10 Dancehall-Influenced Hip-Hop Songs of Summer 2016
In case you haven't noticed, this spring and summer has been all types of lit thanks to dancehall and Afrobeat-infused hip-hop tracks setting the tone for the seasons — and for good reason. Both genres draw close comparisons to the roots and ideology behind hip-hop. Evolving from reggae in the 1980s, Jamaican dancehall uses invigorating island beats and themes of lust and partying while Afrobeat music has traces of jazz, funk and aboriginal African beats to tell an audible story.
The fusion of these genres has been simmering for years. Tracks like Kendrick Lamar's "Blacker the Berry", Pusha T's "Blocka" and Kanye West's "I'm in It" are clear indications of that. But in 2016, it's overflowed into rap's world in a wave like never before.
Drake earned his first solo No. 1 song of his career this past May with "One Dance." The blazing banger off Views features Nigeria's Afrobeat star Wizkid and British singer Kyla and has been remixed by everyone from Justin Bieber to Jadakiss. And Tyga is climbing the charts with his own summer banger, "1 of 1." He even flew out to Kingston, Jamaica for the song's sultry video.
XXL chopped it up with Jamaican dancehall stars last year to talk about dancehall's impact on rap and the similarities the two genres share.
"Hip-hop and dancehall are basically the same thing. It’s very good to see a rapper and a dancehall artist do a collaboration. They do it often but I would like to se it more often. It’s just straight love and more positivity," said Popcaan.
"I think just as dancehall music is a representation of urban culture in Jamaica, it’s the soundtrack of the inner city and the ghettos," said Assassin. "It’s broader than that, but that’s the origins of it. It’s relative to the hip-hop story in terms of hip-hop being pretty much the soundtrack of inner cities and the soundtrack of American urban culture. And stepping outside of that took on a wider world audience. I think the two have very similar roots."
To show just how many hip-hop artists are riding the wave, check out these dancehall and Afrobeat-infused joints in the list below. Add these to your summer playlist and everyone within earshot will want to buss a wine.