Remembering J Capri: Her Five Best Songs

Today marks eight years since the world was stripped of fast-rising talent J Capri, but her legacy lives on in infinite ways.

Given name Jordan Phillips, the musical disruptor was born on Christmas Eve to Oradell Carwin and recording artist Kenneth ‘Glamour Murphy’ Phillips. As a youngster, she’d accompany her father to studio sessions after school, giving her early exposure to the ins and outs of the music business. 

By 2010, the Wolmerian would demonstrate all that she’d learnt with the backing of acclaimed producer Rvssian, and by all indications, she was set to become Jamaica’s next superstar.

Capri is remembered as one of few female artists to successfully bridge the gap among dancehall, hip hop and R&B, paving the way for current acts like Shenseea, Jada Kingdom, and Stalk Ashley. 

In just five years, she steadily built a formidable repertoire of timeless tunes, beloved by fans worldwide. Her vibrant aesthetic topped off her international brand image, as the singer was known for her signature purple-streaked hair, rockstar fashion, and effervescent personality.

Days before her 24th birthday, Capri was involved in a motor vehicle accident in Barbican, Kingston, that plunged the nation into prayer. She would succumb to her injuries two weeks later.

Despite a brief musical journey, Capri still manages to pull more than 780,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. Her imprint permeates the Jamaican music industry, as well as the eponymous foundation launched in 2018 to help aspiring female acts.

Join DancehallMag in celebrating the life of J Capri through five of her anthems and in the words of her mother today, “Sleep on my beautiful queen.”

Whine and Kotch

The 2012 single not only heralded Capri’s edge as a go-to for collaborations, but cemented her voice as one for women’s empowerment. In an era flushed by male-generated whining tunes, Capri stepped up to the plate to give women authority on the dance floor with the unapologetic assertions of Whine and Kotch.

Recruiting Trelawny’s Charly Black, the pair served up a Reggae Itunes chart-topper in France, The Netherlands and a few Caribbean countries. The vintage dancehall visuals were the perfect accompaniment, with Capri rocking chunky gold jewellery, fishnets and short shorts, celebrated with more than 67 million views. The track also has over 90 million Spotify streams.

Pull Up To Mi Bumper

Another memorable collab from Capri’s catalogue, Pull Up to Mi Bumper highlights the imaginative thrill that can come from clever songwriting.

Teaming up with Konshens for a flirty back and forth, the song packs naughty innuendoes reminiscent of Grace Jones’ 1981 song of a similar name, except the track bore complete individuality.

The multi-genre production – near 50 million Spotify streams – also gave an inkling of the sonic experiments at Head Concussion Records, which would later expand when Rvssian established his Rich Immigrants label. Check out the roadwork vibes of the music video which has been cumulatively viewed more than 52 million times.

Reverse It

Capri started 2014 by showing that she’s also a strong soloist, evident on the infectious waistline-mover Reverse It. The track showcased her versatility as a singer and deejay, skills she continued to use to recenter women – dancers and artists alike – in the dancehall space.

The fun record was also a toast to her affinity for nice cars, laden with motor vehicle metaphors as she’d executed on Pull Up To Mi Bumper.

Mamacita

To get a collaboration with Vybz Kartel as a woman who wasn’t affiliated with his Gaza collective, was definitely a feat a decade ago. Capri made it count with the Latin-flavoured track Mamacita, which was her foray into the Spanish market. 

Boom and Bend Over

Another solo banger from Capri in 2014, Boom and Bend Over arguably stood out because of its subtle Latin influences, introducing her style and sound to wider audiences. It’s her most popular solo record, nabbing more than 13 million streams on Spotify and seven million views on YouTube.

The music video highlights her dynamic fashion sense, this time going avant-garde for the RD-directed dance project. 

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