Meet Superblue....

ladyrastafari

Notchilous
Article written by a friend of mine....

Meet SuperBlue
By Rubadiri Victor

"I'm just here to say I love you/ A voice from out the blue"

—SuperBlue "Fantastic Friday"


So the talk of the town—justifiably so—is the redemptive return of SuperBlue and the song "Fantastic Friday". The deceptively simple song is a master-class for all young pretenders on song craftsmanship, economy with lyrics, and why there's no replacement for melody.

You can visualise the mayhem that will accompany this song in the stadium. Good mayhem. A mayhem of joy...The song is evidence of the best of what Soca Monarch can be: the irresistible force of the great party song marshalled by the mesmeric figure at the centre of soca's ability to move bodies. I've a mental catalogue of transcendent Monarch moments: nearly all Blue's galvanic performances—from those first years when the Monarch was a few hundred people and a stage on barrels, to Blue's epic performances whilst climbing scaffolding; Destra's holy performance of "Carnival" in 2003 when she should've won; Iwer's in 2011 when he should've won; Machel's pitch-perfect multi-media stage-performance that same year that pipped Iwer; and Bunji's amazing 2005 performance of "Blaze It" when he literally became Ogun…

We need to understand Blue's importance to modern Trinidad. I wrote in 2005: "It is no exaggeration to say he's the father of the modern Carnival and modern soca. The man called SuperBlue has had two incarnations—the first from 1980 to the mid-1980s was Blue Boy, one of the most melodically gifted calypsonians of the post-Sparrow era, known for an almost-trilogy of road marches composed around female muses— 'Ethel', 'Rebecca', and almost with 'Lucy'—and for bringing simultaneously Baptists, Shaolin, and Superman into the soca party. His second coming was as SuperBlue, the man who single-handedly transformed the entire phenomena of Carnival itself!... The energies that SuperBlue set in train are still coursing through the society with a hand alighting on phenomena as far flung as the growing number of young soca millionaires, soca on the Billboard charts, the Soca Warriors, and the flag waving patriotic fervour of Trinbagonians in this era."

"What SuperBlue has done has yet to be quantified and defined— and is yet to stop. Apart from the fact that he brought thousands more into the Carnival globally and transformed feting culture; apart from the fact that he transformed Trinidad's music from subject matter, BPM (beats per minute), to song structure and imagery etc; apart from changing Trini Carnivals by accelerating their transformation into orgies of bands of thousands of frenzied girls waving and wining; apart from bringing a younger generation into the Carnival as consumers and creators; apart from opening up wider our capacity for joy; apart from consolidating Trini patriotism by bringing the flag into the streets—and heroes and folkloric characters back from the dead; apart from and because of all of that—his impact on the festival and Trinidad's economy could be said to be almost of Michael Jordan-like proportions…" In 1998 Forbes magazine estimated Michael Jordan's effect on the US economy was US$10 billion—Blue's impact is similar. If the 300-Trini-styled carnivals are worth $15 billion annually—how much of this is due to Blue?

Last week I spoke about 2012's Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame nominees—Guns N Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers and others. Nearly all band members are drug addicts—many died of overdoses. The guys are worth billions. Around these drug-addicted geniuses—like throughout the cultural industries—is an American industry created and maintained by political and monied leaders.


An industry made up of supportive policy, legislation, fiscal incentives, schools for the arts, heritage institutions, and corporations that invest in the arts. The refusal of our Government to implement the 129 line items passed in budgets is about the disrespect for artists. And it is about class. Trinidad's elites can never see a man looking like Blue as a super multi-millionaire. And if they can't we'll never have a creative industry—because a major portion of our creative millionaires will look like Blue...

I always go back to national turning points. Twenty years after gang boys from east Port of Spain created pan the Trinidad All-Steel Percussion Orchestra (TASPO) went to London to take pan to the world in 1951. We didn't put things in place for this genius. The power began to leave us...In 1973—almost a perfect 20 years later (one generational cycle) Bob Marley and the Wailers performed at the BBC, taking reggae to the world–and the power shifted from us. Right after TASPO in 1956 Harry Belafonte had the world's first platinum album "Calypso", marking the culmination of T&T's Golden Age. Twenty years later in 1976 Marley had his major US Billboard hits with Rastaman Vibration… Jamaica—unlike us—builds systems around their ragamuffin geniuses. The pantheon of Jamaica's "culture" millionaires runs in the hundreds. Most look like men working in CEPEP—because in Trinidad that's precisely what they'd be limited to…But the hope of the country rests in flawed geniuses like them—and Blue.

