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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Sean Paul: Live N Livin

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In 2019, Jake Gyllenhaal went on “Unpopular Opinions,” a radio game show that asks callers to reveal their hottest takes, which celebrity guests then reply to. All was calm until this submission: “Sean Paul is massively overrated.” Aghast, Gyllenhaal virulently disagreed, outlining the Jamaican dancehall artist’s many gifts: “he’s a genius,” “he makes driving in traffic fun,” “he’s like, brrap bap bap!” The actor’s reaction went viral, in part because of his demeanor—adorably earnest, sweetly incredulous—but more importantly because his assessment of Paul was so accurate. It is actually impossible not to dance to Sean Paul. Following a slew of early-aughts, reggaeton chart-toppers, Paul’s popularity faded in the 2010s, until a few features on top 40 hits brought him back. Gyllenhaal ultimately declares “Cheap Thrill’s” to be his favorite Paul song, but it’s far from the best—“Get Busy” is Top 40 canon. Hopefully, Paul’s latest album, combined with the renewed love for the artist, will restore him to his former solo glory. —C.J.F.

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