Friday, February 22, 2008
The good, the bad and the funny of the Rihanna tribute concert cont'd UPDATED
Sorry for the break folks but had to deal with some other business. Still waiting on my pics...this is what happens when you can't go and take 'em yourself....
Anyhoo, let me get to it and I'll post up the pics later. (UPDATED with pics)
1. Rihanna was designated an honorary Youth and Cultural Ambassador. I was honestly thinking they would have awarded her a National Honour such as a GCM or SCM, but that may be coming in November in the Independence Honours....
2. Corporate Barbados stepped up and gave her some serious tangible rewards, such as a lot at the exclusive Apes Hill project in St. James, a Range Rover and jewellery.
3. The outpouring of love from Barbadians, from the airport to Independence Square, was a beautiful sight. I'm just sorry the girl had to wait till she won a Grammy (despite winning numerous other awards) to get all this fuss made of her but better late than never I guess.
4. Bajans got two superstars for the price of one - her rumoured boyfriend R&B singer Chris Brown accompanied her to the event, which created quite a stir. More on that in the bad section.
5. The musical talent on display at the concert was outstanding - for the most part. Paula Hinds and Co., Red Plastic Bag, Arturo Tappin and crew, Biggie Irie and Shontelle were the standouts for me. Livvi Frank and Richard Stoute get honourable mentions.
6. Independence Square is really turning into a prime venue for these outdoor events. The setting for the event was spectacular and the raising of the Chamberlain Bridge to allow the yacht bringing Rihanna to the concert to enter was a great touch.
7. On that same point, why were people sitting on the base of the statue of the Right Excellent Errol Barrow? Aren't there rules about climbing on the statues of national figures?
1. The emceeing duo of the night, Kevin "KB Kleen" Hinds and DJ Hurricane lowered the tone of the event. I've seen KB do a good job of emceeing in the past so I'm not sure what went wrong last night. He cracked inappropriate jokes, repeatedly referred to the Prime Minister as "David" (I know they went to the same school but have some respect for the man's post!) and harassed Chris Brown relentlessly. The first time he questioned Brown about whether he was Rihanna's boyfriend was funny, after doing it repeatedly it was just annoying and tacky.
Hurricane only escaped the criticism heaped on Hinds because she really didn't do much, except toss out the occasional "if you love Rih-Rih, scream!". The whole point of having two emcees is for one to pull the other back if he/she's going too far but that didn't happen.
2. Nothing against Lil Rick, but why was he even on the programme? His wuk-up routine to 'Can't Wait' was totally unnecessary, and coming after Ayana John and Buggy's rendition of Rihanna's 'Umbrella' it was really jarring. Not to mention the back up singers walked off and left him on the stage. Now that was embarrassing....
3. Barbados' first Grammy awardee, musician Jimmy Haynes, who produced the 1986 Steel Pulse classic 'Babylon The Bandit', needed to understand the protocol for being honoured at an event. You sit in the front row at the event and listen to the accolades bestowed on you. At some point you stand and receive the applause and wave politely to the audience. You DO NOT go on the stage and make a fool of yourself!
I didn't recognise Haynes when he first invaded the stage and my first thought was "damn, even the vagrants in town have dressed up for the occasion". He did somersaults on the stage, grabbed one of the back-up singers byt he waist, stripped off a few items of his clothing and made quite a spectacle of himself. Biggie Irie, who was performing at the time, didn't miss a beat though. Now that's professionalism.
4. The CBC TV announcer doing the links between the tv audience and the concert, Cassandra Samuels, appreared lost at points. Actually, she would have been a better choice of female emcee for the show than Hurricane, seeing as how she was actually dressed appropriately for the event.
1. When Rihanna disembarked from the yacht dressed in her chic yellow dress, I noticed that a burly police officer was holding her yellow handbag. And was he ever! That policeman had the bag "mek up" like he was out with it on a date. Too funny.
2. Chris Brown's look of excitement when he sailed into the Careenage and saw the massive crowd waiting on his "best friend" was priceless. I bet you don't get made such a fuss of at home, right Chris? That's how we do it in Bim, my brother.
Photos: www.theybf.com, Oh Rihanna.com, Ultimate Rihanna. com