Sean Paul claims Justin Bieber and Drake ‘don’t understand’ dancehall

Genre pioneer hits out at artists who don’t credit dancehall’s influence

Sean Paul has attacked Drake and Justin Bieber for appropriating dancehall music without understanding the genre.

Bieber’s hit ‘Sorry’ and Drake tracks including ‘Views From The Six’ incorporate dancehall, but have failed to acknowledge its influence.

Paul, who headlines Bestival this weekend, told The Guardian: “It’s a sore point when people like Drake or Bieber or other artists come and do dancehall-orientated music, but don’t credit where dancehall came from and don’t necessarily understand it.”


The singer, whose hits include ‘Breathe’ and ‘Gimme The Light’, added: “A lot of people get upset and sour. I know artists back in Jamaica who don’t like Major Lazer, as they think they do the same thing Drake and Kanye did – they take and take and don’t credit.”

Paul said that it was hard for original dancehall artists like Jamie xx collaborator Popcaan to find success in the US, as they were barred from entering the country for marijuana offences.

The singer acknowledged that dancehall had been adapted with other genres for hits such as ‘Lean On’ by Major Lazer. While dismissing the idea of tropical house as being just another name for dancehall, Paul said: “Dancehall is back, but this time it’s also infused with Afrobeat, hip-hop, trap – and that’s fine with me.”