Toppa Top ’15: Fifteen Ways The Caribbean Impacted Pop Culture In 2015

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December 28, 2015

11. Justin Bieber Had a Huge Hit On A Dancehall Riddim

Technically, the instrumental produced by Skrillex and BLOOD for Justin Bieber‘s โ€œSorryโ€ is not a dancehall riddim. It wasn’t released by the producers with vocals from scores of different artists competing for top placement. But since it dropped two months ago, ahead of Bieber’s now-platinum Purpose album, it’s been effectively turned into one, as Caribbean acts including Konshens and Kranium have recognized the bashment vibes at the heart of this winter’s second biggest single, adding their own vocals to the mix. And, if that didn’t make things clear enough, there’s all the videos from dancehall choreographers (including our own Blacka Di Danca) that have turned up on YouTube.

Bieber, fortunately, doesn’t affect any fake patois on โ€œSorryโ€ (which has sat at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 for a month, trailingย  Adele’s โ€œHelloโ€ the entire time) but he didn’t need to. With a sound that recalls JA Productions’ crisp, radio-friendly spin on dancehall, the beat did all the talking, ensuring that โ€œSorryโ€ will get spins in dancehall sessions for months, if not years, to come. โ€”Jesse Serwer