If you think there is a deficit of female rappers, then there is a complete drought of female reggae artists. In the hyper-masculine, homophobic land of reggae artists women rarely get their shine outside of Jamaica. I would argue the hyper masculinity is part of the reason why a female reggae artist hasn't emerged since Patra
Born Dorothy Smith, in 1993 a 22 year-old Patra, which is an abbreviated version of Cleopatra, released her first record Queen of the Pack
to a lukewarm reception. However, after prettying up Shabba Ranks
in the song "Family Affair", Lawd knows that's hard to do, American audiences took notice. After heavy rotation on Video Juke Box and BET, Patra was a star.Queen of the Pack
went Gold and reigned at #1 for13 consecutive weeks on Billboard's reggae chart -- at the time she held the record of the longest album at #1 on the reggae charts.The pop meets reggae Scent of Attraction
was released in 1995. The album delivered her one and only top 40 hit and was basically a success, locking down what looked like a promising career. Still, Patra vanished after her 1995 release and didn't return until 2003 with an independent label. Her last release was in 2005.
Rumors swirled the reggae diva's disappearing act was due to a drug addiction, but in a 2004 interview with the Jamaica Observer
Patra said she "took a break".
It's a shame she took this "break" because who knows what could've happened with Patra's career. Scent of Attraction
was a sign that the dookie braid diva was going more pop -- she could've been the Rihanna
of the nineties! Check out Patra's greatest hits...
"Queen of the Pack", the title track from her first album, did not hit any of the American charts, but if you had Video Juke Box you remember this song. I just love how she is throwing, rolling, and popping her coochie all over the video -- then staring down at it like she wants to watch too. You know you were doing the dance in the mirror! By the way... some of the women in this video, my God, they look like they need to be hosed down expeditiously! There are so many beautiful women in Jamaica, Patra obviously pulled out the most homely girls so she could stand out.