Sean Paul reveals he and Shaggy discussed doing a Verzuz and says dancehall music is more than summer music while discussing SOJA’s Grammy win.
Sean Paul says he had wanted a Jamaican to win the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album but acknowledges that the genre has transcended just Jamaican talent . the announcement of the winner of the category was mired in controversy weeks ago when it was announced that American based band, Soja had won the award for Best Reggae Album.
There was an uproar among Jamaicans who felt that the Grammy was biased in choosing a winner whom they did not know and also felt did not have their music up to Jamaican standards, given that the island gifted the reggae genre to the world. Many felt that only Jamaicans can do authentic reggae, although some artists differed, noting that Soja was an excellent band and deserving of the award.
While on The Breakfast Club hosted by Charlamagne Tha God, DJ Envy, and Angela Yee, Sean Paul said he had expected that he or two other Jamaican counterparts- Spice or Jesse Royal would take home the coveted title.
“There’s somebody in there with African-American heritage bruh, you know that’s so unfair to that dude, I’m sorry it’s a white dude,” Sean Paul said about the one black person from the group as he recalled the night’s events.
“I’m standing up in the hallway and looking at the various nominees and thing and gearing up for what I’m gon say and ‘the winner is shhh’ and I’m like it’s either me and Spice and I hear ‘Soja,’ and I’m like ‘damn’,” he said laughing.
Sean Paul, however, says that despite that, he was happy for the band and will be working harder for the title next time.
“My look on it bro is who God bless no man curse so even if they got the blessing through some crazy means, that’s the blessing for them and we just got to come harder. It would have been nice is a Jamaican to me, if Jesse won I feel like I won because I work closely with him, he’s on this album… If I won he woulda win, if Spice win, me would feel like I was involved in that process,” he added.
“Would have loved to see a Jamaican take it but our music is getting bigger, the expression is getting more broad, there [are] different people from different places wana do it and it’s such a close unit that we have in Jamaica we have many different types of music-reggae and dancehall and all kinda in-between,” said.
When asked about the fact that nobody had ever heard about Soja before they won, the “Gimme the light” artist said more Jamaicans needed to step up and become part of the Grammy voting process.
“one thing that’s weird is that we don’t have enough people on the panel so Jamaicans themselves, we’re complaining but we ain’t there voting. So that’s an important thing but that whole awards ceremony, in general, is that way, it’s people in that industry, they are known in their spaces or whatever and as I said who God bless no man curse, it just gives me a nice fire to fight for the next one.”
Sean Paul was recently nominated for his album Live n Livin‘, and he is a nine times nominee and has won the award just once.
SP’s Trinity and Dutty Rock albums have also been certified platinum, while his 2005 chart-topping single Temperature has also been certified triple-platinum, and he has had an extensive career as a superstar.
Despite not winning, Sean Paul said he had a Grammy party to celebrate the group work to produce his album.
As for Soja winning, the artist says, “you can’t stop music that way,” as he explains that reggae is now a global genre with many people and cultures falling in love with the music.
As for the raging theories online that Sean Paul is not Jamaican and being claimed by other countries like Puerto Rico, Guyana, and even Dominican Republican as one of their citizens, he hilariously reacts to the theories as he explains Jamaica’s multicultural background.
Meanwhile, Sean Paul is not aversed to being part of Verzuz, but he says he is not about clashing but rather about unity.
Sean Paul named Shaggy as a worthy artist to go up as he disclosed that Shaggy is his “big bro.”
Shaggy, Spice, Sean Paul / GMA
“He called me up when it first started going on…,” SP said while adding that he and Shaggy had a discussion and even pointing out that he had 19 songs on the Top 20 list. Verzuz requires at least 20 hits for each artist.
Sean Paul also said he wanted Americans to respect dancehall music as more than “summer music” and said it was “unfortunate” that dancehall music which he mainly makes, is perceived in that way.
“I go into a lot of meetings like and they’re like ah but this ain’t no summer song and I’m like dancehall play every day in Jamaica though, it plays all the time but it reminds people of tiki bars and summer and sun and that type of thing over here and we also have all types of moods like trap dancehall,” he said.
As for whether Sean Paul was occupying himself on Only Fans, the married man seemed tickled by the question as he said he had told his wife that Instagram was like the digital Playboy magazine as the “pics were nice and inspiring” and that some people’s pages were like what Playboy Magazine was back in the day.”
He also reflects on the fact that lots of women are coming up in the music business, including female artists in dancehall and hip hop, something he says was not prevalent 20 years ago when he joined the industry.
Sean Paul also disclosed that he has plans to work with Jashii, but he did not give further details, only saying that he is close with Jashii’s brother, who is a selector. As for his future tour plans, Sean Paul has a large following globally and has toured many countries across the world, but he says his main focus is to tour the United States this year.
He says plans are in the works for shows in cities Boston, Connecticut, and Brooklyn to kick off his tour.
The artist also briefly touched on the changing laws that incriminated his father for weed. Still, today he says he can smoke weed freely in the United States, something his own brother found funny given the harsh penalties his father once faced for trafficking weed.
“To see things like this now, this same thing with politicians and businessmen who never had anything to do with it now they’re doing it, it’s just incredible to see that,” he said before agreeing with Charlamagne Tha God that there were still people stuck in jail serving time for weed possession.