Meet Spice, the Fashion-Forward Queen of Dancehall

While there was a veritable runway of festival-style on the ground at Red Stripe’s Reggae Sumfest 2017, the most show-stopping look appeared when Spice hit center stage for her late-night set. The dancehall singer arrived on a four-poster bed, replete with satin sheets and fluffy marabou pillows, to perform her bawdy hit, “Sheet.” As she tore through her catalog of rude gal, sex-positive songs—including “Romping Shop,” her Billboard-charting duet with Vybz Kartel—she quickly ditched her pink boudoir robe for a chain-encrusted gold bustier, then kicked off her heels. It was a perfect example of the artist’s fearless, ever-changing wardrobe—one that is redefining dancehall style.

Born Grace Hamilton in Portmore, Jamaica, Spice understands that fashion is a crucial element of performance and deftly wields a man-eating alter ego on stage.


Her electrifying stage shows are always kicked up a notch by elaborate bodysuits and a rotation of colorful wigs that recall an early Nicki Minaj.


Then there’s her penchant for kinky nurse uniforms and latex bodysuits that often border on fetish cosplay.


She honed this flair for spectacle at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston, where she studied music and drama.


But beyond the pink wigs and onstage glitz, Spice isn’t afraid to dabble in more provocative, gender-defying fashion.


Case in point: the fake mustache and three-piece suit she wore for her 2014 hit, “Like A Man,” which addressed gender bias and sexism in the dancehall scene. In an exaggerated baritone pitch she sang, “You think they woulda rate me more / If I was a man and did drop it hardcore.”


All it takes is a scroll through her Instagram feed and YouTube channel—which are filled with daring outfits and tongue-in-cheek takes on feminism—to see that the future of dancehall looks bright and bold.

Source: (Published July 2017)


Buju Banton To Perform In Jamaica First & T&T Promoter Apologizes

Buju Banton will be performing in Jamaica before his planned performance in Trinidad and Tobago next year.

Earlier this week a Trinidadian promoter announced that he booked the reggae legend for his very first show after leaving prison at the end of this year. While the Grammy-winning singer will indeed be performing in the Twin Island Republic, it certainly will not be his first show. A rep for Buju Banton confirmed with Urban Islandz on Tuesday that his team is currently in negotiations with a Jamaican promoter to host his first post-prison concert.

“He wants to perform for his fans at home before going anywhere else so some big announcement will be coming out soon,” a representative for the singer told us in an email. “The show in Trinidad will happen also but I think the promoter jumped the gun in announcing that that will be his first show after leaving prison. The fans at home have been relentless in their support for Buju from the beginning and they never waiver in their support so we putting on something special for them.”

Buju Banton’s manager Donovan Germain also confirmed the news about the Trinidad concert but declined to comment on the one planned for Jamaica since they’re currently in negotiations. He also added that the team has been getting calls from promoters all over the world wanting to book the reggae singer. “We getting calls from Africa, Europe, Central America, and even as far as Australia and Japan,” he said.

Buju Banton, real name Mark Myrie, was sentenced to ten years in prison for drug trafficking. His release date is set for December 8th, 2018, which means he could be performing in Jamaica for Christmas. Buju will be deported to Jamaica following his release from a Georgia prison. Will you be attending the Gargamel’s first post-prison concert?



T&T Promoter of Buju Banton Concert Breaks Silence and Apologizes

Trinidad and Tobago promoter, Glenroy Watson is today expressing apology and regret to organisers of the Love and Harmony Cruise where, earlier this week, an erroneous report insinuating that Buju Banton’s first performance, post prison release, would be in Trinidad and Tobago. Watson today said this is incorrect.

Lamenting that such news, which essentially infuriated many Jamaicans and others on the artiste’s management team, was unfortunately misspoken, Watson, in the same breath assured fans of the ‘Hills and Valleys’ singer in Trinidad and Tobago, that he certainly has secured an April 2019 date, for a concert that will be headlined by Buju. “I am just a bit bothered by the fact that the people of Jamaica and other parties with vested interest in Buju Banton, have been uneasy since the initial announcement was made. That of course, was incorrect. There is absolutely no confirmation just yet, as to where Buju will perform first. We have confirmed our date for the Trinidad and Tobago show in April but that is it. We could never say where Buju will perform first,” he said.

