Talibans, the hit song by St. Kitts-based Dancehall artist Byron Messia, has been certified Silver in the United Kingdom, eight months after its release.
According to the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), the song was issued the Brit Certified Silver Award on Friday (August 25) after it sold over 200,000 units in the UK, as measured by The Official Charts Company.
This is the Jamaican-born artist’s first UK certification.
Released on January 20, Talibans appeared on Messia’s No Love album, currently at No. 3 on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart.
The song’s music video, featuring a guest appearance from Jamaican starlet Jada Kingdom, referenced in the song’s second verse (‘AK shake like a Jada Kingdom’), has racked up over 44 million views on YouTube.
It has spent 13 weeks on the UK Singles chart—currently at No. 52, down from its peak at No. 12.
In the US, the Talibans II remix with Afrobeats superstar Burna Boy spent one week on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 99, while the original has maintained a presence on several Rap and Hip-Hop airplay charts.
The remix was included as a bonus track on Burna Boy’s I Told Them… album, which was released yesterday (August 24).
The beat for Talibans, an amalgamation of Afrobeats and Trap, was a joint production by Ztekk Records and California-based EJ Fya. Messia had said that he had initially intended for the song to be a ‘ladies’ track, but he decided to go against the grain and inject some ‘griminess’ into the Afrobeats genre, known for love and little or no violent content.
“Is a gyal song I was about to build on it innuh, den mi seh ‘Nah, yuh know seh when yuh listen to Afro[beats], is bare rebellious and love songs yuh only a hear? Yuh nah hear no war or no griminess pon dem beat deh… Yeh, so if you really think ‘bout it – a jus dat yuh a hear – rebellious songs and loving songs. No griminess. Suh mi jus seh, ‘Yuh know wa? Mi ago apply dat and see wa gwaan… and see it deh… Mi jus’ yow, mi ago do somethin’ different, mi ago switch it up and mek dem talk ‘bout it’….” he had said.
This kicked off a debate about which genre the song belongs to, but Messia later clarified that he considers it “Dancehall” because of its “melodies and creativity.”
“I call it a Dancehall song. People been saying it’s an Afro song, but the reason why I will call it a Dancehall song, is because the melodies weh mi use an di creativity behind of it all is very Dancehall-like. An yuh know seh Dancehall run deepa dan just being Dancehall as music,” he told Anthony Miller on TVJ’s Entertainment Report.
“But the truth of do matter is, no matter if you want to call it a Dancehall song, it a guh have di beat for them, weh create genres an charge up genres an distribute genres, dem a guh mek yuh know: ‘no, it is an Afro song’ but me wi consider it as Dancehall song,” the Save Me artist added.