The concluding paragraph that was edited out: "It’s no secret Super’s wrestled with drug addiction and seemed to have slipped off the precipice… We all watched him haunting St James at various hours of the night, still dressed in blue regalia, a warrior wearing his armour to the last... Blue- his spiritual colour, shield, and burden… I hope Blue’s handlers put systems in place for him to safely ride this wave back. Addiction’s a lifelong battle, and the entertainment industry has many temptations… As it stands it’s a brilliant come-back story, a door ajar peering us in at the possibilities of redemption, and a lesson to us all of the power of Genius…"
 

Steupz

Registered User
Yuh forgot de last part... they edited it and he posted it in the first comment. At least I think it was him.
 

Doctor's Daughter

Measure ur life with Love
Jamaica—unlike us—builds systems around their ragamuffin geniuses. The pantheon of Jamaica's "culture" millionaires runs in the hundreds. Most look like men working in CEPEP—because in Trinidad that's precisely what they'd be limited to…But the hope of the country rests in flawed geniuses like them—and Blue.
Where's LINCOLN DOUGLAS, GYPSY, and EVERY MINISTER OF CULTURE THAT HAS EVER PASSED THROUGH THE DEPTHS AND WALLS OF THE PARLIAMENT OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO????? This is what they should be reading..... Very few have broken the status quo of the lifestyle of the 'Artiste/Entertainer' and managed to live a very comfortable life, filled with luxurious facets. Some are just getting by and holding down regular 8 to 4s, while the others are still 'hustling' without some semblance of an enabling environment to progressively develop and sustain their craft being fostered, that would further support economic growth, social empowerment, direct and indirect foreign investment, national pride, citizen unity and prosperity for it's direct and indirect constituents..... And yet, they're yapping about Diversifying the Economy, Reducing Crime and Social Empowerment EVERYDAY,,,,, when we have one of the GOLDMINE SOLUTIONS in our palms.......

Where is the foresight? I cannot wait to be in Government.....
 

Steupz

Registered User
Where's LINCOLN DOUGLAS, GYPSY, and EVERY MINISTER OF CULTURE THAT HAS EVER PASSED THROUGH THE DEPTHS AND WALLS OF THE PARLIAMENT OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO????? This is what they should be reading..... Very few have broken the status quo of the lifestyle of the 'Artiste/Entertainer' and managed to live a very comfortable life, filled with luxurious facets. Some are just getting by and holding down regular 8 to 4s, while the others are still 'hustling' without some semblance of an enabling environment to progressively develop and sustain their craft being fostered, that would further support economic growth, social empowerment, direct and indirect foreign investment, national pride, citizen unity and prosperity for it's direct and indirect constituents..... And yet, they're yapping about Diversifying the Economy, Reducing Crime and Social Empowerment EVERYDAY,,,,, when we have one of the GOLDMINE SOLUTIONS in our palms.......

Where is the foresight? I cannot wait to be in Government.....
What are you saying here DD?
I understand it's Trinidad, an island in the West Indies but I absolutely cannot take this 'the Government must do it all' attitude. The Government does enough, in my opinion.
 

ladyrastafari

Notchilous
so steupz you honestly dont believe that there is not enough of a move to put measures into place to preserve and encourage the Arts in tnt? i'm curious
 

Doctor's Daughter

Measure ur life with Love
What are you saying here DD?
I understand it's Trinidad, an island in the West Indies but I absolutely cannot take this 'the Government must do it all' attitude. The Government does enough, in my opinion.
there is no enabling environment.... all we do is play mas, fete and party..... where are the schools for the arts? museums dedicated to only arts? programs for training and development? matter of fact, who are the stakeholders involved???
 

dollbabi

Earth Angel
Wow, good piece. Not sure that I can really agree or disagree, at least not now...just never really thought about it in the way he put it. I'm just really glad to see d Blue boy back.
 

