Atlanta, Ga; April 3, 2017 : In a recent U.S.V.I. Senate hearing on Tourism, Senator Kurt Vialet and Senator Alicia Chucky Hansen, created an uproar when they accused Reggae Super Star Pressure Buss Pipe, of not speaking in his native Virgin Islands accent, however sounding like a Jamaican.
The V.I. Consortium, states that Senator Kurt Vialet, supported by Alicia “Chucky” Hansen in the background made the following statements; “The individual needs to speak like a Thomian and not speak like a Jamaican. Because when you speak like a Jamaican they think you’re from Jamaica. So if you’re our icon, the person [whose] song we’re using, every interview you do you sound like a Jamaican, then when they hear V.I. Nice they think you’re Jamaican,” Mr. Vialet said during a Senate Committee on Economic Development and Agriculture hearing on Tuesday.
The senator added: “Sometimes as soon as they hear, no matter what the word is, they take it as Jamaican, so I wish they would redo the V.I. Nice to a Quelbe or something that is more local to the Virgin Islands. “I want them to hear, when they hear V.I. Nice, that they think you’re Thomian. So I want you to say, ‘heh’, and ‘deh’, and ‘ova deh’ — speak like a St. Thomian and be proud of where you’re from.” Mr. Vialet stressed his respect for Pressure. “He’s an excellent artist, but speak like a St. Thomian,” the senator said.
On Wednesday, March 29, 2017, Senator Vialet and Pressure’s management spoke via telephone and agreed to release a joint statement on Monday, April 3, 2017, after the V.I. Transfer Day/ Centennial celebrations. However, the Senator took to facebook and released a separate statement defending his previous comments, with no mention of his conversation and agreement with Pressure’s team.
In response to his statements, the following has been drafted by Pressure Buss Pipe…
As the son of one of the proudest Virgin Islander, Mr. Irvin “Brownie” Brown, I am aware of the importance of my heritage and the rich history of the United States Virgin Islands. I take pride in knowing, much like my father, I have built a reputable name within my community and across the world.
We as Virgin Islanders are not exempt from the woes that affect many communities. These issues should be of grave importance to our leaders. It was not too long ago when I fell victim to the senseless violence that plagues our territory. However, I have decided to channel my energy into positive actions, which serves as an example to the younger generation.
“When they go low, we go high” – Michelle Obama
Growing up in the USVI, afforded me an opportunity to learn about several diverse & unique cultures, dialects, languages, and genres of music including Reggae. I will always have love and affection for my second Caribbean home Jamaica, which serves as a place of musical refuge throughout my growing career.
The song #VirginIslandsNice was released prior to the USVI Department of Tourism selecting the single for its global marketing campaign. I will like to personally thank Mrs. Beverley Nicholson-Doty for believing in her fellow Virgin Islander by adopting my song and turning “Virgin Islands Nice” into a successful and lucrative global brand for the territory. I am excited to know this song has brought awareness to my home while instilling pride into the younger generation. It has also allowed them to learn about their rich cultural heritage through music.