Imperial Blaze

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Imperial Blaze
Studio album by Sean Paul
Released 18 August 2009 (2009-08-18)
Recorded 2006–2009
Genre Dancehall, reggae, reggae fusion, R&B
Length 66:49
Label VP, Atlantic
Producer Stephen "Di Genius" McGregor
Don Corleon, Supacoop
Leftside, Jigzag
Delano Thomas
Supa Dups
Sean Paul chronology
The Trinity
Imperial Blaze
Tomahawk Technique
Singles from Imperial Blaze
  1. "So Fine"
    Released: 2 June 2009
  2. "Press It Up"
    Released: 4 August 2009[1]
  3. "Hold My Hand"
    Released: 29 September 2009[2]

Imperial Blaze is the fourth album by dancehall artist Sean Paul.[3] The album was released on 18 August 2009.[4]


The album was originally scheduled to be released in the summer of 2007 under the name The Next Thing,[5][6] but was then pushed to November 2008.[7]

Sean Paul told MTV that he wants to be less focused on party songs such as Get Busy, We Be Burnin', and Temperature. He said he wants his songs to focus on youth violence in Jamaica,[6] however, the resulting album contained mainly up-tempo party songs. He subsequently released a mixtape which focused on the youth violence in Jamaica.

The album's title means "Kings Fire". Sean Paul commented on the title saying,[8]

"I'm not the king. I'm the fire, I'm the flame, I'm the energy."

In an interview with DJ Swerve, Sean Paul confirmed that he did 60 tracks for the album, with 19 tracks making the final cut.

On 10 July, a song from the album, "Press It Up", was premiered on Sean Paul's official website.[9] A video was filmed for "Press It Up," which was directed by Jessy Terrero [10]

The album was put on pre-order on 17 July 2009. Those who pre-ordered will receive two digital track downloads to songs titled "She Wanna Be Down" and "Get With It Girl".[11] On the German iTunes Store "Imperial Blaze" was released on 14 August 2009.[12]

Sean Paul expressed delight regarding the progress of the album on the international stage. "It's a good feeling and I'm happy - very happy that people like the music, and that they've been going out and getting the album," he said.

"Number 1 in Japan is a big achievement for me. I'm especially proud of that, because outside of Jamaica, Japanese people are really the biggest consumers of dancehall music," he said.

Imperial Blaze was certified gold in France, debuting at #8 in that country, #7 in the United Arab Emirates, #5 in Canada, #4 in Switzerland, #15 in Belgium, #17 in Austria, and #17 in Germany.

It was also the first ever Jamaican album to debut atop the Billboard Rap Charts. The wholly Jamaican produced project debuted atop the Billboard Reggae Charts, #3 on the Hip Hop/R&B Album charts, #12 on the Billboard 200, #9 on the Digital Albums, and #20 on the European Albums chart.

As of January 2012, the album has sold 101,000 copies in United States.[13]


  • The first official single is "So Fine", peaking at #50 on the Billboard Hot 100.
  • The second official single is "Press It Up". It was released on 4 August 2009. The music video was released on 9 September 2009.[14]
  • The third single is "Hold My Hand" which features Keri Hilson. It was sent to U.S. radio on 29 September 2009.[2][15]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[16] 3.5/5 stars[17]
Entertainment Weekly B+[18]
Now 3/5 stars[19]
PopMatters 1/10 stars[20]
RapReviews (3/10)[21]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[22]
Slant 1.5/5 stars[23]
Toronto Star 2.5/4 stars[24]
USA Today 3/4 stars[25]

Initial critical response to Imperial Blaze was average. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has received an average score of 44, based on seven reviews.[26] The album was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album .

Track listing[edit]

  • Sean Paul Henriques co-wrote all of the songs on the album; additional writers are listed below.
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Intro: Chi Ching Ching"       0:50
2. "Lace It"   Stephen McGregor Di Genius 2:51
3. "So Fine"   S. McGregor, Nigel Staff Di Genius 3:30
4. "Now That I've Got Your Love"   S. McGregor Di Genius 3:33
5. "Birthday Suit"   S. McGregor Di Genius 3:25
6. "Press It Up"   S. McGregor Di Genius 3:43
7. "Evening Ride"   Jeremy Harding, S. McGregor Di Genius 3:56
8. "Hold My Hand"   Arif Cooper, Clayton Morrison Supacoop 3:26
9. "She Want Me"   J. Harding, S. McGregor Di Genius 3:05
10. "Daddy's Home"   S. McGregor Di Genius 3:30
11. "Bruk Out"   Craig Parks Leftside 3:24
12. "Pepperpot"   S. Anderson, A. McIntyre, Jason Henriques Jigzag 3:50
13. "Wine Baby Wine"   J. Harding Mister Harding 3:04
14. "Running Out of Time"   Donovan Bennett, J. Henriques Don Corleon 3:21
15. "Don't Tease Me"   S. McGregor Di Genius 3:19
16. "Lately"   S. McGregor Di Genius 3:06
17. "She Wanna Be Down"   S. McGregor Di Genius 3:37
18. "Straight from My Heart"   A. Thompson, Delano Thomas, Dwayne Chin-Quee, M. Chin, Cezar Cunningham Delano Thomas, Supa Dups 4:26
19. "Private Party"   Donovan Bennett, J. Henriques Don Corleon 3:34
20. "I Know U Like It"   J. Henriques Sean Paul 3:07
Total length:

