Archive for the ‘soca’ Category

Good Wining: Dancing and Cultural Identity

November 9, 2014

“She had no timing; she was East Indian.” * 

The truth is good wining is really subjective. One person’s perceived expert daggering is another person’s “leave me alone nah.” I always like to think that I can tell where people are from — by their wining. In Caribbean parties, when a groin stealthily presses against me, fusing its oscillations into mine, sometimes I’ll dance back and afterwards, whirl around to guess triumphantly, “You’re Jamaican, aren’t you?” Sometimes I am wrong, but I am usually correct. I can tell a Trini wine too. Boy, can I tell a Trini wine. We fit like puzzle pieces riding a soca rhythm that we both know intimately. Let me restate that, a good Trini wine.

There are good wines and bad wines and across cultures, we can find different wining styles. Vincentians don’t wine like Trinbagonians or exactly like Bajans. None of this is inherently better or worse. It all depends. I like to lead and set the pace. I hate to be juggling with a dancing partner over leading a wine. Sometimes, our rhythms don’t match up. Sometimes people are off beat. And a hot mess. Sometimes, it’s all Mean Girls-esque like, “You can’t wine with us.”

So, how do we end up deciding what “good” wining looks like? It’s not so much that the video lead can’t wine in Olatunji’s recent “Wining Good” video, but when her wining then gets filtered through the peculiar lens of race and culture, some interesting things start revealing themselves. Judging by youtubers, there is plenty of that occurring with recurring echoes of this Indian girl can’t wine good forming a significant portion of the criticisms of the video. Inside of Trinidad and Tobago, cultural anxieties about race and nationality get well wrung out and tellingly signified inside of soca and calypso. Olatunji himself, is part of a rich lineage of black and Afro-descendant Trinbagonian men singing about wooing, seducing, loving, and or paying homage to a certain East Indian woman.

As I’ve noted elsewhere, wining often symbolizes sexual ownership and alternately or concurrently, sexual agency — the question of whether wining itself, is inherently, primarily, sexual is another issue altogether. I think it can be whatever you want it to be. The exact same movement can constitute a polite wine you might deliver once then hustle off and extract yourself from it. It can mean nothing. Or it can mean something. The same movement can also be incredibly sensual when both parties want to take it there.

Before Olatunji, there was Mighty Sparrow’s “sexy Marajhin“, Shurwayne’s “East Indian beauty” in “Don’t Stop“; Scrunter’s “Indian gyul beating bass pan coming up in Despers“; Preacher’s “Dulahin“; Moses Charles’ “Indrani“; Machel Montano (with Drupatee) in “Indian Gyul“; and of course, curry songs like Xtatik’s “Tayee Ayee” and Mighty Trini’s classics about “Indian obeah” or the curry and the woman who packed up and left him. I would also classify Second Imij’s enduring “Golo” as firmly within this trope too, where the golo, “this Indian beti living Caroni”, takes a firm hold of poor Uncle’s sensibilities under some questionable means. Or, we could just say that Uncle went quite tootoolbay over his Indian woman.

Conversely, Indian artistes very rarely sing about or employ Afro-descendant amours in soca, chutney or calypso. Black and African descent female soca women sing about Indian men far less than the men sing about Indian women. Denise “Saucy Wow” Belfon’s “Indian Man” and Destra’s “Come Beta” are notable exceptions. Drupatee Ramgoonai burst onto the soca scene significantly claiming her space in a male and Afro descendant space. Drupatee could not  have done so singing about how well a black man wined, I imagine. Absolutely could not. When Rikki Jai enters the soca arena, fittingly, the mango of his eye is a lovely Indian girl named “Sumintra” whose Indianness, in fact, is strongly mitigated by telling Rikki “I am a Trinbagonian” and “hol’ de Lata Mangeshkar, gimme soca.” She exists in song in sharp contrast to widely held local ideas of Indian nationalism.



Feminist Kaiso and Soca Playlist

February 11, 2014


Because you needed this in your life and the carnival season is upon us and because wining (without an “h”) is totally a feminist act. And some of allyuh need to be schooled in some classics.

