The artists who took part in the explicit Trojan Riddim video – now the most controversial various artists track in Barbadian popular music – have given varying reactions to criticism from Prime Minister Mia Mottley, church leaders and the business community.
While some, including Peter Ram and Leadpipe have issued expressed apologies, others like Rickey Lil Rick Reid, have described the creation of “diverse” content as simply part of his job.
In a statement released on Thursday, the veteran soca and dancehall artiste said it was unfortunate that the video glorifying gun violence and gang warfare was being circulated in the midst of a turbulent period in the country.
While expressing his opposition to crime and violence, Lil Rick vowed to stay true to his artistic identity and has so far rejected Mottley’s call to remove the video.
“Anyone who has followed my career would know that I originated from dancehall roots, so the genre is not one, which is foreign to me,” the longtime artiste explained.
“Soca gave me an opportunity to rise to national prominence, but even in the Soca arena, I have always tried to remain true to who I am, where I have come from and to reflect what is happening in Barbadian society whether through the use of Bajan dialect or through the release of music which appeals to different demographics.
“How I express myself may not always sit well with some, but it often tells a story of the realities of everyday life for some segments of our society,” Lil Rick added, before thanking his fans, followers, sponsors and supporters.
Leadpipe, who was sacked as influencer with Digicel Barbados meanwhile expressed his “sincerest regret” to fans, followers, sponsors and the general public for the “unintentionally harmful lyrics” displayed in the video.
The popular recording artiste has however blanked the possibility of entering a new relationship with the telecommunications company.
“As many of you know, I have always expressed my versatility as a comedian along with recording as a soca and dancehall entertainer to bring positive vibes and energy from my work,” Leadpipe explained.
.“However, my choice of content on that occasion has been deemed offensive to some. As a popular entertainer, I understand my power as an influencer, and I promise to make you and Barbados proud in the future.”
He added in a separate post: “Please note, I have opted not to re-sign any contract with Digicel.”
Other Trojan Riddim headliners like Brutal Crankstar offered no official statement, but released a track entitled Same Song that starts with a clip from radio talkshow host David Ellis’ comments on Starcom Network’s Down to Brass Tacks programme which sparked widespread outrage more than a month after the song was released.
The track conveys a conversation between Brutal and his son, in which he explains that across the world, ‘ghetto yout’s’ are all facing the same challenges with economic enfranchisement and scarce opportunities to make a living.
“Don’t let the system make we feel like if we bad, we just a hustle for the dollar, when you earn a brag, no holler,” the song says.
“All over the world, people cry the same song, same song. Money.”
Chief Din took to his Instagram page, to respond: “In every negative, there is a positive. National TV, National Radio and National Newspaper… thanks.”
His comments appeared to have proven prophetic. In the last 24 hours, viewership of the 16-minute track doubled the number of views on YouTube to 131,777.
Artiste SK also took to IG where he posted “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” – and reposted his track on the riddim entitled Mad Dawgz.
Shortly after the firestorm of criticism, Peter Ram apologised for the lyrical content, noting that it was never his intention to be offensive or to send the wrong message to those who look up to him.