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Why Justin Bieber's bashment song hitting no. 1 is bittersweet

So, if you follow me on Twitter, you'll know I've been fully hoping for Justin Bieber 'Sorry' to hit number 1 in the UK (it's number 1 song in the world on Spotify too). I was fully annoyed Adele released 'Hello' because it was a sure fire number 1. Well, four weeks into its release it finally reached the summit of UK's best selling singles - without an official video (the online dance video of girls from New Zealand doing dancehall moves doesn't count). Instead of the one week it'll get before Adele reclaims the spot this week, who knows how long it would've held the top for.

This is the third time this year a mammoth song has kept a reggae or dancehall pop song off the top spot. R. City ('Locked Away') were kept at number 2 the week Sam Smith released his boring Bond song, likewise Omi 'Cheerleader' was kept off for about four weeks due to Charlie Puth 'See You Again' featuring Wiz Khalifa (no typo) being a tribute song from Fast and Furious whatever number they're at now. Omi managed to budge that song out of the way and reigned for about 3 weeks.

It's been a mad year for pop-viable dancehall and reggae songs. A fair few smash hits have benefited from the sounds created in West Kingston, Jamaica. I'll give a proper rundown at the end of the year as per usual, alongside my review of Jamaican dancehall and reggae music in 2015.

So yeah, while I'm here seeing the dancehall sound can top charts (albeit coming from pop's coolest pop star right now), I'm thinking about how the aforementioned Omi dropped the chance at becoming a main player because I believe Jamaicans lack the belief of dancehall as a sound (and culture) in the pop music game.

Omi's second single did exactly what I said shouldn't be done in my Don't Go Chasing Cheerleader post back in June. Don't get me wrong, Hula Hoop isn't a bad song at all (it's pretty good for what it is) but its an inferior 'Cheerleader'. On the day the audio dropped I tweeted that following your first hit with a soundalike is one of the easiest routes to becoming a one-hit wonder. The "chasing the dragon" theory. While it's done pretty well in some places like Australia and Sweden, but nothing near what the follow-up to one of the years biggest singles should have.

Omi tried so hard to stay away from being known as a reggae artist because he wanted to be a pop singer that he just became another 0/1 in the matrix. The one thing that would've differentiated him from the pack was looked upon as a hinderance rather than a unique selling point. This year, more than any, has been proof in the sweet potato pudding that the sounds of Jamaica are in demand from a global mainstream standpoint. (There's rumours about Jamaican music and features on Rihanna's new album too.)

I also thought it would've been a lot better with a Jamaican artist feature. The song is essentially a soca song but to everybody else its a pop/tropical house song. It's screaming for a Sean Paul feature to seal the Caribbean link. And never, ever think that Sean Paul is past it. He was on the biggest Latin single 'Bailando', Farruko's smash-hit 'Passion Whine' and the biggest selling afrobeats song in UK chart history 'Dangerous Love', as well as Timaya's 'Bum Bum' last year. He would've sold the song.

Back to Bieber, he took influence from Felix Jaehn's remix of 'Cheerleader' for 'What Do You Mean?' then slapped the follow-up with bashment. Indirectly showed him the way he should've done it with his own country's music. Never would've thought he would checkmate Omi like that.

It's a shame a Jamaican artist didn't benefit from taking a Jamaican-sounding song to number one. First Sean Paul left it for EDM (has since returned with the music fit for him today), Tessanne went straight pop ballad instead of reggae, now Omi's basically finished. All because they didn't see Jamaica as a viable selling point.

Once again, this isn't me hoping Jamaicans make music to chart, I want them to have faith in their product. That Jamaican music is good enough to transcend even at the "highest" height. But nothing can be done to change the past. Once again, I ask for Jamaican artists who get the opportunity to spread the music and culture, please do it. Bring the spotlight so the rest can tour and eat a food. The world loves it.


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