The Fyah Muma Is Not Rampin’ With Kartel’s “Virginity” Argument.

In keeping with a long dancehall tradition, Vybz Kartel has made a habit of pushing the envelope of lyrical propriety. But even for Di Teacha, “Virginity” was a highly controversial track. “First night at the Rampin Shop,” he sings. “You bawl out when me force it in… ‘Member the two drop a blood on your frock? Don’t tell me your mother no beat you fi dat.” In case you missed it somehow, here’s the tune in question. Run it…

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One of the beautiful things about dancehall culture is that it’s self-regulating. No lyrical excess goes unchecked. Sure enough, Queen Ifrica rose to the defense of young women everywhere with a witty but deadly serious counteraction called “Mek Me Grow.” The Fyah Muma sings: “If it makes you feel good to sleep with children in your Rampin Shop / Well don’t bother worry when the lightning clap.” The artist who brought us “Below the Waist” has never styled herself as a prude, but she’s also been fearless in speaking out against sexual exploitation and victimization, as in her heart-wrenching classic “Daddy.”

In subsequent interviews Ifrica stressed that “Mek Me Grow” was intended to make a point about the importance of education for young women, and took great care not to get drawn into any sort of lyrical battle with Kartel. But the tune speaks for itself. Run the track and draw your own conclusions…

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The latest chapter in this debate came during Kartel’s recent lyrical bout with Bounty Killer, when Addi felt the need to offer an explanation of “Virginity,” if only to distance himself from any suggestion of pedophilia: “Virginity song make every girl smile. Me a reminisce bout when me was a child.”

As a wise man (or was it a wise woman?) once said: “Never apologize, never explain yourself. Your friends don’t need it; your enemies won’t accept it.”