Pon de Floor

Album: Guns Don't Kill People... Lazers Do (2009)

Songfacts®:

  • The second single from Major Lazer's first studio album, Guns Don't Kill People... Lazers Do, this was written by the Major Lazer duo with Dutch producer Afrojack. The vocals were supplied by Jamaican reggae dancehall recording artist Vybz Kartel.
  • The song title is Jamaican dialect translating to "upon the floor," which is where Major Lazer want the people in the club to be.
  • Don't expect Kartel to pop up on any new recordings for a while. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2014 for the murder of his associate Clive 'Lizard' Williams.
  • "Pon" was sampled by Beyoncé on her 2011 single, "Run the World (Girls). Beyoncé's song was produced by then Major Lazer member Switch. The other member of the duo, Diplo, also worked with Beyoncé on the accompanying album, but wasn't credited on "Run The World."
  • It was Beyoncé's sampling of the track which convinced Major Lazer that they could have mainstream radio success without compromising their sound. "'Pon De Floor' was never a big hit, it was kinda underground," Diplo told NME in 2016. "It took two years for somebody else to put it on the radio. It made us think: 'Why are we doing all this stuff for other people and then waiting a year to get sampled? Let's just be trendsetters on the radio.' We realised that no one's got an edge with reggae and dancehall, and it's such a massive undercurrent."
  • The video was directed by Eric Wareheim, one half of the comedy duo Tim and Eric and also the director behind clips for the likes of MGMT, Charli XCX and Flying Lotus.

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