By LAUREL V WILLIAMS Monday, February 24 2014
AFTER a year’s absence from the National Calypso Monarch Competition, former monarch champion Weston “Cro Cro” Rawlins, returned to the big stage Saturday with a biting political commentary on attempts by politicians to “buy him out” as a calypsonian.
Cro Cro was among 12 calypsonians who will contest for the 2014 National Calypso Monarch at the “Dimache Gras” which will be staged at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, on Carnival Sunday. This year’s grand prize is $1 million.
Cro Cro sang at the Calypso Fiesta “Pious, Poor, but Proud”, riddled with political picong and which was aimed at the ruling People’s Partnership Government. Cro Cro, dubbed the “Mighty Midget”, was contestant number 28 of 40 at Saturday’s Calypso Fiesta, at Skinner Park, San Fernando. He sang, “They want me to sing for them so they offered me a bag of money. I tell Moonilal flat, “I say Moonilal I not taking that”. Three years I in the doldrums taking meh blows, I not sucking nothing like Sugar Aloes. Me ent have money to buy soap to wash meh clothes.”
The crowd waved placards which read, “Welcome Back Cro Cro”, “Big Song” and “Aloes Take Dat”. As he ended, supporters literally shouted for “Cro Cro” to return to the stage for an encore, but due to the fact it was a competition the request was denied. Last year Rawlins, who won the Calypso Monarch four times — in 2007, 1996, 1990 and 1988, did not advance to the semi-final round.
Apart from Rawlins, nine other calypsonians, two of them women, made it to the final round of the Dimache Gras. The finalists are: Cro Cro, Victoria “Queen Victoria” Cooper, Selvon “Mistah Shak” Noel, Roger “Bodyguard” Mohammed, Roderick “Chucky” Gordon, Myron “Myron B” Bruce, Kurt Allen, Dr Hollis “Chalkdust” Liverpool, Carlos “Skatie” James, Brian London and Alana Sinnette-Khan. Morel “King Luta” Peters is a reserve.
Several of the calypsonians threw political jabs directly at Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar and in which the so-called “Cabal” was not spared. Patrons waved and cheered in support of the lyrical beating on Government politicians. In her own composition, “Political Love Affair”, calypsonian Queen Victoria’, shadowing the Prime Minister, sang, “Boy you know I have ah country to run, and who I have in my house, they better than none. So you don’t have to bother what Suruj say, he only running he mouth like a soak away.” Dressed in the national colours, Gordon performed the song “Wah yuh think”, which was a hard-hitting political satire in which he charged that nothing was wrong for “Kamla” to “knock a glass”, because being a Prime Minister, she has to keep things together. He sang, “Cause everyday, she has to hear something gone wrong, so why yuh must say she cyar have something strong. Always on call with plenty papers to go through, man after all, we lady PM is folks too. With she ratings starting to slip, and the cabal wings she cyar clip.”
The tongue-bashing continued with James’ “Jack and Jill”; London with “Call them out”; Mohammed with “False Papers”; Noel sang “Bois”. Eight-time calypso monarch Dr Hollis Liverpool, sang “Ah miss de Bards”. Sinnette-Khan and Allen sang social commentaries in “Sealots” and “Sweet Sizzling Summer” respectively. The reserved contestant, Peters, sang “No guns, no weapons”. The 11 contestants and one reserve will compete to dethrone 2013 winner, Eric “Pink Panther” Taylor, to cop the first prize of $1 million.