Do note: for the purposes of my personal analysis, a feminist calypso or soca song can be feminist regardless of whether the performer has explicitly called themselves feminist. So, no, Destra may or may not consider herself feminist (I have no idea about that) but that doesn’t prevent a feminist lens from being applied to her work.

I’m also aware that male songwriters have penned some classics for women, but unless we are going to completely erase the agency of the women performers who bring the songs to life, then that too, doesn’t detract from meaning and implications. All shared art: musical, written and otherwise, is liable to interpretation, which may or may not collude with the artists’ agenda. Additionally, all songs sung by a woman aren’t implicitly feminist just because a woman sings it. Case in point: Patrice’s “Give Him (Bam Bam).” Yeah, no eh.

Anyhow, a soca or calypso song may be feminist if it advocates for women’s autonomy and agency, interrogates and or celebrates women’s sexual agency (in soca and calypso, this is often symbolised by the free movement of and “ownership” of the bam bam as well as wining); reinscribes social mores, or advocates for or examines gender (in)equality, or complicates how we think about gender or gender roles in society. Or just sounds good to the feminist ear. Basically, if feminists can flex out to it and not cringe inwardly, then we might be on to something.

Without further ado, some of my favourite feminist chunes in no particular order. (List is not at all exhaustive. List is also, arguably, very Trini soca/calypso oriented.)

“Die With My Dignity”: because you shouldn’t have to bull for a wuk. Unless of course that is what your work entails. Voluntarily, safely and with personal agency of course. (We don’t slutshame or invalidate sex work in these here parts.)

Also, because Singing Sandra was part of The United Sisters, the first ever all-woman kaiso soca group and she’s a legend!

Sample lines: “Well if is all this humiliation/ to get a job these days as a woman/ Brudda, dey go keep dey money/ I go keep my honey and die with my dignity!”

Which leads me to “Whoa Donkey” by The United Sisters because of soca sisterhood and the no-attempt-to-hide-sexual-innuendo coupled with a dance that is nothing short of classic. Sample lines: “Tonight in de fete/ Is ride until yuh wet/ climb up on ah back. . .”

Saddle up, fellas! And ladies.

“Obsessive Winers.” Denise, Alison and Destra. Soca Queen Triad who doh deal with outta timers. That is all.

Calypso Rose’s version of a classic, “Rum and Coca-Cola.” She is a Tobagonian by birth from the sister isle and the first woman to ever win a Road March title!

Drupatee Ramgoonai for rewriting social, gender and racial expectations as the first female East Indian soca star. (Also see the equally classic “Mr. Bissessar.”)


Updates: On life, living etc.

November 18, 2012

So, while I have missing from my corner of the blogosphere (if anyone noticed), I have been staying relatively busy on the Facebook page, linking and posting all manner of poetry, articles, images that inspire and incite and more, from various web sojourns. I suppose, overall, lots of stuff has been taking place — let’s see, I got a manuscript accepted. My forthcoming (and first!) poetry chapbook will come out in late 2013, published by the ethereal and immensely talented dancing girl press. It will be suffused with hibiscus, creaking spines, dark rum, blackness and blackgirl love.

Also, in the meantime, my heart has been aching for Palestine, I have kept peeping my favorite blogs (yeah, I see you all), I’ve been bonding more with Mama Oshun, snuggling regularly with a certain deliciously warm and wonderful brown body, I got involved with the Two Lips collective project where I’ll be trying to work all kinds of black-West Indian-femme-feminist-fierceness in partnership with Kayla from Sage (among others); I watched Sesame Street (random post coming on that soon); I got more in tune with my cosmic ish (take heed: Jupiter is in retrograde allyuh!); plus, I got thoroughly annoyed with the ever tiring myth of Indian exceptionalism being spewed by one of our country’s ambassadors (post might be coming on that soon) Grrrr.

All that taking place, then I saw this:

OK, to start with, I understand that “jokey soca” is supposed to be a genre onto itself (see some chunes by Crazy for example) which is separate from picong, though the traditions inform one another in some ways. This is also separate from the tradition of double entendre in soca and kaiso which, may or may not, be funny. Alright — now with that said, we can connect cultural notions of Trinbagonian picong too to similar diasporic manifestations like “playing the dozens” where insults and barbs are “New World” incarnations of African sociolinguistic expressions and the oral tradition carried within descendants of the earliest Africans.

