'DeSoljah' retains the calypso crown

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ST. THOMAS - Eleven calypsonians sang their hearts out for the enthusiastic crowd Thursday at the 2014 V.I. Calypso Competition, but in the end, reigning champion Patrick "DeSoljah" Farrel retained the crown.

He also walked away with the title for "Most Humorous."

The songs sung Thursday were largely about the state of the Virgin Islands, calling out various newsmakers, from convicted drug trafficker Roberto Tapia to Property and Procurement Commissioner Lynn Millin Maduro, who was arrested and charged with DUI earlier this year.

Some of the songs noted that everyone bears responsibility for the quality of life in the territory. Many had a hopeful message that by working together, things can be improved in the territory.

DeSoljah's first song, "We the People," was about reminding politicians and corporations that the people are the ones in charge. Standing in a rhinestone studded military suit, in front of a large, glittering planet Earth, he sang: "It's the people, we the people make this world go around."

He also thanked the audience for supporting calypso and indicated he expected to repeat as calypso monarch, a prophesy he fulfilled.

"On behalf of all calypsonians, let me say to you we appreciate everything you do. But I know you come here for one thing, to see me repeat tonight as your king."

DeSoljah closed the night with his second song, "Something You Want," about how the people want to hear calypso about melee, gossip and rumors.

"You want melee, you gonna get melee," he sang.

He closed the number by holding a funeral for the 10 other calypsonians competing for his crown. In a final move, he buried Spectrum Band - the group he used to sing with and the band backing up the calypsonians all night on stage. The crowd went crazy, laughing and cheering for the audacious performance art.

First runner-up was Campbell "King Kan" Barnes, whose years-long winning streak was upset by Farrel last year. His first song "The Slave Son Calling" was about reparations.

"Denmark, the slave son calling," he sang. "I want reparations for me and my ancestors."

King Kan's second song, "Ain't Come Fo' Crown," was about how he sings for the love of calypso, not for the title of calypso king.

Second runner-up was Samuel "Mighty Pat" Ferdinand, who also took the title for "Best Political Commentary."

His first song, "Crab & Barrel," was about Virgin Islanders' tendency to pull each other down instead of lifting each other up.

"We're pushing them down, pulling them down, pushing them into the ground in this crab and barrel country," he sang.

Mighty Pat's second song, "Education," was about encouraging youngsters to get a good education, and acknowledging the teachers.

Jamal "Broc Lee" Williams got the biggest cheers of Round 1 for his empowering song, "We VI," and took home the "Best Social Commentary" title for it.

Wearing a white dashiki with Virgin Islands flags sewn on the sleeves and back, he began by standing with his hand over his heart while the V.I. anthem played.

His message was hopeful, encouraging Virgin Islanders to keep the faith and work to improve the territory.

"We must represent a commitment for betterment," he sang. "These islands we remain proud, we've got to shout it out loud."

In his second number, "E Rang," Broc Lee sang about what is right and wrong in the territory.

"When a government agency give all contracts to one company, 'e rang," Broc Lee sang.

Raymond "Solemnity" Smith won "Most Improved" for his two songs, "I Forget" and "1 Human Family."

Other calypsonians competing Thursday were Cedric "King Spade" Brookes; Toby "Toby Dee" Derima; Julien "Sarrow" George; Jacqueline "Singing Jackie" Leader; Myrel "Super T" Tonge; and Glenridge "Ras Nisha" Christopher.

- Contact reporter Aldeth Lewin at 714-9111 or email alewin@dailynews.vi.

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