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Archived: Bold Response to Popular “Zesser” Refrain. Poet Slams Glorified Thug Life.

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For the past month or so, the urban radio in Trinidad and Tobago has helped push the term “zesser”, ultimately brought into the spotlight by a song of the same name, by young dancehall artist, Trinidad Ghost. The refrain has been all the rave, with young women, from all walks of life, and even young children, singing it with delight. In the song however, reference is made to the “girls” desire for this “zesser” with lines like, “when she step inna he room, a big Glock on he dresser,” highlighting that this particular type of person is one to be feared rather than adored.

For years, there’ve been conversations in the Caribbean about the effects of negative lyrics across the airwaves- lyrics that penetrate the minds of the easily influenced. In the Caribbean, according to an Inter Development Bank study, guns are used about twice as often in robbery and three times as often in assault, as compared with the global average. Trinidad Ghost’s ‘Zesser,’ paints a glorified image of a man, loved by women for simply having a lot of gold jewelry and firearms.

While the track has made its way onto the mainstream circuit and has even been used by corporate brands like Digicel for the promotion of their products, one spoken word poet isn’t impressed. Zakiya Gill appeared on the urban radio station Boomchampions 94.1FM last week. She came prepared to challenge the prevailing lingo, using the word Zesser to instead draw attention to what’s essentially wrong about the glorification of the men being touted as zessers.

Zakiya Gill at Boomchampions 94.1FM with Bass and the Middlemen.

When contacted for comment on the debate, Trinidad Ghost told the talk show hosts that the song was being misunderstood. He said the term could be looked at in various ways, whether positively or negatively.

Agree or not? Share your views with us in the comments section below this story.

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‘I Am Legend’ Concert Postponed as COVID-19 Fears Increase.

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The COVID-19 virus, a matter of immeasurable concern, globally, at this time, ‘I Am Legend’ concert franchise owner Glenroy Watson has postponed this year’s highly anticipated reggae showcase in Trinidad and Tobago, to a date to be announced. “The world as we know it has the potential to change in light of this pandemic and this isn’t something to be taken lightly. We’ve been closely monitoring developments on this issue since February and now it’s time to act,” said the businessman.   

‘I Am Legend’ has hosted reggae sensation, Buju Banton over the years. The event reconnected fans in Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana with the Jamaican entertainer in 2019, 10 years after his last appearance in T&T when he appeared at ‘I Am Legend’, and just four months after his release from US prison. Reviews following both events last year, were very good. “We cannot afford to simply ignore this issue. People are losing their lives and our event is one that caters to a broad demographic of people, many of whom would be between the ages of 40 and 65. That’s the power of good, reggae music. It has the ability to bring out both the young and the young and heart,” said Watson. He says because of this reality, the risk factors surrounding hosting ‘I Am Legend’ on its usual Easter weekend calendar date, are high and certainly a risk he isn’t willing to take. 

The I Am Legend promotional franchise has maintained its appreciation for positive reggae music, Watson consistently advocating for the promotion of sound musical influences for the benefit of both the youth and the mature entertainment seekers. “Rest assured that when the I Am Legend’ concert date is announced and our lineup of artistes are revealed when all cause for concern is settled, the show will be nothing short of spectacular. For now, the safety and health of everyone out there, is our primary concern,” said Watson.   

For updates on the I Am Legend concert, patrons are reminded that they should follow High Frequency Entertainment on Instagram and Facebook. 

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No Playing. One Voice Keeps Pushing Post Carnival 2020 in T&T.

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Less than a week after Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival had ended, one US based artiste began thinking and working on the prospects for 2021. One Voice, an entertainer with a heart of gold, says no matter the challenges faced in the business, his love for Soca music keeps him focused on the prize and he knows he will conquer what many may see as far-fetched.

One Voice remains committed to Soca.

It’s never been easy to break through in the Soca arena. For years, the prominent names attached to the genre have remained relatively intact, unchanging, despite the introduction of a few new contributors to the spirit of the sound. Many argue that this is the reason the new ‘Zesser’ movement has enthralled the youths in downtrodden communities in Trinidad and Tobago. It’s been said that many of the artistes who make up that movement were once knocking on the doors of the Soca industry, to no avail. Now, they’ve created an emulated dancehall sound that is breaking barriers, even in Jamaica.

One Voice says despite many years of knocking and little major penetration on the mainstream circuit, he remains committed to the Caribbean Soca vibe. “There’s nothing like Soca music and there’s nothing else I’d want to be a part of. I believe Soca music is growing every year, and reaching people in parts around the globe, more than it ever has. That’s something to celebrate,” he said, adding that he has no issue with the fusion of Soca with other genres, saying blending the sounds could only make it better. “There’s something to be said about sharing our gifts with the world. Soca music is our gift to be shared. I see what I contribute as a part of me that I’d like people from everywhere to enjoy. I don’t do any of this to compete with anyone. I basically see my efforts as a contributing factor towards the growth of the genre,” he said.

This past Carnival, One Voice who is based in Brooklyn New York, delivered two Soca tracks- ‘True Feter’ and ‘Trust’. He traveled to the country in early January, promoting his music across the urban airwaves and via other traditional media, and while his efforts may not have effectively positioned him at the top of the pack this season, he remains focused and patient. “When it’s my time to shine, I know I will. I’m dedicated to my craft and I will continue to push hard the only way I know how- by delivering good music consistently,” he said.

For more on OneVoice, and what he brings to the table, check out his Instagram profile @onevizzy.

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