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Sean Paul and Mr. Vegas Take Issue with Drake’s ‘Appropriation’ of Dancehall: ‘They Don’t Credit’

Sean Paul, Drake and Mr. Vegas (Promo)

Sean Paul, Drake and Mr. Vegas (Promo)

As a Jamaican crooner sorts through his musical comeback, he is taking aim at artists who appropriated Caribbean sounds. Sean Paul has joined the outcry against non-West Indian artists using dancehall without proper attribution.

Speaking to The Guardian, the “Cheap Thrills” contributor explained his problem with Drake and pop singer Justin Bieber using Caribbean sounds in their music.

“It is a sore point when people like Drake or Bieber or other artists come and do dancehall-orientated music but don’t credit where dancehall came from and they don’t necessarily understand it,” he said. “A lot of people get upset, they get sour. And 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.”

Drake’s use of dancehall came to the forefront after his Views track “Controlla” leaked. It sampled Beenie Man’s “Tear Off Mi Garment” and featured Jamaican artist Popcaan. But the song became a solo upon the final album’s April release.

On May 16, dancehall artist Mr. Vegas criticized Drake on Facebook Live for not listing Popcaan or Beenie Man as featured artists.

“Drake the fake is just running with the hot genre right now,” he said.

He clarified his stance on Hot 97’s Ebro In The Morning.

“On the records that Jamaican artists are sampled, no one even sees their names,” he explained. “If you were really into the culture and into the artists, at least you would have put some respeck on [their] names on the album.”

“Drake is rampaning my artists. You using my artists as intro men.”

But Popcaan defended the Toronto, Canada native.

“Don’t try to violate my brother now,” he said in a May 22 Instagram video. “You don’t know anything about Unruly or OVO. You don’t need to defend Popcaan.”

For Sean Paul, however, he hopes his new music will meld Americanized dancehall and authentic Jamaican music.

“Sure, I would like what we do in Jamaica – that authentic dancehall – to be on top,” he told The Guardian. “But it simply isn’t. So I want this album to bridge that gap.”

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