In early May 2016, the Bahamas celebrated our second annual Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival. Some of you may already be familiar with our Junkanoo festivals that are held in the winter. You will be happy to know that this new event doesn’t differ too much from what you’re used to.
In all honesty, I have never attended Carnival in another country so I can not compare what is typically done elsewhere to what we are currently doing in the Bahamas. However, I can say that quite a bit of locals seem excited to have a new activity in which they can partake and have fun. The Carnival parties (known as fetes) are endless!!!!!! Hosted mostly by private groups or sponsors, these events usually occur in the weeks leading up to Carnival as a way to build the public’s interest and of course, have a great time. Many of the events can go well into the early hours of the morning with some of the functions actually STARTING after midnight and ending at sunrise!
Additionally, there is a music competition which allows local artists to showcase their talents as they compete for the new Carnival song of the season (as well as $10,000 :)). It’s a pretty sweet deal for serious artists looking for some major publicity. As a music connoisseur, this is personally my favorite part of all the festivities. I only really look forward to attending the concerts and getting to see some of my favorite local entertainers. Below, I’ve posted some clips from the official Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival Facebook page for anyone who is interested in checking out some of the music which debuted this season.
Although I must admit, my interest in the overall aspect of Carnival is very limited. I’m not a big partier and you certainly won’t find me dancing on anybody’s street in my favourite sparkly bra. While this is certainly a fun idea for some, this particular festival has always been very popular in OTHER Caribbean countries and I’m still trying to figure out how the government is trying to blend this with traditional Bahamian culture. However, that’s a story for another day (sigh). Let’s turn our attention to the main event; the Road Fever Parade!
This is the part of Carnival season that most people are excited for mainly because it allows a high level of public participation. Persons would have signed up to join Carnival groups weeks (and sometimes months) in advance. Each group would have their own theme, music and style of costume. The parade begins around 10:00 a.m. and goes on for several hours as the groups travel a few miles until they arrive at their final destination at the Carnival Village. Of course, in true party fashion, there’s nothing but great music and cold drinks along the way. I can personally say as a bystander, I simply went with my sunscreen and a bottle of water as I patiently waited for the groups to pass my street. However, within minutes I had people offering me free beers and tourists asking me to show them the local dance moves. Although we bystanders may not be registered participants in the actual parade, everyone shared the same level of excitement and the same feel-good spirit.
Will I be registering for next year’s parade? Probably not. However, I truly believe that this colourful festival will eventually find its position within Bahamian culture and I look forward to seeing its transformation in the years to come.
As you may or may not be able to tell at this point, I have a pretty eclectic ear when it comes to what I groove to. Although I love to jam my old school music, I have different tunes for different moods. For instance, my 80s music keeps me in a feel good mood while at work. The more soulful songs from the 60s and 70s keep a pep in my step while I’m on my feet cooking and cleaning on Sundays. 90s RnB makes me reminisce of the days when I had my first puppy love and still believed I would marry Nick Carter 😍😍😍.
NB: I would hope that everyone reading this post knows who that is 😔. If not, I will excuse you for a moment while you search Google Images and get your life together 😐……… Are we all on the same page now? Good, let’s move forward 😉.
However, many are surprised when they discover my love of rap music. No, I’m not talking Mackelmore/Vanilla Ice rap. I’m talking Eminem, Kanye and Meek Mill (before his tragic death – RIP to the Dream Chaser 😢). For me, rap is like that bae that isn’t always the most positive influence in your life but you still can’t seem to leave it alone. Though the same was once said about rock n roll, simply put in the words of Yeezy, rap is pretty much like Crack Music. And just like a recreational drug user, people may think that I only dabble with it here and there but my habit is bigger than many will assume. Granted, I’m not pawning my Mom’s jewellery to go see Jay-Z in Madison Square Garden but….. I may sacrifice some happy hour sessions at the local pubs to go see Nicki in Miami. It’s only a 45-minute flight and one night at the Holiday Inn. I should be ok next payday 😉.
I gather that my soft spoken demeanour is the reason that people assume this type of music is too harsh for me. However, just like my other music, rap serves its purpose. It keeps me focused when I’m trying to push myself during a workout. I know if I can get through at least two Young Money songs, I would’ve put in a good 10 minutes on the stair climber 😁. Everything after that point is just icing on the cake. Rap keeps me focused while driving and brings out my inner road demon. It helps clear my mind when I’m doing 100 on the highway. So if you do the speed limit get the f**k out of my way (in my Ludacris voice 😁) lol. I really barely do 60 on the highway but you get what I’m saying.
Ultimately, rap has been associated with negative connotations for many years now but just like other genres, it still has aspects that can move people in a more positive way. Not everyone is going out to buy a glock or spend their entire pay check on big booty girls after hearing a song. However, regardless of your personal music preferences for various situations, it’s important to sit back and enjoy it to the fullest. Whether it be for fun or more cathartic reasons, take it all in. Not just the melody but the lyrics as well. If you enjoy music as much as I do, you’ll feel much better afterwards.
Are there any other rap lovers out there? Let me know in the comments and stay tuned for my next post.
I’m seriously digging Brandon Flowers right now. His latest album, ‘The Desired Effect’, dropped in early 2015 and it is a true gem. I must admit that I was looking for more of ‘The Killers’ vibe so I was initially thrown off with this different sound. However, I was certainly not disappointed with the retro upbeat sound. It totally takes me to my Billy Idol ‘Dancing with Myself’ feel good mood.
My personal favourite would be ‘I Can Change’. The idea of changing who you are just to be with someone isn’t necessarily something I agree with but I totally get where he’s coming from. I secretly kinda wish I could find a love like that. However, a man like that may be more likely to stalk me and inflict bodily harm if I try to leave him 😓; kinda like the kid in ‘Lonely Town’ (another great track from this album). People are strange 😒.
Please see the YouTube links below. I hope you guys check it out.