Sat | Jun 10, 2023

Reggae Sumfest gives Spice 'royal assent'

Published:Saturday | July 23, 2022 | 11:00 AMAaliyah Cunningham/Gleaner Writer -
Grace 'Spice' Hamilton is embraced by son, Nicholas Lall Jr, following her crowning as Queen of the Dancehall.
Grace 'Spice' Hamilton is embraced by son, Nicholas Lall Jr, following her crowning as Queen of the Dancehall.

Dancehall heavyweight Spice has been crowned Queen of the Dancehall.

After delivering an energetic performance on the opening night of Reggae Sumfest festival night one, which featured a few of her hits, some social commentary and even a costume change, the veteran deejay was called back to centre stage by Ms Kitty. The eloquent host praised Spice for her work, resilience and contribution to Jamaican music and entertainment after which Reggae Sumfest Producer Joe Bogdanovich crowned the veteran performer.

“How many years has it been since Marion Hall was here?” Bogdanovich questioned the crowd after crowning Spice. “How long ago was that? You (Spice) have been on this journey for so long to get to where you have been. Good luck to everybody else. Congratulations!”

After she received her crown, her son Nicholas Lall Jr, who beamed with pride, embraced her.


Spice, whose given name is Grace Hamilton, released her debut studio album 10, last August and enjoyed many high points in her career, some of the most recent being a nomination for Best Reggae Album Grammy and No. 1 track, Go Down Deh, featuring Shaggy and Sean Paul. She is also a cast member of the American reality series Love & Hip Hop Atlanta.

Though she is known for her raunchy lyrics on tracks such as So Mi Like it, Needle Eye, Sheet and more, she has always used her music and platform to make commentary on social issues. Tonight’s performance was utilised to do just that. Spice dedicating a few minutes to address Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

“The Gleaner Company said Honourable Prime Minister is disappointed with ‘Whap, Whap’ and ‘Ensure’ so let me address the Prime Minister in a respectable manner. Honourable Andrew Holness a.k.a. Mr ‘Bro Gad’ I wanna reason with you tonight and when mi reason with you tonight, mi want the people dem lef ya and find the White House, the one wah deh uppa Hope Road desso and tell him fi ave me as MP and a member of the board cause mi affi reason wid him,” she said to the crowd.

Spice then began to speak out about issues such as discrimination, crime and poverty over a one-drop beat. This set had the audience’s eyes glued to the stage as she reminded everyone why she was the Queen of the Dancehall.

She also announced that her new album, Emancipated, would be released on August 19.