Sizzla Criticizes Spice for Headlining Toronto Pride Festival

Sheri-Kae McLeod

Reggae veteran Sizzla has lashed out at dancehall artiste Spice for headlining the 2022 Toronto Pride Festival.

The event, slated for June 2022, will include all “signature favorites including the annual Trans March, Dyke March, Bi+ Pride Programming, Blockorama by Blackness Yes, Pride Parade, StreetFair, and “multiple stages featuring over 300 2SLGBTQ+ artists”.

Toronto Pride announced Spice as the headliner via Instagram, with the caption: “It just got a lot more spicier in here!  The Queen of Dancehall and recent @moboawards nominee, @spiceofficial will be headlining #Pride2022! Visit PrideToronto.com/2022 for more info! What will you be wearing?”

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But the announcement did not go over well with Reggae artist Sizzla, who said that Spice was corrupting children and dancehall culture.

“None a dem nastiness bout yah unu gweh.   You’ll not corrupt our children any more,” Sizzla wrote via his Instagram page. “Jamaican artistes already knew that our indigenous music bashes against homosexuals and lesbianism.  We Jamaicans bash against anything that is corrupt and misleading to our nation if people.   Do not mix reggae and Dancehall with your evil nasty ways; no to guns; no to gays; no to lesbian; no to paedophilia; no to all what’s wrong and going against our culture,” he added.

He later posted another photo of Spice, captioned: "We nah sell out, we nuh hungry, Jamaica full a good food and very nice people our African heritage and culture is rich.”

Sizzla's sentiments were also shared by Dancehall producer Foota Hype, who had also lashed out at Spice.

“In all my 20+ years as an established product of Jamaica and dancehall and reggae music this is the first time I feel completely defeated ashamed embarrassed weak betrayed,” Foota posted via Instagram.

"This is a big L for the ancestors of Jamaica and the music given to us by the almighty money has officially poisoned and crippled our industry, we’ll maybe this is a band show if not it would be sad that @spiceoffial wouldn’t consider the wellbeing and career of her dj after this, shame a kill mi God know,” he continued. Foota Hype also criticized other local artistes after Reggae singer Lila Ike came out in a series of tweets earlier this week.

Spice has not yet commented on the criticisms, but she received support from another dancehall artist, Devin Di Dakta, who said that local artistes need to accept that times are changing.

"People need fi understand that it's 2021. People of all race, age, sex, gender, type, culture, group, community, planets, solar systems, etc. are listening to music. You don't have to ACCEPT or AGREE with a person or group lifestyle or sexuality, and you don't control who's listening to your music. At the end of the day, music is made for everyone to enjoy," he wrote under a post.

Spice says she is excited to perform at the Festival next year.

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