Lila Ike wants you to notice her “Batty Rider Shorts” but for all the right reasons.
Gang violence, organized crime, and the solicitation of sexual acts from underaged girls are all the themes interwoven together under the central message of protecting our Jamaican youths. 26-year-old Jamaican reggae artiste and songwriter Lila Ike, born Alecia Grey, has taken it upon herself to address these issues as they seem to have been weighing heavily on her heart for quite some time.
Though originally from Manchester, she relocated to Kingston to later become acquainted with well-known artists such as Protoje and edgy deejay Skillibeng. Lila Ile also managed to snag collaborations with both aforementioned artists. The sultry songstress entered the music scene gaining international praises and recognition with songs such as “Second Chance” and “Where I’m Coming From.” Both tracks are featured on her 7-track debut album The ExPerience. Her vernacular and flow carry a consistent soothing soulfulness to them that fans adore.
On July 29th, Lila Ike took to Instagram to post a clip of her singing acapella in a misty serene fog-filled field as she debuts her powerful new song, “Batty Rider Shorts.”
She further captioned the post, “I have been writing #BattyRiderShorts for over a period of 4 years. This song was inspired by a situation I observed within my community. An innocent child (age 10 or so) who I would often sit and speak with about life and give words of encouragement (even whilst I was a child my self) eventually was taken advantage of by someone who should have been looking out for her.”
She continued, “I was moved to tears on my drive back from the country as I thought about how her light became infiltrated by the dark energies that are hovering over children everyday, all over the world. We need to all be more responsible as a community, as friends, as parents as extended family and just as people. Look out for each other but MOST IMPORTANTLY OUR CHILDREN.”
She closed with a touching request, “We need fi make them know say them a king a dem a Queen. DONT JUST PLAY THIS SONG LISTEN TO THE MESSAGE. Big up @theziah pon production. #Whereisyourdaughter #Whereisyourson.”
In the song, Lila Ike speaks out on the “dark energies” plaguing the children of Jamaica and shaping their reality.
She deejays, “Gun di yute dem lock it long before dem reach dem teens. No English mathematics jus a mattic in dem jeans.” This line calls out the early indoctrination of young boys into the life of crime.
“When di likkle girl a walk, jus lowe har mek shi pass. Every day you and yuh dutty big man fren a talk bout har batty rider shorts, how unnuh waa fi tek it off,” she bellows.
These invoking lyrics certainly tug on the fiber of your conscience to not only wake up, but they are a much-needed call to action.
It’s a safe bet that we haven’t seen anything yet, given the potential of our songstress on the rise. Hopefully, this wake-up call may be the one that finally makes us address and change this egregiously malignant cycle of self-destruction—instead opting for a better, more positive light, securing our children’s innocence and safeguarding their future.
Listen to “Batty Rider Shorts” below.