Marie Driven, the Haitian-American managing partner of the Brooklyn-based promotion company, Playbook MG, says Jamaican dancehall queen Spice has “captured” the world in reaching new heights after releasing her long-awaited mixtape, “Captured,” on Nov. 2 last year.
Driven told Caribbean Life on Wednesday that the album tackles a variety of issues, including colorism, “a topic Spice is very vocal about her experience with a bad record deal previously, which accounted for the delay in the release.”
“The theme of female empowerment also played an overarching role,” Driven said, adding that the first anniversary marks “a mounting list of achievements that kicked off with the mixtape debuting at the number one album on the reggae Billboard charts.”
Driven said Spice is only the ninth female in history to hold this honor since the inception of the genre-specific category emerged in the 90s.
After charting at number one on Billboard, Driven said “Captured” stayed there for several weeks “and continues to have staying power to date.”
Driven said this project was “brought to life” in part by global entertainment brand 21st Hapilos Digital Distribution.
She said the album is considered “one of the most successful independent releases of dancehall themed album from dancehall artists, male or female.”
“The company also marketed ‘Captured’ and the accompanying single-track highlights and videos,” Driven said, adding that Spice’s album has remained on the Hapilos monthly top five reggae albums chart consistently for a year, “a first for any release in the company’s 10-year history.”
She said several hit songs have emerged from the compilation, including the controversial, “Black Hypocrisy” that has “became fodder for tabloid gossip thanks to a clever PR (public relations) stunt used to make a powerful statement.”
Driven said the single release story trended throughout the day online, catching the attention of media outlets, including TMZ, Ballers Alert, The Breakfast Club, the Wendy Williams Show, the Shade Room and ABC News.
The 20-song EP showcases a variety of dancehall, reggae and hip-hop tracks.
From “Captured,” Driven said three videos – “Black Hypocrisy,” “Romantic Mood” and “Under Fire” – debuted on Billboard, too.
Driven said the visuals for “Under Fire” highlights Spice’s leadership, from ladies hustling behind the scenes to people dancing in the streets and playing with fire.
“Spice is no doubt a force to be reckoned with,” she said. “She has a large following on social media, and her presence is vast, thanks in part because of her powerhouse personality.”
Driven said Spice’s “uniqueness” has been spotlighted in Vogue magazine.
Recently, she received an award from MTV for her role as a cast member of VH1’s Love and Hip-Hop Atlanta.