linkthink re: hip-hop, reggae, the US, jamaica, and anything else wayne wants to wax on


it's a mad mad world


cambridge carnival was blessed with a relatively sunny day, and people were exuberant despite a new and not so intuitive route for the roadmarch. click here for a lil' slideshow. (see the static pics here.)

people were representin' to the fullest, in living color.

and standing up tall.

when they weren't getting down.

the way the city displays its caribbean side on such occasions is always a fine reminder of how rich boston's cultural landscape really is.

i'll be mining some musical connections along these lines tonight at the enormous room, doing some diss-related beat research. should be mad mad. (not to mention wicked wicked.) hope to have a mix version up at the riddim method before long.


Blogger Paul Irish said...

hot hot set last night... well executed.

9:44 AM  
Blogger wayne&wax said...

thanks, dude. (and thanks for coming out.) glad you enjoyed it. i had a ball.

9:59 AM  
Blogger Alice B. said...

Hey Wayne,

Nice pictures.

One of the floats (last picture at the bottom) seems to have been haitian and jamaican, which is interesting because I don't think there is usually lots of cross-pollination between Haitians and West Indians at these parades--at least in New York. In fact I think Haitians rarely do the costumed floats. On the other hand, Jamaicans don't necessarily do costumed carnivals so it may make sense that they and Haitians band together in one.

I'm basing this observation on the flags of course and those may be misleading...

In other news, installment two of my interview with Figgy should be coming out on kiskeyAcity.blogspot.com momentarily. In it we discuss uptown jamaica a little bit as well as some of what your Brown student wrote in her email to you a little while back.


4:01 PM  
Blogger wayne&wax said...

good eye, alice. i hadn't thought about the mix of flags in that pic, mostly since there was such a mix of flags more generally at cambridge's carnival. although there were certainly some strong clusters (and floats) centered on a particular nationality, the general vibe at cambridge's carnival is one of caribbean pride more generally. if you look at this other picture of the same group, you can see that yet another girl is waving yet another flag, this time a trinidadian one:

and, of course, as you note, for a lot of these folks, carnival is a novel thing, not bound by time-honored traditions. in jamaica, jamaicans are pretty ambivalent about carnival, seeing it as a symbol of upper-class fascination with foreign things and a disavowal of trad jamaican culture. in the diaspora, though, i get the sense that people are happy to party in the name of pride and cultural practice. so i'm not too surprised to see the whole thing get a bit willy-nilly. the vendors selling beads, hats, flags, wristbands, etc., sure weren't discriminating depending on their particular heritage. and the people dancing in the street were happy to parade alongside their friends despite different flags.

there wasn't any kind of pattern to this, though, that i could make out. sometimes you'd find hatiains and jamaicans together, sometimes panamanians and basians, basians and basians, basians and haitians, etc. the costumes and the dancing and the community spirit seemed more important than the particular nations being represented (though they were represented with fervor). which, yeah, is pretty interesting--all very dependent on specific contexts, though.

i'll check for the next installment of your conversation with figgy. thanks.

6:01 PM  
Blogger Alice B. said...

Yeah, Figgy did mention the phenomenon of carnival being an uptown thing in Jamaica. She even called it "that ridiculous carnival" or something like that.

Cambridge strikes me as attracting a probably younger, cosmo caribbean crowd eagerly looking for roots. No? (Been to Cambridge but no to the Carnival.)

I'll be at the labor day parade on Eastern Parkway next week and I'll keep a good eye out for cross-pollination, especially in costumed foot floats. I don't anticipate there will be much but we'll see. In past year's it seems that you had mostly trini foot floats with very elaborate costumes. Other groups appear more in connection with band-floats on wheels. With Haitians, usually you see a sea of the flags surrounding Sweet Micky or whatever band/s are there. I remember being asked for a donation several years back by a group of artsy haitian-americans who wanted to finally have a well-cosumed foot float... But that was at least 5 years ago and things may have evolved ...

Congrats on the riddim blog!

8:29 PM  

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