Jamaican music icon Sister Nancy has partnered with Caribbean lifestyle brand LargeUp to release a limited-edition skateboard deck celebrating her iconic single “Bam Bam” on its 40th anniversary.
The board takes design inspiration from the ‘90s-era reissue of Nancy’s first and only album One Two, on which “Bam Bam” originally appeared in 1982. The deck is the latest drop in LargeUp and Sister Nancy’s “Bam Bam” capsule collection, which also includes a T-shirt and baby onesie, as well as a pin collaboration with influential streetwear brand RockersNYC. Mickal “Mr. Mikey” Stubblefield, former art director for Dee and Ricky and designer for Pharrell’s Billionaire Boys Club and ICECREAM brands, designed the “Bam Bam” tee, onesie and skate deck.
Regarded as the first female star in the male-dominated world of Jamaican dancehall, Sister Nancy — aka Kingston-born Ophlin Russell — continues to see her popularity soar, four decades after the release of her sole album. Recognized by Pitchfork as The Best Dancehall Song of All-Time, “Bam Bam” has been sampled, quoted and referenced in tracks by Kanye West, Too Short, Lauryn Hill, Lizzo and Jay-Z, among hundreds of other acts.
An ethereal and inherently cinematic anthem of female empowerment in a male-dominated world, “Bam Bam” also soundtracks memorable scenes from Hype Williams’ 1998 film Belly, Seth Rogen and James Franco’s The Interview (2014) and, recently, the fourth and final season of Netflix’s hit series Ozark.
In 2007, “Bam Bam” was featured in the soundtrack to EA’s groundbreaking video game Skate, helping make it a cult favorite among skaters and gamers worldwide. “Wherever I go around the world, skateboarders always hail me up and tell me ‘Nancy, we love your song,’” Sister Nancy says. Now, Sister Nancy is the first Jamaican woman — and the first dancehall artist — to have her likeness appear on a commercially-produced skateboard.
“LargeUp has been working with Sister Nancy for over a decade helping her to connect with audiences through original content, exclusive and large-scale performances, collaborations, merchandising and publicity,” says Dave “DJ Gravy” Susser, co-founder of LargeUp. “Sister Nancy participating with LargeUp in every aspect of our multi-tiered platform has been an honor and a transformative experience for all parties. Other artists and fans alike can now see what’s possible for an authentic legend, being more relevant and in demand than ever, four decades after her only album.”
The deck arrives as skateboarding’s popularity is surging in Jamaica, with the island’s first two skate parks and its first skate shop all opening within the last few years.
“This is something we’ve anticipated since at least 2009, when LargeUp visited the Bull Bay area to meet up with skate crew Nurdz Republic for one of our very first LargeUp TV webisodes,” DJ Gravy says. “In fact, it was that webisode, many years later, that inspired the founders of Freedom Skate Park to first explore the idea of bringing a skatepark to Jamaica.” To further encourage skating in Jamaica, LargeUp and Sister Nancy will donate “Bam Bam” skateboards to Freedom Skate Park to distribute to skaters attending their newly-launched Girls’ Session.
Devoted full time to music once more after two decades working in a bank, the now New Jersey-based Sister Nancy is finally enjoying the fruits of her trailblazing contributions to music culture. She regularly appears at sold-out shows and festivals worldwide, bringing Jamaica and reggae/dancehall to such prestigious venues as the Lincoln Center in New York and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Upcoming dates include the Cali Vibes Festival in Long Beach, Calif. (Feb. 17-19) and the South Facing Festival on Aug. 6 in London.
LargeUp is the global platform for Caribbean music, arts and culture. The company was born in 2009 as a music-driven lifestyle blog, filling a massive void for reggae, dancehall, soca and other island sounds online while exposing a new generation of Caribbean talent to the world through mini-docs, special events and other online and offline activations. The LargeUp brand has since expanded to include an apparel line and online store; a PR and marketing agency, The LargeUp Agency; as well as a record label, LargeUp Records, officially launching in 2023.
The post Sister Nancy Celebrates 40 Years of ‘Bam Bam’ with Limited-Edition Skateboard appeared first on Jamaicans.com News and Events.