2008 was a challenging year for Jamaica as it relates to the way the island is viewed from an international standpoint. The reggae/dancehall community has been targeted by members of the gay community for being "anti-social and promoting violence". As a consequence, a lot of reggae/dancehall shows were cancelled and in some cases individual songs pulled from major catalogues.

Understandably, a lot of artists have decided to distant themselves from the subject and have altered the content of their music. Some artists however thought the gay community went too far when they called for tourists to boycott Jamaica simply because the Jamaican culture does not support their lifestyle. The consensus amongst Jamaicans as a whole is that they share the same rights as do the gay community and everyone else for that matter. That being said, they believe that they should be able to enjoy their culture and way of life free from outside interference. One artist thought it necessary to address this boycott issue head on!

Lady Shelly who enjoys citizenship in both Canada and Jamaica, and who has taken a backseat on the reggae vs. gay issue, took a public stand upon hearing about gay Canadians campaigning for tourists to boycott Jamaica. "I think that the one thing God has given us to use freely is choice. And what that means to me is that everyone has a right to choose who they want to be and what they believe in. I think they should be able to exercise that freedom as long as they are not hurting anyone else while doing so". Lady Shelly went on to say that she got involved in this highly controversial issue because it is unfair for someone from another country who does not live in Jamaica, to dictate what Jamaicans should or should not believe in.

Members of Lady Shelly team has tried to organize a radio tour which would have given the artist an opportunity to speak directly to the public about the way Jamaica is being targeted. Not surprisingly, once the hosts of these shows was told that Lady Shelly does not want to talk about her career but rather to shine light on this issue, most of the interviews were cancelled.

Refusing to give up on this, Lady Shelly connected with Newby from Rebel Tone Production and put her thoughts to music. The two collaborated on a track entitled "cyaa bully we" which when translated in English means "cannot force us". When asked why she recorded the track when so many artists are having their shows cancelled as a result of their personal opinion, Lady Shelly had this to say: "When I realized that a lot of these radio shows did not want to have a Jamaican living in Jamaica on their show to talk about this, I immediately thought, what don't they want people to know? And then I thought, maybe it's because even though all these reggae shows are being cancelled because they claim that our music incites violence against homosexuals, the fact is there has never been a situation that I can recall where a homosexual has died or been attacked at a reggae show. Secondly, by them encouraging tourists to boycott Jamaica what they are indirectly saying is that we (Jamaicans) do not have a right to religious freedom. "Unfortunately, in the song I did with Newby, I come across as an angry black woman which is not what I wanted but it is how I was feeling when I wrote it".

Lady Shelly says she has no intentions of making a lot of songs relating to this or similar issues but that she will not refuse to voice her opinion on things that are near and dare to her heart, and of those issues is home, Jamaica. To listen and give your opinion of the track you can visit http://www.ladyshelly.com/