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Reggae Goes Pop

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Playlist: Reggae Goes Pop

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Since 2015, the stars of American music have been infusing their hits with dancehall reggae, from Justin Bieber to Kanye West by way of Beyoncé, Rihanna, Drake, Miley Cyrus and Snoop Dogg. This selection highlights the way this Jamaican wave, unleashed by obscure studio men and high-profile media personalities, has influenced modern pop.

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Reggae Goes Pop

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Title Artist Album Duration
1
Work
Rihanna Anti (Deluxe) 00:03:39

J. Braithwaite, ComposerLyricist - R.Thomas, ComposerLyricist - M. Moir, ComposerLyricist - Rihanna, MainArtist - MANNY MARROQUIN, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Kuk Harrell, Producer, Recording Engineer, Recording Producer, StudioPersonnel - Drake, FeaturedArtist - Aubrey Graham, ComposerLyricist - Marcos Tovar, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Boi 1da, Producer - M. Samuels, ComposerLyricist - R Fenty, ComposerLyricist - Noel "Gadget" Campbell, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - ALLEN RITTER, ComposerLyricist - Noah "40" Shebib, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - PARTYNEXTDOOR, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Noel Cadastre, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Thomas Warren, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Westbury Road Entertainment

2
Take Me Away
Richie Stephens Perfect Love 00:03:28

Richie Stephens, MainArtist

© 2005 VP Music Group, Inc. ℗ 2005 VP Music Group, Inc.

3
Sorry
Justin Bieber Purpose 00:03:20

Michael Tucker, ComposerLyricist - Andrew Wuepper, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Chris 'Tek' O'Ryan, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sonny Moore, ComposerLyricist - Skrillex, Producer - Blood, Producer - Josh Gudwin, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Justin Bieber, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Julia Michaels, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Trevon Trapper, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Justin Tranter, ComposerLyricist - Brandon Harding, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Henrique Andrade, Engineer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2015 Def Jam Recordings, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

4
Tired of Running
Snoop Dogg Reincarnated (Deluxe Version) 00:04:10

Snoop Lion feat. Akon, Performer - Calvin Broadus, Composer - Calvin Broadus, Lyricist - Aliaune "Akon" Thiam, Producer - Aliaune Thiam, Composer - Aliaune Thiam, Lyricist - Leslie Brathwaite, Composer - Leslie Brathwaite, Lyricist - Leslie Brathwaite, Mixing Engineer - Leslie Brathwaite, Producer - Ariel Rechtshaid, Engineer - Kevin Seaton, Producer - Giorgio Tuinfort, Composer - Giorgio Tuinfort, Lyricist - Nick Rowe, Editor - Chris Gehringer, Mastering Engineer

(P) 2013 Berhane Sound System

5
Run the World (Girls) (Album Version)
Beyoncé 4 00:03:56

Beyoncé, Performer - Terius Nash, Composer - Terius Nash, Lyricist - Switch, Producer - Beyoncé Knowles, Co-Producer - Beyoncé Knowles, Composer - Beyoncé Knowles, Executive Producer - Beyoncé Knowles, Lyricist - Terius "The-Dream" Nash, Producer - Shea Taylor, Co-Producer - Wesley Pentz, Composer - Wesley Pentz, Lyricist - Jordan "DJ Swivel" Young, Engineer - David Taylor, Composer - David Taylor, Lyricist - Pete Wolford, Assistant Engineer - Serban Ghenea, Mixing Engineer - Adidja Palmer, Composer - Adidja Palmer, Lyricist - John Hanes, Mixing Engineer - Phil Seaford, Assistant Engineer - Nick Van De Wall, Composer - Nick Van De Wall, Lyricist - Tom Coyne, Mastering Engineer

(P) 2011 Sony Music Entertainment

6
Pon De Floor
Major Lazer Guns Don't Kill People...Lazers Do 00:03:34

Afrojack, Composer, FeaturedArtist - Vybz Kartel, FeaturedArtist - Diplo, Composer - Switch, Composer - Major Lazer, MainArtist

