One thing about Spice—she knows how to make an entrance! The reigning Queen of Dancehall arrived at the official release party for her highly anticipated new single “Go Down Deh” last weekend dressed like Cleopatra, reclining on a golden couch held aloft by four muscular bare-chested men in ancient Egyptian finery. The event took place in Atlanta, which has been a sort of home away from home for Jamaican-born star ever since she became a recurring character on VH1’s hit reality show, Love & HIp Hop Atlanta.
Now back in production after a coronavirus hiatus, the show’s cameras filmed Spice’s big launch event for its upcoming season. Dancehall hitmaker Shaggy was in the building to support Spice for the special night—he and Sean Paul are both featured on the infectiously catchy song, bringing some serious star power to the tune, which shot straight to the top of the iTunes Reggae Chart.
The video, directed by Jay Will, is full of flashing lights and sexy bodies in motion, and it’s closing in on its first 1 million views as of this writing.
Born Grace Hamilton in Portmore, Jamaica, Spice made a big splash on the dancehall scene in 2005 with her breakout single “Fight Over Man,” a hardcore tune on Madhouse Productions’ 85 Riddim—the same instrumental that powered Cham’s massive “Ghetto Story.” She and Vybz Kartel went on to hit the Billboard charts in 2009 with “Rampin Shop,” their XXX-rated collaboration on which she tells her partner to “spin me like a satellite dish.” Vivid descriptions of bedroom behavior would become a signature of her style, empowering women to embrace their sexual prowess in much the same way as male dancehall icons like Shabba Ranks. Her fans—including hip-hop megastars Missy Elliott and Cardi B—can not get enough. One of Spice’s biggest hits, “So Mi Like It,” has racked up close to 100 million video views.
As her star power has increased—she now boasts over 3 million Instagram followers—she has used her platform to tackle social issues on such songs as “Like a Man,” which addressed gender double standards in the male-dominated music industry, and “Black Hypocrisy,” which touched on the taboo topic of “colorism” within the Black community. Spice came up with brilliant visual concepts to drive these points home in the provocative music videos, wearing makeup to appear as if she’d bleached her skin for “Black Hypocrisy.” She showed another side of her creativity on the song “Frenz,” singing a poignant song with powerful images illustrating the heartbreak of being betrayed by fake friends.
“Go Down Deh” is part of Spice’s long-awaited album, 10, which is executive produced by Shaggy via VP Records. With production by Supa Dups and Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor, whose production credits include many of the biggest pop stars on the planet, Spice is perfectly poised to go all the way “up deh.”