Fri | Feb 21, 2020

VP licensed ‘One Spliff A Day’ to DJ Khaled for ‘Holy Mountain’ single

Published:Friday | May 24, 2019 | 12:09 AMYasmine Peru/Gleaner Writer
DJ Khaled
DJ Khaled

A not-so-holy controversy has been stirred following the release of Holy Mountain, one of the songs from DJ Khaled’s much-touted Father Of Asahd album. The song in question is a collab – like all the songs on the album are – featuring Buju Banton, Sizzla, Mavado, 070 Shake and, of course, Khaled himself.

Holy Mountain contains a wicked sample from Theophilus Rowe, an artiste who used the moniker Billy Boyo. “One spliff a day keeps the evil away”, is the addictive chant from the late Billy Boyo, infusing exciting new life into an already supercharged Holy Mountain. And even as fans have been vibing to Holy Mountain, which some critics have hailed as the best song on the album, Billie Jean, the daughter of Billy Boyo, has surfaced, questioning DJ Khaled’s right to use her father’s song.

In a video which has been making the rounds on social media, Billie Jean identifies herself as Billy Boyo’s only child and addresses DJ Khaled directly, also posing questions to record company VP regarding royalty payments.

“A me name Billy Jean. Me a the only child fi Billy Boyo. DJ Khaled, mi know you is a businessman, and mi know you no mean no harm. But mi hear mi father line inna you song with you Buju Banton, Sizzla, Mavado and the whole a oonu. ‘One spliff a day keeps the evil away’. A my father sing that song. A him alone inna Jamaica alone sing that song. And VP Records, Chris, a nuff time me call you and mi no get no answer; you always busy. Mi cyan get mi father royalty, and mi waan know how fi get mi father royalty and how mi can reach to DJ Khaled,” she says.

Amid the brewing controversy, and following questions to VP Records from The Gleaner, the record company responded with an official statement to the effect that they control the rights to the song and that DJ Khaled is, in fact, using the sample legally.

“VP controls the recording and the publishing for One Spliff A Day. VP licensed it to DJ Khaled for his new work. VP accounts to the parties who granted the rights to VP under contract,” the statement said in total.


Billy Boyo, who is most well known for One Spliff A Day, was said to be the most prolific of the early-1980s child emcees. He was still in his teens when he emerged in the early 1980s, his online bio states, adding that along with One Spliff A Day, Billy also charted in 1982 with the Henry “‘unjo’ Lawes-produced single, Wicked She Wicked.

Of this song, it is said that it had the added charm of a 13-year-old kid voice on the mic chanting about a wicked girl.

In the early 1990s, rumour spread that Billy Boyo and another artiste, Little Harry, had been shot and killed. However this proved to be untrue. Billy Boyo died of a brain tumour in October 2000 after a two-month-long struggle to beat the disease.