So, you know all those stories of civil wars and shit? Ya, Haiti just trumps all of those bullshit stories.
Back in 1791 Haiti was called Saint-Domingue until slaves started a revolution that earned their independence in 1804. Slaves dude. France was all up in their motherfucking sugar. And these dudes, most still in chains and shit, stormed the homes of their masters and drove these bastards out of their homes. Later, they drove out the fucking English. And, once again, they drove out the Spanish. What the fuck? No man, it doesn’t stop there. Then they drove out motherfucking Napoleon. Fucking Napoleon! And with that, they were Haiti. A group of enslaved people with no rights, training, or idea what they were doing drove out three superpowers and created the first black republic in the world. Goddamn, that’s inspiring.
So, just imagine how it felt when in 1915 the fucking U.S. comes in and, not only occupies Haiti, but reinstates fucking slavery again. When this rich history is the blood in your veins and the bone in your teeth. The U.S. ended up stealing fucktons of shit and trained a Haitian army to do their fucking dirty work after they left in 1935. Goddamn, that’s depressing.
So, why would I tell you this story? Because Mélissa Laveux’s album “Radyo Siwèl” is made of old Haitian cover songs about the American occupation between 1915 and 1935. These are fucking war and revolt songs. Best part of it is this shit makes you sway your hips and dance like a motherfucker. Goddamn, that’s inspiring.
Mélissa is a Canadian-born musician. But really, she’s claiming Haitian on this one. Canada didn’t even give her the chance she deserved. She was never offered a record deal in its borders or ended up playing any of the big festivals in her hometown of Ottawa. Come on Canada. Do better. The world expected more.
The tone and the movement of these songs alone tell a story of the resilience of Haitians. It goes to show that when the chips are down you don’t stop dancing. Fuck no. This is when dancing is the most important. Shit, I know if some motherfuckers came all up in my shit, if I even had the balls to write revolt songs, they’d end up being so depressing or bad that everyone would just end up killing themselves on both sides. Maybe that’s something, I guess.
There’s not much more inspiring than listening to revolt music that makes you want to dance and has a bebop charm. Mélissa does these songs a shit ton of justice and I feel their story needs to be heard. Also, you can use this music as your own artillery. If you have one of these fucking shitbags of a fucking day you can put this music on and dance, like your world is ending and the only way to claim you independence is to move your feet, you can dance this shit away. Believe me, it’s worked before on a much grander scale than yours.