New rule by Trinbago calypsonians group angers veterans

Hol­lis ‘Chalkdust’ Liv­erpool

Senior calypsonians in Trinidad and Tobago are angered by a ruling from their umbrella group, the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians’ Organisation (TUCO).

According to a report by the Guardian, the new rule, which now disallows Calypsonians from singing a new ren­di­tion in the fi­nals of the Ca­lyp­so Monarch com­pe­ti­tion, is not sit­ting well with four vet­er­an ca­lyp­so­ni­ans. These four, it has been reported, see it as an attempt to “muz­zle and sti­fle” their free­dom of speech and force the “old heads” out of the in­dus­try.

Among the complaining veterans are Hol­lis ‘Chalkdust’ Liv­erpool, Er­ic ‘Pink Pan­ther’ Tay­lor, Car­los ‘Skatie’ James and Michael ‘Sug­ar Aloes’.

“They [TU­CO] are say­ing that ca­lyp­so­ni­ans can come with a new song that might be too li­bel­lous and can be a cour­t­house mat­ter and they could be in trou­ble be­cause they could be charged be­cause they run the show. That is their ex­cuse for it. I think it is a way to muz­zle ca­lyp­so­ni­ans. That is de­stroy­ing the cre­ativ­i­ty of ca­lyp­so­ni­ans. That is the art form where peo­ple can come out late and hear a new song. They are throw­ing out the ba­by with the bath­wa­ter,” Chalk­dust was quoted as saying.

However, TUCO President Lutalo ‘Brother Resistance’ Masimba said the organization had not received an official complaint from calypsonians on the matter.