Arriving the same week as we celebrate Jamaica's independence from colonial rule is "Funkin For Jamaica", a timely new release from revered producer and sound engineer Prince Fatty (whom you may know from his work with everyone from Pharcyde to Lily Allen to Capleton) and Shniece Mcmenamin, a singer he's struck up a fruitful collaborative relationship with since they first collaborated on his 2019 album In The Viper's Shadow.
The new single is the producer-singer pair's cover of the 1980 hit by jazz trumpeter Tom Browne, their second cover after they released a completely reworked version of Kraftwerk's "The Model". Besides the searing trumpet line that opens the track, Fatty and Shniece's version is almost unrecognisable from the original, swapping the '80s funk and soul for a rocksteady interpretation that couldn't be more perfect for this week.
Alongside the audio, which dropped today, the pair have also put together a fittingly beautiful visual that weaves together clips and images of just some of the many things that make the Caribbean island the cultural powerhouse we all love. Filmed in Super 8, much of it by Shniece herself, this is more of a love letter to all things Jamaica than it is promotional material.
"'Funkin' For Jamaica (N.Y.)' by Jazz Trumpeter Tom Browne is stone cold classic," Prince Fatty told us. "Number one for one month in the R&B Billboard chart back in the early '80s. Could a jazz trumpeter do this now? Somehow, I think not. I have always admired the great reggae versions of soul songs and wanted to find one that hadn't been done. Is this possible I said to myself? unless I am mistaken this the only reggae cut of Funkin' for Jamaica (N.Y.) out there. The final missing ingredient was the vocal, it had to be someone tough and with a delivery to match the original. No easy feat in my opinion. A well-timed entrance to the studio session by Shniece McMenamin and the deal was sealed."