Mercy by Kanye West featuring Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz is hard to miss even if you are not a fan of the genre. When I first heard it, I noticed the distinctive high pitched animated voice and said that is Major Mackerel. A well known Jamaican dancehall DJ or toaster(rapper) from the late 80’s to early 90’s. As a youth I heard these sounds. But I had to do a search and Major Mackerel and Kanye west came up. But as I learned later after a few more clicks, the voice is by Fuzzy Jones another toaster who seemed to be a favourite by the sound system owners and sound clash era. A big thing in Jamaican culture. But he is not as popular as Major Mackerel. If anything, I am learning more about Fuzzy Jones although I have heard this popular track in my youth on the famous stalag riddim(rhythm). As famous as it’s cousin the sleng teng riddim.
But in this high nasal animated verse by the late Fuzzy Jones, he said “It is a weeping and a moaning and a gnashing of teeth in the dancehall…” I wonder why Kanye choose this section. A bit biblical and ominous thou applied to ‘dancehall’ a popular Jamaican terminology of music and big sound systems. Is he saying more. But say what you want about Kanye West, he is quite a world traveler mentally and physically who does things that others in his genre doesn’t do. Genius?
It is important to know the history of where a lot of the music we hear came from. Even the new breed of Dub Step which is more a hybrid of many forms has a strong foundation in the Dub. Another experimental hybrid of reggae from well know Jamaican producers such as King Tubby and many others. Even Skrillex who new comers hail as something fresh has no legs to stand out without this art form. He even sampled a lot of sounds including Jamaican artists.
In respect to sample, the sections Kanye West used for Mercy is beyond a sample. That is a performance. It should say; Mercy by Kanye West featuring Big Sean, Pusha T, 2 Chainz and Fuzzy Jones. Therefore I am sure Kanye and his team paid or will pay Fuzzy Jones, Super beagle and or any affiliates who are to be credited. Big up Fuzzy Jones and all the artists who paved the way.
Craig SOUNDA Brown is a Electronica Artist/Sound Designer; from off the planet rhetoric to a warrior for justice, peace, love and light. I invite you to join me on Facebook Reverbnation and follow me on Twitter.