As the first—and only—dancehall artist to appear on the cover of VIBE, Sean Paul has been making history and breaking down musical barriers throughout his career. The Grammy-winning hitmaker has collaborated with some of the biggest stars in urban music, from Beyoncé and Rihanna to DMX and Busta Rhymes, but his come-up was driven by raw uncut dancehall straight off the streets of Jamaica. After more than 20 years in the game, Sean is still going strong, dropping his dutty flow alongside the likes of Stefflon Don, Jhene Aiko, and Dua Lipa. But he’s not just the go-to for a hot yardstyle 16, he’s also an accomplished producer. Sean’s Dutty Rock Productions label has released riddims like “Rope,” “Gang Gang,” “No Caption,” and “Callaloo.”
Today, VIBE premieres Sean’s latest production, “Back It Up Deh,” a song that pays tribute to the dancehall queens who bust moves when the bassline drops. “I used to want to go to see what the ladies was wearing,” Sean Paul recalled in an exclusive interview with Reshma B in a recent Instagram Live interview. “It was just very sensual outfitting. And then the dancing, it was so free. That’s what I really loved about the culture as a kid. You got involved.”
Although street dances are on pause during these quarantine times, Sean’s latest release and the high-energy video might just have you backing it up while you shelter in place.
“Being able to shoot a music video for the living legend is an amazing privilege by itself,” says director Kieran Khan, who has worked with Sean Paul before and was also responsible for Buju Banton’s “Trust,” in which Sean had a cameo. “So just imagine enhancing that experience by shooting in his hometown of Kingston JA as the backdrop. Having dancers being represented from all over the world definitely made this video an unforgettable experience. This was me and Sean’s first collaborative project as director and co-director, and I believe it won’t be the last.”
Watch the “Back It Up Deh” premiere up top as well as our VIBE & Boomshots Instagram Live interview with Sean Paul below.