Lil Rick, Mickey are Soca Royale champions

Barbados’ 2018 Sweet Soca king, Lil Rick.
Photo by George Alleyne

Veteran performer Lil Rick delivered a fast-moving calypso rendition that embraced elements of the rhythm of Spouge, an indigenous Barbados music genre, to turn the combination into a Sweet Soca winning performance.

“I feel good. I will tell you why. This is Soca-Spouge and it is alive. We created this,” said a jubilant Lil Rick ‘Hypa Dawg’ after copping the 2018 title of king of Sweet Soca on the island Sunday night with his piece, ‘Breakfast in Bed’.

Also at this ‘Soca Royale’ night of competition for two titles at Bushy Park, Mikey became the ‘Party Monarch’ with his tune ‘My kind of Party’.

These two performers ruled the roost on the judges’ cards in this Crop Over competition, scoring enough points to take them close to each other as they vied for both titles.

Lil Rick’s ‘Breakfast in Bed’ earned him 100 points to lead the Sweet Soca scorecard, with Mickey behind at 87 points, and Biggie Irie sweeping with third at 62 points.

Mickey earned 82 points, with his ‘My kind of Party’ for the Party Monarch tune. He was followed by Stiffy who earned 76 points. Lil Rick, the 2017 defending Party Monarch champion was third with 74 points.

“I always wanted to get a Sweet Soca [title] under the belt, so here it is,” the Hypa Dawg said after being named the winner.

His Soca-Spouge fusion composition represents a combination of the current calypso art form with a musical arrangement that was introduced by Jackie Opel. But that renowned Barbadian performer died tragically before he could have popularised the genre.

“Spouge is we thing. Everybody claims that spouge dead but Spouge ain’t dead,” Lil Rick said.

The 2018 King of Sweet Soca contended that as he did with his winning tune, “Spouge can get modernised and shake up the place again and get Bajans jamming … If not the raw Spouge, you mix it with the Soca”.

He promised fans to expect more of this combination in different styles.

“It wouldn’t sound the same way all the time but at least put that Bajan inside of it. That’s we thing.”

More from Around NYC