rolling dancehall & reggae 2020

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picking up from rolling dancehall & reggae 2019:

thanks for posting that LU list--I checked a few times earlier in Dec and then gave up. It's definitely telling that they didn't do a '19 list (plus I don't think there's a '19 release on the decade list).

I'll start a 2020 thread eventually (though anyone should feel free to if they've got something to post).

― rob, Wednesday, January 8, 2020 11:54 AM (yesterday) bookmarkflaglink

Well I mean you COULD do a 2019 list. I think Robbo Ranx refrained from doing a top ten countdown this year too. Gabriel Heatwave complained about the lack of good riddims in 2019 but I could name a few decent ones. He also chose Stylo G as the artist of the year, which, I mean, ok, but also not okay, lol.

There was some good dancehall in 2019, although most of it might as well have come out in 2018. No big departures, no monster hits, Koffee as the big breakout artist and Kartel still going relatively strong. Superhero Love is the one I play the most.

Weak year from Popcaan (overall) and Alkaline though. Shenseea is still stepping up her game, but a few more clear strong voices would definitely be appreciated.

― human and working on getting beer (longneck), Thursday, January 9, 2020 3:55 AM (six hours ago)

In case it wasn't clear: I meant it was "telling" because LargeUp has obviously lost interest in dancehall/their own existence as a publisher, not that I thought 2019 was a disaster. I'm a little surprised LU didn't stick Buju "Trust" somewhere low on the list for historical narrative value. Anyway, I thought their list was overall pretty great, but my uncharitable read on its subtext is they spent the '10s expecting another US crossover that never came, hence their including "Work" (co-sign), Major Lazer (fine I guess), and "Controlla" (GTFO...this was hardly a great moment for the genre). Without going full lol Heatwave, I do think a UK-based list would paint a different picture of the genre's intl impact.

I've been listening to my own 2019 EOY playlist a lot this week--I thought about posting it, but you can just scroll through the thread--and it's good, but yeah it's a plateau without a lot of peaks (partially because "Toast" was on my 2018 playlist). Honestly, Munga Honorable "Nuh Mad" has blossomed into my favorite for the year--it is a jam/infernal earworm. Maybe most striking is how similar a palette a lot of the riddims have: lots of staccato synth stabs and tinny Casio/trap-ish drums. Clicking through, it can be hard to tell songs apart based on the first few seconds. This is a "problem" that will solve itself though, so again tbc I'm not wringing my hands over the state of dancehall (for once lol).

An interesting theme I only noticed by listening to the whole playlist a few times was how influential Popcaan's "Silence" has been: there are multiple, direct references to "poisoned drinks" etc. and more generally a ton of the songs are suffused with cold gloom, paranoia, and isolation. It's a pretty striking contrast to Koffee, so I'm curious what 2020 will be like.

rob, Thursday, 9 January 2020 15:51 (two months ago) link

Oh, right, I misunderstood you then. But I do think there's a noticable draught of dancehall related eoy lists this year, with those I've found looking kinda half-hearted. I agree with your overall assessment of Largeup and their list. And yeah, Nuh Mad is a keeper. Will keep my ears open for the Silence influence - had not noticed!

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Friday, 10 January 2020 13:40 (two months ago) link

Feel free to post your 2019 list anyway btw

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Friday, 10 January 2020 13:40 (two months ago) link

I will post the list in a minute. In the meantime, the new Kartel, "World Government," goes:

rob, Friday, 10 January 2020 14:04 (two months ago) link

Yeah! Good way to celebrate his 44th birthday.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Friday, 10 January 2020 14:16 (two months ago) link

Yep, though I'm sure he'd prefer to be granted his appeal which is being ruled on soonish I believe

rob, Friday, 10 January 2020 14:36 (two months ago) link

Yeah, I doubt they'll let him out though.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Friday, 10 January 2020 14:38 (two months ago) link

OK, here's that playlist. Bear in mind the main goal isn't to produce a definitive list, it's to make a mix that I like, so good tunes get dropped if they don't work as part of the flow (I almost didn't include any Koffee as a result). Also, when I started doing this in 2011 I had 17 tracks and stuck with that going forward, there's no other significance to the number. Some of this might be technically 2018.