Watson has been a part of the entertainment landscape in the Caribbean and North America for over a decade. In 2009, he hosted the I Am Legend concert event – the last Trinidad and Tobago had seen and experienced the reggae and dancehall hit maker. “We are preparing for what will definitely be a mammoth concert event. Right now though, the important thing is for everyone Buju to be reunited with his family, his close friends and the people of his homeland who love, respect and have missed him,” said Watson.


Anticipation Builds for Buju Banton’s Long-Awaited Return From Prison

By Reshema B./ Billboard Magazine

UK producer Blacker Dread says he has a full album of new Buju songs.

“It’s not an easy road,” sang reggae star Buju Banton on a standout track from his classic 1995 album Til Shiloh. “Many see the glamour and the glitter so they think a bed of rose/ Me say, who feels it knows/ Ooh Lord, help me sustain these blows.”


It’s been nine years since the Jamaica-born recording artist was arrested at his home in Florida and eventually convicted on drug-related charges. (Banton had been targeted and pursued for over a year by an undercover federal informant, and it took two trials for the charges to stick.) Since that time his music has remained a staple within reggae and dancehall circles, but Buju’s fans haven’t had much in the way of new music.

Banton’s last studio album, the 10-track project Before the Dawn, was released in September 2010 — one day after his first court case ended in mistrial — and won a Grammy Award for best reggae album. A mere handful of tracks have dropped since then, most notably “Jah Army,” a collaboration with Stephen “Ragga” Marley (who put up his own Florida home to secure bail so Buju could get out of jail while he fought his case) and Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley. Other releases, including the solo cut “Set Up the Mic” and “Those Dayz,” a collaboration with Agent Sasco, were culled from older recording sessions.

Demand for Buju Banton’s music remains high despite his prolonged absence from the recording studio. A$AP Rocky recently named him “one of my favorite reggae rappers,” while DJ Khaled stated: “I love Buju so much. His music is like praying.”

With Banton scheduled for release from McRae Correctional Facility in Georgia in December, anticipation is building for new recordings by the artist. “There is a big void without Buju Banton in the music,” says veteran reggae singer Cocoa Tea. “We would like to see Buju free because Buju is one of I and I soldier. People make mistakes along the way and no man is perfect, but I and I love Buju Banton like how Jesus love little children… So we would love to see Buju Banton on the street.”

“He was always touring, always working. He started that work as a teenager, and he worked until he was decades into his career,” says Pat McKay, director of programming for reggae at Sirius XM. “In that time he built a world community fanbase.

They still miss him and they still want to hear from him. His work still has value, it’s still quotable and the aspirations of that work will always ring true. He was consistent about what his interests were, about feeling as if he represented the voiceless. He was very, very concerned with those he felt that he spoke for.”

Last October, Sean Paul visited Buju behind bars and posted on social media that he spent three hours talking with the artist whose music has evolved over the years from hardcore dancehall to roots reggae. “Still very focused,” Sean Paul wrote. “Has Not Broken!!! Teaching Classes @ Times 2 Inmates!!! Keeping Fit An Eating Healthy!!! Bare Joke An Serious Discussions As well!!!”

Buju will return to a music scene that has changed dramatically since the time he was first taken into custody. On the worldwide pop charts, reggae and dancehall sounds are more prevalent than ever before, thanks to international artists like Drake and Major Lazer, both of whom released their breakthrough records in 2009, the same year Buju was arrested. Meanwhile, music in Jamaica has drifted in other directions. Despite a “reggae revival” movement led by artists like Chronixx, the core sound of the Kingston streets trends toward hardcore dancehall and “island pop” fusion more so than the conscious roots direction in which Buju was heading.

“Buju Banton’s music makes bad people wanna do good,” says Beres Hammond, who collaborated with the artist on records like, “Who Say” and “Little More Time” and has shared many stages with him. “In my estimation, he would do more good out here than being in there. Personal relationship has nothing to do with the law but I really wish that he was out here. We’re missing one of our messengers, ya know? This is me speaking from the heart. We need people like him out here.”

