In the wake of heated controversy over the song ‘Raperman’ performed by Calypsonian, Zion-I on June 1, the leader of the On Tour calypso tent
Grantley ‘Ipa’ Constance, has offered an apology to Prime Minister, Dr Ralph Gonsalves.
Speaking on NBC radio on Wednesday June 7, the Prime said that he received a letter of apology from Constance on Tuesday of this week. He said Constance had spoken to him prior to sending the letter.
“Carnival is mas and music and is fun in the Vincy sun,” Dr Gonsalves said, quoting Becket.
He noted that “ the spirit of Carnival is in our people.”
He added that “ the only thing which is marring it is fellas who want to use a calypso tent for the most base, most vulgar, defamatory, lying, false statements”.
The Prime Minister also expressed outrage over what he termed the vileness emanating from the opposition during the final meeting of the House of Assembly at its old location in Kingstown.
Apart from vileness and defamation, the Prime Minister also spoke out against comess, falsehood, worthlessness, innuendos and the likes.
In his letter of apology to the Prime Minister, Constance offered his “sincere apology for the rendition of Zion-I song at our show dated 1st June at the Russell auditorium.
“On the night of the show, I was caught off guard by his deception, singing the song in the manner that was already expelled from the tent,” Constance said.
“I will accept that we made several errors because it took a long time convincing him to change his lyrics.
“We should have paid close attention when he was introduced to be at a strategic position for any unforeseen circumstances.”
Constance also said they should have informed the musicians to stop the music if Zion-I is singing the wrong song.
In the letter, Ipa is seeking forgiveness from all whom Zion-I has impacted negatively.
Zion-I, whose real name is Alvin Dennie, has been banned from singing and performing with the On
Tour tent, after he sang a version of ‘Raperman’ on the tent’s opening night on June 1, at the Russell’s auditorium in Kingstown.
Constance was recently interviewed on the Ride Along Live programme hosted by Grenadian journalist Junior George, where he spoke about the controversy surrounding Zion-I’s song.
Speaking about Zion-I in the interview, Constance said “he can’t even go on the opposition platform and sing that song.”
Nor will Zion-I be able to sing his controversial song again in the On Tour tent, from which he has been kicked out.
“He has to get a different platform to sing that song,” Constance said.
Interacting with programme host, Constance said “ the people who are offering Zion-I a line of rescue, they must make a tent for Zion-I.”
“When he gets implicated, you all will have the money to help him out, and help yourselves out,” Constance added.
The On Tour tent leader also said that since Zion-I’s performance in the tent, “I have to be running in
and out and up and down to do letters of apology.”
Ipa went on to say “I will accept that we made several errors because it took a long time convincing him to change his lyrics.”
“We should have paid close attention when he was introduced to be at a strategic position for any unforeseen circumstances,” the tent leader further said.
Zion-I also appeared on George’s Ride Along Live programme where he said he sings social/political commentary in his calypsos.
He said the name used in his controversial song ‘Raperman’ does not refer to “a particular person.”
Last Carnival season, Zion-I was met with setbacks from the Carnival Development Corporation (CDC) who requested that he change portions of his calypso ‘Hypocrites’ over the likelihood of defamation.
Speaking to SEARCHLIGHT last year after the CDC request Zion-I said “I ready for them, I ready for them. They give me a challenge, so I’m showing them I ready…I go hit them real hard.”