Entertainment

Mayne sends tongues wagging

By Howard Campbell
Observer senior writer

Monday, October 07, 2019

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Canadian rapper Mayne Champagne was aware of how taboo oral sex is to conventional Jamaicans when he recorded My Tongue, his explicit song with American rapper Khia. Released in September, the single and equally raunchy video have sparked controversy.

“It was leaked earlier this year but it was officially released in September. The response has been mixed; some people consider me brave and some people find me despicable and bringing national shame to what it means to be Jamaican. I can only do me,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

Mayne Champagne has more than a fleeting idea of 'what it means to be Jamaican'. He was born in Toronto to Jamaican parents and has been a part of that city's hip hop and dancehall scene for over 10 years.

My Tongue maintains his trend of risqué, self-produced songs. Others include Sexin' U and Kissing All Over, which were straight hip hop.

For My Tongue, Mayne Champagne switched to dancehall, a genre which has produced numerous male artistes whose scorn for oral intercourse is legendary. His song challenges those beliefs.

“I believe the greatest music and art is polarising. Whether or not you choose to agree with my point of view or not, it forces the listener to have an opinion,” he said.

Born Jermaine Lawrence, Mayne Champagne got into the music business as a producer called Jump. His biggest success to date came in 2007 as co-producer of Must Hate Money by Drake, then a rising rapper. The song is from Comeback Season, Drake's second mixtape which was released that year.

Though most of his influences are American neo-soul acts like R Kelly, Boyz II Men and Ne-Yo, and hip hop greats The Notorious B I G and Wu- Tang Clan, his Jamaican heritage drew him to dancehall artistes such as Spragga Benz, Terror Fabulous and Bounty Killer.

Given the global change in attitude to once-shunned lifestyles like same-sex marriage, Mayne Champagne thinks increasingly tolerant Jamaicans can appreciate My Tongue.

“I imagine that a lot of people would not welcome me with open arms, but a lot would. I believe the climate of Jamaica is changing,” he said.


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