Toppa Top ’14: The Most Essential Dancehall Singles of 2014

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9. Major Lazer feat. Sean Paul “Come On To Me”

Last year, we made the controversial call to name Major Lazer’s “Bumaye” as dancehall single of the year. From a perspective of innovation and widespread appeal, we thought it was the most deserving track, even if the Busy Signal-featuring track didn’t meet the dictionary definition of dancehall. You can’t discuss Caribbean music right now without including Diplo and crew, and with Jamaican-born Walshy Fire and Trindidad’s Jillionaire in the mix, the interloper argument doesn’t quite work as well as it used to. Using similar tools to “Bumaye”—another salsa sample from Willie Colon; vocals from a globally-minded dancehall star (Sean Paul this time, instead of Busy)—they replicated the formula with “Come On To Me,” but the track came across as anything but formulaic, upping the energy in any dance it played. Also a factor was a notable but rarely-mentioned subplots in dancehall: Sean Paul’s transformation from pop dancehall icon into an unlikely player in Latin music. (As he told us recently, he doesn’t even speak Spanish). Given the salsa flavoring of “Come On To Me” and his even more successful turns on Enrique Iglesias’ “Bailando” and Farruko’s “Passion Whine,” and the failure of his latest LP Full Frequency, a Dutty album en espanol appears to be in order. —Jesse Serwer


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