I’ve been participating in Crop Over since I was 3 years old in some form or fashion. My second time participating in Grand Kadooment, at age 16, was with Baje International in 1999. Marcia Chandler designed the costumes and I jumped in the Rasta colours section ( I refuse to show a pic of how tragic I was at age 16). I took $165 out of the grand $250 a week I made as an intern at an insurance company and my friend Tammi and I signed up for Baje. On the morning, my granny found out I was wearing a bikini and not a whole piece and nearly had a conniption. In the end,I was allowed to go on the road since it was my money spent and not anyone else’s. I had one of the best Kadooments of my life that day.
If you’ve reached this far you’re probably like “Sooo she gine ever review the blinking launch?” I said this to say that I always have high expectations of Baje. In the past 17 years, I’ve only not jumped with them twice and every time except the last I had a blast. That being said let’s dive into the review.
The parking was definitely a high point of the launch. There was plenty of security, the area was well lit and there wasn’t any double parking or anything of the sort.
It was ok. I mean meh. I can’t say that I hated it or that I loved it.
They had gin! So on the strength of that alone I wish I could tell you that all was well on the drinks front; but alas, the drinks were weak. Or maybe I have more rum bibber in me than I previously thought.
Lord, there were no vibes. The DJs tried their best. The music was good but some extra element was missing from the event. I think I will go ahead and blame this one on the crowd. People were just dead. Clearly interested in seeing the costumes and going home. There was a lot of people talking with one another but no dancing or partying going on.
Presentation of costumes
The theme of the band is “Neo: A New Day”. I was actually really excited about this theme. In the days leading up to the launch, I was picturing metallics, leather-like materials and some kind of futuristic theme.
The emcees for the night Salt and Nikita came on stage around 11 (the launch started at 7…) and tried to hype up the crowd for the costumes. The crowd apparently was having none of that.
Salt left the stage and Nikita displayed her excellent vocals with some dancers in the background.
Then came some ballerina chicks who ended up brucking out and the first costume came on stage. There were violinists and a fire dancer.
Look man, at this point I felt a little deflated. Now, I’m sure that could be due to my interpretation of the theme, but nonetheless, I felt deflated. The costumes were pretty costumes but they were just that, pretty. There wasn’t a wow factor and there was no cohesiveness between the sections presented and the theme.
However, one section caught my eye and if I decide to jump with Baje then definitely I’d try my hardest for the Limerz Cruise section.
As is standard for Baje the costumes were very well made and the craftsmanship was on point. They will hold up well on the road and can be kept for souvenirs after the fact ( I still have Baje costumes from 2009 that are intact…and I does get on stink on the road).
There wasn’t much offering for the men. Standard boardshorts with sparkly bits. The male section was disappointing, not because of the models but whoever came up with that god awful boy band choreography. I feel like I was at a bad rap concert circa 1999.
Yes, the male costumes were choreographed to rap music. Sorry, this is Crop Over. Soca please.
You can see all of the costumes here.
There was definitely more color diversity this year and all of the models, both male and female, were gorgeous. However, everyone modelled the costumes like they were on a high fashion runway. I know this has become standard for Crop Over launches but I like when the models bring that extra vibe that makes you feel like “Yeah I could see myself wukkin up and going on the road with this band”.
I didn’t get that at all last night.
All in all the Baje launch was like good sex, but not fantastic sex, the type where you expected more, didn’t receive it; but still don’t feel like you completely wasted your time and energy.
*Due to some stuff I’ve been hearing and direct questions I’d just like to say I am affiliated with no band or business for Crop Over. I’m just a complete Crop Over lover who runs Juck Down: The Crop Over Bootcamp, which helps people to improve their fitness to do dixie on the road during the season (and yes that is a complete and shameless plug)*