Toppa Top 10: Reggae/Dancehall’s Greatest Lady Deejays

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May 23, 2014

5. Sister Nancy

One of the earliest females to become a successful deejay, Sister Nancy earned her stripes as a teenager toasting on local sound systems under the guidance of her older brother Brigadier Jerry, and General Echo, in the late 70s. In 1982, Nancy dropped “One, Two,” “Transport Connection” and other tunes that became local hits on Winston Riley’s Techniques label. “Bam Bam,” a mostly ignored single in Jamaica, would find its way overseas where it became a staple tune on the popular Stalag Riddim juggling in Caribbean clubs and parties in North America and beyond, eventually becoming a cult classic and one of the most recognized dancehall tunes worldwide.

“Bam Bam” has been sampled by hip-hop acts Main Source, Guerilla Black, Too Short, Pete Rock & CL Smooth and, most recently, Chris Brown and Wiz Khalifa. Nancy’s signature tune was featured in Hype Williams’ 1998 film Belly, and, just this year, a Reebok commercial featuring former Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr. —Raine Martin