We also cannot categorically consider this song anything close to picong because there is only one voice in the song and that is of Myron B’s. Picong involves an exchange of wits at least. The woman has no voice here. I’ve noted before how even inside supposedly “jokey” soca — there are always problematic elements of truthtelling about who we are as a people and who we decide to make fun of and in what ways.  In Anthurium, Andrea Shaw has observed how the fat black female body became this site for hypersexualisation in soca and dancehall, as well as humor.

Note the kind of big woman in this music video, note her shade, note her nod to Mammy — her simultaneous pseudo-sexualisation (from the first attraction) then the chronic, progressive desexualization throughout the song and video; this is key here: the fact that the “attraction” and whatever sexual attributes once there, (oh wait, it’s happening only because he never dated someone 300 lbs before) positively shrink throughout the song and the fat black woman is in fact, the central punchline by the end. The joke is on her actually, never him, even though they end up in a bed together and he ends up in bandages and he would like us to think the joke is on him (she dreams of ice-cream while next to him, remember?). And that’s a problem. The whole thing is a problem.

Image via: Buttah Love

The very premise of fat women and fat black women as voyeuristic challenges for a man to prove his manly mettle because of their size, is problematic all on its own and not just because real fatphobia exists and women who don’t fit in the dominant paradigm’s mandate of what an appropriate size should be end up having to deal with these same attitudes from too many people every damn day. It’s not okay because fat people are human beings and their feelings are valid just like anyone else’s. Their right to exist free from body shame, bullying and damaging parodies is valid, again, just like anyone else’s.


Roll It Boy: On Men, Masculinity and Bringing the Winery

December 10, 2011

There are few things I love more than men wining in wanton abandonment. Maybe good food and a select range of other things excite me more. I love men wining because of the ways in which it disturbs the mask of heterosexual masculinity. It flexes, disrupts and discombobulates with a swivel of the bamsee — most of all, it makes a lot of people, men and women, uncomfortable. I’ve contemplated before how masculinity is sometimes performed inside soca and the ways in which wining is coded inside the performativity of the stage persona (or perceived actual persona) of some male soca artists.

As a Trinbagonian from a wide ranging Caribbean & West Indian background reaching into Guyana and even further up the archipelago, seeing men dance completely unhinged is nothing new to me. Luckily, among some of the young men I know, seeing men wine down the place and bend over in front of a woman is also nothing scandalous to me and though I love to see it myself personally, I understand that it’s still a revolutionary upending of masculinity in some ways. Consider for instance, this video of Congolese singer (and newly crowned wining-god by me) Fally Ipupa’s stage performance with his band and dancers:

Predictably, under the video comments, there is one lamenting “why will a guy dance like a women [sic]” in addition to “this shit is SO gay…omg!!” The sexism and homophobia of these two comments underscore the power and meaning of the hetero (and/or assumed hetero) men who dance employing their hips, refusing to be constrained by context and widespread socio-cultural policing of acceptable vs. non-acceptable expressions of hegemonic masculinity.

What I really appreciate in this performance is the way in which the men’s gyrations seem to be performed fully, unapologetically with gusto by men, almost as a means to its own end — there are no women backup dancers bouncing around with them, and there are no women even seen in the audience within the camera’s range and this centers the men’s sexually suggestive hip movements in a uniquely singular way that I rarely see some black men do anymore.

Across the diaspora, men are allowed to be sexually suggestive in dance within reason and are even allowed to make people uncomfortable, within reason — so “daggering” might make some people uncomfortable but it’s an acceptable form of male sexually suggestive dance. R&B singers can slow wine at certain select moments, usually involving a lap dance on stage and a woman pulled from the audience or something of that nature. Wining, and men wining without women as props — not quite as acceptable.



How Sweet the Sound

March 2, 2011

In the spirit once more, of the Merry Monarch’s reign supreme and a fascination with all (if not, most) things soca: I’ve been happily musing on 2011 soca trends. West Indian  popular culture, of  course, offers no end of  fodder — whether it’s sex and dancehallkaiso feminisms, the performance of masculinity by male soca stars, peripatetic postulations around black women’s derrières or, whether palancing is good for the soul (word is, it is).

