Bronx rapper Capella Grey caught some heat after Jamaican Twitter users took issue with his explanation of the term Gyalis—also the title of his viral summer hit, which is currently No. 74 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Grey earned a recent feature on Genius, the world’s biggest collection of song lyrics and musical knowledge, where he broke down the song’s lyrics, but Dancehall fans were not here for his attempt to “pretty up the definition a lil” for the platform’s 10 million subscribers.
Born to Jamaican parents, Grey might have taken his cues from the many self-styled ‘gyalis’ artists in Dancehall, everyone from Cham to Elephant Man and Mr. Vegas. Most recently, Govana’s HAMANTS Convo series led to a spinoff single, Gyallis Class, where he coached hopefuls and ‘gyal clowns’ alike on how to up their game and swag.
However, instead of using a short, familiar definition such as a player or womanizer, Grey gave Genius a long-winded, inflated definition that could just as easily have described a close friend or a restaurant.
“Definition of a gyalis, somebody that’s just really good with the gyal dem. They keep a good name, everything healthy, everything copasetic, nobody really has anything too bad to say about you, nobody feels uncomfortable being around you. Everybody catches a good vibe, positive energy. It’s not even a matter of just being promiscuous in terms of like sex or anything. Shorties just like being around you. That’s the gyalis vibe really,” he said.
.@capellagrey is just a vibe on “gyalis.”
— Genius (@Genius) September 3, 2021
His explanation had fans cracking up as well as confused, as the two-minute track is pretty straightforward, even for someone unfamiliar with island lingo. “But I’m a gyalis/ The city is my palace/ What I’ma do?/ ‘Cause I want she and she and she/ And they love them some me/ I ain’t the nigga they gon’ say bye to,” Grey sings on Gyalis.
Naturally, Jamaican Twitter didn’t hold back on Grey’s pretentious remarks. The slew of comments included those who thought he was a ‘jinal’ himself, to those who figured he was only being sly since his girl was likely watching.
“Never thought I would see “gyalis” be gentrified this way,” one user wrote, while another who questioned Grey’s sources wrote, “A which gyalis class him guh? Boy neva learn nun to r–s.”
Others thought Grey was simply being coy, adding, “Lmao he know what gyalis mean CLEARLY idk what this was tho,” while another keenly observed “That was the definition of everything except “Gyalis”.
Grey responded to the ridicule by confessing to playing up the term, claiming however that fans got “too outraged too quickly”, and insisting that “everybody relax.”
“Damn, I tried to give a PG13 version of the definition of Gyalis cuz I thought the first way I said it just sounded too treesh-ish,” the rapper tweeted. “Long story short this is my first taste of the internet frying me ya i never been so sorry in my life. damn.”
“They smoking me rn ya,” he said of the roasting.
Meanwhile, Gyalis’ official music video was released on August 26, and currently stands at 2.6 million views.
Dancehall artists Kranium and Jada Kingdom have also released ‘refixes’.