Now this strictly isn’t an album review as this is not an album it is a mixtape, but Spice has dropped an incredible project being the first long length project drop in her career, with the deejay never dropping an mixtape or an album before in her career.
The title ‘Captured’ refers to the situation Spice has faced with VP Records, reflecting the lack of freedom she has had since signing with the label, including the continual delay of her debut album and her wish to be released from her contract, with these issues all being discussed on the title track. So from the very beginning on this album it is clear that Spice is here to prove a point, and prove a point, she most certainly did.
With the initial announcement of the mixtape, Spice posted a picture of herself appearing to have bleached her skin with the caption “Nothing wrong with a fresh start”, before releasing the incredible ‘Black Hypocrisy’, which calls to attention colourism within the black community.
Upon the release of the mixtape, Spice further addressed these issues on her Instagram calling out those that referred to it as a “publicity stunt” and going deeper into the discussion around colourism, before stressing that she “DID NOT BLEACH MY SKIN” and “had to go the extra mile to ensure my message be heard”.
Spice from the outset was making a point with the release of this mixtape. This continued throughout the project.
Spice fought many battles on this mixtape. With ‘Captured’ focusing on her issues with VP Records and issues within the music industry; ‘Black Hypocrisy’ focusing on colourism in the black community and the importance of unity; and songs like ‘ Romantic Mood’, ‘Big Horse’ and ‘Walk Out’ continuing Spice’s career long fight for the importance of female sexual expression.
Spice has used her platform as one of the most internationally recognisable dancehall artists to push across a lot of really importance issues on this mixtape and deserves a lot of credit for this, as it would have been very easy for Spice this mixtape to just further herself and her career, but she has really made a point on this mixtape of bringing to light a lot of important issues that she feels are not discussed enough.
Musically, Spice has tried a lot of different styles on this mixtape, with ‘Black Hypocrisy’ having a strong roots vibe;’Fiesta’ experimenting with the reggaeton sound, with Spice to voicing the entire track in Spanish; ‘Romantic Mood’ bringing back that 90s style, sampling the ‘Ting A Ling’ riddim; and ‘Body Right’ seeing Spice shout out almost every imaginable artist with shoutouts for Popcaan, Rygin King, Shenseea, Capelton, Beres Hammond and many more. With the inclusion of the previous hit records, ‘Gum’, ‘Under Fire’ and ‘Yaaas Goodie’ this is an incredibly experimental and diverse mixtape, really showing the full range of Spice’s skills.
This mixtape is really a moment in dancehall. Seeing perhaps the biggest and most popular female dancehall artist ever drop her first mixtape is something that is really quite incredible. Spice has overcome a lot of issues to release this mixtape, something which she has tackled brilliantly both on the mixtape and in the lead up to it’s release. For me, this mixtape is really a coronation for the greatest female dancehall artist to ever grace the scene. Spice has triumphed over a lot of adversity to reach this point and still remains perhaps the most popular and well known female dancehall artist ever. LONG LIVE THE QUEEN OF THE DANCEHALL, SPICE.
Check out Spice’s incredible mixtape ‘Captured’ below.