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‘Project Blakey no exploitation’

‘Project Blakey no exploitation’


“Project Blakie is a catalyst for change.”

“You don’t need the government, the police or big corporations to make a difference. Individuals can make a difference, and that’s what we are trying to do.”{{more}}

Head of “Project Blakey”, Alex “Kubiyashi” Barnwell, insisted that the task undertaken by him and members of his Alliance band, along with concerned citizens, to rehabilitate the former calypsonian turned drug addict, Vincent ‘Blakey’ Cuffy, is not an attempt to exploit the ability of the once popular musician.

Barnwell said that the idea to bring Cuffy back from the grasps of drug abuse and despair was in the works since December, but an experience at 2 a.m. one morning caused the producer to take action.

“Myself, Mr. Doyle (Skinny Fabulous) and members of the Alliance band met him passed out at the Methodist Church and decided that enough was enough.”

“We decided it was time to do something, so we contacted his family and things got going from there.”

With regard to the song “No more long talk”, arguably the most requested song on the radio, clubs and at live shows, Barnwell said that the song was the work of the Alliance, with the hook coming from Blakey himself.

“It’s a slang. It’s a slang for let’s get down to business”.

“I don’t see the reason for all the talk and sermons about it.” Barnwell continued.

Comparing the hit to works by other artistes he asked: “Were there any sermons when Crazy did ‘For Card’? Or when Fireman (Hooper) did “Push up the wood,” or that guy from Jamaica did “Buddy, Buddy, Buddy?”

“Were there any sermons when Blakey and other people are on the streets killing themselves with drugs and alcohol?”

According to Barnwell, that is just one of the many songs that Cuffy has in his arsenal.

He lamented that it was a shame that Cuffy has been singing these songs for years on the street and had only been receiving change for drugs.

“Now that he is on the radio and making real money, people are shouting exploitation.”

“The exploitation stops here. It stops with ‘Project Blakey.’”

Barnwell explains that the project includes Cuffy checking into a rehabilitation centre in St. Lucia following the 2008 Carnival season; but in the meantime, he will remain in full custody of his brother.

He admitted that since the project started, there have been a couple of relapses, but steps have been taken to prevent future incidents.

Blakey will soon receive his passport and ID card.

Next Monday, June 2, there will be a press conference where he will receive all royalties due to him so far.

Despite what he calls the work of demonic forces trying to pull Cuffy and the Project down, Barnwell said that the Project will continue and will not fail.

“No long talk is not a song for international acclaim. It’s motivation for a man to better himself and get on track. And I wish what we are doing with Blakey could be done in every community.”