by Charlie Crooijmans
Last Saturday Ronnie Brunswijk a.k.a. Romeo Bravo announced that he wants to run for president during the 2015 elections in Suriname (in northern South America). The politician is a coalition partner of Dési Bouterse, the current president. In the 1980s they had quite a different relationship. Brunswijk used to be his bodyguard, but soon led the rebels against Bouterses military regime during the Bush War (1986 – 1992).
Brunswijk made this announcement in a rap style shortly before the American rapper Rick Ross appeared on stage.
On the music of Blowing Money Fast (B.M.F.) Brunswijk (or Bravo) promised to make every poor Surinamese rich, “If you need a hundred dollars, just call Bravo”. He handed out American dollar bills to the ladies in the audience. Rick Ross supported him with the words, “All we do is win win win, no matter what”. Brunswijk, who claims to have a lot of money because of the gold, has been sentenced by the Dutch court for coke trafficking. To choose Ross, to start his campaign with, is a bit remarkable. Ross’ stage name is derived from the drug trafficker “Freeway” Rick Ross and in his lyrics he glorifies gangsters, coke and rape (The Rolling Stone).
To the church, Brunswijk promised to get a famous American gospel singer as well. He is also thinking of getting Rihanna and Byoncé to Suriname. Plenty of money anyway!
Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes (2006) is by the way an interesting documentary about masculinity, violence and homophobia in the hip hop culture.