Two decades of Dutty Rock
Sean Paul

The Jamaica Observer’s Entertainment Desk continues with the 42nd of its biweekly feature looking at seminal moments that have helped shape Jamaica over the past 60 years.

Dutty Rock, the Grammy-winning sophomore album by Sean Paul which broke ground in the United States and Europe, turns 20 this year.

Released on November 12, 2002, the original version of the album featured 23 tracks. However, a re-released version with a few additional tracks was released in late 2003 and featured the chart-topping collaboration Baby Boy with Beyonce.

In an interview with Billboard magazine earlier this year, Sean explained the inspiration behind Dutty Rock.

"We wanted to make it [the album] as close to what it was growing up, which was house parties in Jamaica. We just had backyards and mango trees with the moonlight, you know what I mean?"

He added, "I wanted to write songs that Jamaicans would like. I was hungry for them to feel what I feel when I hear those tracks, and it reminds me of being on the dance floor getting that first whine."

Gimme the Light, the first single from Dutty Rock, was a summer hit. Produced by Troyton Rami, it was first featured on the Buzz riddim album. The song took off stateside making the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Like Glue was the second single and it became Sean Paul's first single to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Produced by Tony "CD" Kelly, it has been certified platinum in the United States, the United Kingdom, Norway and in Canada.

The collaboration with Sasha, I'm Still in Love with You became, was a Top 15 hit in the United States, so too Like Glue. Like Glue has racked up gold certification in the United Kingdom and in Canada.

Dutty Rock was the first album by a Jamaican dancehall artiste or a Jamaican artiste for that matter to score four top 10 hits in the United Kingdom.

The album topped the Billboard Reggae Albums chart and opened at number nine on the Billboard 200 albums chart with first week sales of 65,000 copies, the highest debut and biggest first week numbers for a Jamaican artiste.

Dutty Rock also scored big on charts in the United Kingdom (certified 3x platinum), Canada (3x platinum), gold in Argentina, Australia, Austria, France, Denmark, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and Sweden. It was certified platinum in Japan and Germany.

Among the collaborators on Dutty Rock were Chico, Ce'Cile, Debi Nova, Rahzel, Busta Rhymes, Tony Touch, and Fahrenheit.

Lloyd "King Jammys" James, Delroy "Delly Ranks" Foster, Sly Dunbar, Tony Kelly, Richard "Richie D" Martin, Jeremy Harding, Louis "Flabba" Malcolm, and Pharrell Williams are among those who produced tracks on the album.

Dutty Rock has sold more than 2.9 million copies in the United States and more than 4,000,000 copies outside of the US.

Kevin Jackson

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