Funkin' for Jamaica (N.Y.)

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"Funkin' for Jamaica (N.Y.)"
US 12-Inch single cover
Single by Tom Browne
from the album Love Approach
B-side"Her Silent Smile"
ReleasedJuly 1980
GenreFunk, jazz, R&B, disco
Length3:44 (Single Version)
4:43 (Album Version)
Songwriter(s)Tom Browne, Toni Smith (Thomassina Carrollyne Smith)
Producer(s)Dave Grusin, Larry Rosen
Alternative covers
UK 7-Inch single cover
UK 7-Inch single cover

"Funkin' for Jamaica (N.Y.)" is a 1980 single by jazz trumpeter Tom Browne. The single—a memoir of the neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens where Browne was born and raised—is from his second solo album, Love Approach. Browne got the idea for the song while he was at his parents' home.[1] The vocals for the single were performed by Toni Smith (Thomassina Carrollyne Smith), who also helped compose the song. The song hit number one on the U.S. R&B chart for a month.[2] "Funkin' for Jamaica" peaked at number nine on the dance chart[3] and made the Top 10 on the UK singles chart, but it never charted on the Billboard Hot 100. It later became one of the most interpolated melodies in R&B with the chorus' chord sequence used by artists such as Johnny Kemp.

Covers and samples[edit]

  • In 1981 British group the Evasions released a hit song titled "Wikka Wrap". This is a parody of UK broadcaster Alan Whicker, but also a parody (some might say sample) of "Funkin' For Jamaica".
  • In 1989 American rapper Tone Loc sampled "Funkin' for Jamaica" for his song "I got it goin' on" on his Debut-Album "Loc-ed after dark"
  • In 1995, Nationwide Rip Ridaz sampled "Funkin' for Jamaica" for their song "Compton Nut".
  • In 1996, The song was sampled by Quad City DJ's for their song, "Quad City Funk" on the album "Get On Up And Dance"
  • DJ Tōwa Tei released his remix cover version as a single in both 1999 and 2001, which featured Les Nubians on vocals, performing part of the song in French.
  • In 1999 the song was sampled on the Robbie Rivera single "First the Groove"
  • In 2000, the song was featured on the Bob Baldwin album with Tom Browne performing.[4]
  • In 2001, the song's intro was sampled on the Mariah Carey single "Don't Stop (Funkin' 4 Jamaica)" for the soundtrack to Carey's film Glitter.[5] The song has also been sampled by N.W.A, EPMD, Snoop Dogg, Keith Murray, Smooth, Erykah Badu, Shaquille O' Neal, and The Black Eyed Peas.[6]
  • In 2006, contemporary jazz guitarist Patrick Yandall covered the song from his album "Samoa Soul."[7][8]


  1. ^ "Funkin' for Jamaica (N.Y.)". Song Review
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 88.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974-2003. Record Research. p. 46.
  4. ^ "Bob Baldwin Discography Page". Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 85.
  6. ^ "The Black Eyed Peas - What It Is". YouTube. 2010-09-03. Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  7. ^ "Samoa Soul overview".
  8. ^ "Patrick Yandall — Samoa Soul".