Chaka Demus and Pliers stay afloat with 'Murder She Wrote' Image

by Biko Kennedy

'Murder She Wrote', 'Gyal Wine', 'Twist and Shout', 'Tease Me', 'She Don't Let Nobody' and 'I Wanna Be Your Man' are easily the songs that come to mind when the names Chaka Demus and Pliers are heard.

They were the first Jamaican act to have three consecutive Top 5 hits on the UK Singles Chart, outdoing Boris Gardiner's 'I Want to Wake up With You' in 1986 but a record that would be surpassed by Shaggy who scored four consecutive Top 5 hits in 2001.

Since joining forces in 1991, Chaka Demus (John Taylor) and Pliers (Everton Bonner) has enjoyed an internationally successful partnership between 1993 and 1997 and still remains hot-in-demand today with the deejay-singer team's remarkable run being far-flung from over.

In more recent times the duo made its long-awaited return to the 2013 Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival as well as have been the inspiration for the newly released single 'Freaks' by American rappers French Montana and Nicki Minaj.

The track, which serves as Montana's second single from his upcoming LP Excuse My French set for release May 21st, was produced by Rico Love, sampling Chaka Demus and Pliers' 'Murder She Wrote' as well as the 1994 Jamaican-American rapper Lil' Vicious' beat-box-laced single 'Freaks'.

Love explains the process as simply paying homage to the Jamaican musical culture.

"I'm doing my best reggae impersonation, so to speak, 'cause I would never disrespect all the legends," explains Love to "We just wanted to give that feel…because everybody loves dancehall music. [The thing] about Dancehall music is it has a way of crossing over. If you think about Bob Marley he [crossed-over] into America [to] an all-white audience. So reggae is worldwide."

"It's a joy that they want to do over our song because a lot of people do songs and never get recognition for it so this is really good. When yuh have people recognise you as legend and want to use your work, it's very good because they never had to do it," expressed Chaka Demus to The Jamaica Star. "They contacted me and Pliers about it for permission, and we gave them the go ahead to do the sample. When it comes to Murder She Wrote, even the rhythm me and Pliers made the necessary contacts for it to happen so it was only natural for them to involve us," he continued.

Chaka Demus and Pliers' 'Murder She Wrote' plays infused with the original instrumentals of the 1966 Jamaican Festival winning song 'Bam Bam' by the Maytals and goes further to show that Jamaican's level of inspiration can come closer to home than anywhere else in the world.

"Mi want di youth dem don't follow foreign, you can one or two time but not all the time. Try and be creative and they will respect you. But if you follow them, they won't have any respect for you," Chaka Demus told the Jamaica Star.

The Eif Rivera-directed visual transports viewers to the middle of a dance-riddled, dirty-dancing-esque vibe typically found at a dance hall session; with rapper Nicki Minaj hypnotizing writhes out-dancing the other dancers who weren't afraid to showcase their 'dutty wining' and Bogle's last popular dance move the 'Willie Bounce'.

As Jamaica's musical appeal continues to inspire the globe, one can only wonder what will come next.

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