all4life

Forca Barca
there is no enabling environment.... all we do is play mas, fete and party..... where are the schools for the arts? museums dedicated to only arts? programs for training and development? matter of fact, who are the stakeholders involved???
NAPA and SAPA, incidentally Mr Victor was once against Napa when it was completed, for reasons I couldn't understand, because as soon as the Govt changed, he was nowhere to be found. I am not an expert in arts and culture so I would yield to people like Victor, but I take everything he says with a pinch of salt.
 

ladyrastafari

Notchilous
i have seen other people besides him put it forth that there is a certain lackadaisical attitude towards the arts and generally most cultural- non carnival things.. didn't they just have somebody slashing up artwork in TnT? i remembered how hard many of the people i know in the art world had to fight to get the recognition due to them...
 

socapineman

JA Soca Ambassador
Article written by a friend of mine....

Meet SuperBlue
By Rubadiri Victor

"I'm just here to say I love you/ A voice from out the blue"

—SuperBlue "Fantastic Friday"


So the talk of the town—justifiably so—is the redemptive return of SuperBlue and the song "Fantastic Friday". The deceptively simple song is a master-class for all young pretenders on song craftsmanship, economy with lyrics, and why there's no replacement for melody.

You can visualise the mayhem that will accompany this song in the stadium. Good mayhem. A mayhem of joy...The song is evidence of the best of what Soca Monarch can be: the irresistible force of the great party song marshalled by the mesmeric figure at the centre of soca's ability to move bodies. I've a mental catalogue of transcendent Monarch moments: nearly all Blue's galvanic performances—from those first years when the Monarch was a few hundred people and a stage on barrels, to Blue's epic performances whilst climbing scaffolding; Destra's holy performance of "Carnival" in 2003 when she should've won; Iwer's in 2011 when he should've won; Machel's pitch-perfect multi-media stage-performance that same year that pipped Iwer; and Bunji's amazing 2005 performance of "Blaze It" when he literally became Ogun…

We need to understand Blue's importance to modern Trinidad. I wrote in 2005: "It is no exaggeration to say he's the father of the modern Carnival and modern soca. The man called SuperBlue has had two incarnations—the first from 1980 to the mid-1980s was Blue Boy, one of the most melodically gifted calypsonians of the post-Sparrow era, known for an almost-trilogy of road marches composed around female muses— 'Ethel', 'Rebecca', and almost with 'Lucy'—and for bringing simultaneously Baptists, Shaolin, and Superman into the soca party. His second coming was as SuperBlue, the man who single-handedly transformed the entire phenomena of Carnival itself!... The energies that SuperBlue set in train are still coursing through the society with a hand alighting on phenomena as far flung as the growing number of young soca millionaires, soca on the Billboard charts, the Soca Warriors, and the flag waving patriotic fervour of Trinbagonians in this era."

"What SuperBlue has done has yet to be quantified and defined— and is yet to stop. Apart from the fact that he brought thousands more into the Carnival globally and transformed feting culture; apart from the fact that he transformed Trinidad's music from subject matter, BPM (beats per minute), to song structure and imagery etc; apart from changing Trini Carnivals by accelerating their transformation into orgies of bands of thousands of frenzied girls waving and wining; apart from bringing a younger generation into the Carnival as consumers and creators; apart from opening up wider our capacity for joy; apart from consolidating Trini patriotism by bringing the flag into the streets—and heroes and folkloric characters back from the dead; apart from and because of all of that—his impact on the festival and Trinidad's economy could be said to be almost of Michael Jordan-like proportions…" In 1998 Forbes magazine estimated Michael Jordan's effect on the US economy was US$10 billion—Blue's impact is similar. If the 300-Trini-styled carnivals are worth $15 billion annually—how much of this is due to Blue?

Last week I spoke about 2012's Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame nominees—Guns N Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers and others. Nearly all band members are drug addicts—many died of overdoses. The guys are worth billions. Around these drug-addicted geniuses—like throughout the cultural industries—is an American industry created and maintained by political and monied leaders.