On that note, it was interesting to see Africa (& strong African elements) trending hard in soca this season. Real damn hard. This season is long but some of these songs came out early, inundating my ears with thundering drums, rippling along polyrhythmic syncopations replete with echoes of the Motherland, or “the jungle” (or both?) On the appropriately titled “Swahili” riddim, there’s Denise “Saucy Wow” Belfon’s “Dance and Dingolay, and” Pelf’s “Obeah“, then there’s Alison Hinds’ “Makelele“; plus, Bunji Garlin’s “De African“, making it feel like “de Maroons never gone” indeed. It is enough to make yuh want to roll an’ tumble down — in the best way possible, that is.

Bunji’s song revisits a kind of neo-Africanness through the eyes of those who view him in Germany first, in the opening stanza, vascillating between his “Trini-man” identity, his Trinidadian identity and his skin colour which is read as African, moving through a celebratory reckoning of said cultural identity: “standard in meh hand / like ah spear going brave,” and “standing up jus like ah chief,” (with Bajans, Antiguans and Grenadians acknowledged along the spectrum) — in one of the most non-euphemistimic ways I’ve heard in new, contemporary soca in a while — he merges all three. Garlin, is also the Black Spaniard, a globalised West Indian citizen, constantly evoking spit-fire identities like a chameleon, as he ever complicates his cultural identity in song.  Additionally, Cassie’s “Tong (Town) Ting” asserts and celebrates the downtown, behind-de-bridge, Piccadilly Greens and all other “tong girls” — “red, darkie and  brown-skin”, whom his zipper wants to take ah grip on — this, all atop a sweet kaiso melody.



Carnival of Commercialisation

February 24, 2011

This post was written in 2008 and originally appeared on the first incarnation of the “Caribbean Axis” website. As we await the reign of the Merry Monarch — I decided it would be an apt piece to revisit.

Carnival in TnT is so special to all ah we, like we need blood in we veins–that’s how we feel about Port-of-Spain–” Destra Garcia.

This piece is really borne from a place of anxiety as well as one of love. I love Carnival but I get increasingly ambivalent about what it is becoming reduced to with each passing year. I’m anxious too about what “people” will say because you know, people get real vex any time you criticize Carnival and its commercialization.  I guess it’s kind of like hearing Sat Maharaj berate chutney music for the ten millionth time, after a while, people just get exasperated and say, “well yuh doh hadda listen to it nah!”

Which is kind of along the lines of the same thing that people will tell you when you critique Carnival culture.  In true Trini fashion, you will hear, “well doh participate nah!” Or, something or the other to that effect. True, makes sense. But what happens if you really do love Carnival, you know that Lord Kitchener’s “Carnival Baby” is about you; it’s almost like that song pulses in your veins. You cannot let it go — even when it’s over. You love it for its historical context, its social implications, its freeness, its energy.  You see how Carnival is really like a kind of  “thing” too, throbbing with its own lifeline while simultaneously existing deep within all of us true Carnival babies.  You almost can see it too and you can watch something or someone and say, “yuh see dat right there.  Now THAT is Carnival.” (more…)


Kaiso Feminisms

August 23, 2010

“If yuh waist could talk, gyul—it woulda cry—” David Rudder

Last year, I had a paper accepted for reading at the University Carlos III of Madrid’s first International Conference on the Caribbean: “The Myth of the Caribbean woman.” While I couldn’t make it to Spain, my paper, a labor of love topic from my undergrad days—became reworked and will be included in the upcoming conference publication later this year. In the paper, I focused on a selection of women in soca and the ways in which these women articulate, celebrate and claim ownership of their bodies in song and wining (which Ayanna on facebook the other day, in quoting the smart & eloquent Atillah Springer, rightly declares “wining is a revolutionary act.”) Yuh damn well right it is, Ms. Springer. So, because my paper was centred on the women–I didn’t (for that paper) take the time to seek out men who sang (if any) feminist or women-centered calypso.

