Skillibeng’s int’l success was inevitable, says colleagues

May 27, 2021
Producer Johnny Wonder (left) and dancehall artiste Skillibeng.

On the weekend, fast-rising dancehall star Skillibeng made his Billboard chart debut as a solo artiste when his Crocodile Teeth remix featuring rap queen Nicki Minaj landed at number 100 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The Brik Pan Brik deejay also made the platform’s Global 200 chart (182), the Digital Song Sales chart (43) and the Emerging Artist chart (35). Alkaline was the only other Jamaican act to make that list, coming in at 37.

In an interview with THE STAR, Skillibeng’s manager, Shay Newman, said he was at a loss for words in describing how the artiste’s entire team is feeling following his recent success.

“We are very, very, very blessed and grateful to God. To come from Morant Bay in St Thomas all the way to land on the Billboard Top 100 is an awesome accomplishment. It is a feeling of great joy,” he said. Dippa of EastSyde Records, the label behind Skillibeng’s viral Coke single, said that even before the Nicki Minaj feature, Crocodile Teeth, showed its international potential.

“We always knew Crocodile Teeth would be a hit record because of the calibre of people who have been embracing the song. People like Winnie Harlow, Alexis Skyy, Jay Critch, Rich the Kid and Bobby Shmurda are really loving it. Right after his Grammy win for album of the year, Burna Boy was singing this song at his celebration party,” he shared. “Immediately after his album release back in March, Drake (who was recently named Billboard Artist of the Decade), shared a picture of his car dashboard playing the song.”

Johnny Wonder, co-producer of the Crocodile Teeth remix, told THE STAR that while he anticipated the track getting to the Billboard charts, he never expected it to happen so quickly.

“I feel great about this, ecstatic. This is big for Skilli and big for dancehall,” he said. “Dancehall ain’t going nowhere, we’re still here and there’s a lot more to come.”

The Crocodile Teeth remix was released two weeks ago and has racked up more than 2.5 million views on YouTube. It is still on the top five list of trending songs in the island. The song is featured on Nicki Minaj’s latest compilation, Beam Me Up Scotty.

– S.G.

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