2009 Downtown Records, under exclusive licence to V2 records international trading as Cooperative Music 2009 Downtown Records, under exclusive licence to V2 records international trading as Cooperative Music

7
Famous
Kanye West The Life Of Pablo 00:03:16

Kasseem Dean, ComposerLyricist - Mike Dean, Producer, Additional Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Winston Riley, ComposerLyricist - Havoc, Producer - Jimmy Webb, ComposerLyricist - Rihanna, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Kuk Harrell, Producer - Kanye West, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Swizz Beatz, Vocals, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Luis Bacalov, ComposerLyricist - Sergio Bardotti, ComposerLyricist - Andrew Dawson, Producer, Co-Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Noah Goldstein, Producer, Mixer, Co-Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Anthony Kilhoffer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Marcos Tovar, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Hudson Mohawke, Producer, Additional Producer - Kejuan Waliek Muchita, ComposerLyricist - Enzo Vita, ComposerLyricist - Patrick Reynolds, ComposerLyricist - Ross Birchard, ComposerLyricist - Ernest Brown, ComposerLyricist - Patrick 'Plain Pat' Reynolds, Producer, Additional Producer - Giampiero Scalamogna, ComposerLyricist - Cydel Young, ComposerLyricist - Chancelor Bennett, ComposerLyricist - Zeke Mishanec, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe Balaguer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Charlie Heat, Producer, Co-Producer

℗ 2016 Getting Out Our Dreams II, LLC

8
Man Down (Album Version)
Rihanna Loud 00:04:26

Timothy Thomas, ComposerLyricist - Theron Thomas, ComposerLyricist - Robyn Fenty, ComposerLyricist - Rihanna, MainArtist - MANNY MARROQUIN, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Christian Plata, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Erik Madrid, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Kuk Harrell, Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Marcos Tovar, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Josh Gudwin, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Shama Joseph, ComposerLyricist - Shontelle Layne, ComposerLyricist - SHAM, Producer - Cary Clark, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Robert Campbell, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2010 Def Jam Recordings, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

9
Ashtrays and Heartbreaks
Snoop Dogg Reincarnated (Deluxe Version) 00:04:06

Snoop Lion feat. Miley Cyrus, Performer - Calvin Broadus, Composer - Calvin Broadus, Lyricist - Mike Bolger, Piano - Angela Hunte, Composer - Angela Hunte, Lyricist - Angela Hunte, Vocal - Stewart Copeland, Percussion - Thomas Pentz, Composer - Thomas Pentz, Lyricist - Ariel Rechtshaid, Composer - Ariel Rechtshaid, Engineer - Ariel Rechtshaid, Lyricist - Ariel Rechtshaid, Producer - Major Lazer, Producer - Dre Skull, Producer - Rich Costey, Mixing Engineer - Chris Kasych, Engineer - Andrew Hershey, Composer - Andrew Hershey, Lyricist - Bo Hill, Assistant Engineer - Kevin Seaton, Producer - Nick Rowe, Editor - Chris Gehringer, Mastering Engineer

(P) 2013 Berhane Sound System

10
Controlla
Drake Views 00:04:05

G. Jackson, ComposerLyricist - A. Thomas, ComposerLyricist - S. McGregor, Unknown, Other, ComposerLyricist - Aubrey Drake Graham, ComposerLyricist - Noah Shebib, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dwayne "Supa Dups" Chin-Quee, Producer, Co-Producer - Drake, MainArtist - Beenie Man, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - D. Dennis, ComposerLyricist - M. Davis, ComposerLyricist - D. Chin-Quee, Unknown, Other, ComposerLyricist - M. Samuels, Unknown, Other, ComposerLyricist - P. Roberts, ComposerLyricist - A. Ritter, Unknown, Other, ComposerLyricist - Boi-1da, Producer - Stephen "Di Genius" Mcgregor, Producer, Additional Producer - ALLEN RITTER, Producer, Co-Producer - Noah "40" Shebib, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Greg Moffett, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Harley Arsenault, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Michael Peter Olson, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Ryan "Scotian Potion" Daly, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Garfield Riley, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2016 Young Money Entertainment/Cash Money Records

