Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Three Commercials featuring Ini Kamoze's 1994 Dancehall Hit Record "Here Comes The Hotstepper" (with explanation about what "hotstepper", "lyrical gangsta", & "murderer' means in that song) some meanings of that song's lyrics)


Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post showcases three videos of commercials (ads) that feature Ini Kamoze's hit 1994 Jamaican Dancehall record "Here Comes The Hotstepper".

This pancocojams post also presents three YouTube videos that feature Ini Karmoze's record "Here Comes The Hotstepper".

Selected comments from the discussion thread for the Starbucks commercial video that is embedded . at the top of this post presents questions and my response about the meanings of the words "murderer", "lyrical gangsta", and "hotstepper" in Ini Kamoze's Dancehall record "Here Comes The Hotstepper".

The content of this post is presented for cultural, linguistic, and entertainment purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Ini Kamozi for his musical legacy. Thanks to all those who produced these showcased videos and thanks to all of those who are quoted in this post.  
Click for a closely related 2013 pancocojams post entitled "Some Examples Of The Line "We Don't Die. We Multiply" In African American Culture".

SHOWCASE VIDEO #2 - Olips Menthol Ad-Here Comes the Hotstepper

Verse Music Group, Dec 6, 2010

Ini Kamoze - "Here Comes the Hotstepper" featured in 2011 Olips Menthol advertising campaign

SHOWCASE VIDEO #3 - Evian Baby Me Commercial

Davide Preese, April 22, 2013 

" "Here Comes the Hotstepper" is a song co-written and recorded by Jamaican dancehall artist Ini Kamoze. It was released as the lead single from his 1995 album of the same name as well as the soundtrack to the film Prêt-à-Porter. It is known for its "naaaa na na na naaaa..." chorus inspired by the Cannibal and the Headhunters version of "Land of 1000 Dances".

The song was Kamoze's only song to reach the top 40 on the US Billboard Hot 100, peaking atop the chart on 17 December 1994 and remaining there for two weeks. It also became a number-one hit in Denmark, New Zealand, and Zimbabwe and a top-10 hit in 13 other countries


.Impact, legacy and cover versions

Blender listed the song at number 492 in their ranking of "The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born" in 2005.[79] BuzzFeed listed it at number 46 in their list of "The 101 Greatest Dance Songs Of the '90s" in 2017.[80] Billboard placed "Here Comes the Hotstepper" at number 126 in their ranking of "Billboard's Top Songs of the '90s" in 2019.[81]"...

These comments are from the discussion thread for the video that is embedded at the top of this post. (I wrote one of those comments.)

Numbers are given for referencing purposes only.

1. @Tsleeper, May 13, 2024
"Why is Starbucks promoting a song about a gangster murderer?"

2. @BLESSFUL-Bliss, May 18, 2024
" "Lyrical gangster". You gotta pay attention to lyrics; words matter."

3. @cypress4539, May 20, 2024
"I totally agree! Why would Starbucks glorify gangster murders?

Didn't someone listen to the lyrics?"

4. @winstonsuz, May 22, 2024
"I couldn't get the words watching commercial so I had to come search it  out and then I wondered why Starbucks would want a song where they keep singing "murderer"?    I like the music can I get it to go without lyrics?"

5. @azizip171, May 22, 2024
"@winstonsuz  As other people have already written, in Ini Kamoze song "Here Comes The Hotstepper",  the word "murderer" means that Kamoze  is a "lyrical gangsta" (meaning Kamoze and that record's producers took beats and lyrics from several records that had already been released.)

 A May 19, 2024 article by Dani Mallick "The Story Behind The Song: Ini Kamoze’s ‘Hotstepper’ Heats Up Again In Starbucks Ad" indicates that "Hot Stepper, [is] a Jamaican slang for someone who’s evading the law'"


Remi [the producer of a remix of that Ini Kamoze record] use[d ] the drums/bass from Taana Gardner’s Heartbeat (1981), which was the most prominent of several samples he included in the song….

"Here Comes The Hot Stepper" also included the “na na na na na…” chorus from the Cannibal and the Headhunters version of Land of a Thousand Dances (1964), guitar notes from Isaac Hayes’ Hung Up On My Baby (1974), the “murderer” chant from Shabba Ranks’ Roots and Culture (1990), and other vocals/lyrics from The Mohawks’ Champ (1968), Bobby Byrd’s Hot Pants (1972) and Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick’s La Di Da Di (1985)."

end of quote

In addition, the word "murderer" that is chanted in Ina Kamoze's "Here comes the Hotstepper" record means that he is  "killing it". In this context, 'killing it" means that this record beats out [kills off] all of its competition" .

And it actually did since "Here Comes The Hotstepper" was a #1 record in several countries and (among other things) that record is still used in movies, tv programs, and commercials.”

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