Toppa Top 10: Kanye West’s Most Jamaican Moments

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June 18, 2013

7. โ€œGood Nightโ€ feat. Mos Def (2007)

Kanyeโ€™s Jamaican Moment: โ€œGood Nightโ€ samples and interpolates Super Cat’s โ€œNuff Man a Deadโ€ and samples U-Roy’s โ€œWake the Townโ€

Among the collaborators who has to be credited with steering Kanye towards Jamaican music would have to be one Yasiin Bey. Back when we knew him as good old Mos Def, the rapper was paying homage to the likes of Beenie Man and KRS-One (channeling Yellowman), singing dancehall melodies in a West Indian twang, on โ€œTravellinโ€™ Manโ€ and โ€œDefinition,โ€ respectively. His assist on the chorus for โ€œGood Nightโ€ nods to “Nuff Man A Dead,” another big tune from the Original Don Dada, Super Cat.

Included as a bonus cut on Kanye’s pivotal third studio album Graduationโ€”a release that saw the reformed backpacker showcase his growth by pulling influences from Daft Punk and Steely Danโ€””Good Night” was yet another showcase of the producer’s musical depth, pulling Super Cat’s aforementioned classic and U-Roy’sย “Wake the Town” into an evocative hip-hop beat, with a subtle influence from ’80s dancehall.