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Did You Know Toots’ ‘Bam Bam’ Is The Most Sampled, But Royalties Still Unpaid?

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Do you ever listen to a song and have a feeling you heard it somewhere before?

Well, as Jamaican music icon Toots Hibbert moves to secure unpaid royalties for Bam Bam, a plethora of famous solo artists and groups have been found on record to have sampled or covered in full, the song, which has the distinction of being Jamaica’s first National Festival Song winner back in 1966.

Bam Bam, was written by Toots and performed by himself and members of his band known only as the Maytals at the time, as their entry in the Government of Jamaica’s National Festival Song Competition.

According to the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), the competition, which has since become the longest-running original song contest in the island, was aimed at, from its inception, providing a platform for ‘aspiring artistes, songwriters, and producers to showcase their talents’, as well as ‘identify a new and original song that is reflective of the spirit of the Jamaican people’.

Toots Hibbert

The theme of Bam Bam is about a righteous man, who, if provoked, will not hesitate to defend himself.

After cementing themselves in the annals of Jamaican history with Bam Bam, The Maytals went on to cop festival glory again in 1969 with Sweet and Dandy and a third victory as Toots and the Maytals in 1972, with the popular cautionary song Pomps and Pride.

Bam Bam subsequently became an integral part of Jamaica’s Independence celebrations over the decades and the term, embedded in the Jamaican Patois lexicon.

A few weeks ago, Toots told The Jamaica Observer newspaper that he had instructed a team of intellectual property rights managers to launch a thorough forensic audit to find out which entities and individuals have been collecting publishing and royalties and which musicians have covered Bam Bam without giving him requisite credit.

According to the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO), all samplers of music must seek consent from the original copyright owners or their agents such as their record company or music publishing company, before covering work.

However, Toots said even though he was the writer, arranger, composer, singer, and the producer of the original song and is listed as the principal songwriter in the US Copyright Office in Washington DC, he has never collected royalties for the song.

Sister Nancy was the first person to do a cover of Toots’ Bam Bam.  Her version was done on a rub-a-dub rhythm in 1982 in which she adapted the chorus and altered it to say “this woman never trouble no one; I am a lady not a man” from Toots’ initial “This man I don’t trouble no one; but if you should trouble this man”.

Sister Nancy also used the entire hook and the altered verses from Toot’s original song, ten times throughout her thirteen stanza version, with only three verses being her own original content.

 

Toots met Nancy at a festival in Europe years ago and told the Observer that “she came to me and told me she never know that it was my song, and the song was done before she was born.”

He added, “At the time, I respected her as an artiste trying to help herself, and this song provided a lot of help for her career. So there’s no ill will, just the business.”

In one interview with OkayPlayer, Sister Nancy was quoted as saying that she has been collecting royalties from Reebok which used the song (with Toots hook) in an advertisement in 2014, after she sued the company, and also that she has also collected royalties for Jay-Z’s use of the song.

Jay-Z sampled the song in Bam from the 2017 album 4:44 and even flew to the island to film the music video in which Sister Nancy is also featured.

However, nowhere in the interviews has she given credit to the Maytals or acknowledged that Bam Bam was a Government of Jamaica-commissioned National Festival song.

In an interview with NME, she notes that: “There was an older song called Bam Bam, so I decided to do a Bam Bam too.  I freestyled it.  I only wrote it down after.”

The other known artistes who have sampled Bam Bam include Chakademus and Pliers, who covered the song in its entirety in 1992 for their All She Wrote album and Nigerian singer Tiwa Savage who sampled the hook in her Girlie O remix with her compatriot Patoranking.  In the 2014 song, she sampled Bam Bam’s theme and rhyme schemes singing: “Cos this love, It no go trouble no one, I know the feeling is strong, But you is a bandit,  Never love another like this.”

Lauryn Hill also used the same rhyme schemes of Bam Bam in her song, Lost Ones, in 1998, from her album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.

Bam Bam was also sampled by Heavy D & The Boyz, in his Talk Is Cheap song, which was released in 1992, as well as in Young Casanovas by Junior M.A.F.I.A, featuring Cam’ ron and Mase in 1997.

Kanye West sampled Bam Bam on the 2016 song Famous featuring Rihanna, while Beyoncé did the same in her live performances of her song Hold Up, the second track from her 2016 album Lemonade.

Toots’ pursuit of royalties comes in the wake of the landmark copyright infringement lawsuit case, which was won by Jamaican songwriter and deejay, Flourgon against American singer Miley Cyrus in early January.

That case was hailed as a massive win for Jamaican artistes and lyricists, when, after almost two years, Cyrus decided to settle.

Flourgon had, in March 2018, filed a US$300 million copyright infringement lawsuit against Cyrus for plagiarizing the line “we run things, things no run we” from his 1998 single We Run Tings and embedding it in her own 2013 song We Can’t Stop.

Flourgon’s lawyers had argued, among other things, that his lines were embedded in the chorus, which is the most important part of We Can’t Stop. They also said Cyrus followed the theme of his song, “which is about being in self-control, not caring what anyone thinks and being determined, and that the song is one of three she performed consistently, “even while promoting other projects”.