An industry made up of supportive policy, legislation, fiscal incentives, schools for the arts, heritage institutions, and corporations that invest in the arts. The refusal of our Government to implement the 129 line items passed in budgets is about the disrespect for artists. And it is about class. Trinidad's elites can never see a man looking like Blue as a super multi-millionaire. And if they can't we'll never have a creative industry—because a major portion of our creative millionaires will look like Blue...

I always go back to national turning points. Twenty years after gang boys from east Port of Spain created pan the Trinidad All-Steel Percussion Orchestra (TASPO) went to London to take pan to the world in 1951. We didn't put things in place for this genius. The power began to leave us...In 1973—almost a perfect 20 years later (one generational cycle) Bob Marley and the Wailers performed at the BBC, taking reggae to the world–and the power shifted from us. Right after TASPO in 1956 Harry Belafonte had the world's first platinum album "Calypso", marking the culmination of T&T's Golden Age. Twenty years later in 1976 Marley had his major US Billboard hits with Rastaman Vibration… Jamaica—unlike us—builds systems around their ragamuffin geniuses. The pantheon of Jamaica's "culture" millionaires runs in the hundreds. Most look like men working in CEPEP—because in Trinidad that's precisely what they'd be limited to…But the hope of the country rests in flawed geniuses like them—and Blue.

The concluding paragraph that was edited out: "It’s no secret Super’s wrestled with drug addiction and seemed to have slipped off the precipice… We all watched him haunting St James at various hours of the night, still dressed in blue regalia, a warrior wearing his armour to the last... Blue- his spiritual colour, shield, and burden… I hope Blue’s handlers put systems in place for him to safely ride this wave back. Addiction’s a lifelong battle, and the entertainment industry has many temptations… As it stands it’s a brilliant come-back story, a door ajar peering us in at the possibilities of redemption, and a lesson to us all of the power of Genius…"



Hey...nice, but where did he go?



Say what it is, the young promoters in T&T were too dotish to realize the talent, the man that set it off in T&T before a lot of dem were born. So in all fairness, I don't see this as a redemption, I compare him to the plight of Shabba Ranks..... Some of the yutes dismiss him as olde,washed up and little do some of these fools know that this is the man that set trends, took the game to a new heights that some off these fools can eat a food.



I hope the parents of some of these clueless yutes show up at SM and show Dem how the ting went down !


I hope he shame a lot of dem talentless fools with his showmanship and talent.


Finally, I hope he win.
 

ladyrastafari

Notchilous
that's the thing too eh.. there are plenty people who have never gone to a dimanche gras show, a panorama on sat night, play jouvay with a REAL jouvay band with roots (not these new fangled jouvay bands that serve you breakfast!), waited the week before for the opening of the carnival season officially with the Jab Molassies and the Dame Lorraines, the midnight robbers, the pierrot grenades....never did all that, so they think that flying in for carnival to play mas and go to a couple stush fetes is their idea of culture.. but they never put in the work.... never saw carnival at its base level.. never went to the mas camps to help out before they mas produced in china..... i think a lotttt of the people who play mas these days or just participate in carnival are clueless...
 

Doctor's Daughter

Measure ur life with Love
NAPA and SAPA, incidentally Mr Victor was once against Napa when it was completed, for reasons I couldn't understand, because as soon as the Govt changed, he was nowhere to be found. I am not an expert in arts and culture so I would yield to people like Victor, but I take everything he says with a pinch of salt.
hun.. trust me... the enabling environment is non existent... people are just getting by....
 

TRINILI0N

Move Quick...Doh Stick
that's the thing too eh.. there are plenty people who have never gone to a dimanche gras show, a panorama on sat night, play jouvay with a REAL jouvay band with roots (not these new fangled jouvay bands that serve you breakfast!), waited the week before for the opening of the carnival season officially with the Jab Molassies and the Dame Lorraines, the midnight robbers, the pierrot grenades....never did all that, so they think that flying in for carnival to play mas and go to a couple stush fetes is their idea of culture.. but they never put in the work.... never saw carnival at its base level.. never went to the mas camps to help out before they mas produced in china..... i think a lotttt of the people who play mas these days or just participate in carnival are clueless...
A lot of dem going down there to get drunk an bull down de place ...
 
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