Toppa Top 10: The Neptunes’ Most Caribbean Moments

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July 23, 2013

7. Beenie Man and Kelis – “Jamaica Way” (2000)

One of the great things about the early days of any new producerโ€™s career is the familiarity of the instruments they use in their beats. The guitar chords onโ€œJamaica Wayโ€ were similar to the opening riff of N.E.R.D.’s โ€œLapdanceโ€ and โ€œTruth or Dare.โ€ The criticism the Neptunes would receive for repetition like that (see also the martian-like drops on records for Jay-Z and Britney Spears) comes from not understanding how artists build a reputationโ€”through familiarity. Itโ€™s not so much what they used at that time, but how they used it. On โ€œJamaica Wayโ€ the sound effect was played differently than the other records, raising the tempo of this Beenie Man and Kelis collab, a slept-on anthem for Jamaican pride.