Long before I was able to analyze the lyrics of Stalin, no Black Stalin, I had to deal with the image of the man. I had to see myself in him and not Michael Jackson.
Long before I was strong enough to deal with the individuals in his stories, I had to deal with the blazing intellect inherent in the themes of the Kaiso.
Born to two pan lovers on “Lavantie Hill”, I probably met Winston Spree Simon but was too young to understand his importance. It was only Stalin and Boogsie who gave me Spree to hum, giving me the opportunity to “play one” thousands of times in the shower, in the classroom, in the office, for my children and now my grand children. It was me that had to wait on Dorothy because there was more to consider than wining and partying.
As a Caribbean Man in a foreign land, Black Stalin made us to understand that despite our favorable surroundings, we are still charge with maintaining our values.
We are still charged with the impossibility of making a living and thriving under almost impossible odds.
And yet we are commanded to give it all away so that our community could survive and grow.
I often wonder about the many observations through song and lyrics that he didn’t have an opportunity to record for us. I always sensed the urgency in all that he did – how he was loving us all along.
However, I am grateful for all that he is still able to do and I can at least say thank you. That’s what Black Stalin means to me!
David Mitchell is a dedicated Black Stalin fan and an avid supporter of the kaiso art form.