DJ Khaled’s love for Jamaica has never been a secret. The internationally renowned DJ and producer has never been quiet about his appreciation for the small island’s culture and has even made trips to the island for work and recreation. In fact, a fair share of his success and rise to fame Khaled has credited to Jamaican music. The DJ started his work as a radio DJ and became known for frequently playing dancehall and reggae mixes. This led to the media personality forming lasting relationships with Jamaican personalities like Bounty Killer, Buju Banton, Sizzla, Mavado (who he would eventually sign to his label), and even the Marley family. So strong was his connection to the island that when the Jamaican cult classic, ‘Shottas’ was being filmed, Khaled was invited to make a cameo in the movie.

In his recent album, Khaled Khaled, which he released over a week ago, Khaled seemed to pay homage to the island with a dancehall infused track featuring Jamaican music royalties such as Buju Banton, Bounty Killer, and Capleton. The track Where You Come pays heavy respect to the country and brings together the first-ever collaboration between the three legends.

The track samples Barrington Levy’s reggae hit Under Mi Sensi from his album Here I Come and Levy also loaned his vocals to the track with his iconic adlibs and also appeared in the music video alongside his fellow artistes. Perhaps the unsung hero of the song, Levy’s adlibs and iconic voice seemed to be the icing of the cake that made the song an instant hit.

The best way I could perhaps describe this song would be a revival of the classic 80’s and 90’s reggae/dancehall sound superimposed over the modern dancehall and hip/hop fundamentals. The track seems to invoke a sense of nostalgia with the heavy-hitting lyricism of Capleton that did not seem an iota out of place when paired with the modern beat and production seen in DJ Khaled’s music. It proves that no matter the ear, these artistes have proven themselves to be current and timeless, and a fair representation of the reggae/dancehall sound.

For his part, Buju Banton seemed to be the main attraction of the song and looked to be enjoying himself as he voiced the chorus and celebrated the Rastafari religion, the unity of the Jamaican people, and the importance of the dreadlocks as a symbol (a common theme throughout the song).

“If unnu mess wid we, you aguh see a million/We natty congo long, just like the Amazon… Dem seh dreadlocks nuh play inna no bangarang/And anyweh we go, we stand strong, hear dat,” Buju Banton says throughout the chorus.

Capleton takes the first verse of the song, and his spiel does not disappoint. The Slew Dem hitmaker proved his prowess with a strong verse, where he has sung about the strength of the people, the habit of those in authority who use music and marijuana as the scapegoat for crime, and of course, the Rastafari religion. Capleton’s verse was one of warning and not dissimilar to his past records.

“Lowe the music, lowe the weed, a di poverty cause the crime/Anytime yuh see the rastaman, nuh ask fi mine/Vampires dem go inna the mask fi mine/Seh dem hunting blood samples, hard fi find,” said Capleton in his verse on the track.

My personal favorite feature on the song, Bounty Killer’s lyricism on the track is one to admire as the dancehall veteran proves why he is so highly acclaimed. His use of wordplay and double entendre made his message of revolution and change seem even more intense. Bounty Killer speaks out against the widescale poverty on the island and stands firm in his view of wealth and prosperity for those struggling financially.

“Premier League we have the Arsenal fi fight the revolutionary battle ‘cause only the bottle dem fi pour/Di youths dem fi rich, equal rights empowerment/Tell dem fi leave the sun fi shine or black rain will shower dem,” wrote Bounty Killer.

The music video for Where You Come From is available on YouTube.

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