Watch: Tifa’s “Champion Bubbler” Video Tributes Jamaica’s Female Boxers, Sparks Homophobic Reactions
Like Popcaan‘s “So We Do It” video, the visuals for “Champion” are shot on location in Kingston, Jamaica, where the dancehall princess hits the Stanley Couch Boxing Gym downtown to train alongside ladies from the Jamaican National Female Boxing team.
Tifa throws a few punches and whines up in sexy boxing gear and giant nameplate necklaces singing, “mi a champion bubbla cyah test mi when mi tick it like a clock and then mi six thirty,” as the team shows off their skills.
The concept and execution pay excellent tribute to 17-year-old Claressa Shields, who won a historic first middleweight gold medal in Women’s Boxing for the country at the London 2012 Olympics last summer.
Her efforts before her win would earn the champion a tweet from her idol, American boxing legend, Sugar Ray Leonard.
Sadly, the connection between the historic event and the music video is lost upon some dancehall music fans, whose reactions are filled with homophobia and sexism:
“my girl Tifa mi luv yu but yu take weh di W outta wine and put the L in Lesbian,weh yu ago wit dis blood clat lesbian video,u gone from timberlee to tommy lee…..but di tune bad still”
Tifa, who is also at the top of her game, snagging four wins at this year’s Youth View Awards, speaks openly about the challenges that under-appreciated female dancehall artists continue to face:
“I wouldn’t say we’re treated equally. I feel like we work harder on that stage because most men; especially if they have a catalogue [of hits] will just go and sing their songs, and they’ll have the audience cheering them on. As oppose to women; if she has to flip, split, jump, fly off the stage to make you enjoy yourself, on that particular night, she’s going to do that.”
“Champion Bubbler” released last summer along with other Kling Klang Riddim contributions from Popcaan, Beenie Man, Suku, and Deva Bratt who spit over a minimal soundscape powered by cymbals, resonating bass and lasers.