Six beat battles Bajans need to see locally before quarantine ends
Jill vs Erykah Poster from VerzuzTV Instagram
The IG Live Battle has now become the staple of internet consumption during the time of quarantine.
Swizz Beatz and Timbaland's page on Instagram - Verzuz, has become the largest proponent of the online clashes as of recent.
Verzuz has given artistes who are missing performing and missing touring globally access to upwards of over a billion people worldwide from their homes. The fans are getting the tour experiences while the Verzuz creators are picking opponents who will help reacquaint many fans with the music and catalogues of some of the world's most famous entertainers, and Verzuz is making new fans of new listeners.
Beat battles and clashes have a storied history in Caribbean culture, and many are waiting for the region to get its turn in the spotlight on the world stage in this modern incarnation.
Thus far, the closest we have seen is the No Signal’s 10v10 battle between Nigerian stars Wizkid and Burna Boy going up against Vybz Kartel and Popcaan, with Kartel losing much to the upset of many of his regional and international fans.
Some people have already lamented the need for more local and regional clashes to take place, but the question of who would be the ones to do battle remains up in the air.
Here are a few suggestions.
- Square One vs Krosfyah: I think the importance of these two bands can never be underestimated. With careers that are very much worthy of a documentary-styled film, the two bands have been able to impact so many lives across the globe with their music and a clash between the two giants musically would be entertaining and captivating.
- RPB vs Gabby: Now hear me out, I know it sounds like this may not be the most fruitful of battles as the two stalwarts may have their own struggles with the platforms, a la Teddy Riley, but I think the value in this would be more akin to bonding than a battle like Jill Scott and Erykah Badu. The two icons of Calypso are definite fans of each other's work and hearing the two go back and forth probably with the aid of one or two people to select songs may prove insightful and educational as the knowledge they impart on the songs themselves may prove far more impactful than the battle alone.
- Stiffy vs Mole: Now we are getting to the good stuff. I genuinely believe that this is the showdown the masses want. The two may not have storied careers yet but they are headed in that direction as they are improving their sound and harnessing the power of Bashment Soca to build impressive fanbases. This would definitely be an after-dark affair for 18+ viewing but it would be incredible to watch.
- Lil Rick vs Peter Ram: I do not have to tell most people why this is an obvious choice for a historic battle. The two long-time entertainers have both had sprawling careers that have taken them from dancehall fame to the calypso arena where they both have laid claim to some of its most prestigious titles and accolades. It would be amazing to watch and an absolute joy to see the two do battle.
- TC vs Alison Hinds: I know we already have offered the crown to Alison Hinds as the veritable Queen of Soca but I truly believe there is not enough credit given to TC when it comes to her musicality and the true impact of her career. As much as the option to look for an interregional opponent such as Destra or Patrice against Alison is appealing, I believe home drums beat first and I can think of no one else with the chops and amazing talent to put alongside her than TC.
- Mikey vs King Bubba: I know this matchup seems odd for some but I think the clash of styles would definitely make this battle an interesting one and a truer battle than many on the list might be. Both with titles to their name and accolades it would definitely be interesting to see the fan reaction to the songs as they go head to head. Both have made music that has an immediate resonance. This would be a fun and edgy clash that I think many may be surprised by.
These 'clashes' fuh de culture during quarantine would not only be entertaining but educational, a balm to the soul in this post-COVID world.