Words by LargeUp Crew
These days, when one cites Sister Nancy, they are almost certainly referring to one song: “Bam Bam,” the late-blooming 1982 dancehall classic that’s been sampled of late by the likes of Kanye West and Jay-Z. But, back before “Bam Bam” became a cult hit in NYC nightclubs; sample fodder for Golden Era rap producers like Pete Rock and Large Professor; a pivotal soundtrack from hip-hop flick Belly; and Pitchfork’s pick for No. 1 Dancehall Song of All-Time, L’Original Mumma was best known for a different track, from the very same year and album.
“One Two” was Nancy’s biggest, hit in Jamaica and, until recently, it was still her best known track there. (With Nancy becoming this summer’s most viral dancehall act, and dance duo RDX flipping her now-signature tune into this summer’s “Shake Your Bam Bam,” it seems this has finally changed.)
On May 25th, 2017, LargeUp and Blackwell Rum brought Nancy and friends Screechy Dan, Red Fox, Nardo Ranks and Yami Bolo together with the Dollar Van band for a Brooklyn Bowl concert celebrating 35 years of “Bam Bam.” Of course, 2017 also marks 35 years since the release of One Two, her first and only album, upon which “Bam Bam” originally appeared. Naturally, Nancy touched more tunes from that release, including of course the title track. Here is that performance.
If you’re kicking yourself for missing this one, and you’re in the New York area, you’re in luck. Nancy has two NY shows in the coming week. One, tonight, at the iconic Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett, Long Island (the tiny town between East Hampton and Montauk). Then, a free show at the even more iconic Lincoln Center (!) a week from tonight on Aug. 10, as part of Lincoln Center Out of Doors. One thing we think you can understand: Both of these events will be the BAM BAM!!!