Covering dancehall music has become much more interesting in the past two years. The genre is slowly creeping into the mainstream, the way reggae crept in, then exploded on the scene when The Police made the world take notice. We've seen the use of the genre's signature tempo on the albums of major music players such as Drake, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Kanye West and more. The genre has become so popular, Apple music has started their own dancehall inspired playlist; to be promoted in the feed of dancehall lovers worldwide.
Apple's list of tracks is by no means comprehensive but it's a great snap shot all the same.
Other songs on the list include; Nico & Vinz Imagine, R.City ft. Chloe Angelides Make Up, Robyn Dancehall Queen, Gwen Stefani Baby Don't Lie and a few more dancehall sleepers. As Apple points out, dancehall music has truly come a long way since its inception in the late 1970s. KNG2LA recently heard Barrington Levy speak on the matter at Native Wayne's Catch A Fire Nights in LA. His point being, gone are the days of DJs creating a loop with a vocalist's signature cadence, igniting a raw and gritty street dance. Today's dancehall has become lyrically abrasive, with the flip side being a more pop-rhythm influence, such as Justin Bieber's Sorry.
Apple's list has some legitimate honorable mentions, which some folks may not realize is certified dancehall. One such song is Beyonce's track, Run The World. Once you know it's there and hear the rhythm, it becomes undeniable. Check it out here:
Other singles such as OMI's Cheerleader are a no brainer:
The most recent and most popular nod to the dancehall rhythm, styling, vibing, is Rihanna's WORK. Remember, it's all in the hips:
So, look for dancehall to break down new barriers and continue to influence the pop and dance music scenes worldwide; because for dancehall, the future looks bright.