In the prime of his life, Jabari may seem a bit different from others his age. His focus on delivering what’s positive, clean and free of divisiveness, places him on the opposite end of the spectrum when compared to others, his age demographic in the Caribbean and even internationally. It’s not something that bothers him though. He’s cool with his choice and says he hopes that what he’s doing offers others his age, a clear understanding that there is definitely another option.
THE ZESS MOVEMENT
In Trinidad, the rise of the Zess movement saw music stars emerge, among them, K Lion – an artiste out of Belmont who passed away in 2020, at the age of 23, having suffered a heart attack in Miami. Jabari knew him well. They went to school together. “I will always give him respect for his talent. He was always really talented. We all had that dream of making a career out of music – not just to make money, but to do what we loved. The majority of those TriniBad artistes are very talented, but it seems to me that what they are portraying to the younger generation is that there is no other way.“
His sentiment has been considered time and time again in social discussions near and far, not only about Trinidad and Tobago’s music, but music carrying negative symbolism and imagery, globally. “The artistes have control. The DJs have to play something on air and what they are playing is provided by these artistes. If there are more artistes out there who decide to change the script, DJs will follow, because the artistes have an audience, and music is more important than just what plays on the radio, and what plays in a party. Music also speaks to people’s lives because there are people out there who take music literally and it can be dangerous. These artistes can flip the script and actually help people,” Jabari rationalised.
A firm believer that the gifts granted to us all, should be used to do good, Jabari said, “these people have a gift where they can reach others with their gift. They have melodic capabilities that people who listen to their music catch on to their songs so easily; if they could just change their lyrics to sing a little more positive music, and basically try to preach to the youths that it doesn’t have to be all bad, there could be change.” He went on to say that in his head, if every single one of those popular artistes of the movement made a cumulative and conscious decision to push only positive songs, the DJs would ultimately have no other choice than to play those positive songs. The argument has however been that when positive music is released, the airplay is often non existent. “The reason those artistes became so popular is because they have their own market – a market they created with the people around them. They went directly to the people before the music was even playing on the radio stations. Their people made it possible,” said Jabari. He added, “my whole thing is, it’s not impossible to feed the people positive lyrics. To me, it’s a matter of if you want to do it or not.”
“We Are a Small, But Proud Country.” – TT Health Minister To Trevor Noah.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Health Minister is today being hailed a hero for his professional execution of yesterday’s interview on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.
During the virtual interview with the South Africa born host, Deyalsingh is heard repeating, “Trinidad is a small but proud country.”
The interview was seen as necessary by the team at The Daily Show, according to Noah, to debunk rapper, Nicki Minaj’s claim that someone in Trinidad had experienced testicular swelling after being vaccinated for COVID-19. Introducing the minister to his global audience with a bit of humor and some reference to Trinidad and Tobago’s carnival culture, Noah allowed the minister to deliver his Ministry’s statistics. Minister Deyalsingh noted that some 1 million vaccine doses have been administered in a population of 1.3 million. “We are confident that we have brought WHO approved vaccines to Trinidad and Tobago,” he said, before adding, “of those 1 million doses of vaccines we have administered, there have been only been 5 cases of adverse events, all reported to WHO.” Minister Deyalsingh further stated, “none of them includes testicular swelling.”
In the comments beneath the Daily Show video on YouTube, viewers congratulated the country’s minister on a job well done. One person, Constance Robertson said, “This Jamaican thanks the TT Minister of Health for repping the entire Caribbean.”
HERE’S THE INTERVIEW:
Does Nicki Minaj Hate Trinidad? Artist “Vaccine and Testicles” Tweet Makes Viral Mess.
Tony Chow Lin On- better known as Chinese Laundry, the owner of urban radio station, 96.1WEFM in Trinidad, is baffled by the negative publicity surrounding recent remarks by Nicki Minaj on Twitter as it relates to why she declined this year’s Met Gala invitation. He calmly analyzed the situation on Facebook this afternoon.
Minaj, a St. James, Trinidad born rapper has left international media houses spinning, with even CNN covering her tweet. “My cousin in Trinidad won’t get the vaccine cuz his friend got it & became impotent. His testicles became swollen. His friend was weeks away from getting married, now the girl called off the wedding. So just pray on it & make sure you’re comfortable with ur decision, not bullied,” she wrote on the social media platform. Her comment came after explaining that she had not been vaccinated, which was a requirement for all guests attending Monday’s Met Gala.
On the heels of coverage by various media outlets, including Variety, and even a humorous highlight by comedian Trevor Noah, Chow Lin On said, “her words were harmful at a critical time.”
The well known Trinidad and Tobago entertainment industry executive wrote, “All major news agencies, CNN , Washington Post and others including Dr Fauci , all concluded that Nicki Minaj’s baseless claims were irresponsible at best and highlights the issue of when celebrity influence is terribly harmful. So after all the memes, fun and social media engagement, long after it’s not a trending topic , her words were harmful at a critical time , as the world is engaged in the mother of all battles , THE PANDEMIC!!!! and the unfortunate side show , it’s a Trini with missing brain cells , Jed I want us to be famous for our music , our culture, our sporting achievements, our contributions to protecting the environment, a model for multi ethnic societies etc etc . THIS MY FRIEND IS NOT IT.”
This latest less- than -well- thought -out expression by the 38-year-old “Anaconda” singer comes on the heels of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics scandal involving Trinidad and Tobago sprinter, Michelle Lee Ahye who called out Minaj on Twitter in July, after she congratulated Jamaica’s athletic team and failed to even mention the Trinidad and Tobago athletes who were also at the games.
Trinidad and Tobago’s health minister meanwhile has debunked the rapper’s statement untrue.
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