Dancehall selector/producer Foota Hype has described the first week performance of Shenseea’s Alpha album as “embarrassing” and evidence that her 5.3 million Instagram followers are not genuine.
In an Instagram monologue on Thursday, the Dollars and Sense producer prefaced his commentary by saying that he loves the Sure Sure artist and admires her “apart from music” as he knows her struggle and “how far she is coming from”.
“Dat still nuh teck weh from di fact seh shi a do bare foolishness, seen,” Foota then said.
Shenseea’s debut album, which was released on March 11 via Rich Immigrants/Interscope Records, had sold 4,900 units from sales and streaming during its first week, including 800 copies in pure album sales. Foota, in making his point, noted that there was no concomitant sales figure to match the number of followers.
“Tell mi if dis add up. Tell mi if dis mek sense! 5.3 million followers equal to 5745 sales in the first two weeks. Dat add up? Dat meck sense?” he asked as if dumbfounded.
“Dem numba yah meck sense to di amount a followers weh yuh have? A year and a half ago, mi come tell oonu seh views and followers, do not make you a star! Now if you have 5.3 million followers and outta dat, 40,000 nuh guh buy yuh album, via stream or nuttn at all. Mi naw si no numbas weh a seh 40,000 buy yuh album. Hard sale a 845?”
“Den how yuh have 5.3 million followers? Memba mi discuss dis already enuh. Rememba mi tell oonu seh no ‘views artiste’ an no ‘followers artiste’ cannot talk to me… No way you can have 5.3 million genuine followers an ongle sell dis! Da following yah nuh genuine. Cause it is proven in yuh sales,” Foota declared.
Foota then sought to reassure the Lick artist that he was not speaking in a bid to make her feel bad, but to take his comments in stride, and as a wake-up call.
“This is not disrespect; this is reality, and I said it before: Shenseea, you are a very popular girl; very popular artiste. You are not yet a superstar! An Shenseea do not take this as a disrespect. Its comin from somebaddy weh actually care fi yuh,” the Dark Knight producer said.
“Yuh si if yuh nuh face reality, yuh a guh get f-ck! Awrite?” he added.
Declaring that he knows he will garner more enemies, Foota said that in his estimation being “a world selector, who does not flop”, when comparing the Romeich Entertainment artists, including the now-departed Teejay, Tarrus was the biggest, followed by Ding Dong and Teejay, with Shenseea at the rear end, despite having gotten the “most promotion”.
“Romeich Entertainment is a nice camp or was a nice camp. Caw it a deflate… Nice package a artiste… Shenseea, right now, is the most popular. And it depends pon a which region yuh guh. Cause certain region don’t even know who name Shenseea. Certain region dem nuh know Ding Doing either. Certain region a Tarrus dem know; dem nuh know Teejay eeda. When yuh a talk bout reach inna some region, Tarrus is di man,” he said.
He pointed out that at events, there are songs that all selectors have to have on their playlists, which all three of her stablemates have had in the past, but Shenseea is yet to achieve.
“Shenseea, yuh don’t have even one a dem song deh yet inna yuh life. Yuh do not have a must-play, done-di-dance song inna yuh life. You do not have one a those songs. So, you are talked about, you are trending, but you don’t have the main ingredient yet weh fi cause yuh fi sell di record dem,” he said.
Foota stressed again that he had nothing against the Romeich Entertainment camp, but that he wants them to do the right thing, even if they do not like him, in the interest of Dancehall and Reggae music.
“This is weh mi a try seh to oonu an oonu a seh people badmind. It nuh have nuttn fi do wid badmind. It is di reality. You do not even have one a dem song deh weh dance haffi done when it play,” he said.
“So yes, yuh looks a carry yuh; yes, yuh figure a carry yuh. Yes, you are talented; we are not saying you are not talented. You are talented, but you have not embarked on one of those blessed songs weh meck anyweh yuh guh inna di world and Dnmcehall play, it haffi play else di dance done, promoter kill yuh, fans fling bakkle…,” he said.
“Reality is, you have songs that play, zeen? You do not have any song weh haffi play. Is a difference in havin song weh play, seen. Yuh have song weh play; yuh have song weh wi like, but wi nuh haffi play,” the Calabar High School old boy said.
Foota also highlighted that no other Jamaican artist has received the amount of promotion that Shenseea was given. According to him, if Ding Dong were the one who dropped an album, without even the promotion and collabs, he would have sold more than Shenseea due to his street cred and stardom.
“Nobody in the space right now has been promoted like Shenseea. Nobody in the space have a budget spend pon dem like Shenseea. Nobody,” he said.
“Fi di money weh oonu spend and di promotions weh oonu do, an di interview dem weh oonu guh pon, and di shoulders weh oonu a rub, shoulders wid, Khaled, Puff Daddy, Tyga, Savage 21, Drake – this is embarrassing. This is embarrassing, zeen!” he added.