Words by Blacka Di Danca
There’s a new hit dance in hip-hop clubs and (pretty much everywhere else) right now, and it’s not the “dougie,” the “cat daddy,” and definitely not the “jerk.” By now we’re sure you’ve heard of the “Shmoney Dance,” made popular by Brooklyn rapper Bobby Shmurda. You might have even seen Team USA buss this one after winning basketball’s World Cup this weekend!
Bobby Shmurda became an overnight celebrity after his “Shmoney Dance” took off in a viral Vine video, and the dance’s appeal is due in part to its simplicity. Everybody can “Shmoney Dance.” It’s just a groove dance that happens to mesh perfectly with the riddim of the song. You might even compare it to an old time reggae skankin’ vibe. We’re not surprised that Shmurda, who comes from Flatbush, Brooklyn, grew up in Caribbean culture–his parents are from Jamaica and Trinidad. Given this background, it was only natural that the dance would reach a certain notorious dancehall entertainer known for bussing dances and taking Jamaican street dance culture worldwide. Yep, we’re talking about the one and only Elephant Man!
For today’s youths who don’t know who Elephant Man is or what he’s done for dancehall culture, allow me to brief you. “Pon Di River,” “Signal Di Plane,” “Sesame Street,” “Willie Bounce” and “Nuh Linga” are just a few songs that Elephant Man has used to propel dancehall dances by the same name to di world. If you know any of those dances, odds are Ele is to blame! For Elephant Man to not only release his own remix of Bobby Shmurda’s song, but to also promote his dance in a joint video together is big! This is what we need… music to work with music regardless of the genre.
Hip-hop music videos use so many dancehall dances and dancers without directly highlighting them, and remix so many reggae and dancehall hit songs. But now, the tables have turned… Elephant Man has put his own spin on the hip-hop with the help of gifted producer LMR Pro, and has brought Bobby Shmurda to his Caribbean fanbase. Hopefully we’ll be seeing more dancehall/hip-hop collaborations, and artists like Bobby Shmurda returning the favor by bringing dancehall dances to their hip-hop fanbase. Music needs to work with music!
Hey Bobby and Ele, it’s a good look. Dancehall meets hip-hop once again! Keep up the work. And love how you incorporated Brooklyn’s dancehall dancers and DJs in the music video. Everybody Shmoney!