Music by VICE

Sean Paul Says Drake and Justin Bieber Fail to Credit Their Dancehall Influences

The Jamaican artist talks about pop music's appropriation of the genre in a new interview.

by Alexander Iadarola
Sep 5 2016, 4:22pm

Photo by Adam Bielawski, courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

Influential dancehall musician, Sean Paul, has said that it's a "sore point" when pop musicians like Justin Bieber and Drake make dancehall-inspired music without properly crediting their influences. Stating that the artists "don't credit where dancehall came from and they don't necessarily understand it," he went on to cite Diplo-led trio Major Lazer in the discussion. "I know artists back in Jamaica that don't like Major Lazer because they think they do the same thing that Drake and Kanye did – they take and take and don't credit," he said in a new interview in The Guardian.

Following the massive success of his February single "Cheap Thrills" with Australian singer Sia, Sean Paul is currently hard at work on his new album. "Dancehall is back but this time it's also infused with Afrobeat, with hip-hop, with trap, and that's fine with me," he added. "Sure, I would like what we do in Jamaica, that authentic dancehall, to be on top, but it simply isn't. So I want this album to bridge that gap."

Both Bieber and Drake featured dancehall sounds prominently on their most recent LPs, Views and Purpose, respectively. Meanwhile, Major Lazer's collaboration with DJ Snake and MØ, "Lean On," became Spotify's most streamed song ever last year while bearing definite traces of the genre's influence.

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