Lil Rick, also known as de Hypa Dawg, has at least three reasons to be feeling on top of the world today.
As the curtain came down on Crop Over 2016, the popular soca artiste and deejay said it has been a fantastic year following a string of successes in the last week.
Mere days after he walked away from Soca Royale at Bushy Park with the Party Monarch crown, he copped the Stag Jam Tune at the Foreday Morning Jam. Two days later, he took charge on the road at Grand Kadooment to win the Tune of the Crop title with his hit song Iz a Bajan.
“It is good to win,” the unbelievably soft-spoken soca artiste told Bajan Vibes.
It’s not the first time Hypa Dawg, as he is known on stage, has copped three titles. However, for him, this year is extra special.
“It’s a big achievement to reach 20 years in the business and celebrate 50 years of Independence with Barbados. It is something special,” he said.
Lil Rick admits he had an inkling that the patriotic song would win the hearts of Barbadians but he’s still amazed at the response.
“After the Party Monarch win, the song really took off even bigger. I had a feeling it would have copped the Road March tune, but I had to wait. I didn’t want to talk too soon.”
Overall, Rick said he enjoyed Crop Over 2016 immensely and not just his songs, but also those of his counterparts.
“This was a good year. We had a safe Crop Over and everybody enjoyed themselves. I had a lot of fun, a lot of people participated and the music is getting bigger and better.”
Fellow artistes have had nothing but high praise for the artiste who is small in stature but larger than life. Shanta Prince describes him as a musical brother and mentor. He wrote her song for this year, .Til Morning
“Everybody see the wild side of Ric on stage but he is shy. But he is very serious about his work. I have never seen anyone so fanatic. He would write a song and you would think it sounds great but he would go back at it three and four times and perfect it.”
Biggie Irie recalled meeting Ric back in the 90’s, noting it was clear from the start that he was talented.
“To me, he was the dub king and he has transcended into soca music and has been going great ever since. So congrats to Ric…20 years in the business has been a long time. It has been a long journey for both of us, but Ric has come a long way. How Machel is the King in Trinidad, Ric is the King in Barbados. Big respect to him.”
Looking ahead to next year, Lil Rick is already eyeing all the major titles. “I will represent. Look for better and bigger things next year,” he said with a chuckle.