Offset, Don Toliver Top Billboard Airplay Chart With ‘Worth It,’ Featuring A U-Roy Sample - NEWS

Offset, Don Toliver Top Billboard Airplay Chart With ‘Worth It,’ Featuring A U-Roy Sample

Offset and Don Toliver’s Worth It, a song that features an intro sampling the voice of late Dancehall legend U-Roy, has topped the Billboard Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart dated March 9.

The track, released in October 2023 on Offset’s Set It Off album, is also currently at No. 93 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100, No. 8 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart, No. 6 on the Rhythmic Airplay chart, and No. 4 on the Rap Airplay chart. 

Produced by CHASETHEMONEY, Worth It samples the instrumental from Busta Rhymes’ Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See (1997), and the signature refrain, “Wa-wa-wa-wake the town and tell the people,” from U-Roy’s 1970 song Wake The Town, produced by Arthur ‘Duke’ Reid.

One of the first songs to sample U-Roy’s Wake The Town was Dawn Penn and producers Steely & Clevie’s 1994 song, You Don’t Love Me (No, No, No), which has a rich history, being first recorded in 1967 for Clement ‘Sir Coxsone’ Dodd and other producers. The Steely & Clevie version — which credits American singers Willie Cobbs and Bo Diddley for elements from their songs — was the most successful, peaking at No. 58 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 3 on the UK Singles chart and later becoming certified Gold in the UK.

Producer Cleveland ‘Clevie’ Brown, reflecting on the sample in an interview with The Guardian, stated: “I used to play the original version of You Don’t Love Me so much, I wore a hole in the vinyl…A great song is always a great song, but we gave it some new clothes. The sample at the beginning is from U-Roy: ‘Wake up the town and tell the people.’ Great sample!”

He added, “We were still just learning the business: I didn’t think about copyright and eventually had to pay for it.”

Known as ‘The Originator,’ U-Roy rose to prominence in the 1970s by popularizing the art of toasting (extemporaneous deejaying/talking over a rhythm) through a series of successful releases on Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle label, including Wake The Town, Rule The Nation, and Wear You To The Ball. This approach to production and the remixing of previously recorded tracks with new vocals influenced early Hip-Hop pioneers such as DJ Kool Herc.

In a 2010 interview with The Gleaner, he explained that his intros were the things he used to say while introducing songs at a session. “Is jus’ a talk me have. Is like the Father say, ‘Open up your mouth and I will fill it with words,’” he said. In the studio, he would build upon what he did in the Dancehalls previously, as “most of the things you hear me say on the record you don’t do in the dance.”

At the time, U-Roy expressed surprise at the success of his work: “I give thanks every day, up to now. When I was young and doing this music thing, I never know where it going. Deejay never have no tune fi sell, much less go pon chart.”

He passed away in 2021 at the age of 78.

His intro from Wake The Town was also sampled by rappers Kanye West on Good Night (2007), which featured Mos Def and Al Be Back, The Game on The Ghetto (2015), which featured Nas and, and IDK on Alone (2019).

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