The most recent Buju Banton release is “Stumbling Block,” a collaboration with Freddie McGregor produced for Blacker Dread Records by the British sound system selector of the same name. “I actually had a track on Buju’s last album called ‘Innocent,’” says Blacker, a fixture in the UK reggae scene who is the subject of the recent BBC documentary Being Blacker, directed by Molly Dineen.

Blacker says Buju’s latest song, which hit iTunes in March 2017, was recorded in Florida while the artist was on house arrest and still fighting his case. “Listen to the words,” Blacker explained exclusively to Billboard. “‘Early one morning I was surprised.’ He’s actually talking about the morning when he was raided by the police.”

The track is part of a full-length project that Blacker has kept under wraps for years while awaiting Banton’s release. “I have a 13-track album with Buju Banton that we recorded just before he was incarcerated,” says Blacker Dread. “I didn’t think it would be right putting it out without Buju being around to promote it and give it the kudos that it deserves, ‘cause I know he’s gonna be coming home soon.”

The respected British reggae producer calls the project “arguably my biggest thing I’ve done in the music industry to date—although it’s not out and people have not heard it.” He says the album is as yet untitled. “I’ve given it so many names,” says the producer. “First it was Buju’s Bible, then it was Buju in Exile. My last title that I had for it was Just Believe,” which is also the name of one of the songs on the project. “Titles for the album kept changing, so I thought ‘You know what? Let me just wait till Buju comes home and we will sit down and decide.””

“It’s a very exciting time. After 9 long years Buju Banton’s redemption is at hand,” states Joseph Louis Jr of A-Team Management, the artist’s official representatives. “Buju is looking forward to performing for his fans again and releasing new music. We are currently in negotiation with a number of promoters and sponsors in Jamaica and elsewhere.” Earlier this week the @BujuOfficial instagram account posted a sign in Jamaica reading, “Be ready for the REUNIFICATION 12.08.18 Buju Banton.”

“It would be great if something positive could happen that would sort of balance with what seemed a great negative when he was removed from the music-making community,” says Pat McKay. “I hope something good happens in a big way.”

If the Blacker Dread album is indeed released as the producer describes, it would be Buju’s first full project with a single producer since he recorded Mr. Mention with Dave Kelly at Donovan Germaine’s Penthouse Records in 1992.

“It was such an exciting time,” recalls Pat McKay. “When Mr. Mention had been released in Jamaica, all the songs on that album made it to the top legitimately. It broke a record in Jamaica: since Bob Marley no one had had 10 #1s in a row. And Buju Banton was able to do that.”

That same year, Blacker Dread recorded a song with Buju called “Yardie,” released in the UK on the Blacker Dread label and in Jamaica on Xterminator Records. “We just connected because of the music,” Blacker recalls. “I used to go to Jamaica and I’d be at the studios hearing him recording tunes. As a Rastaman, Rasta and Rasta just link up.”

They began working after Banton visited Blacker Dread’s now defunct record shop in South London. “Buju sees me as one of the eldest pioneers of UK reggae,” he recalls. “It was wonderful. He actually came to my shop and he said to me, ‘Blacker, how comes you no record no Buju Banton? You don’t like Buju?’” Blacker told him that, to the contrary, recording a song with Buju was one of his “all time dreams.” They agreed to make it happen then and there.

“I had riddims already made and we had a little studio in Brixton,” says Blacker. “Overnight, he called me like 4 o’clock in the morning and said, ‘I’m ready, what time can you get the studio for?’” Blacker booked an engineer and they went in the next morning. After giving the artist a copy of their day’s work, Blacker received another late-night phone call. “Buju rang me up—again, maybe 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning—and said ‘Yo Rasta, we haffi go do an album.’”

A former selector for Sir Coxsone Sound in South London, Blacker describes himself as “Buju’s number one fan.” He sometimes refers to the artist as “Buju Marley” because he says he considers Banton “the closest thing to Bob Marley” in modern reggae. “They’ve got Bob as the king and I have Buju as a king in his own right,” says Blacker. “I believe that Buju’s music, in 50 years time, will be so important to people growing up.”

