Dancehall samples used in Hip Hop

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Reggae and Dancehall music has always had a certain allure internationally and such is the appeal that composers across genres have incorporated its sound to enhance and deliver a creative punch to their releases. As the celebration for Reggae Month continues we explore a few notable dancehall samples in Hip Hop.

Super Beagle-Dust out a Sound Boy 1988

One of the most iconic drops within sound system clash culture, this 1988 classic by Super Beagle which was released on the Stalag 71 riddim has also been a favourite within both the rap and R&B community.

Its sample credits include Inside by Jacquees, Raindrops by Metro Boomin & Travis Scott and Palmolive by Freddie Gibbs. However, the most notable interpolation of the sound system anthem comes from its use on Kanye West’s mega-hit Mercy in 2012.

Murder She Wrote-Chaka Demus and Pliers-1992

Undoubtedly one of the most internationally recognizable songs synonymous with dancehall Murder She Wrote” by dancehall duo Chaka Demus and Pliers remains among the go-to songs for samples by Hip-Hop producers and artistes looking to add that Caribbean excitement to their records.

Pose To Be” by R&B star Omarion,Freaks” by rapper French Montana and “Taxi by Latin rap star PitBull were noted samples of the Sly and Robbie produced hit.

Everyone Falls in Love-Tanto Metro and Devonte-1999

Everyone Falls in Love” by Tanto Metro and Devonte is one of the standout releases on the hit-laced Up Close and Personal Riddim by legendary producer Donovan Germaine and remains one of the most compelling love songs from Dancehall.

The 1999 release gained a massive revival in popularity among the newer generation when rap star Tory Lanez used the dancehall hit as the backbone to his 2016 smash “Luv.

Fi Di Jockey-Aidonia (2013)

This 2013 hit by dancehall A-lister Aidonia was used by super-producer “Will.I.Am” and Cody Wiese for their 2014 hit It My Birthday.

Aidonia’s vocals from the Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor-produced track are used as a creative bridge for the celebratory-themed hip-hop track.

My Jamaican Guy-Grace Jones-1982

It was a case of using one classic to make another for rapper LL Cool J whose 1995 smash “Doin It” sampled Grace Jones’- My Jamaican Guy”.

One of the most sonically unique and appealing releases from Jones also yielded samples from fellow New York Rapper Fabulous years later on his 2015 single “Doin It Well,” which also takes its inspiration from Cool J’s single.

Real Bad Gal-2018

In one of the most interesting scenarios of musical sampling, Canadian rap star and singer PartyNextdoor sampled a then-unreleased Vybz Kartel single, Real Bad Gyal,” for his 2016 hit “Not Nice.

Real Bad Gyal” was eventually released in 2018.

Tight up Skirt-Red Rat-1997

In 1997 veteran Dancehall artiste Red Rat delivered this monster hit which would become an anthemic phrase locally and internationally.

This single, which regained prominence locally following Samantha J‘s reimagined spin on the 90’s classic with her break-out hit “Tight Up Skirt” also has sample credit on “On No by British rapper Bia and “Tight Up” by fellow Britt Nadia Rose.

However, its most notable interpolation came via Chris Brown’s sample for his 2018 smash “Privacy.”

Here I Come(Broader than Broad Way) Barrington Levy-1985

Barrington Levy’s legendary hit Here I Come” is arguably one the most dancehall songs used in films, television and songs. As far as music is concerned, one of his most noted samples came from iconic “Bad Boy” rapper Shyne for his 2000 hit “Bad Boyz.”