Ronnie De Announcer Clarke has no intention of apologising for anything he sang or did on stage at the Pic-O-De-Crop finals last Saturday night.
In fact, Clarke, who was in a lyrical war with other calypsonians, in particular Adrian AC Clarke, throughout the Crop Over season, said his biting lyrics were all justified.
He has come under criticism for the contents of his songs, The Man They Love To Hate and Second Song, with many contending that his attacks were personal and unwarranted.
Speaking to another media house, AC, who came in second in the Pic-O-De-Crop competition, said De Announcer’s bitterness and behaviour during this Crop Over season, especially at the finals, was “stupid, stupid, stupid”. Chiding the fellow calypsonian for his “utter nonsense”, he urged him to “just let it go.”
However, during an interview with Barbados TODAY, Clarke admitted that his delivery was “fierce” and “acidic” but insisted that he did not break any rules and was actually “lyrically restrained” on finals night because he is a Christian. Clarke said he was therefore amused at the volume of responses posted on Facebook and published in the newspaper which portrayed him as a villain.
“Adrian Clarke is not an innocent victim,” he said, adding that while he believed his former tent member was brilliant on stage, he lost much respect for him because “he is not being honest about his role in the affair.”
“He started the war. You can’t start a war and then call for a truce just because the battle gets a little heated. . . The issue is that Adrian Clarke has refused to admit or put forth what he did on his judging night which was totally unacceptable. There has been an atmosphere of pretense and a failure to be honest about his role. I didn’t start this on my judging night. This started on headliners judging night and those persons that manage him, who advise him, seem not to have been able to say ‘Adrian that is unnecessary’. I have responded in a manner which is not close to what he did on judging night, but there seems to be convenient memory here at work . . . and I am being seen as the agitator which is totally untrue.”
Clarke charged that he was being targeted because he used Second Song to address the ridicule of tent manager Eleanor Rice by other calypsonians for the entire season.
“There is no mention of what others sang about me but I was the punching bag for the night because I dared to stick up for Eleanor and because I dared to touch the golden boy. He may sing sweeter than me but lyrically everybody knows what my potential is . . .”
Responding to criticism that his behaviour was not Christian, Clarke said he was no less a Christian today than he was last Saturday night.
Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley had also criticised the competitor bashing saying some calypsonians had crossed the line.
But, Clarke said, “the minister’s comments are the minister’s comments and I have nothing to apologise for at any time. This type of calypso jabbing is not unique for Barbados. It is a part of the art form in the tent, outside the tent and a part of national competition. So this level of alarm all of a sudden to me is actually amusing.”
Clarke said that overall he was pleased with his performances throughout the season.