Not those songs that simply feature women through the gaze of the male calypsonian or male soca star mesmerized by her bumper and wining skills (of which there are plenty songs), but songs that articulate (like some of the women): a woman’s autonomy that is critical of social and gender norms and serious about interrogating them; songs that locate the woman as agent of this and her own sexuality, and complicates the woman’s positionality in Trinidadian society. David Rudder’s “Carnival Ooman” (1992) from the album Frenzy does this very well. I happened to listen to it recently on disc two of my Gilded Collection (of which, disc one is on heavy steady rotation inside my car).



on being brave

February 17, 2010

do people truly sit down and vibes over what ian alvarez is saying/singing sometimes? cause sometimes i really don’t think they do—and they should. and yes, i consider it a kind of intellectual laziness when some people say how he is chanting “too fas” so they couldn’t be bothered.

anyhoo, on the eve of the merry monarch’s 2010 reign, a few timely words from the black spaniard’s “brave”. instant classic i say.




on why palancing is [probably] good for your soulcase

February 15, 2010

Like many Trinbagonians not home for this year’s Carnival season, I watched (tried to anyway, on that god awful feed) and listened to the 2010 soca monarch feed online on carnival Friday. At the end, when the results were called, I wasn’t sure how I felt about “Palance” coming out on top. I really wasn’t.

Then I tried to break down why that was so. Mainly because initially, I didn’t think that “Palance” was an exceptionally crafted song—lyrically or otherwise—and for my personal musical aesthetic, that matters, to me. The hook was timely for sure, ridiculously catchy and infectious. Clearly, I am not a soca monarch judge either, and at the end of the day that is neither here nor there in the end picture.  Nevertheless! It is interesting to think about. Smidge of an occasional soca snob? Perhaps I am. Especially while sober. [Ok, usually while sober].  (more…)


The Trouble with Culture

May 17, 2009

Part rant, part retrospective, part pissed off-ness for my friend…

The trouble with culture is that it belongs to all of us, yet to no one person—-simultaneously. There are those who may say Ellie Mannette and Rudolph Charles (God res’ de dead) are responsible for the innovation of our beloved pan, does that make Mr. Mannette and Mr. Charles the sole bearers of the culture of pan? No, it doesn’t and as a Trinbagonian, it belongs to the collective registry of all that is part and parcel of our cultural landscape. You can possess it—but you cannot actually own it. But what happened after word got out that the Japanese tried to patent the steelpan shows that whether you can or can’t actually own vestiges of culture, it does matter who tries to do so however.

Sometimes Trinis like to bemoan the alleged carnivalesque nature of our work ethic and you frequently hear other Trinis complaining that it is hard to get anything done properly with our fellow country folk and things along those lines. You hear it all the time and I am not going to dig into that issue/perception right now but the fact is that there are plenty of enterprising sons and daughters of the soil, all over the place, both IN and OUT of our islands, making their mark in a variety of areas. Some are doing so through creatively re-appropriating and re-inventing cultural idioms and images. They’re making art, t-shirts, jewelry, sculpture, music and so on. Which is fine. Good.

Which leads me to wonder, when one is aiming to employ and economize off of a uniquely Trinibagonian aesthetic, does said individual owe anything to the inspiration of their art? Any responsibility to that culture? What about the people therein? If so, how and in what ways? Who is to say what that is? One of the ways to do so is to respect your other countryfolk. Respect their money and respect their interest in your product. They would have after all, more of a vested interest in some of your images than say, people half-way across the world who don’t. (Not that they can’t either but it’s not the same).

Ultimately, I wonder, what is to be the legacy of what you are doing? To just make money? To create a vision about what it means to be from this place called Trinidad and Tobago and make a statement about it—-whatever that is. On your own terms, re-imagining what that means for yourself and the greater cultural landscape at large. Because when you are putting products out there, the people who buy them with a critical eye, will be (and should be) interested in that. Yes, it can just look good too. No, it doesn’t always have to be that complex but I am hopeful that it might because I happen to value complexity.

