Technically, the instrumental produced by Skrillex and BLOOD for Justin Bieber‘s “Sorry” 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 “Sorry” (which has sat at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 for a month, trailing Adele’s “Hello” 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 “Sorry” will get spins in dancehall sessions for months, if not years, to come. —Jesse Serwer