Ed Sheeran is in love with Ishawna’s controversial remix of his song, “Shape Of You.”
Four years after the release of the remix, “Equal Rights” by songstress Ishawna, the original creator, Ed Sheeran, has shared his views on her song. In his interview with the Dutch music radio station, QMusic, he spoke about his love for the various renditions of his timeless single, and he highlighted one Caribbean version he had heard, Ishawna’s version, “Equal Rights,” as the one he thought was the best, despite its raunchiness.
“What I like about Shape of You is..anywhere that I go in the world people know that song and there’s so many remixes of it- – I was in the Caribbean and I heard like a totally different song. It’s..really, really filthy but she’s just talking about her man going down on her and it was all over the Caribbean,” said Ed Sheeran.
The interviewer played the explicit song, and much to the surprise of the interviewer and Jamaican viewers, Sheeran sang all of the lyrics word for word. This was quite a shock for many Jamaican viewers due to the controversy that Ishawna’s remix stirred up immediately after its release.
In the track, she sings, “I just got started/ Wha’ you think one round can do?/ Bumper to your forehead/ Show me wha’ your tongue can do/ If you nuh have it inna waist, you better have it inna face.”
“You have a clean mouth and your lips dem sexy/ Treat me like a bottle of Pepsi,” finished off Sheeran while both he and the interviewer laughed at the raunchy lyrics.
Ed Sheeran’s review of the song may have been positive, but it was certainly not the same when “Equal Rights” was released in Jamaica in 2017. In Jamaican culture, the act of cunnilingus is strictly looked down on. The movement is spearheaded predominantly by the male population, with a few females backing it. As a result of numerous popular artistes such as Chris Brown and Nicki Minaj constantly introducing the explicit act into their lyrics, it sparked the conversation of cunnilingus on the island, and Ishawna answered the call.
Thus the song, “Equal Rights,” was born. Unfortunately, it had the complete opposite effect. Ishawna wanted to stand firm in her sexual beliefs and felt that it was unfair for Jamaican males to desire oral sex but refused to give the same treatment to their female counterparts. Her female supporters gave her praise for bringing up the issue in the media. However, her male fans boycotted the artiste altogether and heavily criticized her on social media.
She received years of backlash and was blackballed in the local media and music industry. Neither her remix nor the original could be played in the streets of Jamaica lest the unlucky man or woman endanger their own life from individuals that heavily shun cunnilingus. The song also sparked many females to request “Equal Rights” from their male partners, ending in arguments or violent physical altercations in worst-case scenarios. Currently, the debate on cunnilingus is still split across the country. Many individuals either proudly accept and support it, ‘hide and do it,’ or heavily dismiss the act and anyone who supports it.
Nevertheless, Ed Sheeran gave his hats off to the single, and it is quite a sight to see the original creator praise the remix after the years of repercussions on Ishawna’s music career.
The reviews from many Jamaican fans are mixed, but surprisingly, it leans towards a more positive light. Many viewers are celebrating and applauding Ishawna for the praise from the original artiste himself while highlighting how different it was years before.
One commenter had their own opinion to share on the matter, “Yuh know what is sad??? She got dragged about that song, look, Her support is way bigger, Ed knows all the words!!! love it….:”
That being said, Ishawna’s songs tend to be on the raunchier side. She is not an artiste who shies away from speaking on sexual acts and has even stated that she has the right to sing about anything she likes.