Many of the biggest hits of the last two summers have something in common, Afro-Caribbean influences. From recent songs like French Montana’s “Unforgettable” to last years “One Dance” and “Controlla” by Drake, popular hip hop records are highlighting the sounds of Africa and the islands. This idea isn’t new. In 2008, the musical Fela! hit Broadway like an Afrobeat explosion. Since then, The Roots, J. Cole and Wale have successfully used the Afro sound in recent years.
The Afro-Caribbean wave hasn’t missed R&B and Pop either. Tory Lanez, Bryson Tiller, Jason Derulo and of course, Bad Gal Rhi Rhi herself, all have songs that contain the familiar Afro-Caribbean pulse. While some critics scream appropriation, it is hard to believe because Black music has always had a contagious effect. While it is understandable when even Ed Sheeran’s latest album had a lead single that was essentially a Dancehall tune, the truth is many African and Caribbean artists are equally inspired by Hip Hop and R&B and have been for generations. Check out Wiz Kid from Nigeria and Chronixx from Jamaica and see that the love goes both ways.