Overwhelming support for ‘Night Carnival’
Fete Republic dubbed it 'Night Carnival', but between the voluminous voices singing by the seaside and even 'peace officers' bopping their heads and singing along, it proved to be much more.
Patrons converged on Ocean Boulevard in Kingston on Saturday night to relive and resume the carnival experience curated by DJs like Laing D alongside emcee Fyahman. Laing D unified segmented crews through a set that served up modern classics like Bunji Garlin's Differentology and Machel Montano's Vibes Cyah Done. This was injected with a dose of dancehall, which complemented 'bumpas' touching the ground (cue RDX's Kotch), and some teased hip hop. Sporting the Jamaican flag as a cape, Fyahman amplified the interaction by initiating the 'no hands' challenge to Lil Rick's Go Dung, revealing the waistline champions among the men. He didn't stop there, being responsible for women being hoisted at the drop of Mr Killa's Run Wid It.
"We came here from early and noticed how the crowd was reacting to certain music, and so forth, and then we just decided to go out with a game plan," Laing D told THE STAR. "We saw that there were different crews from Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad, and we just engaged our music in a way that would capture everybody, and I guess it just worked."
Trini outfit Selectah Kerry and Poison upped the ante as groups continued to roll in after 1 a.m., with an energetic Poison neglecting the stage to instead rock the crowd atop speakers. Fervent flames from torches and various flags painted the atmosphere as tunes like Machel Montano's Like Ah Boss and H.M.A. blazed. But it was really their dancehall segment that shook the table. 'Blanks' were fired when Selectah Kerry dropped Dawn Penn's No, No, No, and only increased with songs like Cham's Ghetto Story, Beenie Man's Who Am I, and Vybz Kartel's Any Weather. At this point, it was no longer mere soca patrons happy to be revelling, but people who were psyched about being outside again after COVID-induced house arrest.
The Trini team didn't just drop reggae and dancehall hits but showed they were pop culture-familiar, dropping 1Biggs Don's viral Chop E Line and Buy Gun.
Entertainment also came from Bloodline Franco and Brush 1, who added some Afrobeats flavour to the event. King Taj also rocked the venue with the best of 2022 soca songs.