On a nice, rainy Sunday afternoon in Kingston, Jamaica – Lord knows we needed some relief from the heat — I sat at my laptop doing research on the hottest female dancehall act from the Land of Wood and Water currently doing big things around the world.
Grace Latoya Hamilton, more popularly known as Spice, has the most fascinating Wikipedia page introduction I’ve seen in a very long time.
“Grace Latoya Hamilton (born 6 August 1982), known professionally as Spice, is a Jamaican dancehall recording artist, singer and songwriter. Her career began when she made her debut performance at the annual music festival Sting in 2000, and subsequently became the protégé of fellow deejay Baby Cham. Spice initially gained major recognition after releasing her controversial single ‘Romping Shop’ with Vybz Kartel in 2009. She continued to gain more recognition after releasing her single, ‘So Mi Like It’ in 2014, featured on her debut EP of the same name.”
Let’s pick this apart for a bit. Spice celebrates her birthday on the same day Jamaica does — awesome timing! Spice is literally the female embodiment of strength, wisdom and leadership in the dancehall sector. Funny enough, she constantly has to defend her love for her country from naysayers who view her raunchy performances and provocative lyrics in the most derogatory way they can.
Why write about her, though?
I like to put an academic spin on things we, the Jamaican public, label as ‘sins’, as opposed to the freedom to live and do as one pleases. For the most part, her discography seems filled with raunchy sex music, and one could understand that you’d hardly call a woman like this a role model for young females everywhere. However, on the flip side, aren’t most of our jokes sex-based in the workplaces, schools and social community settings? Isn’t good sex the requirement for most modern-day relationships?
Spice is a woman who would have suffered the ego-driven, male-dominated field of dancehall, risen above it, found a niche that could sell and made a goddamn successful business out of what she loved to do the most.
She is a role model because she is giving a voice to black women in Jamaica, endearing with power and authority, demanding to be heard, understood and respected. No wonder her debut EP was aptly named, ‘So Mi Like It’
Written by recording artiste Shekinah Ade-Gold, whose goal is to help usher in the most lucrative season in Jamaica’s entertainment history.