Sam Smith’s latest track, “Gimme,” featuring Canadian pop artist Jessie Reyez and Grammy-winning artist Koffee, has stirred controversy as Jamaicans shared mixed reactions to the music video of the track, causing producer Anju Blaxx to defend the song.
The music video released on Friday (January 13) showed Smith wearing shorts and fishnet stockings with his butt showing through as he gyrated suggestively. In the video, a same-sex couple is also seen kissing while Koffee serenades a young woman.
While Smith was praised for his versatility and incredible talent, some fans online shared criticism for Koffee, although the artist’s verse and part in the music video were quite ambiguous.
Some also called out producer Anju Blaxx for producing the song. “That Koffee, Sam Smith song, I knew a Jamaican producer would be involved; but Anju Blaxx [eyes emoji],” one person commented.
The producer later defended his production of the track in a Jamaica Star comment.
“I have not met Sam Smith in person, but nobody can judge me for who I work with or work on productions for. I do music to do music. Music has no face or gender. There is also no timing to music. That’s my approach and I’m making music with the intention to leave my mark on whatever project my creativity is put into,” the former Vybz Kartel collaborator.
The track is produced by Blaxx and co-producers Stargate and Jimmy Napes based on a 90s dancehall beat.
The producer shared that he was excited at working on a track that advances dancehall music.
“We can’t complain that dancehall is not going anywhere. It is visible. It is happening. And with this song having the original dancehall sound, the ‘boop boop’ drums and bass, it is different from what persons expect from Sam Smith.”
In the meantime, some critics online shared reactions to both Blaxx and Koffee in the song.
“Disappointed in the rasta community! The hypocrisy is unreal!! The man them bash battyman religiously!! And yet none a dem nah denounce koffee?!? If a did chronixx or protoje every ras woulda bun dem out! What happened to our culture and values? Suddenly we dash dem weh fi few dollars. Somethings worth more than money to me.. But a just me that still,” one person wrote on Instagram in response to the video.
“Here comes foota hype in 3,2,1 nah but in reality there’s an agenda to bring this kind of mentality to jamaica and they’re using people of influence to do it, those people behind the scenes know what reggae and dancehall music stand on and so they’re trying to bring this and belittle our culture,” another said.
“Music is music but me wah hear what the Rasta them ago say,” another added.