As the film Being Blacker details, the producer himself endured a 15-month jail sentence for money laundering. “Sometimes you have to go into the lion’s den to find out what’s really going on,” says the man who marched through Brixton with Nelson Mandela and counseled many members of his own community to stay away from crime. “The people can only tell you about the lion, but if you don’t go into the den, you would never know. It’s not something that you want to do, but sometimes life takes you in directions that you would never have expected.” Despite his incarceration Blacker says he was determined to “turn his experience into an advantage rather than a disadvantage.”

He began DJing on a radio network that can be heard in over 170 different prisons across the UK. “There was no way I was just going to sit there,” Blacker says. “I knew I made a mistake and I knew I had to contribute something.” He also used his expertise and connections to build up the prison station’s reggae collection.


Buju Banton photographed in London in 1995.

Blacker says he decided to release “Stumbling Block” because of the song’s message. “Another stumbling block, another hidden trap,” Buju sings on the record. “The four songs that we did while I was in Miami are all basically about what was happening to him at the time. He got his bail and he couldn’t leave his house. That’s the reason why I put out ‘Stumbling Block’ because of what it’s actually stating.”

“There are all these trite expressions: that’s the measure of a man, how he responds to adversity,” says Pat McKay. “But we’re talking about someone’s life—and someone with a large family. So I am hopeful for all of them that he will stay strong. Because so far from what we know, he is still strong, he is still standing.”

Beyond his own recordings Blacker says he’s looking forward to the new songs Buju will record once he’s a free man. “I don’t know if I dreamt it,” he says, “but one morning I woke up thinking `Buju’s probably written about 10,000 songs while in prison.’ I can imagine what it’s gonna do for the music industry. I think when he takes up the mantle again, he will be unstoppable. He probably won’t have to write songs again for the rest of his life.”


The Fenty Beauty Review by Rasine Hamilton


Rasine Hamilton, Beauty Contributor, PANACHE |

Professional Makeup Artist (@rasicharyn) offering Glowing✨ Soft Glam to Brides, Beauties & Professionals Islandwide✈️🌎. Airbrush Makeup Available. BOOK NOW!

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna
Pro Filt’r Foundation Shade 370 | Shop Here

We can’t review this foundation without mentioning their extensive 40 shade range, a makeup industry first for a brand launch, yet alone for a celebrity brand. This foundation has a natural matte finish, doesn’t dry down cakey or settle into your lines or pores. Its thin, liquid consistency covers well. It is definitely medium-buildable coverage, but I would only build in the sections that need it. The bottle is 1.08 fluid ounces, which is .08 fluid ounces more than an average foundation bottle.
I apply the foundation over well moisturised and primed skin for best application and results. In a tropical climate I would suggest if you’re overly oily, mattify with a mattifying primer only in those oily areas. Set it with a light translucent powder if oily or in a tropical climate.
This foundation can be applied with either a buffing brush or sponge (damp), I would say try both methods to see which you prefer as I have seen people love it ether way.
I would rate the foundation 4 out of 5, it is definitely in my Top 3 foundations of all time. The only thing my HG has over it is lasting power; my HG gives a few more hours. I would wear my Fenty as a daily foundation if I wore makeup everyday.
PSA, I suggest trying to test a shade in person because all these shades have some people confused. If possible get a sample in a few shades, try them out on different days and wear them so it dries down on the skin to its truest colour; this is really the method you should use before buying any foundation, really, but even more so this one.


Fenty Beauty by Rihanna
Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter ‘Trophy Wife’ | Shop Here

This is the unique gold, green, bronze highlighter that everyone heavily anticipated in the brands` initial launch. Also, the product that inspired Rihanna’s outfit for the US launch in New York.
Finally, in hand, this gem was met with mixed reviews because of the unique green shift that it had. I personally didn’t care, but I could see where everyone was coming from. This highlighter is best for medium to dark skin tones. I actually wear it 98% of the time I wear makeup, but I use it lightly over a champagne gold/nude highlighter. It is great for highlighting or bronzing your body when wearing cold shoulder blouses, beachwear and much more.
The Killawatt highlighter can do more than just highlight. It`s great for shadow all over the lid and for an inner corner highlight. The compact is so big that you’ll have product to last you forever. I must also commend the size of the mirror in the compact, great to apply makeup on the go.
This highlighter has obvious glitter particles and is not for the faint of heart. The powder itself is finely milled and applies very smooth. For a highlighter, I give it 3.5 out of 5, because I like it but it depends on how it`s used. But it gets brownie points for having the ability to use it in several days.