Govana - Olé
Ding Dong - Gyalis Story
Munga Honorable - Nah Mad (Ova Nuh Gyal)
Chronic Law - Hillside
Lila Iké - Where I'm Coming From
Buju Banton - Trust
Alkaline - Depend Pan Nobody
Squash - Trending
Teejay - Owna Lane
Popcaan - Unstoppable
Koffee - Rapture
Chronic Law - Style
Aidonia - Aircraft
Alkaline - With the Thing
Popcaan - Trouble Deh Deh
Squash & Vybz Kartel - Beat Dem Bad
Busy Signal - Dolla Van

rob, Friday, 10 January 2020 14:46 (two months ago) link

xp I would for sure be surprised, though I haven't followed the case at all. The Star article I read made it seem possible, but I've no idea if there's evidentiary grounds for it and am doubtful as well

rob, Friday, 10 January 2020 14:48 (two months ago) link

btw Kartel did a dub of (the excellent) Yardman Style for Robbo Ranx on this week's show so I guess the question of whether or not he is recording is prison can be settled once and for all lol

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Friday, 10 January 2020 18:12 (two months ago) link

Kartel also dropped his first album since 2016 today. I'm a few tracks in and apparently they're all sad, heartbroken songs about lost love. I can appreciate that.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Friday, 10 January 2020 20:08 (two months ago) link

I guess it's his Here, My Dear?

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Friday, 10 January 2020 20:12 (two months ago) link

new Govana epic is pretty wild with the perfect punchline:

rob, Wednesday, 22 January 2020 21:24 (two months ago) link

He has an album out as well. Anyone listen to it?

breastcrawl, Wednesday, 22 January 2020 21:55 (two months ago) link

I listened to the track ("Impossible") mentioned in "Convo"--which is kind of brilliant really, promoting a different track within another--and liked it a lot, then tried another and was bored. Frankly, it takes a lot to get me to listen to a full dancehall album these days

rob, Wednesday, 22 January 2020 22:30 (two months ago) link

Well, they seem to be few and far between anyway.

The H.A.M.A.N.T.S. in that Convo title also refers to the album apparently, as it’s called Humans And Monsters Are Not The Same. I’m not au courant when it comes to Govana, so I have no idea what it all means.

breastcrawl, Wednesday, 22 January 2020 22:37 (two months ago) link

yeah it's an intriguing title, but I have no idea what it signifies!

rob, Wednesday, 22 January 2020 23:45 (two months ago) link

I like Govana but for some reason he comes across as a second rate Aidonia to me a bit too often. Haven't really listened to the album yet but this tune is nice enough.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Thursday, 23 January 2020 09:23 (two months ago) link

I missed that longneck post--I think "second rate Aidonia" is way too strong, though I would agree he's unlikely to rise to that level.

this Konshens goes, provided you're on board with the trap riddim:

rob, Friday, 31 January 2020 00:09 (two months ago) link

It is too strong and also unfair, lol. It's just something I notice whenever I hear the one after the other, as on the Aircraft riddim. There's something similar to Aidonia in his vocal approach but he always softens it out where 'donia goes for the bounce and the punch and the hook.

...aaand speaking of Aidonia, this one-two-punch from late December goes hard:

Peppa Sauce:

Me Nuh Care:

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Friday, 31 January 2020 10:55 (two months ago) link

damn those are both good, I wonder why he was absent last year?

rob, Saturday, 1 February 2020 15:07 (one month ago) link

a couple interesting bits in this Guardian puff piece on Shenseea:

1) she's signed to Interscope
2) Rvssian is producing her next album

I'd be especially excited about the latter, but I'm not sure what to make of the wildly overstuffed "IDKW"--I really hope Interscope don't think she's a singer, the song stops dead during that, frankly, awful chorus

rob, Saturday, 1 February 2020 15:13 (one month ago) link

"Limited Edition" otoh is the right kind of breezy imo:

rob, Saturday, 1 February 2020 15:16 (one month ago) link

limited edition is dope - teejay is good on it too.

