Paying homage through the use of samples has become one of the most popular ways to commemorate a pioneer. From artists like Kanye West to J. Cole, something as simple as a bassline can be borrowed without anyone noticing. But some musicians go as far as slapping bits of an old hook onto their new record. That’s the case with Messiah sampling Panama’s El General on his new single “Pum Pum” featuring Kap G.
In ‘98, El General initiated a Latin reggae movement, rapping over a beat with inflections like traditional reggae artists but entirely in Spanish. Now Messiah El Artista is working to expand the Spanish Trap genre.
Messiah took inspiration from the hit, adapting it to a pop-like rap song for a different audience. “We wanted to sample a song that has feeling and represents the history of a genre, and the history of Latin music going global with a true authentic sound. Plus, in hip-hop you have a lot of old school songs that are sampled and bring someone’s lyrics to life with a touch of the old vibe,” he said.
The Dominican rapper, raised in Harlem, raps both in Spanish and English on the dance song, oscillating between a slow-tempo reggae beat and a dance-pop rhythm. The song features Kap G’s Georgian drawl and the production duo, Play-n-Skillz, who you might recognize from their work on Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III and more recently, “Hey Guapo” and “Si Una Vez.”
Check out the single above.