In 1982, Jamaican dancehall artist Sister Nancy
released her first of two albums, One, Two
. The album found success in the Caribbean, where dancehall originated. Fourteen years after releasing her debut album, and 19 years before releasing her second, Sister Nancy moved from Jamaica to New Jersey, and began living a humble life as bank accountant Ophlin Russell. Despite not releasing any music in that near quarter of a century between albums, and not putting out anything new since Sister Nancy Meets Fireproof
, her 2001 sophomore album with reggae group Fireproof, Sister Nancy has remained relevant in the music world thanks to "Bam Bam," a single off her 1982 release. In fact, you probably know the song quite well, and had no idea. It has been featured in everything from Seth Rogen's controversial film, The Interview
, to "Bam" from Jay-Z's latest album, 4:44.
Here are some of the best uses of Sister Nancy's timeless hit.
"Famous" - Kanye West featuring Rihanna and Swizz Beatz
Ah, "Famous." The song (and accompanying video) that reignited the feud between Kanye
and Taylor Swift
. The song that led to ultimate receipt-saver Mrs. Kim Kardashian-West releasing a video she recorded of Taylor giving her approval of Kanye mentioning her in his lyrics. The song that is only 3 minutes and 16 seconds long, but has a minute and 25 seconds of "bam bams" courtesy of Sister Nancy. What a song.
"Lost Ones" - Lauryn Hill
Rapper, singer-songwriter, producer and all around superstar Miss Lauryn Hill sampled Sister Nancy on her song "Lost Ones" for her first solo release, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
. Ms. Hill uses the bassline from "Bam Bam" as the hook for this song aimed at former Fugees bandmate, Wycleff Jean, as well as the lyrics "bam bam."
"Bomb" - Chris Brown featuring Wiz Khalifa
I know, I know, Chris Brown
is not really anyone's favorite anymore. But politics and transgressions with ex-girlfriends aside, the guy makes some pretty good club bops. And "Bomb," a deluxe bonus track from his 2011 album, F.A.M.E
, is one of them. With a chorus (once again) comprised of the music from Sister Nancy's song, lyrics you could easily sing along to with (it's pretty much just Chris saying "bomb-ba-bomb") and a feature from Wiz Khalifa
, it had the potential to be a dance hit. But it wasn't. Regardless, it's a good take on "Bam Bam."
"Sound Bang" - Major Lazer featuring Machel Montano
Way back in the far off year of 2014, Major Lazer
dropped the Apocalypse Soon EP
, which mixed the EDM sound we have come to expect from the trio, with beats and rhythms typical of reggae and dancehall. "Sound Bang" is one of the EDM-dancehall hybrids, and of course, it features a sample from our girl Sister Nancy on the chorus. This song is absolutely something I can imagine hearing one of my cousins blast on the beach of the teeny-tiny Caribbean island my family hails from.