Chasing Greatness868 (Video): David Rudder on Bahia Girl, Uzi diplomacy and High Mas

What is the pathway to greatness in Trinidad and Tobago?

Musical icon David Rudder shares the secret of Bahia Girl, the aftershocks of the 1990 attempted coup, High Mas and what music says about our lives today.


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  1. 1990, the cache of guns came in and NO governmetn dealt with the issue, instead CRIME continued to fester, which successive governments politick. The PP opened all the borders and left them with no patrolling and let the guns, drugs and human trafficking to come in and grow. NOW they talking, instead of continuing what the previous government had in place they disbanded everything . Why? who is CRIME working for?

  2. Awesome interview. Well done Lasana

  3. Excellent delivery David Rudder. I thoroughly enjoyed.

  4. A friend to the soul , very lovely writing Calabash Besson

  5. Amazing artist, person,….. true Caribbean icon ,…. respect David Rudder

  6. This David Rudder interview was a friend to the soul. Quite the historian, entertainer, pioneer, and legend.

  7. For some reason, I also believe that 1990 was a “tipping point”. While A Corey has a very strong point about immunity (Brad Boyce) , somehow it did feel that from the mid-seventies through the 80s we were defining something. Somethung unique and great about Trinidad and the West Indies as a whole. Despite the tremendous problems we had (corruption, drugs etc.) many seemed to have a sense of a brighter future and a sense of destiny and a willingness to contribute to that destiny. I think that 1990, with the subsequent pardons, broke that. Now, we live in a patchwork society. Each man for themself. Amid a cloud of impending doom , particularly with respect to upholding Law. It is difficult to pin down, but, I know that I feel very different about who we are as a people before and after that point in history.

    • Damian St. Hill, I don’t want to make it seem like I am taking an ‘either/or’ approach. I don’t discount the fact that the pardoning of the JAM may have taken the level of violent crime higher, I just dismiss the notion that things spiked *because* of them. I argued in another space that the culture of impunity was there since the 19th century in full view of the ordinary labouring classes from whom most of the gangs come from. When around 1935 Growling Tiger sang “He can commit murder and get off free/And live in the Governor’s company”, he didn’t necessarily sing that in abstract; in the 1930s the talk was still circulating where, according to Arthur Calder-Marshall in Glory Dead: “the Acting Solicitor-General can continue to prosecute his fellow citizens for sedition and murder.” Further in his diaries, abbe Armand Masse informs us on 30th November 1879: “Someone belonging to one of the most respectable families of Trinidad, having killed his wife through jealousy, was not condemned to death through consideration for his family, but to life imprisonment.”

      It must also be noted that much of the spike in violent crime came from the escalation of the drug trade which began to take off in the mid-80s and on that note, we must remember that the JAM was one of the few organisations that took on the drug traffickers with the intention of disrupting their operations (some may argue so as to take it over), but there is some merit in what is outlined by people like abu Bakr and Dairius Figueria especially when you consider that the US, since the 1970s has been flooding Jamaica and many South American countries with arms and drugs. Strange how that is left out of most conversations.

    • Agreed. I have no doubt about what you say. As I hinted above, Brad Boyce. Using Darius Figuera’s writings makes it very clear to me why we continue to suffer the climb in murder rates. (I also have other thoughts on that as it is clear to me that this focus on a few “bad boys” is merely so much smoke) My suggestion is that many, in what we would determine to be middle-class, used to be appalled and willing to fight back against the rise of the elements in the country. By whateber means was available to them. There was a sense of country. Of our unique place in the world. There seemed to be a sense that we had a chance of holding , or even pushing back, the tide. Now, it feels like most have given up, and are willing to see only about themselves. It could be simply coincidence in timing, I guess, but I know a lot of people who also feel the same. The society seems even more fractured. More walls built against each other. A beautiful environment for crime to flourish.

    • “what we would determine to be middle-class, used to be appalled and willing to fight back against the rise of the elements in the country. By whateber means was available to them. There was a sense of country.”

      I was hustling out the door Damian, to go do my coaching so i couldn’t respond to what I felt this statement you made here overlooked. There’s one very important thing outlined by CLR James in his book “Party Politics in the West Indies” as well as this what I took from an unpublished doctoral dissertation. The writer tells us that concerning that middle class you spoke about:
      “there seems to be a marked ambivalence on the part of the educated black and Coloured advocates for reform and self-government to include the masses in any capacity except as leverage…the reformers’ desires in Trinidad were not so much for a change of system, rather to create an oligarchy which included them as beneficiaries and hierarchs rather than supplicants and sufferers.”

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