Photo Credit: Isaac Brekken
It Took 34 Years For Sister Nancy to Get Royalties From "Bam Bam"
Sister Nancy's iconic song "Bam Bam" has been sampled over 100 times by a wide range of artists, from Kanye West to JAY-Z.
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.”