11
You Don't Love Me (No, No, No) (Album Version)
Rihanna Music Of The Sun 00:04:19

Carl Sturken, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Programmer, AssociatedPerformer - Evan Rogers, Producer - ELLAS MCDANIEL, ComposerLyricist - Rihanna, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Vybz Kartel, FeaturedArtist - Dawn Penn, ComposerLyricist - Al Hemberger, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Willie Cobbs, ComposerLyricist - Dwayne Richard Chin-Quee, Producer, Co-Producer

℗ 2005 Def Jam Recordings, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Major Lazer, MainArtist - Amber of Dirty Projectors, FeaturedArtist

2013 Major Lazer LLC. under exclusive license to Because Music 2013 Major Lazer LLC. under exclusive license to Because Music

13
Too Good
Drake Views 00:04:23

Aubrey Drake Graham, ComposerLyricist - Dwayne "Supa Dups" Chin-Quee, Producer, Additional Producer - Rihanna, FeaturedArtist - Drake, MainArtist - D. Chin-Quee, Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - R Fenty, ComposerLyricist - Noah "40" Shebib, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Noel Cadastre, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - P. Jefferies, Drum Programmer, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Lindsay Warner, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Maneesh Bidaye, Unknown, Other, ComposerLyricist - Greg Moffett, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Harley Arsenault, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul "Nineteen85" Jefferies, Producer - Beverly Crandon, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - A. Sutherland, ComposerLyricist - A. Hershey, ComposerLyricist - Randall Adam Martin, Unknown, Other, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2016 Young Money Entertainment/Cash Money Records

14
Lean On (feat. MØ & DJ Snake)
Major Lazer Peace Is the Mission 00:02:56

Major Lazer, Performer - Thomas Pentz, Composer - Karen Orsted, Composer - William Griachine, Composer - Charles Flores Jr, Composer

Mad Decent under exclusive license to Because Music Mad Decent under exclusive license to Because Music

15
One Dance
Drake Views 00:02:53

Noah Shebib, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kyla, FeaturedArtist - Drake, MainArtist - Aubrey Graham, ComposerLyricist - Errol Reid, ComposerLyricist - N. Shebib, ComposerLyricist - Wizkid, Producer, Co-Producer, FeaturedArtist - Ryan Daly, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Noah "40" Shebib, Producer, Co-Producer - Paul Jefferies, Unknown, Other, ComposerLyricist - Nineteen85, Producer - Ayodeji Balogun, ComposerLyricist - Kyla Smith, ComposerLyricist - Logan Sama, Co-Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Greg Moffett, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Harley Arsenault, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Luke Patrick Reid, ComposerLyricist - Corey Bruce Johnson, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2016 Young Money/Cash Money Records

16
Mercy (Album Version (Explicit))
Kanye West Mercy 00:05:29

Mike Dean, ComposerLyricist - Terrence Thornton, ComposerLyricist - Tauheed Epps, ComposerLyricist - Sean Anderson, ComposerLyricist - Winston Riley, ComposerLyricist - Kanye West, Producer, Additional Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Noah Goldstein, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Pusha T, FeaturedArtist - Anthony Kilhoffer, Mixer, Additional Keyboards, Recording Engineer, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - James Thomas, ComposerLyricist - Hudson Mohawke, Additional Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Big Sean, FeaturedArtist - 2 Chainz, FeaturedArtist - Denzie Beagle, ComposerLyricist - Reggie Williams, ComposerLyricist - Stepan Taft, ComposerLyricist - Anthony Khan, ComposerLyricist - Willie Hansbro, ComposerLyricist - Herbert Turner, ComposerLyricist - Lifted, Producer

