Words by Marcha M. Johnson
Riding high off his recent Soca Monarch victory at home in Antigua, Ricardo Drue is looking like he could be a force to reckoned with in Trinidad’s steadily approaching Carnival Season as well. The cards are definitely in his favor following the overwhelming success of his last hit, “Vagabond,” which earned him a second-runner-up spot at the Trinidad International Soca Monarch competition earlier this year.
As soca continues to evolve lyrically, celebrating one’s freedom on the road remains a popular topic, and when it comes to embracing the Carnival season and everything associated with it, the less decorum, the better. Ricardo Drue’s latest, “Professional” exemplifies this. This tune, specifically, is for those who aren’t shy about their love for alcohol, and who take pride in their ability to withstand intoxication. Of course, the theme is playfully contradicted by the song’s closing monologue, in which a drunken Drue must convince a police officer he isn’t completely obliterated.
As “Professional” rides its wave from Antigua Carnival into the fall Carnival season, Miami’s DJ Crown Prince (who has previously remixed such tracks as Kes’ “Endless Summer,” Bunji’s “Red Light District” and Kerwin DuBois’s “Spoil Mehself”) has put forth his own edit of the track. Crown Prince, who has been putting soca on the map in places like Dubai and Abu Dhabi working out of the United Arab Emirates, edit ups the tempo a bit, capitalizing on the infectious chorus by deepening and intensifying the chant, grounding the tune in the rawness of camaraderie, rather than Drue’s vocals and melody. However, the changes don’t distract from Drue’s impressive pipes, making this an ideal soundtrack for any soca session, whether on the road or in the fete.