Toots & The Maytals latest album, Got To Be Tough, was released two days ago and is their first project in more than a decade. Listen to the title track below and stream the full album on Apple Music and Spotify.

 

 

 

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Dazukunst Release “Halleluyah” With Cedar Case

Not long ago, the world needed a lot of LOVE in times of self-isolation and physical distancing. Love on all channels. Love for lonely souls. For people at higher risk from coronavirus (COVID-19), who could not receive visitors?

For single mums who could not take their children to childcare. For freelancers, artists, restaurant and club owners and many others fearing for their livelihood. For burned-out nurses working in 12-hour shifts. We all are facing so many challenges, fears and issues that the importance of love, care and compassion can all too easily be forgotten.

Francis „Blak – I“and Mattan Original from “Da Zukunst” recognized these issues and spontaneously released their first single “Love Now”. Without much planning or a marketing concept, it was all about instantly reaching as many people as possible and to spread love. Originally, the song “Klickz” was planned as the first single. “Klickz”, featuring singer and actor Michael Davies, is also going to be released later this year.

In the meantime, “Da Zukunst” prioritized other songs – special times call for special measures. And while LOVE is incredibly important during these times, we need more than that. “Faith, Love, Hope” is what the world needs right now.

For this very reason, “Da Zukunst” released their new song “Halleluyah” featuring Nigerian singer Cedar Case. For all believers, for all those who cannot gather to live and celebrate their faith, to praise God. For all those who are not losing faith and hope. For all those who know how important it is – especially during these difficult times – to be grateful to our almighty God…even for the small stuff that we so often take for granted.

The music video by Martin Tröster – created with the loving support of the ever-growing “Da Zukunst” family – highlights that nothing compares to praising the Lord with beautiful gospel music.

Get ready to worship with “Da Zukunst” and Cedar Case.

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Meet Africa’s Most Underrated Singer

Why do you listen to your favorite song? Or rather what made you like your favorite artist?

Well, for Kisumu based artists Gabiro Mtu Necessary and Asen B you will always get it right on the first instance because their energy is always full of positive vibrations and unending humor.

Gabiro sees Asen B as his favorite artist while they are outside performing or in studio recording music but yet still he sees him as a twin brother when they are off the music business and enjoying some good time on a road trip or just chilling at home sipping some fresh mango juice haha 😉

Having professionally kick started his music career in late 2016, Asen B has been consistent in giving his audience not only good music but also amazing and energetic performance across the country. His notable song being ‘Nikimwona’ which is a love song that has received very rave reviews on various radios, TVs and music blogs across the continent.

The fast-rising Kisumu based singer is a gem of its own kind especially when added to the category of notable singers who are putting in a lot of work in their craft to reach greater heights. He is an all-round artist.

When he spits bars, you can’t tell that he can sing really, as well as the other way round. I’d say he’s the best of both worlds and an extremely talented artist.

There’s only so much we can say about Asen B who can also be described as the heart-throb of musical change – the one-time experience you wish would last a lifetime with every track he triumphantly declares that an evolutionary artist is finally here.

Asen B has a very unique voice, and not only that, his content too. He is that artist who is so hard to ignore because of the direction he takes with every single record. He is a good writer, and even lyricist, and his voice makes everything come together perfectly.

His latest release ‘Mpito’ is a Swahili word that translates to ‘transition’ and for this particular EP which is a joint effort between Gabiro and Asen B I used to welcome each one of them into different worlds.

For Gabiro who has always been known as a rapper until when he released his songs “Bad Girl Loving” and the recent club banger ‘iYAiYAiYA” he is being part of this EP to help him put into use his lyrical prowess as a songwriter and singer as seen is evidently seen in songs like “Kesho” and “Anakuona” which hold sentimental value in his life. He is adding the two songs to the EP to officially introduce his transition from your ordinary rapper to not only a singer but a full time lyricist.

It is also a huge transition for singer Asen B as he is now moving from being your usual singer to a more professional and industry oriented musician with the support of a more established artist like Gabiro. This rare kind of support is more of a transition to him!

Mpito EP is where these two artists get to continue their collaborative musical works as their clichés are being vested with enough emotion to elevate them above the ordinary.

Stream Mpito EP below:

 

 

 

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Nakuru’s Diamond In The Rough – Vanessa Pym

Many at times we listen to a new artist for the first time and we find ourselves reminiscing and marinating in their vibe and that is the case with ‘Monsters’ single by Nakuru based singer, Vanessa Pym.

I watched her music video after my good friend sent it to me and I almost used the cursed words, her lyrical prowess is top notch not forgetting the fact that her music video is simple yet elegant.

Vanessa Pym  began singing and recording at the young age of nine and later joined her school band as a violist. She is most known as an EDM vocalist and musician but her music is a mix of Afro Pop and RnB as well.

She has performed in and outside of Kenya and alongside artists including Gilad, Dela Maranga, Maddtrax and many others.
Her latest release is called “Monsters” and is from her EP “Nine”. She most recently performed it at Engage Kenya and this particular performance caught me off the radar and I believe it will be the same case with you after you watch it below.

 

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