The 59th Grammy® nominees have been announced, and a strong contingent of Jamaican musicians are shining as contenders. Whether it is artists nominated for Best Reggae Album or classic reggae songs being resurrected in today’s popular music, there is no denying the country’s musical impact on the current climate.
This year’s Grammy® nominees for Best Reggae Album include the island’s emerging artists like Raging Fyah and Devin Di Dakta & J.L. as well as heritage acts like Ziggy Marley and Sly & Robbie (who produced Devin Di Dakta & J.L.’s album). American artists like Rebelution, SOJA and J Boog make up the rest of the selections for the category and prove that the genre’s message and influence has no boundaries.
A slice of Jamaica is also present in many of this year’s high-profile nominations, who have sampled iconic riddims or songs. Rihanna’s single “Work” featuring Drake revitalizes the 1998 Sail Away Riddim (produced Richie Stephens and Mikey 2000) and has received nominations for Record Of The Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. Steven Michael Marsden (Lenky), who helped pen Tanto Metro & Devonte’s “Everyone Falls In Love” off the Up Close & Personal Riddim (produced by Penthouse Records), holds a Best R&B Song nod for Tory Lanez’ “Luv” since the track’s hook uses a piece of the 1998 anthem. Also, Drake’s Views, which earned an Album Of The Year nomination, is heavy with the island’s influence sampling Beenie Man’s 1995 song “Tear Off Mi Garment” on “Controlla”and Mavado’s 2006 hit “Dying” featuring Serani on “9.”
VP Records CEO Chris Chin congratulates Jamaica and everyone who played a role in making the music reach new heights. “Reggae music has come a long way and is here to stay. Through this evolution, it is our responsibility to make sure we preserve Jamaica’s culture in all facets of music with integrity.”
The 59th Annual Grammys® will air live from Los Angeles’ Staples Center on Feb. 12th, 2017 at 8 p.m. ET. on CBS.