℗ 2012 Getting Out Our Dreams, Inc./The Island Def Jam Music Group

17
Pon de Replay (Album Version)
Rihanna Music Of The Sun 00:04:06

Carl Sturken, Producer, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Evan Rogers, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Vada Nobles, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Alisha Brooks, ComposerLyricist - Rihanna, Vocals, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Blake Douglas, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Jason Groucott, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Al Hemberger, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jason Agel, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Roy Matthews, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Val Brathwaite, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2005 Def Jam Recordings, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

18
Here Comes the King
Snoop Dogg Reincarnated (Deluxe Version) 00:03:24

Snoop Lion feat. Angela Hunte, Performer - Calvin Broadus, Composer - Calvin Broadus, Lyricist - Angela Hunte, Composer - Angela Hunte, Lyricist - Major Lazer, Producer - Ariel Rechtshaid, Composer - Ariel Rechtshaid, Engineer - Ariel Rechtshaid, Lyricist - Ariel Rechtshaid, Producer - Thomas Pentz, Composer - Thomas Pentz, Lyricist - 6Blocc, Producer - James Wisner, Engineer - Raoul Gonzalez, Composer - Raoul Gonzalez, Lyricist - Neil Pogue, Mixing Engineer - Kevin Seaton, Producer - Nick Rowe, Editor - Chris Gehringer, Mastering Engineer

(P) 2012 Berhane Sound System

19
Break It Off (feat. Rihanna)
Sean Paul The Trinity [New Super Premium Digital Bundle] 00:03:34

Sean Paul, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Rihanna, Writer, FeaturedArtist - Tom Coyne, Mastering Engineer - Lester Mendez, Producer, Arranger - Jeremy Harding, Audio Recording Engineer - Don Corleon, Producer, Writer, Mixing Engineer, All Instruments, Audio Recording Engineer - Kirk FORD, Writer

© 2006 Atlantic Recording Corporation for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States ℗ 2005 Atlantic Recording Corporation for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States.

20
Torn Apart
Snoop Dogg Reincarnated (Deluxe Version) 00:03:30

Snoop Lion feat. Rita Ora, Performer - Calvin Broadus, Composer - Calvin Broadus, Lyricist - Angela Hunte, Composer - Angela Hunte, Lyricist - Major Lazer, Producer - Ariel Rechtshaid, Composer - Ariel Rechtshaid, Lyricist - Ariel Rechtshaid, Producer - Thomas Pentz, Composer - Thomas Pentz, Lyricist - Luca Pretolesi, Mixing Engineer - John Hill, Composer - John Hill, Lyricist - John Hill, Producer - Chris "Bronski" Jablonski, Engineer - Kevin Seaton, Producer - Nick Rowe, Editor - Chris Gehringer, Mastering Engineer - David Taylor, Composer - David Taylor, Lyricist

(P) 2013 Berhane Sound System

21
Night Riders (feat. Travi$ Scott, 2 Chainz, Pusha T & Mad Cobra)
Major Lazer Peace Is the Mission 00:03:53

Major Lazer, Performer

Mad Decent under exclusive license to Because Music Mad Decent under exclusive license to Because Music

22
I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times)
Jamie xx I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times) 00:03:34

Tom Elmhirst, Mixer - Ted Daryll, ComposerLyricist - Mandy Parnell, Engineer - Jamie Smith, Composer, Producer, Engineer, AssociatedPerformer - Popcaan, FeaturedArtist - Joe Visciano, Engineer - Young Thug, FeaturedArtist - Alex Tumay, Engineer - Jamie xx, MainArtist - Andrae Jay Sutherland, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Jeffery Lamar Wiliams, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist

2015 Young 2015 Young

23
Light It Up (feat. Nyla)
Major Lazer Peace Is the Mission 00:03:18

Major Lazer, Performer

Mad Decent under exclusive license to Because Music Mad Decent under exclusive license to Because Music

