't Have Man Again; Rum Mania; St. Thomas Heroes; Sweet Pan War; White Man's Plan
  • 1986 - Too Much Quacks; Port-of-Spain Gone Insane
  • 1987 - What the Hell You Want; We Kinda Leader; The Drug Report; Children World; Last Jour Ouvert; The Scape Fox; Them People Laughing At We
  • 1989 - They Can't Beat We; Try Obeah; Twenty Years 'N Twenty Strokes
  • 1990 - Bush Yard; Come Back Home; Con Dom Mania; People's Army; Soca Is the Cure; Soca Jam; That Good: That Bad
  • 1991 - You the Jury
  • 1992 - One for the Savannah
  • 1996 - National Unity; Selwyn In The Garden Hiding
  • 2000 - Tug O War Society; For Kitchener's Sake
  • 2001 - The Tent Is It; A Shortcut Society; Kitch 2001
  • 2002 - Ah Lost Roy; From Naipaul to Shame
  • 2003 - Letter to Keith Rowley; Just So
  • 2006 - Placed 3rd in Calypso Monarch competition with "The Bandit Factory" and "Chalkie the Mailman"
  • 2007 - Soca Warriors


 Government Training College for Teachers, the University of the West Indies, and at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, USA.  He holds a Teacher's Certificate, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Education, a B.A. in History and Sociology, an M.A. in History and African History, a Post Graduate Certificate in Philosophy and a Ph.D. in History and Ethnomusicology.  Beginning his stellar career as a primary and secondary school teacher, he has also served his native land as Director of Culture, 1993-1999.

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