So there is a clothing company called Coskel University which is partly owned and spearheaded by a Trinidadian. Coskel makes a wide array of women’s, men’s and children’s apparel. Many of their designs employ some vision of a uniquely Trinbagonian aesthetic and their designs are influenced and inspired by the music, culture, flora and fauna of Trinidad and Tobago. Their designs, their Kaiso icons t-shirt series are amazing. David Rudder on a tee is a yay! for me. I even own one of their coat-of-arms university tanks (pre John Legend and pre-stiffing my friend out of money!).

But I question the goal behind their vision the more that I see and hear. A press release statement issued last year, announced the company’s partnership with John Legend’s tour. In the same press release, the company’s statements on the vision of Coskel asserts, “if our product is marketed properly and is stylish the quality will speak for itself and reach the masses even if they are unaware of the culture itself.” Hmmm. Which somehow got me to thinking of that silly Skippy peanut butter ad with the elephant with dreads, wearing a Rasta tam, replete with a bad, pseudo-reggae jingle. If we don’t contextualize our own cultural images, when we put them out there, clearly no one else is going to do it for us. People will do want they want with it anyway! I don’t claim to know how it should be done, I’m just suggesting that if Coskel is selling shirts with Black Stalin and “beat pan” on it, how then, is it okay if people are “unaware of the culture itself?” It has to be two-fold I think, especially when you are capitalizing off a culture. I can’t tell someone what to do with their art, but I can certainly ponder what this means for the ways in which I subsequently view and/or choose to support their product.

On to my friend. A friend of mine, who co-owns and co-runs a small business in East Trinidad, selling all things Caribbean (clothing, accessories, handbags, natural soaps etc.) had placed an order with Coskel, that to this day, hasn’t been fulfilled. There is an outstanding balance of 250 USD still to resolved and the goods, yet to be delivered. Furthermore, to go into all the ins-and-outs of this situation: the e-mails back and forth, the tireless wrangling for what was sent—how many times allegedly by Coskel and the fact that they never ever reached my friend, could be a whole other blog of its own. The fact of the matter is that money was received for goods that have never materialized. NO refund and no product has been forthcoming til this day. And based on what I have heard, gleaned and peeped in e-mail transmissions and the like, I can’t help but see their dealings with this small business venture in Trinidad, as indicative of their broader product culture. I bet if this was some large-scale retailer in Asia courting them, the outcome of this scenario would be very different. Plain talk.

Extend to them, the same courtesies and opportunities and presumably prompt service, that you do to foreigners. In between the global expansion and while you are slapping the national coat of arms on a shirt, how do you not see the relevance in selling your product in said homeland and investing in doing so. Or to quote Sizzla Kalonji, “dance ah yard—before yuh dance abroad.” To my knowledge Coskel has been courted by a certain Syrian-Lebanese enterprise in Trinidad (a deal which didn’t materialize for whatever reason) but the brand has yet to set up any kind of showroom and be regularly stocked anywhere in Trinidad or Tobago, least of all by my friends for whom the order and the money is still outstanding to.

This does not mean that the brand is “limited by [its] Trinidadian culture” (from the Oct 31st 2008, John Legend and Band to wear Coskel University Clothing press release statement) but serving Trini retailers large OR small, locates the brand squarely there, literally and figuratively, much in the way that the brand is “defined by its cultural references.” There is nothing wrong with that. For instance, you can go to Jamaica and encounter lots and lots of people wearing the brand Cooyah. We can also find it on the streets of Port-of-Spain just as much.

You would be hard pressed to find the same amount of Coskel anywhere in TnT, at any time, because there’s nowhere to get it easily. It’s mind boggling that a world-expanding Trinbago-inspired brand, with a base in Brooklyn, New York could be so hard to access in Trinidad and Tobago. Similarly, the company’s website touts Coskel as a response to “Caribbean-themed apparel…from the Bob [Marley] or beaches viewpoint” (in the company profile) yet the company has no kind of recognizable presence within Trinidad and Tobago, on par with what they have set-up elsewhere.