24
Here I Go Again (Album Version)
Rihanna Music Of The Sun 00:04:10

Carl Sturken, Producer, Keyboards, Programmer, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Evan Rogers, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Rihanna, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andrew Thompson, ComposerLyricist - Al Hemberger, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - J-Status, FeaturedArtist - R Fenty, ComposerLyricist - Andrew Barwise, ComposerLyricist - Byron Barwise, ComposerLyricist - Oraine Stewart, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2005 Def Jam Recordings, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

25
If It's Lovin' That You Want (Album Version)
Rihanna Music Of The Sun 00:03:26

Makeba Riddick, Producer, Additional Producer, ComposerLyricist - Carl Sturken, Producer, Additional Producer - Evan Rogers, Producer, Additional Producer - Samuel Barnes, ComposerLyricist - Matt Noble, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lawrence Parker, ComposerLyricist - Scott Larock, ComposerLyricist - Spanador, Producer, Co-Producer - Rihanna, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jason Goldstein, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Al Hemberger, Additional Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alaxsander Mosely, ComposerLyricist - Jean-Claude Oliver, ComposerLyricist - Poke & Tone, Producer

℗ 2005 Def Jam Recordings, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

26
Get Busy (Album Version)
Sean Paul Dutty Rock 00:03:32

Sean Paul, Executive Producer, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Murray Elias, Executive Producer - Jeremy Harding, Executive Producer - Christopher Chin, Executive Producer - Paul Shields, Mastering Engineer - Steve Marsden, Producer, Writer

© 2002 Atlantic Recording Corporation for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States. ℗ 2002 Atlantic Recording Corporation for the United States and WEA International for the world outside of the United States

27
It Wasn't Me (Album Version)
Shaggy The Boombastic Collection - Best Of Shaggy 00:03:47

Lee Oskar, ComposerLyricist - Howard Scott, ComposerLyricist - Orville Burrell, ComposerLyricist - Shaggy, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Lonnie Jordan, ComposerLyricist - Sylvester Thomas Allen, ComposerLyricist - Charles Miller, ComposerLyricist - Shaun "Sting" Pizzonia, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Ricardo Ducent, Vocals, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Morris Dewayne Dickerson, ComposerLyricist - Brian Thompson, ComposerLyricist - Harold Ray Brown, ComposerLyricist - Shaun Pizzonla, Producer

℗ 2000 Geffen Records

28
Overcome
Various Artists Diwali 00:03:32

Wayne Marshall, MainArtist

© 2002 Greensleeves Records ℗ 2002 Greensleeves Records

Major Lazer, MainArtist - Busy Signal, The Flexican & FS Green, FeaturedArtist

2013 Major Lazer LLC. under exclusive license to Because Music 2013 Major Lazer LLC. under exclusive license to Because Music

30
Can't Stop Now
Major Lazer Guns Don't Kill People...Lazers Do 00:04:03

Mr. Vegas, FeaturedArtist - Diplo, Composer - Switch, Composer - Major Lazer, MainArtist - Jovi Rockwell, FeaturedArtist

2009 Downtown Records, under exclusive licence to V2 records international trading as Cooperative Music 2009 Downtown Records, under exclusive licence to V2 records international trading as Cooperative Music

31
Sufferer
Various Artists Diwali 00:03:01

Bounty Killer, MainArtist

© 2002 Greensleeves Records ℗ 2002 Greensleeves Records

32
Light It Up (Remix)
Various Artists 2016 Dance Hits 00:02:47

Vibe2Vibe, Performer - D.Malcolm, Composer, Lyricist - N. Thorbourne, Composer, Lyricist - P.Fender, Composer, Lyricist - P.Meckseper, Composer, Lyricist - S.Swift, Composer, Lyricist - T. Pentz, Composer, Lyricist

