The 59th Annual Grammy's are upon us and many Jamaican artists, as well as the many artists with Jamaican inspired-music, are nominated for the prestigious award. We take a look at these artists and their connection to good old Jamaican vibes.
Firstly, Drake's Views has dancehall influence woven into its core and is nominated for Album of the Year. Many of these dancehall inspired tracks also feature samples of dancehall artists songs, like Beenie Man's "Tear Off Mi Garment" on "Controlla." "One Dance," a popular Jamaican saying, is also another great example of this dancehall influence in Views and features Wizkid, a Nigerian singer who co-wrote, co-produced and voiced the song with Drake. Wizkid's music is also influenced by dancehall and he just released a new track with the king of dancehall, Vybz Kartel called "Wine To Di Top." Pree the song below.
Next up, we have Beyoncé's Lemonade, which is nominated for four Grammy awards. The singer's album may not be dancehall oriented overall but the hit song "Sorry" was produced by Jamaican producer, Sean "MeLo-X" Rhoden. Beyoncé first heard of the talented producer when he released an EP titled Yoncé-X which is a remix of songs from her fifth self-titled album, Beyoncé. From there he was acquired for "On The Run" as well as a few other Yonce' projects. Melo-X worked on two tracks for her sixth studio album, the other being "Hold Up." The Jamaican-born producer infused "Sorry" with slight dancehall accents, using a layering of drum patterns and beats. In an interview with Pitchfork, Melo-X said, "Sorry was a vital point on the album because of all of these different emotions and different sounds and different layers." Pree below:
The Barbadian singer and proclaimed bad gyal Rihanna, who is also nominated for Record of the Year with her song "Work," as well as for Best Pop Duo, performing the dancehall inspired track with Drake. The song had two music videos. The first, directed by Director X, takes place in an authentic Jamaican restaurant located in Drake's hometown of Toronto aptly named, The Real Jerk. The music video also features one of the restaurant owners Lilly Pottinger flipping jerk chicken while dancing in the kitchen. The music video has a few cameos, namely popular dancehall choreographer Blacka Di Danca. The song reached number one on Billboards Top 100 and was the first dancehall song to top the charts since Sean Paul's "Temperature" in 2006.
Justin Bieber's album Purpose is also nominated for a handful of Grammy's and has quite a few songs with dancehall vibes. Most notably on the single, "Sorry." The song is jumping with dancehall rhythms and reggae influences. He took a few notes from other dancehall artists when making the video, using the trend at the time of an all white background. The choreography also had a dancehall vibe performed by ReQuest Dance Crew, an all-female dance crew from Auckland, New Zealand. It's bright, vibrant and fun.
Sia's "Cheap Thrills," featuring reggae dancehall artist Sean Paul, is nominated for Best Pop Duo. The remix is an electro-pop, tropical beat, dancehall-tinged good time. It reached number one on the Billboard charts and also topped US pop charts. It was Sia's first number one in the United States and Sean Paul's first since 2006.
Nominated for Best Rap Album is DJ Khaled's Major Key. Featured on the album, is Jamaican singer and songwriter Mavado with the song "Progress." The song is voiced over the popular "Money Boss Riddim." Mavado has a long history with DJ Khaled and is signed to his We The Best Music Group. Pree the vibes below:
We can't forget to mention all of the talented, hardworking, and inspiring Reggae acts nominated for Best Reggae Album. Best of luck to all the artists nominated and may Jamaican music and culture continue to inspire the world of music over.