Deluxe version[edit]

iTunes Bonus track

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
21. "Agarra Mi Mano (Hold My Hand Spanish Version)"   Arif Cooper, Clayton Morrison Supacoop 3:29


Charts (2009)[27] Peak
Australian Albums Chart 17
French Albums Chart 8
Netherlands Albums Chart 36
Swiss Albums Chart 4
Belgian Albums Chart [28] (Wallonia) 11
Belgian Albums Chart(Flanders) 31
U.S. Billboard 200[29] 12
U.S. Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[30] 3
U.S. Billboard Top Rap Albums[31] 1
U.S. Billboard Top Reggae Albums [32] 1
Canadian Albums Chart[33] 5
UK Albums Chart[34] 38
European Top 100 Albums 20
Germany Albums Top 50 17
Dutch Albums Top 100 36


  1. ^ "Press It Up (Album Version): Sean Paul: MP3 Downloads". Retrieved 2012-02-24. 
  2. ^ a b "®R&R :: Going For Adds™ :: Rhythmic". 2009-09-29. Retrieved 2012-02-24. 
  3. ^ "New Music: Sean Paul - ‘So Fine’] Rap-Up.'". Retrieved 25 April 2009. 
  4. ^ "So Fine" - Audio Detail All Sean Paul.'.' Retrieved 25 April 2009.
  5. ^ 19 januari 2008. "Sean Paul talks to paparazzi about new album". Retrieved 2009-10-01. [dead link]
  6. ^ a b Sean Paul Hopes To Curb Youth Violence In Jamaica With Next LP. Retrieved 29 June 2008.
  7. ^ Sean Paul interviewed before concert on YouTube. Retrieved 29 June 2008.
  8. ^ TraceTV: Sean Paul Talks About His New Album "Imperial Blaze" at the Wayback Machine (archived May 29, 2009). All Sean Paul.
  9. ^ WORLD PREMIERE: Sean Paul - "Press It Up".[dead link] All Sean Paul.
  10. ^ "Press It Up Songfacts". 2007-04-27. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  11. ^ Exclusive "Imperial Blaze" Pre-Order Bundles![dead link] All Sean Paul.
  12. ^ "iTunes Store - Sean Paul - Imperial Blaze (Deluxe Version)". Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  13. ^ "Upcoming Releases". HITS Daily Double. Retrieved 2012-02-24. 
  14. ^ "Video: Sean Paul – ‘Press It Up’". Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  15. ^ "Radio1 - UK Forthcoming Singles". Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  16. ^ Sendra, Tim (2009-08-18). "Imperial Blaze - Sean Paul". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  17. ^ Nathan S. "Sean Paul - Imperial Blaze". DJBooth. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  18. ^ Simon Vozick-Levinson (2009-08-21). "Imperial Blaze Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  19. ^ Richards, Jason (19–26 August 2009). "Sean Paul: Imperial Blaze (VP/Atlantic)". Now. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  20. ^ Miller, Michael (2010-02-04). "Sean Paul: Imperial Blaze". PopMatters. Retrieved 2013-04-07. 
  21. ^ Padania, Jesal "Jay Soul" (2009-08-25). "Sean Paul :: Imperial Blaze :: Atlantic Records". RapReviews. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  22. ^ Hoard, Christian (2009-08-31). "Imperial Blaze : Sean Paul : Review". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2010-03-29. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  23. ^ Cataldo, Jesse (2009-08-17). "Sean Paul: Imperial Blaze". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2013-04-07. 
  24. ^ Ashante Infantry (2009-08-18). "Imperial Blaze: Sean Paul". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  25. ^ Jones, Steve (2009-08-19). "Listen Up: Paul pours dancehall gas on 'Imperial Blaze'". USA Today. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  26. ^ "Critic Reviews for Imperial Blaze". Metacritic. CNET Networks, Inc. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  27. ^ Steffen Hung. "Sean Paul - Imperial Blaze". Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  28. ^ "Ultratop Belgian Charts". Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  29. ^ "Week Ending Aug. 23, 2009: Over 50 And Still On Top - Chart Watch". Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  30. ^ "Sean Paul Album & Song Chart History". Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  31. ^ "Sean Paul Album & Song Chart History". Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  32. ^ "Sean Paul Album & Song Chart History". Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  33. ^ "Sean Paul Album & Song Chart History". Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  34. ^ "Sean Paul". Chart Stats. Archived from the original on 2012-06-30. Retrieved 2012-02-24. 

External links[edit]