While J-Lo, Rihanna, and Bruno Mars have opted for Reggae and Dancehall inspired pop music tracks for their latest radio hits, Rhythm & Blues singer Teairra Mari boldly went to the core of Jamaica's music scene for the racy "Pum Pum Shorts" single. Dancehall superstar Mr. Vegas paired the pop music siren with Soul Train's Reggae Artist of the year Gyptian, for a drum and bass filled track that is 100% Dancehall. The "Pum Pum Shorts" video debuted on World Star Hip Hop on Friday, racking up over 5 million views in 3 days. "Pum Pum Shorts" will be available on iTunes in the coming weeks.
"Pum Pum Shorts," produced by Rohan 'Snowcone' Fuller, the mastermind behind Sean Paul's Billboard-topping platinum hit "Temperature," is a spicy single dedicated to what the urban dictionary defines as "extremely short shorts - short enough to be panties." The video features women of all shapes and sizes strutting their stuff in uber tiny shorts, with Mr. Vegas rapping "me love gyal inna pum pum shorts, look how it a show off them phat parts," while Teairra Mari, clad in tiny black leather shorts and dominatrix-style top sings "I put 'em on, you can take 'em off." The chorus, sung by Gyptian whose single "Hold Yuh" featuring Nicki Minaj peaked at #3 on Billboard Heatseekers chart in 2010, is reminiscent of the Screechy Dan and Red Fox 1991 street anthem "Pose Off."
Teairra Mari scored her first hit, "Make Her Feel Good" on Def Jam Records at the age of 16. Her debut album, Teairra Mari peaked at #5 on the Billboard Top 200 in 2005. She has released four well received mixtapes Don't Make Me Cause A Scene, Point of No Return, The Night Before X-Mas, and Now or Never.
Mr. Vegas, who scored several cross over singles including "Heads High," "Pull Up," "Hot Wuk," and "Gallis," is looking forward to another American hit with "Pum Pum Shorts" especially since Reggae/Dancehall is the genre du jour in American music.
"Reggae music is evolving, and it's time for Reggae to be a front runner," says Clifford "Mr. Vegas" Smith. "I am happy with the feedback on the video. In another few years, I think Reggae and Dancehall will be as popular as Dance and Techno music."
Dancehall has been infused in America's urban music culture since the early 1970's when Jamaican-born DJ Kool Herc created what would come to be known as Hip Hop music. KRS One, Johnny Gill, Missy Elliot, the Notorious B.I.G., Busta Rhymes and Janet Jackson are only a handful of American pop and hip hop icons that have incorporated Dancehall into their music over the years. Currently Bruno Mars's roots Reggae-tinged "Lazy Song", Rihanna's "Man Down", and Jennifer Lopez and Lil Wayne's Dancehall-loaded "I'm Into You" are in rotation on American pop and urban stations.
"People all over the world love Reggae and Dancehall music, it has a vibe that just grabs you right away," says Snowcone. "Dancehall has been a part of American Hip Hop from the beginning. Break beats, rapping, all of that came directly from Jamaican sound systems. It's no coincidence that Kool Herc is Jamaican. It's no surprise that Teairra Mari is singing on Dancehall track made by a Dancehall producer, with Dancehall artists - it's just a natural thing."