Bam
by Jay-Z (featuring Damian Marley)

Album: 4:44 (2017)
Charted: 47

Songfacts®:

  • Jay-Z links up with reggae star Damian Marley for this cut. Jay told iHeart Radio: "The song 'Bam' with Damian Marley, it's just jammin', it's just like the song. But it's secretly Shawn Carter saying, 'Man, you need a bit of ego.' It was because of me and the things that I've done, this is JAY-Z saying you needed a bit of ego for us to arrive at this point."
  • Damian Marley has form collaborating with hip hop stars. Back in 2010, he recorded Distant Relatives, a collaboration album with rapper Nas.
  • No I.D's production borrows multiple elements from Sister Nancy's 1982 track "Bam Bam" and during the hook he samples Jacob Miller's 1976 cut "Tenement Yard."
  • Sister Nancy's "Bam Bam" is one of the most sampled and remixed reggae tunes of all time. According to a 2017 article by NME, its hookline had been borrowed an estimated 73 times starting with Main Source who utilized it for their 1991 cut "Just Hangin Out."

    Among the many other songs that the dancehall legend's reggae staple has showed up in are Lauryn Hill's "Lost Ones," Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth's "The Basement" and Kanye West's "Famous."
  • The six-minute video was directed by Rohan Blair-Mangat, who previously worked on visuals for Bryson Tiller's "Exchange" and dvsn's "Too Deep." The clip documents Jay-Z's trip to Jamaica, where he recorded the song at Damian Marley's recording studio.

    Sister Nancy also makes an appearance. "Good music it will last," she says about her sampled tune. "It won't go nowhere. Even when I'm gone where I'm supposed to go, my daughter will be able to say, 'That's mommy's Bam Bam.'"
  • Speaking to NME about being sampled by both West and Jay-Z, Sister Nancy said: "When I heard [West] do it I just thought: 'Well, that's good for me.' Whatever way he takes it, it's very good for me because it keeps me moving. Do you know what I'm saying? It keeps me working. Then Jay-Z did the same thing. It's a blessing."

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