So, Craig David and Kano are having renaissance moments in the UK. "feat. Sean Paul" is also having a bit of a revival. 13 years (yes thirteen years) on from his grand entrance into the mainstream market with the unstoppable dance floor smash "Gimme di Liiight".
Obviously, it was followed up by the US #1 "Get Busy", "Like Glue" and "I'm Still in Love With You " but in and amongst all of that, Sean Paul became a go-to guy for features to make singles hot. That melodic dancehall wave from a Jamaican was fully in.
Let's begin with that time he featured on Blu Cantrell's song, got her a number 1 in the UK, then carried on with his journey at the top while she disappeared.
Then let's talk about helping Beyoné seal her transition into a solo star when he assisted her second #1, Baby Boy. Baby Boy would go on to become her longest reigning number one (nine weeks) until Irreplaceable took the spot in 2006 (lasting ten weeks). It helped her cross the one million sold mark for her best selling album of all time.
Jay Z definitely didn't want a repeat of Sean Paul and Blu Cantrell in this video lol
I'm gonna mention the disrespect Jay Z showed Sean Paul when he got him to do a couple adlibs on The Bounce off that shitty album Blueprint 2.
Busta Rhymes got inspiration from Diwali riddim's claps for Make It Clap. Always a good time when Busta dips into his Jamaican side without forcing it (see: Twerk It). Once again, Sean Paul owns this song.
Those three were the big standouts in his 2003.
I think this came out in '03 too. The two biggest breakthrough artists of the year on one track. One from Jamaica, the other from Southside Jamaica, Queens. Sean Paul and 50 Cent. I liked this. 50 was a real guy who fused elements of dancehall with his hardcore hip hop style real well.
Another artist who dips in the dancehall stylings well is R. Kelly. 'Slow Wind' remix saw another dancehall-friendly artist Akon sit alongside the man himself, Sean Paul. Shoulda got a video.
(Speaking of hip hop collabs, I liked Here Comes The Boom which saw Sean Paul team with Mr. Vegas and DMX from the Belly soundtrack.)
Be honest, Sean Paul epitomised "If Sean Paul is on your song, the song belongs to Sean Paul". He didn't need all the extra superfluous stuff they talk about rappers needing. He killed them with finesse. Listen to how he caressed each song. Neat rhyme patterns but it was all about presence, precision, key, melody and saying the right things at the right time. That's the essence of all good songs.
Rihanna wouldn't have been signed without Sean Paul's reign. 'Pon Di Replay' is based on Diwali riddim. And whoever was looking for talent in Barbados wanted a Jamaica-lite artist. Sean Paul teamed up with her on 'Break It Off' from her second album. Was a top 20 in Canada and top 10 in US according to Wiki. Didn't know that.
I can't remember why they didn't shoot a video. Think it was clearance stuff. Industry politics. Don't watch this made up one. Anyway, High Altitude riddim at dem.
There was the Jay Sean & Sean Paul combination, 'Do You Remember?' which was cool but the appearance on the single version of Estelle's lovers rock 'Come Over' was boom! Shoulda done much better chart-wise. Landed during the days reggae didn't get looks. How times have changed.
Supa Dups supplied a wicked riddim. Sean Paul debuted a slightly altered haircut in this video.
Another wicked lovers tune during the no reggae time was Daville 'Always on my Mind'. Big up Stephen "Di Genius" McGregor on the buttons. Surprised me when I found out.
The Saturday's were a shit girl band that never quite worked. Absolutely gorgeous set of girls though. Got their only number 1 with the assistance of Sean Paul on 'What About Us?' A shitty tropical-electro song sums up a lot of 2012. Sean Paul ventured into the tropical-electro with 'She Doesn't Mind'. I thought his song with Major Lazer, 'Come On To Me' woulda been bigger. But maybe it was too noisy in hindsight. He delivers though.
S-Peezy and Di Genius linked up again for this Fuse ODG afrobeats smash-hit, 'Dangerous Love' in 2014. Coulda been the first afrobeats number 1 on another week. Sam Smith 's mammoth hit 'Stay With Me' (and I'm not sure what was #2 that week) pushed it to #3.
But you can read my post about those 2014 features here
The point of this post wasn't to post so many features, it's just the trip down memory lane had me reminiscing.
So anyway, out of nowhere it's Sean Paul season again. First one I noticed was official remix of Sia's dancehall-drenched 'Cheap Thrills'. Missed out on #1 due to Drake's dancehall song. Already spent a couple weeks at number 2. Shame that.
Then Jay Sean got a slight electro-infused pop take on dancehall beat (allegedly stolen from Jamaican producer Don Corleon), sampled Maxi Priest's US#1 single, 'Close To You' and called his old chum Sean for a feature verse.
Canadian reggae-fusion one-hit wonders Magic! linked up with Mr. Dutty Paul
A geezer who co-produced UK #1 'Tsunami' with Tinie Tempah has a song with him. Can hear it here. And a new single called 'Crick Neck' as premiered by 1Xtra's all-format prime time specialist don, Mista Jam.
He's hooked up with a more successful British girl group and X-Factor graduates, Little Mix for their latest single 'Hair' which can be streamed here. And there's one with tropical house-y Norweigian producer Matoma. He scored a big hit last year
Why? Well he's consistent at making the ladies feel irie, great melodies and easy to work with. But more than that he is a reflection of the renewed interest in all things Jamaica in the mainstream world. There is currently 9 songs in the UK top 50 which wouldn't exist without Jamaica. Had the whole scene as a whole seen this rise (like some of us), they would've been in there too. But they were too busy looking at what happens in the reggae Billboard chart and BET. Big up him.