Calypsonian, Chad Sir Ruel Bowen, is at a loss why his two social commentary offerings for Crop Over 2017 — Can’t Get My Vote and Run Fuh Cover — have been banned by the radio stations of the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and Starcom Network Inc.
Sir Ruel confirmed in an interview with Bajan Vibes that the songs had been pulled from the airwaves by both VOB 92.9 and Q100.7 and he was not treated to the common courtesy of an explanation. After he had submitted Run Fuh Cover, Sir Ruel acknowledged it had received airplay on both stations for a few days before it was removed.
However, what was most disrespectful for the young calypsonian, a former Junior Monarch, was finding out about the ban just before he was scheduled to perform at CBC’s Q in the Community. He reported: “I had to hear from someone that works at CBC that the song got banned because they were given orders for me not to sing that song.”
Sir Ruel told Bajan Vibes he believed the move was political since CBC is state-owned and may have a problem with songs that are seen as critical of the Government. He is upset about what he calls the disrespectful behaviour, saying at least he deserved the common courtesy of a call.
Sir Ruel said banning the song was defeating the whole purpose of social commentary. “The purpose of social commentary is to discuss social issues,” he said.
“The listening audience, they depend on social commentators because social commentary is supposed to be the voice of the people. So when you can’t sing certain things, it dilutes the commentary.”
He also rejected any claims that the song was targetting any political party, saying that was not reflected in the lyrics which say:
“I don’t want no politicians to call me, I don’t want not one of them by my door, I don’t want the messing with the psyche, Not one of them jokers I voting for, The upcoming elections around the corner,
I could see clear as the light of day, Don’t come with old talk, Grantley’s and roast pork, I know the game that wanna does play.”
Despite the ban, Sir Ruel reported good public response to the song. He said the people were enjoying it and watching it on YouTube. Both songs were launched over two weeks ago and have so far garnered over 5,000 views on YouTube without using promoters.
Undaunted by the setback, Sir Ruel intends to press forward with plans to enter Can’t Get My Vote and a new song entitled Printers in the Pic O De Crop competition. He is hoping that politics would not play a further part, heading towards the semifinals and even the finals.