Sister Nancy Said it Took 34 Years For Her to Get Royalties From “Bam Bam”

Dimas Sanfiorenzo Dimas Sanfiorenzo is the Managing Editor for Okayplayer. He specializes…
Sister Nancy Said She Didn't Starte Getting Paid for "Bam Bam" Until Recently
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Sister Nancy’s iconic song “Bam Bam” has been sampled over 80 times. Most recently, Kanye West used it on “Famous” and JAY-Z sampled it on “BAM.”

Thirty-five years after releasing her classic debut album, One, Two, Sister Nancy is having a moment again.

It started in 2016 when Kanye West sampled her iconic song “Bam Bam” on the Rihanna-featured “Famous.” It continued last summer when JAY-Z sampled the same track on his Damian Marley-featured single “BAM.”.

NME recently sat down with Sister Nancy to talk about the song’s impact. She revealed a number of interesting tidbits. One was the fact that Nancy had a poor contract and didn’t receive royalties from One, Two — the album that featured “Bam Bam” — for years. In fact, there was a time where she moved to New Jersey and worked at a bank.

When asked about her royalty situation now, she said:

Yes, I’m getting the royalties now. I wasn’t getting anything for 34 years, but in 2014 after they used it in a Reebok commercial I decided to sue them. Now I own 50% of the ‘One, Two’ album. At least I’m getting something now, I never used to get anything.

Nancy also talked about hearing “Bam  Bam,” which has been sampled more than 80 times, in “Famous.” She said:

It’s not the first time I’ve heard someone sample “Bam Bam.” When I heard him do it I just thought: “Well, that’s good for me.” Whatever way he takes it, it’s very good for me because it keeps me moving. Do you know what I’m saying? It keeps me working. Then Jay-Z did the same thing. It’s a blessing.”

She also talked about shooting the “BAM” video with JAY-Z and Damian Marley, saying:

“Yeah that’s right. He wanted me to appear in the video for “Bam” that he was making with [Damian] Marley. I spent three days down there with him. It was nice, but a man is just a man. Jay-Z is just a man, same as you. He’s no different.”

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