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Dancehall reggae is not just about the killer riddims; people the world over love the way we speak.
This music is here to kick up the bass and burn up the place. I’m talking on behalf of all dancehall.”
-- Sean Paul

        Born Sean Paul Henriques on January 8, 1973, the multi-ethnic Paul -  Portuguese, Chinese, and Jamaican - grew up comfortably in St. Andrew, Jamaica W.I.   On his Portuguese father’s side there is a family legend about the shipwreck of horse-rustling ancestors during a daring escape from bounty hunters. Sean’s mother is a renowned Jamaican painter, and both his parents were noted athletes.  He was a skilled athlete, excelling in swimming and  water polo, playing for the Jamaican national water polo team. 

Although his education was enough to land a prosperous career, dancehall music remained Paul's first love, particularly crafting rhythm tracks.  He became a DJ after he began writing his own songs, patterning his style largely after Super Cat and finding a mentor in Don Yute.  He also found contacts in several members of the reggae-pop band Third World in 1993, which helped open up business connections.  Then,  in 1996 Sean Paul released his debut single, "Baby Girl," with producer Jeremy Harding . The  first of a series of undeniable reggae smashes that rocked Jamaica, quickly establishing a solid base for Sean Paul amongst the island’s dancehall massive. It proved a significant success, leading to further Jamaican hits like "Nah Get No Bly (One More Try)," "Deport Them," "Excite Me," "Infiltrate," and "Hackle Mi."  Hardcore dancehall fans were captured by his songwriting and rapping skills and Sean rapidly became a favorite with ladies in the audience.

As his reputation grew in Jamaica, the rest of the Caribbean quickly picked up on Sean Paul’s sound.  Soon Jamaicans in Miami, New York and London knew the words “Dutty Yeah” as a signal to hit the dance floor.  In 1999 Sean Paul started to make tracks to American audiences;  his first collaboration was with dancehall hit maker Mr. Vegas on a production for raper DMX; titled  "Here comes the Boom" and scored  Top ten hit that same year with "Hot Gal Today", which became his signature tune.  That fall, Paul released his first album on VP Records;  Stage One which featured collections of Paul's previous hit singles and compilation cuts, plus a few brand-new tracks.  Record-breaking airplay on American hip-hop radio followed, and the success of STAGE ONE, Sean Paul’s 2000 smash debut album, established him as VP Records best selling current artist.


Stage One Album:
This extra long CD showcases popular dancehall "riddims" overlaid with DJ Sean Paul's rather pedestrian "toasting."  There are some enjoyable tunes here, namely the hit single, "Infiltrate," which burned up dancehalls with its pumping beat, and "Hot Gal Today," a duet with ultra-hot DJ Mr. Vegas, which displays an interesting blend of Sean Paul's hard voice with Vegas' smoother vocals. "Faded," a take on Shania Twain's "Looks Like We Made It," also illustrates clever treatment.

Dutty Rock Album
Sean Paul's Dutty Rock is an infectious record, bursting with hooks and filled with energy; it is a surprise U.S. hit. Paul's mix of dancehall and modern R&B and hip-hop is lightweight and easy to dance to. It slows down near the end as some filler creeps in, but at its best, Dutty Rock is almost revolutionary.  The best track, the stuttering, can't-get-it-out-of-your-head catchy "Get Busy," is produced by Steven "Lenky" Marsden and features his staggeringly popular diwali rhythm and a great vocal by Paul. Other tracks, like the hit single "Gimme the Light" and the "Louie Louie"-influenced "Like Glue," are almost as good. Paul has a good ear for melody and his flat, distinctive voice is perfect for his sing-jay style (sing-jay being a blend of DJ and singing). Paul also ropes in Busta Rhymes for an amped-up remix of "Gimme the Light" and Rahzel of the Roots to provide rapping and silly noises on "Top of the Game." This is such a good record that even the skits are pretty good. "Police Skit" may even provide a few chuckles. Sean Paul's blend of dancehall and hip-hop brings out the best of each genre, and Dutty Rock should be booming out of your 'Kaar' if you are a fan of either.

r\Grammy Winner
2004 Grammy Winner

At the 46th Annual Grammy Awards,
SEAN PAUL won Best Reggae Album, the first Grammy for a VP artist. With millions of fans tuning into CBS's live broadcast, Sean Paul performed center stage with rock legend Sting the reggae flavored Police classic "Roxanne". This marked the first ever performance by a dancehall artist at the Grammy's. Sean's critically acclaimed album "Dutty Rock" with hit songs "Gimme The Light," Get Busy," "Like Glue," and "I'm Still in Love with You (featuring Sasha)" has been certified multi-platinum.

We are expecting many more great hits from Sean Paul, so stay tuned.

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