My Jamaican Guy

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"My Jamaican Guy"
Single by Grace Jones
from the album Living My Life
ReleasedJanuary 14, 1983
Format7", 12"
Songwriter(s)Grace Jones
Grace Jones singles chronology
"The Apple Stretching"
"My Jamaican Guy"
"Cry Now, Laugh Later"

"My Jamaican Guy" is a single by the Jamaican singer and actress Grace Jones, released in 1983. The second version featuring Bounty Killer was released in 1998.


"My Jamaican Guy" was the third single to Grace Jones' 1982 album Living My Life, her third and last album recorded in the Compass Point Studios in Nassau, Bahamas. The track showcased Caribbean music-inspired reggae/dub sound. Jones penned the song herself, revealing in a 2010 interview that it was written about Tyrone Downie of Bob Marley's The Wailers, who "was with somebody else. He was a beautiful guy. He doesn't even know I wrote it about him."[1] The song is largely written in Jamaican Patois.[2][3] Jones' mother Marjorie provided backing vocals but, as a pastor's wife, wasn't credited for fear of upsetting church elders.[4]

"Cry Now, Laugh Later", another Living My Life track, was released on the side B, and later got a separate A-side release on American market. In Japan, "Everybody Hold Still" made the B-side. That release featured a unique edit of "My Jamaican Guy", as well as a different cover. The US and the UK 12" versions of the track differed substantially; the US version (7:01) was in fact the unedited and unremixed album master and was later included on the 1998 compilation Private Life: The Compass Point Sessions. The UK 12" credits separately "My Jamaican Guy" and "J. A. Guys (Dub)", but the tracks run together as one; the mix opens with the first four minutes of the Living My Life album version, then cuts to the three last minutes of the dub version "J. A. Guys" - the full length version of which in turn was released as the B-side of the US 12" "Nipple to the Bottle". Both the UK 12" mix of "My Jamaican Guy" and the "J. A. Guys" dub remain unreleased on CD.

The iconic image on the single cover was created by Jean-Paul Goude, who was the singer's partner at that time and worked on some of her record artworks.[5][6] A version of it was later used as a cover of her final "best of" compilation to date, The Ultimate Collection.

Music video[edit]

The music video for "My Jamaican Guy" features Jones performing the song on stage, kissing her own image, and hugging her "Jamaican guy". It also includes some footage from her A One Man Show concert performance and still images of one of her most iconic images. The clip was directed by Jean-Paul Goude and produced by Eddie Babbage.[7] A slightly different, shorter version of the video was included on the A One Man Show VHS release in 1982.

Track listing[edit]

A. "My Jamaican Guy" – 3:36
B. "Cry Now, Laugh Later" – 4:25
  • Japanese 7" single[10]
A. "My Jamaican Guy" – 3:14
B. "Everybody Hold Still" – 3:09
  • Australian 7" single[11]
A. "My Jamaican Guy" – 3:37
B. "J. A. Guys" (Dub) – 3:48
A1. "My Jamaican Guy" – 4:05
A2. "J. A. Guys" (Dub) – 3:11
B. "Cry Now, Laugh Later" – 5:55

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1983) Peak
New Zealand[13] 39
United Kingdom[14] 56


The song's opening sequence has been repeatedly sampled by other artists, mostly by rap musicians.[15][16][17]


  1. ^ Simon Hattenstone (2010-04-17). "Grace Jones: 'God I'm scary. I'm scaring myself'". The Guardian. London: Retrieved 2012-01-02.
  2. ^ "Pieter "Toypom"'s review of Living My Life". Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  3. ^ Horan, Tom (2008-06-20). "Grace Jones at Meltdown: mesmerising and magical". London. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  4. ^ Miranda Sawyer (2008-10-11). "State of Grace: Miranda Sawyer meets Grace Jones". The Guardian. London: Retrieved 2012-01-02.
  5. ^ "GRACE JONES "MY JAMAICAN GUY" (1983) 7" Sleeve by..." Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  6. ^ "Twittering Machines » Grace Jones". Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  7. ^ "Grace Jones - "My Jamaican guy"". Retrieved 2012-01-06.
  8. ^ "Grace Jones - My Jamaican Guy (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 2012-01-06.
  9. ^ "My Jamaican Guy / Cry Now Laugh Later by Grace Jones : Reviews and Ratings - Rate Your Music". Retrieved 2012-01-06.
  10. ^ "Grace Jones - My Jamaican Guy (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 2012-01-06.
  11. ^ "Grace Jones - My Jamaican Guy (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 2012-01-06.
  12. ^ "Grace Jones - My Jamaican Guy / J.A. Guys (Dub) (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 2012-01-06.
  13. ^ "Grace Jones - My Jamaican Guy". Retrieved 2012-01-06.
  14. ^ "Grace Jones - My Jamaican Guy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-23. Retrieved 2012-01-06.
  15. ^ "Grace Jones Music Sampled by Others". Retrieved 2012-01-06.
  16. ^ "Reno Baldomero "Chris"'s review of Living My Life". Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  17. ^ "Ian Phillips' review of Living My Life". Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  18. ^ "Doin It - LL Cool J". Retrieved 2012-01-06.
  19. ^ "LL Cool J". Retrieved 2012-01-06.

External links[edit]