2016 iDownload Pty Ltd 2016 iDownload Pty Ltd

33
Xm24
Various Artists Diwali 00:03:16

Lenky, MainArtist

© 2002 Greensleeves Records ℗ 2002 Greensleeves Records

34
Diplo Rhythm
Diplo F10RIDA 00:04:53

Diplo, Primary

2014 Big Dada

35
Shape of You
Ed Sheeran ÷ 00:03:54

Kandi Burruss, Writer - Kevin Briggs, Writer - Tameka Cottle, Writer - Steve Mac, Producer, Keyboards, Writer - Chris Laws, Drums, Engineer - Stuart Hawkes, Masterer - Mark "Spike" Stent, Mixer - Ed Sheeran, Guitar, Percussion, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist, CoProducer - Johnny McDaid, Writer - Michael Freeman, Mixer - Dann Pursey, Engineer - Travis Cole, Backing Vocals - Wayne Hernandez, Backing Vocals - Geoff Swan, Mixer - Joe Rubel, Engineer - Geo Gabriel, Backing Vocals

© 2017 Asylum Records UK, a division of Atlantic Records UK, a Warner Music Group company. ℗ 2017, Asylum Records UK, a division of Atlantic Records UK, a Warner Music Group company.

About Playlist

Since 2015, the stars of American music have been infusing their hits with dancehall reggae, from Justin Bieber to Kanye West by way of Beyoncé, Rihanna, Drake, Miley Cyrus and Snoop Dogg. This selection highlights the way this Jamaican wave, unleashed by obscure studio men and high-profile media personalities, has influenced modern pop.

Reggaeton in 10 Albums

by Smaël Bouaici

A combination of Jamaican dancehall, American hip-hop, Caribbean rhythms and Spanish wit, reggaeton has, since its birth in the early 90s, shaken the world of pop music time and time again. From DJ Playero’s first mixtapes to Daddy Yankee’s “Barrio Fino” and Don Chezina’s “Tra-Tra-Tra, Puerto Rican musicians and their Colombian counterparts in Medellin have done their utmost to take over the world. In the last decade, they have done just that thanks to artists such as Luis Fonsi, J. Balvin and Bad Bunny. Read on for 10 of the genre’s most important albums. Reggaeton won’t be going anywhere any time soon.

Luis Fonsi - Vida (2019)

Before Despacito (featuring reggaeton pioneer Daddy Yankee) made him into a global superstar, Luis Fonsi was somewhat of an anomaly on the Puerto Rican reggaeton scene. Born on the island, he grew up in Orlando, Florida where he began singing doo-wop with his classmate Joey Fatone, future member of the boyband band NSYNC. In 2002, he released his first English-language album Fight the Feeling and was invited to join Britney Spears as support for her Dream Within a Dream tour. The experience opened the artist up spiritually and helped him to modernise the romantic Spanish ballad, a genre Fonsi merged with rock, pop, R&B and, of course, reggaeton influences. The release of Despacito, produced by the duo Mauricio Rengifo/Andrés Torres and carried by an arpeggio played on a cuatro (Puerto Rico’s national instrument) was a logical next step for Luis Fonsi. Two years later, his ninth album Vida, which also included the hit single for those who had already forgotten it, was cut from a similar cloth cloth mixing dance-pop à la Major Lazer, R&B, dancehall (Calypso with London-based rapper Stefflon Don) and even a hint of drum’n’bass on Tanto Para Nada. After such a diverse roster, the successor to Despacito shouldn’t be long in the waiting.


