Calypso is yet another Trinidadian invention. But contrary to what many people believe, true calypso or "purist" calypso is not just about jump-up carnival dancing.
Instead it is first a serious social commentary about issues of the day. Calypso is the musician's form of political satire. Listening to the words you will hear attacks on virtually any and every thing.
Nothing is sacred in calypso and since Bajans virtually stole the calypso show in 1995, all the region's eyes are on Barbados in the calypso/soca realm.
Not only has Barbados come into its own with lively beats, clever lyrics and scathing social commentary, but Barbadian kaiso men have come up with new rhythms to the calypso tempo. Beats such as 'Ring Bang', which came directly from 'Tuk', and 'Ragga soca', an invention of long-standing calypso legend, Red Plastic Bag, helped set Barbados apart from the formula calypso of other islands.
Soca, the more upbeat version to calypso, is truly in Barbados' domain, particularly with the advent of the new rhythms, which other islands now imitate and merge into their own local rhythms.
One reason the island now stands out as a beacon of high standards in this genre is the many bands and lead singers now dominating the local music scene. Many of the bands write their own music and enjoy tremendous popularity both regionally and further afield. (link to bands page in entertainment section).