Pressure Busspipe Responds To ‘Low Blows’ He Got From Sens. Vialet and Hansen In The Consortium
ATLANTA — In a recent Virgin Islands Senate hearing on Tourism, Sen. Kurt Vialet and Sen. Alicia Chucky Hansen, created an uproar when they accused reggae superstar Pressure Busspipe, of not speaking in his native Virgin Islands accent and instead co-opting the accent of a Jamaican.
The Senate hearing also brought out the news that the V.I. Department of Tourism is paying Pressure Busspipe $200,000 per year for the use of his song “So Nice,” and for his promotional appearances tied to tourism events on the U.S. mainland.
According to the V.I. Consortium, Sen. Kurt Vialet, supported by Sen. Alicia “Chucky” Hansen in the background made the following statements: “The individual needs to speak like a Thomian and not speak like a Jamaican. Because when you speak like a Jamaican they think you’re from Jamaica.”
“So if you’re our icon, the person [whose] song we’re using, every interview you do you sound like a Jamaican, then when they hear V.I. Nice they think you’re Jamaican,” Vialet said during a Senate Committee on Economic Development and Agriculture hearing on Tuesday.
“Sometimes as soon as they hear, no matter what the word is, they take it as Jamaican, so I wish they would redo the V.I. Nice to a Quelbe or something that is more local to the Virgin Islands. “I want them to hear, when they hear V.I. Nice, that they think you’re Thomian. So I want you to say, ‘heh’, and ‘deh’, and ‘ova deh’ — speak like a St. Thomian and be proud of where you’re from.” Vialet stressed his respect for Pressure. “He’s an excellent artist, but speak like a St. Thomian,” the senator said.
In an interview on a Jamaican radio program called “Nightly Fix” posted to YouTube on Jan. 23, 2016, about 3:53 into the interview, Pressure Buss Pipe responded to one of Jamaican hosts who said that they could tell he was not Jamaican when they heard him interviewed:
“I really love the Jamaican culture — even more than my own culture,” Pressure Buss Pipe said. “You know, I have studied reggae music. Our culture is calypso-dominated. You know, we have our own music called Quelbe music. Like it sound like ska, like your old ska, but we is more calypso but with um banjo and scratch calabash and ‘ting like that and but that’s a dying music because our new generation doesn’t even play Quelbe music. But it’s our national music and was made our national music within the last 10 years. So it wasn’t our national music all our life.”
On Wednesday, March 29, 2017, Sen. Vialet and Pressure’s management spoke via telephone and agreed to release a joint statement on Monday, April 3, 2017, after the V.I. Transfer Day/ Centennial celebrations. However, the Senator took to Facebook and released a separate statement defending his previous comments, with no mention of his conversation and agreement with Pressure’s team.
In response to his statements, the following has been drafted by Pressure Buss Pipe:
“As the son of one of the proudest Virgin Islander(s), Mr. Irvin “Brownie” Brown, I am aware of the importance of my heritage and the rich history of the United States Virgin Islands. I take pride in knowing, much like my father, I have built a reputable name within my community and across the world.”
“We as Virgin Islanders are not exempt from the woes that affect many communities. These issues should be of grave importance to our leaders. It was not too long ago when I fell victim to the senseless violence that plagues our territory. However, I have decided to channel my energy into positive actions, which serves as an example to the younger generation.”
“When they go low, we go high” – Michelle Obama
“Growing up in the USVI, afforded me an opportunity to learn about several diverse & unique cultures, dialects, languages, and genres of music including reggae. I will always have love and affection for my second Caribbean home Jamaica, which serves as a place of musical refuge throughout my growing career.”