Dancehall communities across the world went into a frenzy after Kanye West’s latest album Donda was released earlier today with Shenseea featured on two songs. She was one of two Jamaican Dancehall stars on the 26-track album.
The Be Good singer, who was seen at West’s Chicago listening event on Thursday, was revealed to be featured on the outro of track 21, Pure Souls, which also features rapper Roddy Rich.
“I can only trust in him, truth the only thing you get away with…He know every side of you…they could never hide from you,” she sang melodiously on the track, produced by West, 88 Keys, Bastian Volkel, BoogzDaBeast, Fyaman, Ojivolta, Shuko, and Sucuki.
But her credits on the album went beyond singing adlibs on Pure Souls, as she also appears on a second song, Ok Ok part 2—track 25 and one of the more upbeat songs on West’s 10th studio album.
West sings, “Price went up, angel investor” as he introduces Shenseea the DJ on the song. “Nuh trust any and any man, pre dem and me play along, watch how dem a play me song suddenly dem tun a fan,” she sings over the Boi-1da, Kanye West and Louis Bell’s beat.
In her classic raspy braggadocious form, Shenseea cements her identity as a dancehall pop singer on a hip-hop lineup. It was obvious that her vocals were well-produced, as she sings “Aim with precision fi number one position”, matching Kanye’s soulfulness with her freshness.
Shenseea’s A&R Dizzy, in a since-deleted comment on IG last week, said that it was her Crocodile Teeth freestyle performance on Hot 97 that led to her appearance on West’s album and its third listening party. Whatever the reason, her representation on what some are already hailing as a classic album is commendable. It is one more feather in her hat as she takes on the international market with her music and upcoming debut album.
Shenseea posted on her IG story today “@kanyewest Thank you for believing in me…Donda”. She also tweeted, “Kanye!!! I’m forever grateful!!! #DONDA is out now!!!”.
Reggae/Dancehall star Buju Banton is also featured on track 10, Believe What I Say.
Collaborating with dancehall acts is not new for Kanye West. Some of his biggest hit records were made using Jamaican talent. In 2012 on his Cruel Summer album he sampled two dancehall hits: Dust A Sound Boy by Super Beagle and Reggie Stepper Cu Unuh with vocals from the late Fuzzy Jones for his grammy-nominated hit Mercy. The song went to No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and hit number one on both the US Billboard Hot Rap Songs and Hot R&B/HipHop Songs Chart and has since been certified quadruple platinum. Both Complex and Spin Magazine named Mercy the best song of 2012. Mercy also won record of the year at the XXL awards, Ascap and BMI awards and Best Hip Hop Song at the Soul Train Awards.