Photo Credit: http://www.loopjamaica.com
In honour of our athletes’ outstanding performance at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, the Government held a reception for them; the Sports Gala and Awards Ceremony, which took place at the National Indoor Sports Centre. It wasn’t Asafa’s green suit that stole the show, neither was it Usain’s or Julian’s dance moves that left us talking. No sir, it was dancehall artiste Spice who gave us a performance we will never forget.
Dancehall is a HUGE part of our culture, so hey, including this genre in the performances for the evening was no shocker. I’d like to know though what thought process made the organizers of the event arrive at booking Spice. What songs was she to go on stage and sing that could be deemed appropriate for the event? No, really. One of her ‘milder’ songs that comes to mind has lyrics that go like this – “Tell a gyal seh, me is a girl mi nuh fight over man. From mi likkle bit a jus suh mi tan. Dis yah gyal only wah gi him one. After dat him tun fool cah him jus get di bomb. Tight ***** gyal nuh fight over man…’ I don’t think I need to continue. Just imagine the rest of the lyrics. Actually, I did some research and found that she does have a song that is more ‘toned down.’ It’s called ‘Baby I Love You’ but before researching, I had neeeeever heard that song. It clearly went to file 13. Maybe there are other songs on the tame side, but as I said, I only know the popular ones that get a lot of airplay. I’m sure this is the same for majority of persons. They mainly know her lewd songs. Knowing the nature of the songs that Spice has in her repertoire, I can’t say that she was a prime choice to perform at an event of this nature. But fine, they booked her and she came out and sang her hits ‘Panda,’ ‘Suh Mi Like It’ and ‘Indicator’. She didn’t get very far with ‘Indicator’ but we’ll get into that soon.
In my opinion the outfit seemed rather risqué for the occasion. There she was with that sheer bit of her dress showing her bottom in all its glory. My co-worker said, “She’s up there singing, “I got this thing round a back yah, mi know how fi shake it up like a shaker. Left to the right, move like indicator…Left side a jump, right side a jump. With lyrics like that, tell me what type of outfit you expected her to go up there wearing.” I can’t agree with that one. I’m partial to thinking that she could have gone even a tad demure for the event. Maybe just give us some cleavage and call it a day. I mean this event was attended by the Prime Minister and other government officials. As my co-worker also said, what she gave us was more of hazard lights than an indicator. Bwahahaha. Indeed!
I wasn’t there so I don’t know for a fact what the running order was like, but it seems there was a big blunder there. Bwoy, no one took a second look at the running order and thought that it was a bad idea to have Spice perform after gospel singer Kevin Downswell? That was a sin committed right there lol. Imagine Kevin just took the people to church. Glory! They just got through hearing lyrics like this – ‘Lord I love You because You first loved me…’ ‘So I give You everything, no holding back.’ Well, it looks like Spice was listening backstage because she certainly gave us everything and didn’t hold back lol. The reaction of some of the persons in the audience was just priceless, or should I say ‘Pryceless.’ Yeah Shelly, we saw you girl lol. You know what though? Had she gone up there and sang one of her file 13 songs (which would have been more appropriate), I can almost guarantee that still she would have gotten an awkward response from the audience. Most persons don’t know those songs so I can’t see Spice getting much of a positive reception from the crowd had she drawn for any of them. Damn if you do, damn if you don’t lol. Some persons say that she received this response because people turn up their noses at dancehall. They say that the same persons who snub Spice will go out and jump in Carnival. Yes, it is true that some people do shun dancehall culture, and yes some of the persons tittering at Spice’s performance ‘carry on bad’ at Carnival, but guess what? This was not Carnival; this was a reception for our athletes. There is a time and place for everything.
But things got worse. Spice, how yuh salt suh? So, she directs them to drop the track for the next song, but not a track drop. No sah. More like if you dropped a pin you would hear it. *cricket cricket* Well, I have to say that true to her name she handled the situation with such ‘grace.’ Realizing that ain’t no track dropping, she started singing ‘Indicator’ acapella. Thankfully, some of the audience members clapped, giving her a rhythm and a little boost. She sang a few lines, bowed, said ‘Thank you’ and exit the stage. Spice, I have to give you your props mumz. You held it together like a true performer.
But hold on, it doesn’t end there. The next set of performers was a dance troupe and you won’t believe what music their dance was choreographed to! None other than Spice’s ‘Indicator.’ On it comes, blaring through the speakers. That is what you call adding insult to injury. Yes, it was mixed with a samba type beat (if I heard the clip correctly) but…it…was…still…‘Indicator’. From what I could see in the video clip, the dancers were in short shorts and every now and then would bend over, backs to the audience, bottoms up in the air.
So, the producer of the event, Lenford Salmon has commented on the matter. He says that they have done several events of this nature in the past and had dancehall acts (he cited artistes like Mavado and Bounti Killer), and that they tailored their performances to conform to the event. He also went on to say that they had spoken to Spice’s management team regarding same and were assured that she would conform. Her attire and lyrics were raunchy but I have to say though that her performance did seem more toned down than what I have seen of her at other events. In my opinion, she actually gave a performance that in comparison to some of her others could be considered ‘tame.’ It could have been much worse. That being said, it went wrong from the minute they booked her. As I said before, what popular songs does Spice have that wouldn’t make you want to cover your children’s ears? Mavado and Bounty Killer are not only popular for their explicit hard core songs. I mean Mavado can draw for ‘On the Rock,’ ‘Big League, ‘Give it All to Me’ (clean versions that is). The list continues. And we know that Bounty Killer has popular songs where he isn’t in war lord mode. Well people, Mr. Salmon said that Spice’s performance made the audience uncomfortable but he cites ‘technical difficulties’ for the track not being played. I call foul on that.
I’ve shared my two cents. What are your views? Click the link below to watch the full video of Spice’s performance. Clip courtesy of @TheRaahtedShow.
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