Based on their latest projects, Artistes both locally and internationally are known to sample various genres of music,  and Dancehall music is no exception.

Over the decades, international acts have dipped into the cache of Jamaican hits and pulled out hits of their own.

Below are five popular Jamaican Dancehall songs that have been frequently sampled.


1.     Bam Bam by Sister Nancy

This 1982 hit has been sampled over a hundred times and was described by Billboard in 2016 as “a strong contender for the title of most sampled reggae song of all time”. It was written and originally performed by female dancehall pioneer Ophlin ‘Sister Nancy’ Russell and was produced by Winston Riley.

Sister Nancy however has not been able to reap the true value of the fruits of her labour, as while the song has been sampled by various artistes, composers, and even corporate entities;  she has received little to no royalties. In 2014, her family sued for compensation for 32 years worth of unpaid royalties but was awarded only for the last ten years.

Bam Bam has been notably featured by Kanye West in his 2016 hit Famous.

It has also been sampled by international acts including Bam by Jay Z and Damion Marley, Lost Ones by Lauryn Hill, Bomb by Chris Brown,Sound Bang by Major Lazer featuring Machel Montano and Alicia Key and Damion Marleys’ No One (Reggae Remix), among many others.


2.     Ting a ling by Shabba Ranks

This hit by Shabba Ranks is believed to have been featured at least twenty times, since its release in the 90s.

Shabba’s unique sound and personality, is imprinted on the 1992 single produced by Steely and Clevie and released by Shang Muzic. The clever take on the sound of a school bell has been awarded with sampling by artistes both locally and internationally. Some songs to have pulled from this Shabba classic include, Wednesday Night Interlude by Drake and PartyNextDoor,Shabba by Asap Ferg and Asap Rocky,Romantic Call by Patra, The Pinkprint Freestyle by Nicki Minaj, Don Gorgon by Burna Boy and Needle Eye by Spice.


3.     Shy Guy by Diana King

Diana King’s Shy Guy is one of the most famous sampled songs in Dancehall history. The hit which was released in 1995 by American record label, Columbia Records. It was released for the soundtrack album of popular movie Bad Boys and was also featured on King’s debut studio album Tougher Than Love. The song has been featured over twelve times, in songs such as Don’t Hurt Me by Nicki Minaj and Jeremih, as recent as 2019’s Jealous by DJ Khaled which features Chris Brown, Lil Wayne and Big Sean. In a recent interview speaking onJealous, King said she was unable to keep track of the amount of times the song has been sampled. “Shy Guy has been covered or sampled almost every year since it was first released in 1995, so I’m pretty much used to it by now,” she said.


4.     Champion by Buju Banton

Buju Banton’s Champion is another dancehall favourite from the 1990s which has been sampled on numerous occasions. Banton’s signature vocals and playful yet soulful lyrics found in the 1994 hit was produced by Donovan Germain and released by the Loose Cannon label. It has since been featured over a dozen times by artistes such as Selena Gomez in her 2013 single Walk like a champion and the rapper Eve in 1998’s Eve of Destruction.