Twenty-six years after its release, Ghetto People Song by Everton Blender still gets the faithful pumped up at his shows and in dances. But the veteran roots singer says he has never earned from the song which has been sampled by high-riding Moroccan hip hop artiste French Montana.
Higher by French Montana and American producer Harry Fraud was released on June 27. It features Blender’s distinctive wail throughout the track which is lead single from Montega, the duo’s joint album which came out last week.
Ghetto People Song is one of several singles on the Lalibela rhythm, released in 1996. It is produced by Tony Rebel for Flames Productions.
Blender told the Jamaica Observer that he first heard Higher four days ago and was impressed.
“Mi feel real good ‘cause wi neva did a get di right recognition, but now it gone to a different level. One thing dem shoulda sey is ‘featuring Everton Blender’, but otherwise mi feel good,” he said.
Blender added that, although he is upset at never benefiting financially from Ghetto People Song, there is no animosity. He is confident Higher will change that.
“Is it wi a work pon, wi have wi lawyer looking at it, but mi jus’ want di song gwaan swell up. Right now, wi naah fight it ‘cause Jah a guh mek it happen ‘cause wi earn it,” said Blender.
Ghetto People Song was one of three big hits from the Lalibela. The others are Tony Rebel’s If Jah is Standing by my Side and Are You Satisfied by Ras Shiloh.
Blender co-wrote Ghetto People Song along with Tony Rebel and Steve Lindo. It was among the songs used by the Jamaica Football Federation during the Reggae Boyz’ home matches on their historic qualification for the 1998 World Cup in France.
The Clarendon-born Blender (real name Everton Williams) was part of the roots-reggae revival of the 1990s led by Tony Rebel, Garnet Silk, and Yasus Afari. His hit songs during the early stages of that decade were Lift up Your Head, Family Man, and Create A Sound.
French Montana is one of hip hop’s flamboyant figures. He has made a name working with high-profile rappers/label owners such as Diddy, Rick Ross, and DJ Khaled.
His hit songs include Unforgettable, Shot Caller (with Harry Fraud), Freaks (with Nicki Minaj), and Ain’t Worried About Nothin’.