Ini Kamoze is a Jamaican reggae artist who began his career in the early 1980s and rose to prominence in 1994 with the signature song “Here Comes the Hotstepper”. The single topped the United States Billboard Hot 100 as well as record charts in Denmark and New Zealand, reaching number four on the UK Singles Chart.
He made his first single, “World Affairs”, in 1981. Kamoze then released a 12-inch single “Trouble You A Trouble Me”/”General” in 1983.
His self-titled debut album was released in 1984 as a six track mini-LP on Island Records. In the album notes he describes himself as a “pencil thin… disentangled… six-foot vegetarian”. The album included the song “World a Music (Out in the Streets They Call It Merther)”, which was to be sampled by Damian Marley on his 2005 hit “Welcome to Jamrock”. The album was recorded with and produced by Sly and Robbie, with whom he also toured internationally along with Yellowman and Half Pint. By 1988, however, Kamoze had effectively disappeared from the music scene following lukewarm reactions to his intermittent releases.
“Here Comes the Hotstepper” is a song co-written and recorded by Jamaican dancehall artist Ini Kamoze. It was released as the lead single from his 1995 album Here Comes the Hotstepper as well as the soundtrack to the film Prêt-à-Porter. It is best known for its “na na na na na…” chorus sampled from the Wilson Pickett song “Land of 1000 Dances”.
The song was Kamoze’s only song to reach the top 40 on the US Billboard Hot 100, peaking atop the chart on December 17, 1994, and remaining there for two weeks. It also became a number-one hit in Denmark, New Zealand, and Zimbabwe and a top-ten hit in thirteen other countries. John Gibbons made a remix of the song in 2018.
“Here Comes the Hotstepper” remains Kamoze’s biggest hit to date. It went to number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 and on the Canadian RPM Dance chart. In Europe, it peaked at number one in Denmark as well as on the Eurochart Hot 100. The single climbed into the top 10 in Austria, Belgium (Flanders and Wallonia), Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. In the latter nation, it peaked at number four during its third week on the UK Singles Chart, on January 15, 1995, and spent four weeks at that position, topping the UK R&B Chart in the process. Elsewhere, “Here Comes the Hotstepper” topped the charts in New Zealand and Zimbabwe and peaked at number two in Australia. The single was awarded with a gold record in France and Germany and a platinum record in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and the US