Fenty Beauty by Rihanna
Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick’Trippin’

This cream stick is really a tube filled with wonder. I think its more a Makeup Artist’s dream than for a makeup enthusiast. I say this because even though it is quite easy to use for cream stick, there is a learning curve.
My favourite way to apply it is with the use of a small buffing brush; I swirl the brush on the tip of the stick to warm it up and to collect some product, then I lightly buff and press it on the top your cheek. The highlight given is good enough to wear on its own, especially for those that don’t like a blinding highlight, unlike me *covers face*.
Contrary to the above, my favourite way to wear this is over my bare skin, with a little concealer in spots that need it. Its the best for a natural highlight because the shade is gold with a pink shift, so the pink adds a flushed look. On the website, the shade is described as a golden-glazed apricot to be specific.
The lasting power is pretty good, even if it`s on my bare skin. It gives a solid 5 hours before starting to fade. I contribute the lasting power to the drier consistency; the drier consistency also doesn’t tend to move around the product below it, but I wouldn’t apply the stick directly to the makeup – use the brush. I give the stick 3 out of 5 stars.


Fenty Beauty by Rihanna
Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer ‘‘Fenty Glow’ | Shop Here

This universal shimmering rose nude as described on the website, is said to be a lip gloss fit for all skin tones. I must say I’ve seen several persons with a plethora of skin tones wear this gloss and it really does work. The gloss on me is not very rosy but you do see a hint of pink when applied. It is moisturising, shiny and lasts for a good while especially for a gloss. The moisture lasts as well even as the high-intensity shine wears down.
My favourite way to wear it is with a natural pink lip pencil underneath to amp up the pink in the gloss itself. There is somewhat of a sheen but it is not a metallic or glittery gloss. I would use this gloss on others of different skin tones with a nude base to add colour. The gloss on its own is great for a natural, no foundation look.
I rate the gloss a 5 out of 5 because it performs amazingly and does exactly what it`s promised to do. The applicator is a doe foot but bigger than what we would be used to. The packaging is compact because it`s not too long but it is a bit chubby; I don’t have a problem fitting it in my wristlet for on the go purposes. If you are a lover of gloss, you will love this gloss!


Fenty Beauty by Rihanna
Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Colour ‘Uncensored’ | Shop Here

In a world filled with liquid lipsticks, could Rihanna really release something life changing?
The teasing of this product drove everyone crazy!…well almost. I must admit that I did not intend to purchase this Fenty Beauty staple. I was going to wait it out and see. I wanted to see reviews on it before taking the leap, I was so calculated, all of a sudden *covers face*. So I strolled into Sephora 1 week after it launched, with a game plan that did not include this lipstick, but I could not help browse the shelves as usual. The consultant says to me “have you tried the Rihanna lipstick?”, to which I said “no.” She convinced me to try it and I was mind blown!
The consistency was so thin, weightless is the best word to describe it. But the consistency would make you think it isn’t pigmented, well you would be wrong. Its so pigmented, that on your first application you’re bound to make a mistake and use way more than you need.The packaging is so amazing and so is the applicator. I took out the applicator, wiped off the excess and went to apply, I never had to dip the applicator in for more product at all. I could draw a straight line and the lipstick application was thin but very pigmented and it wore so comfortably.
So other than obvious differences to the run of the mill liquid lipsticks that I listed above, the Stunna does transfer, it transfers on the glass you’re drinking from, the napkin you wipe your mouth with BUT it never affects the vibrancy of the perfect universal red. And that is what really matters. I don’t find it transferring if you kiss someone on their cheek, so it all depends.
This lipstick most definitely gets a 5 out of 5 stars for me. Here’s why; it`s versatility – it looks amazing on every skin tone I’ve applied it to or seen wear it. Its comfort, its pigmentation, its wear, its packaging…need I say more? |P