Toppa Top 10: Kanye West’s Most Jamaican Moments

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June 18, 2013

1. Yeezus (2013)

Kanye’s Jamaican Moment: “I Am A God” samples Capleton’s “Forward Inna Dem Clothes”; “I’m In It” features Agent Sasco (uncredited); “Guilt Trip” samples Popcaan from Pusha T’s “Blocka”; “Send It Up” samples Beenie Man’s “Memories.”

For all we know, Mr. West has no direct lineage to Jamaica or the West Indies. To see him approach reggae and dancehall from an authentic standpoint is what we would hope he would do. No fake Jamaican accent. Nothing predictable. It’s just such a major surprise how he and his team of producers for Yeezus chose the right figures. Almost all of the Jamaican production references are vocally sampled from previous recordings. You’ll recognize Beenie Man’s hook from “Memories” on “Send It Up” and Popcaan’s voice from Pusha T’s “Blocka” chopped up for “Guilt Trip.” Capleton’s warrior chant from the lesser known “Forward Inna Dem Clothes” matches perfectly the ominous, dark feel of “I Am A God.”

The “X” factor is Agent Sasco who contributed vocals on “I’m In It.” Our worthy source tells us that Sasco sent Kanye’s production team vocals and they did what they did with them. Sasco’s appearance is a major highlight not only because he is the only original dancehall feature, but because he has been one of the most consistently lyrical deejays in recent years; now his placement on Yeezus propels his profile to another plateau.

As for Kanye West feeling the Jamaican vibes, it’s almost like his lyrics are drunk off of rum punch. Here’s a couple choice lines:

‘I hit her with Jamaican dick, I’m the new Shabba.’ – “Guilt Trip”

‘How you gon’ be mad on vacation? Dutty wining around all these Jamaicans!’- “Bound 2”