There are few sub-genres in Soca at Crop Over that are as divisive as Bashment Soca (both 1st and 2nd comings see my article).
To refresh, Bashment Soca (the I and the II) makes heavy use of Bajan dialect with speech as melody.
Most with traditional musical training usually dismiss it as sonic drivel sighting its harmonic simplicity and melodic monotony.
But are they looking for music in the right places?
Let’s take a look at “Go Stabby” to try and answer that question.
“Go Stabby” is a typical Bashment Soca song.
Here is it below.
To my surprise, “Go Stabby” was popular outside of Barbados despite Stabby being unintelligible to most non-Barbadians. Why may you ask? It is because “Go Stabby” connected on a different musical level to other pop and carnival soca songs; it is was all about the RHYTHM!
Believe it or not “Go Stabby” is quite interesting rhythmically. “Go Stabby” has something called rhythmic tension and release with the “Go Stabby” repeated line, the tension and the “Stabbyyyyy,” the release.
It also helps that these two parts of the song are the ones most clearly understood by non-Bajan speakers.
In short, there is a reason for everything under the sun, and though some might claim the reason for “Go Stabby’s” popularity was because of duped and ignorant audiences, that’s not the case.
One has to look in the right places.
* Side note, I performed this song as part of the backing band at Bacchanal Calypso Tent in 2008. The initial reaction was tremendous, but in performance, Stabby didn’t realise that the verses were not what people wanted to hear, and he chose to perform it like the recording. Of course, the verses fell flat, meaning the live performance was lukewarm at best. Which brings us to a future blog, performance of Soca, stay tuned.