by Jay-Z (featuring Damian Marley)

Album: 4:44 (2017)
Charted: 47
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • 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."
Please sign in or register to post comments.


Be the first to comment...

Billy Gould of Faith No MoreSongwriter Interviews

Faith No More's bassist, Billy Gould, chats to us about his two new experimental projects, The Talking Book and House of Hayduk, and also shares some stories from the FNM days.

Boz ScaggsSongwriter Interviews

The "Lowdown" and "Lido Shuffle" singer makes a habit of playing with the best in the business.

Motley CrueFact or Fiction

Was Dr. Feelgood a dentist? Did the "Crüecifixion" really happen?

Harry ShearerSongwriter Interviews

Harry is Derek Smalls in Spinal Tap, Mark Shubb in The Folksmen, and Mr. Burns on The Simpsons.

Annie Haslam of RenaissanceSongwriter Interviews

The 5-octave voice of the classical rock band Renaissance, Annie is big on creative expression. In this talk, she covers Roy Wood, the history of the band, and where all the money went in the '70s.

James Williamson of Iggy & the StoogesSongwriter Interviews

The Stooges guitarist (and producer of the Kill City album) talks about those early recordings and what really happened with David Bowie.