Phoenix-area radio is a trainwreck, or possibly just an extended advertisement for satellite radio. The choices are meager–you have an alternative rock station that features the singles from the Stone Temple Pilots’ debut in heavy rotation and a number of urban radio outlets, each of which is obligated by some sort of agreement to play “Umbrella” simultaneously every fifteen minutes. However, the station that is designed to “make you feel good,” Movin’ 97.5, has one staple that is a welcome bit of early-’90s nostalgia: Ini Kamoze’s “Here Comes The Hotstepper.”
Although this steps somewhat on Matos‘ expertise, it’s important to note: “Hotstepper” hit No. 1 in the U.S. at a welcome time, with four truly miserable songs taking hold of the top spot from May 21 to December 10, 1994. Those songs: All-4-One’s “I Swear,” Lisa Loeb’s “Stay,” and Boyz II Men’s “I’ll Make Love To You” and “On Bended Knee”. One would imagine being featured prominently in the Roger Altman trainwreck Prêt-à-Porter would have doomed the track to obscurity, but it held on to the top spot for two weeks before the regrettable return of “Knee”. A clue as to why: Unlike Sean Kingston’s all-out hijacking of “Stand By Me” on “Beautiful Girl,” Kamoze was wise enough to throw together the components of two crowd-pleasers (the vocal hook of Wilson Pickett’s “Land of a Thousand Dances,” the beat of Taana Gardner’s “Heartbeat”)
Ini Kamoze made a return of sorts as the “Out in the streets, they call it murder” sample from Damien Marley’s “Welcome to Jamrock,” but he is unlikely to see a chart resurgence in the near future. However, “Hotstepper” deserves to be pulled from obscurity, recognized for its ability to rock crowds and drive middle-aged white people to chant “murderer.” Ini Kamoze, today Idolator pays tribute to you.
Here Comes The Hotstepper [Youtube]