The Don resurrects the Don Don Dadda Image

by Dominic Bell

Over the past couple of decades, music has been Jamaica's most recognizable product worldwide. "The Mixer" is a blog focusing on the past, present, and future of Jamaica's music. In this blog we focus on Super Cat being sampled by Nas.

The migration of the Jamaican DJ Kool Herc to the Bronx, New York in 1967 was the beginning of Jamaican music's roots in hip-hop music. DJ Kool Herc would go on to be widely credited as the pioneer of the hip-hop genre due to his introduction of Jamaican sound system techniques to the inner city block parties of New York.

This relationship has manifested into the dancehall / reggae and hip-hop genres of music being in constant collaboration whether through the artistes themselves, or influencing each other in production. The most recent example of the latter taking place is hip-hop living legend Nas's new single entitled The Don, which is produced by Salaam Remi, Da Internz, and recently deceased Jamaican born rapper and producer Heavy D.

The Don samples an excerpt from Super Cat's historic 1992 interview on the iconic former MTV programme "Yo MTV Raps" as the song's introduction, while the instrumentation prominently samples Super Cat's 1982 recording Dance Inna New York, which was produced and arranged by Nkrumah Manley Thomas on the Midnight Rock Label.

The Don is the second single from Nas's upcoming album that is tentatively titled Life Is Good, and will be the rapper's first full-length release since his 2010 collaborative effort with Damian Marley entitled Distant Relatives.
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