Words by Jesse Serwer
The Punanny riddim is one of those crucial pieces of dancehall that has never really gone out of style. Steely and Clevie’s classic instrumental for King Jammy’s still sounds fresh today, nearly 30 years after it was first used on Admiral Bailey’s similarly-named slackness anthem.
Other dancehall producers have re-licked Punanny (awoah!) over the years, but on Samantha J’s “League Of My Own” (featuring Detroit rapper Dej Loaf), DJ Buddha and Jerry “Wonda” Duplessis have fashioned the original’s distinctive bass pattern and synth stabs into an accessible crossover single for 2015.
Samantha J, for her part, is definitely in a league of her own when it comes to blending pop R&B with classic dancehall. She first buss two summers back with “Tight Skirt”, a teen-friendly single inspired by (and sampling) Red Rat’s similarly-named bashment classic, and, like that track, “League of My Own” sits in that rare middle ground between bashment-ready and pop radio-friendly. Stream it below, and watch our “Nails Tun Up” episode of LargeUp TV with Samantha J here.