Bad Bunny - YHLQMDLG (2020)

Like many artists in his generation, Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio started his career on SoundCloud and soon made the grade with his first hit Soy Peor in 2016 featuring his nonchalant flow on top of a trap beat. His first album X 100pre (por siempre, forever) followed the year after. Some heavyweights from the American pop scene joined the bill: Drake, features on Mia as he walks down the streets of San Juan in the music video, while Diplo produces 200 MPH. Both features insured unprecedented exposure for the new Puerto Rican star. Bad Bunny often keeps himself busy and, in May 2018, he featured on Cardi B’s hit cover of I Like It as well as J. Balvin’s album Oasis. Bad Bunny topped it all off in February 2020 with YHLQMDLG, a 20 track album which saw him return to reggaeton’s roots (including collaborations with the producer Tainy on Yo Perreo Sola and Daddy Yankee on La Santa) while still managing keep things fresh. And, given the billions of streams the album racked up, he knows what the people want.

 

J. Balvin & Bad Bunny - Oasis (2019)

Here was the ultimate reggaeton collaboration. In September 2018, when Colombian idol J. Balvin announced that he was to release a duo album with Puerto Rican rising star Bad Bunny (nine years his younger) the entire Latin American world shook with excitement. The excitement was further fuelled by the fact that the duo had released two months earlier their hit remake of Pete Rodriguez’s salsa classic I Like It Like That by Cardi B. One year later, the reggaeton world was still shaking from the album’s eight hit tracks. Reggaeton had been blasted into another dimension. J. Balvin and Bad Bunny then went on to recruit Nigerian production duo Legendury Beatz, who provided afro-pop colours to a more contemporary backdrop on Como Un Bébé, featuring afrobeat great Mr Eazi. Like never before, the Puerto Rican style met an array of different genre album from futuristic R&B on La Cancion to charged American trap beats on Yo Le Logon while Mojaita, with its 90s New York hip-hop flavours, sounds very much like a nod towards reggaeton’s roots. Oasis marked a new chapter for J. Balvin and Bad Bunny.

 

Maluma - Pretty Boy, Dirty Boy (2015)

Following J. Balvin’s initial success, reggaeton’s Colombian branch stepped up and called on its reinforcements. Like his reggaeton predecessors, Maluma was born in Medellin. For a long time, he struggled to decide whether he would pursue a career in football or in music. After a turbulent journey, the singer finally made a name for himself in 2015 with the very evocatively titled album Pretty Boy, Dirty Boy, a record which gives pride of place to Jamaican reggae influences as seen on the single Borro Cassette, inspired by Barrington Levy’s classic Black Roses. Maluma alternates between sharp flows and melodic lines on some heart-breaking but magically formulated minor-key orchestrations. And like J. Balvin, (with whom he has collaborated with since 2012 when they released Flow Mátalo) Maluma infuses his reggaeton with salsa, cumbia, hip-hop and even house influences as heard on his most recent 2020 hit Qué Chimba. Such versatility convinced Madonna to invite him to provide some Latino colours to her latest album Madame X in 2019. The invite was yet more proof of reggaeton’s influence on modern pop as well as a ticket for Maluma into music’s hall of fame.

 

J. Balvin - Vibras (2018)

J. Balvin’s journey to fame wasn’t without its struggles. After twiddling his thumbs for several years on the Medellin underground with fellow musician DJ David Rivera Mazo, he finally released his debut album Real under EMI Colombia. The album was a dud and pushed him to change tack in terms of production on his following album La Familia, which was a huge hit at the 2015 Billboard Latin Music Awards. Now free from his constraints, J. Balvin released Energia in June 2016 which was followed one year later (again strategically positioned before summer) with Vibras, which contained the hit Mi Gente. The record propelled him and reggaeton to the top of the streaming charts ahead of Drake and Justin Bieber but just behind Ed Sheeran. After having accumulated billions of views on YouTube and dethroned pop stars like Beyoncé, Pharrell Williams and Pitbull, he never abandoned his roots. Not long after picked up a Latin Grammy award for Vibras in November 2018, he dropped his new single Reggaetón with a clip featuring him wearing a t-shirt of Daddy Yankee while paying homage to pioneers from Puerto Rico like Nicky Jam, Don Omar, Ivy Queen, Tego Calderón and Wisin & Yandel.

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