Here Comes The Hotstepper

Album: Here Comes The Hotstepper (1995)
Charted: 4 1
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This party starter is the only hit for the Jamaican reggae singer Ini Kamoze. "The Hotstepper" is his nickname; it's a Jamaican term for a man on the run from the law. Kamoze, though, is a lyrical gangster committing metaphorical murder, unlike the American gangsta rappers whose bars were more literal and menacing. In this context, the song comes off as fun and uplifting - it's hard to be scared of a man who rhymes "extraordinary" with "strawberry."
  • The "na-na-na-na-na" chorus is sampled from Cannibal And The Headhunters' version of "Land Of 1,000 Dances."
  • The bass line is sampled from Taana Gardner's 1981 song "Heartbeat." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Robin - Birmingham, AL
  • Fats Domino received royalties from this because he's credited as a co-author on "Land Of 1,000 Dances," a credit he was given in exchange for recording the song.
  • This was featured in Robert Altman's film Ready To Wear (Pret-a-Porter).
  • Ini Kamoze's name means "Mountain of the true God." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Brad Wind - Miami, FL, for above 2
  • After some success as a reggae artist with Sly & Robbie on Island Records, Kamoze's career had hit rock bottom by the early 1990s. He began crafting this song as a comeback late 1992 and he realized it would fare better in a non-reggae format. He turned to producer Salaam Remi for help. Kamoze recalled to Mojo magazine February 2009: "Salaam Remi's parents are from Barbados, but he was just into hip-hop and was working with the Fugees. I wanted to set the lyrics to a beat that would be played on mainstream radio, as I was always wondering, why is Ini Kamoze not being played behind Michael Jackson or Madonna? It was a serious effort to do something different, but the song was written about three years before it came out, because we couldn't get record companies to buy into the idea."

Comments: 5

  • Paul Osman from Liverpool, England.This song samples "Land Of 1000 Dances"by Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew.
  • Observant from UsAt 00:39 seconds he clearly says "anyone PRESS will hear the fat lady sing".
    At 2:25 he VERY clearly says "anyone TEST will hear the fat lady sing".
    He clearly says a different word each time he says that line. If it were TEST both times, they would sound the same, but they very clearly sound different. And if you watch the video, you can see him actually saying "PRESS" the first time.
  • Lucas Soares from Brazil"World a Reggae" is a great song, perhaps less successful than this hit from the publication, but in my opinion it is the best song by this singer.
  • Bertrand from Paris, FranceSelected to play a key role on the soundtrack for Robert Altman's exploration of the fashion world in the movie [i] Pret-a-Porter [i], "Here Comes the Hotstepper" brought dancehall, a sug-genre of reggae, into the mainstream. It remains one of the most catchy songs of the mid-1990's. "Hotstepper" is a Jamaican term for a man on the run from the law.
  • Sum Sum from New Delhi, IndiaIni Kamoze Ini Kamoze was born October 9th 1957 at Port Maria in the parish of St.
    .The title track of Here Comes the Hotstepper was Ini Kamoze's big pop crossover
    hit. People came to know him from this song.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Gentle Giant

Gentle GiantSongwriter Interviews

If counterpoint and polyrhythms are your thing, you might love these guys. Even by Progressive Rock standards, they were one of the most intricate bands of the '70s. Then their lead singer gave us Bon Jovi.

Waiting For The Break of Day: Three Classic Songs About All-Nighters

Waiting For The Break of Day: Three Classic Songs About All-NightersSong Writing

These Three famous songs actually describe how they were written - late into the evening.

Fire On The Stage

Fire On The StageSong Writing

When you have a song called "Fire," it's tempting to set one - these guys did.

Terry Jacks ("Seasons in the Sun")

Terry Jacks ("Seasons in the Sun")Songwriter Interviews

Inspired by his dear friend, "Seasons in the Sun" paid for Terry's boat, which led him away from music and into a battle with Canadian paper mills.

Kristian Bush of Sugarland

Kristian Bush of SugarlandSongwriter Interviews

Kristian talks songwriting technique, like how the chorus should redefine the story, and how to write a song backwards.

The Girl in That Song

The Girl in That SongFact or Fiction

Billie Jean, Delilah, Sara, Laura and Sharona - do you know who the girls in the songs really are?