Personally, as I have assessed everything, I would rather buy any new funky tank tops or t-shirt digs from local artists like Tanya Williams (among others) and other lines that show a real interest in locating their Trini specific products in Trinidad, about as much as they are intent on making a splash in the rest of the world. Not just Trini, but I would quicker support any West Indian cultural product or other product that does so. Which is also why I buy fair trade shea butter from an African booth in the flea market. West African women (and their communities) who cultivate karite have as much a right to benefit from the reach and popularity of shea butter around the world as anyone else.

Finally, Coskel can ultimately do what they want, where they want, with their own product. But the ways in which they fail to integrate the Trinbagonian market in any way is slightly problematic because of the way in which the Japanese aesthetic (the other half of the Coskel duo) is not as prominent as the other, nor is the product entirely marketed as such. Their products are marketed and located admittedly within a Trinbagonian aesthetic. Naturally, there is more money to be made elsewhere and one’s culture is only exoticized and fetishized outside the homeland, not in it. But there are several generations of Trinbagonians right now, reclaiming some kind of Trinbagonian aesthetic and placing a high value on it, just as they do with other Western brands. Which is a good thing.

Somehow Coskel is already in the works of a distribution deal, factory and store in China (which may or may not be up and running already). And they are big in de dance in Japan. Good fuh allyuh. But they still are yet to fulfill their order in Trinidad or grant my friends the money and/or goods that has been supposedly coming to them for the longest while. 2007 was  when my friend last tussled over this and they haven’t heard anything from Coskel since then. Or seen a refund. I won’t be surprised if one day, I see Coskel on the racks at Wal-Mart stores worldwide (hopefully by then, people will be able to distinguish between Stalin the dictator and Stalin the great calypsonian) but in the meantime, before that happens, I hope they find the time to give my friends their blasted money!

In Trinidad? Check out the D’Caribbean Culture Shack for all things Caribbean and Caribbean oriented [except Coskel apparently] Give them a call at  @ 377-9869/748-1927. Find them on facebook groups and fan pages and see what’s new in stock!

D' Caribbean Culture Shack
D’ Caribbean Culture Shack

 Citing for Coskel’s press release statement:

 ok, on a related side-note to ALL ah dis. This comment was left below on my “about” page. Why not as a comment under here? *shrug* Didn’t see the comment link, didn’t care to….who knows. Either way I really didn’t want us going into a whole diatribe about this THERE cause that’s not the place to. So after several days of irking me from the “about” page, I just copied them from there, deleted the posts and reproduced them for anyone concerned about where the[ir] comment/s went.

person David Hubert says on:

May 18, 2009 at 2:24 pm

I read your article about “The problem with culture” and wile I understand your point of view, I wholeheartedly disagree. More so much of your information is incorrect feel free to drop me an email I will be more than happy to discus your views in further detail, or even have a phone convo about the subject

Then I said this on:

May 18, 2009 at 4:23 pm

hmmm…what is incorrect specifically? the fact that coskel did receive money from my friend’s business [which i know for a fact that they did], that they in turn didn’t receive the goods? [which i know for a fact that they didn’t and there’s an e-mail trail to prove both]. the fact that coskel ISN’T as engaged in the trinbagonian market on the same scale as they are elsewhere—cause if they are, it must be way under the radar cause no one i know of, seems to know that. the fact that i am musing about cultural capitalism and the ways in which people may or may not engage in that practice? musings, last i checked are more or less substantiated [or unsubstantiated] opinions and renderings.

if i’m wrong about the product culture of coskel then it’s only because i am locating my view based on what i have seen [and heard and know and read] of their practices thus far: in regard to a friend vs. their global [asian] expansions etc. when i KNOW otherwise–i’ll FEEL otherwise.

if you disagree with specific points about what i have written, i’d rather if you posted as a comment to THAT blog and take the discussion there, respond as a comment under “the trouble with culture” and i’ll be happy to address your concerns there. otherwise: phone conversations and e-mails are really not warranted or necessary. if you happen to be connected to coskel—i am hardly the person that you need to be e-mailing or talking to on the phone.

Then Lin had her say:

May 18, 2009 at 5:03 pm

Who are you Mr David Hubert as far as what is written in this blog everything is on point nothing is incorrect and if you want to challenge me talk to our lawyers.

Drama fuh yuh mama y’all. <— My final assessment.