Campbell “King Kan” Barnes Keeps the Calypso Crown

Holding on to his title, Campbell “King Kan” Barnes won the calypso crown at the Virgin Islands 2011 Calypso Extravaganza last Saturday, April 30. King Spade and Toby Dee followed in second and third places. Highlights of the show included exceptional performances by Mighty Wifey, Collister “Reflector” Fahie, King Generic, Mighty Pat, Sista Darkie, and Shelley “Queen Diva” Percival. Other entertainers were world-class calypsonians Defosto, Red Plastic Bag, Louis Ible Jr, Black Stalin, Konris, and David Rudder. The Virgin Islands Daily News reports:

 [. . .] The adult competition started with a bang with first-time calypsonian Janet “Mighty Wifey” Russell’s song, “Teach Me.” Russell came out on stage with a split personality – she was literally split down the center with two different dresses and two different skin colors. “Helena,” Russell’s other half, was brown skinned with cornrows and a bright turquoise dress. The blonde Russell would stand in profile with her multicolored dress facing the audience, tap Helena on the shoulder to get her attention, then jump 180 degrees so that Helena’s profile was facing the audience. In song, Russell asked “Helena” to teach her how to party for Carnival. [. . .] After the show, Russell said she had to compete in memory of her late husband, Nicky “Mighty Whitey” Russell, who died last year. Mighty Whitey was the only white calypsonian in the Virgin Islands for many years. Janet “Mighty Wifey” Russell won over the crowd and the judges, who gave her the “most humorous” title at Saturday’s event.

Newcomer Shelley “Queen Diva” Percival won “most improved” with her number, “Mommy told me, daddy told me,” about the life lessons her parents imparted her with. Jacqueline “Singing Jackie” Leader went introspective for her performance of “Look in the Mirror,” a song about taking personal responsibility for the troubles facing the territory. [. . .] Carrying the local politics theme, another newcomer, Carolyn “Sista Darkie” Webb, took “best political commentary” with her song, “We Want We Money.” Dressed in a spectacular outfit made up of glittering greenbacks with a sash that read, “In God we trust,” she sang about the governor’s refusal to give unionized salary increases to some government workers.

[. . .] Samuel “Mighty Pat” Ferdinand won “best social commentary” for “Ask de Governor,” a song filled with political innuendo. Standing in front of a larger than life photograph of deJongh, Ferdinand said the governor keeps “so much crooks around him” and gets bad advice from his advisers, getting him into trouble again and again.

Campbell “King Kan” Barnes won over the judges once again with his song, “Call for Reparations.” Regally dressed in a purple dashiki and cap, he sang how when the slaves were freed they were left with nothing and they deserve reparations from those who owned them. “Go tell that white man on the plantation, we demand reparations,” he sang. He said the European education system was not designed to help the black man and criticized the territory’s transfer from Denmark to America in 1917.

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