There is a saying that goes “there is nothing new under the sun”. The basic premise of that is simply that for the most part ideas are fluid and in general are not all that unique. There is definitely some truth to that but ideas and creativity all have some origination that can be traced somewhere. Reggae music as a genre has been providing inspiration to mainstream music artists and producers for decades.
Reggae music’s influence on pop music is undisputed. Song covers and sound sampling are simply a normal part of the music business. What is not generally known is how often Reggae is sampled or copied to make pop hit music. Here we present a mere 4 examples of hit songs that owe their sound to Reggae music.
1. Beyonce – Run The World (Girls)
This song is interesting in that the beat, created by Major Lazer was used unchanged from Pon De Floor feat Vybz Kartel to create Beyoncé’s hit song.
2. DJ Snake feat. Justin Beiber – Let Me Love You
DJ Snake and Justin Bieber’s Let Me Love You sounds like a typical dance pop song to the untrained ear, but listen to Wayne Wonders No Letting Go and you quickly realize that it is a pop-ized Reggae beat. The song even has “never let you go” as a part of the lyric.
3. Drake – Signs
Drake’s music has Reggae influences all over it. Whether its titles like More Life, the name of one of his albums or Blem, the name of one of his songs. More Life in Jamaican vernacular means to celebrate life. Blem means to be blended or mixed. So blem can mean being under the influence of any number of things. Its no coincidence then some of his music whether unintentionally or not takes cues from that Reggae sound. Case in point is Signs. Its hard not to see a thread with Shabba Ranks’ Trailer Load.
4. Foxy Brown – Oh Yeah
Fox Brown’s song is more overt in its Reggae inspiration using Toots & The Maytal’s Classic 54-46 That’s My Number as a sample and beat origination.
The influence of the Reggae sound is now just simply music evolving. Reggae itself is a great and entertaining genre that is prevalent across major hits. Even when it’s not immediately clear. Despacito and Mi Gente, global hits, are considered Reggaeton and it is pretty clear the origins of Reggaeton.