Words by Marcha M. Johnson
The biggest rivalry in soca music has come to an end. Soca’s two biggest stars have released a joint tune, which, with considering its star power alone, could very well dominate the 2017 Carnival airwaves.
Machel Montano and Bunji Garlin have ruled the soca landscape, side by side, for years. Each appeals to soca lovers in very different ways — with Garlin respected for bringing the grit to the genre, and Montano being revered as the king of the stage. Yet they’ve managed to never cross paths musically — something their audiences may consider hardly a coincidence. People have speculated about a collaboration between the two for years, but the possibility of it coming to fruition always seemed slim, due to what’s long been perceived as an unspoken rivalry.
Given this back story, “Buss Head” meets expectations. The track, written and produced by AdvoKit Productions and Badjohn Republic, is infectious, with the two stars’ vocals, inspired by the Afro-Trinidadian martial tradition called Kalinda, seamlessly put into play with one another. The collaboration makes us wish they had done this sooner.