After approximately two decades on the dancehall scene, Spice has remained relevant on the airwaves, on social media, and recently, on a reality-television series. She has built relationships with international music stars, like Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliot, as well as politicians, like Lisa Hanna.
But there is one collaboration a musical one that Spice treasures above all others. That is the censorship-triggering dancehall classic Ramping Shop with Vybz Kartel.
“To this date, I haven’t had a bigger collaboration than Ramping Shop,” Spice told THE WEEKEND STAR.
“Whenever performing the song, I chant his name and say, ‘Free the World Boss!’. A lot of people want to know why are you so loyal to this man, ‘why are you still chanting for Kartel?’ But the truth is, he is the one who gave me that major international record,” she added.
She continued: “The reason I say he gave it to me is because it was his idea. He was the one who found that ‘[Miss] Independent’ rhythm. He was the one who put the song together and said, ‘This is the idea’. I think he gave me that song that’s why I used those words. Because it was entirely his idea.”
But initially, the entertainer was sceptical of recording over a mellow track.
“When I was doing it, I was like, ‘Why we a do dah slow song yah? Why we deh pon da slow rhythm yah?’ Because at that time, mi used to spit fast lyrics, and I was a dancehall artiste, so I wasn’t sure about it. It was slow, and it wasn’t my type of style. Mi a seh, ‘Why Kartel a gimme dah slow song yah?’ Him a seh, ‘No, mumma. A dis!’,” Spice said.
Needless to say, Kartel’s musical intuition and insistence turned into immeasurable success. In 2009, Ramping Shop became one of the most controversial dancehall releases in history. The song sparked nationwide ethical debates and suffered stop orders such that it continues to affect public music-distribution regulations.
The song also peaked at No. 76 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, where it spent 15 weeks.
Spice said: “I have to continue paying my respect. I’m a very loyal person, so that’s the main reason why I continue to support him. I’m anticipating his release.”