Lila Iké is a critically acclaimed Jamaican artist with millions of streams to her name. Known for her unique style and presence, Lila gained praise for her 2020 EP “The Experience.” Lila has now shared that she is gearing up to release her debut album, with the first single from this collection being “Batty Rider Shorts.”
The track is produced by Grammy-nominated Ziah.Push, who helps bring her sound to life. The song is produced in such a way that it’s enjoyable, though the meaning weighs on listeners. “Batty Rider” is Jamaican slang for short-shorts, which helps to center the song around the way young women are viewed due to the clothes they wear and even the outfits they’re forced into. The objectification and exploitation of women begins at the earliest ages possible, often at the hands of those who are meant to be safe figures.
The introduction to the song is swirling and gentle, but the underlying yelling and beats keep it high-intensity from the start. It goes into Lila’s vocals. Listeners can feel the passion, the anger and the desperation for change in Lila’s voice. She asks, “Where is your daughter?…Where is your son?/What’s going to happen to the future…”
Four years in the making, Lila shared that this is a deeply personal song, as she watched a young girl get taken advantage of by an older man in her community. According to the United Nations, 27.8% of women in Jamaica experience “intimate partner violence,” and “68 of every 100,000 Jamaican children are victims of violent crimes.” The World Health Organization estimates that roughly 30% “of women worldwide have been subjected to either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.” 25% of all human trafficking victims are children, with rates only rising. These forms of violence are an epidemic, and it’s ripping childhoods away from the youth.
“My hope is that a little girl who doesn’t understand why a particular man is being so nice to her might hear a song like this and wonder ‘Hmm, I wonder if he’s trying to…’ because a lot of young girls are just not socialized into healthy relationships. I think it’s very important to speak about these things,” Lila shared.
The song tackles violence, trafficking and even pedophilia. These issues are often not confronted, especially not in contemporary music. “The history of our music was a medium for bringing information to the people, especially reggae music. We can have fun, listen to party and dance music and songs about love, but we still have real issues that need to be addressed too,” Lila explained.
This track combines numerous genres to create its distinctly Lila Iké sound, while the powerful lyrics keep listeners clinging to every second of this song. “Batty Rider Shorts” is a promising sign for Lila Iké’s upcoming album and for the future of social commentary through music.
You can stream “Batty Rider Shorts” everywhere now!