Vybz Kartel featuring Spice, "Ramping Shop"

Track Review
4

Despite his massive popularity in Jamaica, crossover success has eluded Vybz Kartel. Oddly, the dancehall star's first track to impact U.S. radio was not only banned from Jamaica's airwaves, but it also faces a potential challenge from copyright holders here. "Ramping Shop," a sexually explicit duet with female singer Spice, co-opts the beat from Ne-Yo's Stargate-produced hit "Miss Independent." With a muffled intro that sounds like it was recorded on a Nextel pager and a chorus that recalls 50 Cent and Olivia's "Candy Shop," "Ramping Shop" is distinctive enough vocally to overshadow the familiar-ness of its sonic palette. And, lyrically, Kartel and Spice's patois provides some U.S. censor-friendly cover for much of the song's slackness. Still, it doesn't take much imagination to figure out exactly what's going on inside this randy shop. --Jesse Serwer