The weirdest thing to me is that they didn’t get buju on IDKW instead of the americans, thug in particular refuses to shine on it for some reason and it needs a bit of rough. I do love shenseea’s short verse near the end though.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Saturday, 1 February 2020 17:09 (one month ago) link

I do understand they wanted us airplay. It’s just... lacking

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Saturday, 1 February 2020 17:40 (one month ago) link

yeah Swae Lee is fine on it, but Thug is totally unnecessary. Buju would have been interesting, though I imagine there are some logistical challenges to working with him now (if nothing else I assume he can't/won't travel to the US). Here's hoping they keep it simpler

rob, Saturday, 1 February 2020 17:59 (one month ago) link

for sure. But seeing as he had a big hit with a version of the original song, it would have been appropriate to tag him on there in some fashion. Thug is there only in the capacity of having been on Havana, lol

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Saturday, 1 February 2020 18:14 (one month ago) link

Ohhh I get it now. Sorry, Delroy Wilson's classic Studio One version is a fave so I blanked on Buju & Wayne:

rob, Saturday, 1 February 2020 18:46 (one month ago) link

three weeks pass...

anyone know what the riddim is on this Sikka Rymes track "Ready"?

(starts about 90 secs in lol)

rob, Saturday, 22 February 2020 15:17 (one month ago) link

really into this new Chronic Law "Good Name":

rob, Saturday, 22 February 2020 15:21 (one month ago) link

another confusingly excellent Kartel banger, ho hum:

rob, Saturday, 22 February 2020 15:27 (one month ago) link

hi rob, can I just say: fuck that video Sikka Rymes video.

breastcrawl, Saturday, 22 February 2020 15:34 (one month ago) link

so upsetting I fucked up that sentence

breastcrawl, Saturday, 22 February 2020 15:35 (one month ago) link

oh no, I didn't actually watch it, I'm sorry. I just cue videos up and then do things on other tabs. I better check it out...

rob, Saturday, 22 February 2020 15:36 (one month ago) link

ugh, sorry about that! I would have posted a warning if I'd realized.

rob, Saturday, 22 February 2020 15:39 (one month ago) link

I do the same with videos, I often post links without actually watching them - not necessarily the smartest procedure.

breastcrawl, Saturday, 22 February 2020 15:44 (one month ago) link

Yeah absolutely, I'll be more circumspect in future, not looking to ruin anyone's day here.

I'm never quite sure what I think of Jah 9, but consider this a morally astringent palate cleanser at any rate:

rob, Saturday, 22 February 2020 15:53 (one month ago) link

a breath of fresh air for sure

breastcrawl, Saturday, 22 February 2020 16:00 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

I haven't had time to listen/browse lately, but did want to say two related things:
1) "Highly" is awesome and deserves more appreciation than my prev post; really beautiful track, will def check out her album which I think comes out Friday
2) thread followers might like the For Posterity podcast; I've only listened to this woman-centric episode so far, but it was a lot of fun: (first ep is with Gavsborg from Equiknoxx and third is w/Jah 9)

rob, Wednesday, 11 March 2020 23:48 (two weeks ago) link

Dancehall is some of my fav music lately tbh surprised this thread doesn’t have more shit in it

ILX’s bad boy (D-40), Thursday, 12 March 2020 08:31 (two weeks ago) link

Likkle Vybz & Likkle Addi released an album as U.T.G. and it’s pretty good.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Thursday, 12 March 2020 17:12 (two weeks ago) link

i will ride for highly which should be far more corny than it is considering the lyrics/structure; jah9 is pretty dope

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Friday, 13 March 2020 18:46 (two weeks ago) link

exactly! the album is out now, but I might be too distracted today to give it a listen

rob, Friday, 13 March 2020 19:37 (two weeks ago) link

Chronixx's new one, "Dela Move," is stately, spiritual reggae--layers of hand drumming, chanting and flutes--with Chronixx getting closer to rapping (I swear he goes into a triplets/trap flow for a few bars) than I think he ever has before; the Koffee influence is mutual maybe?

At any rate, it's a scorcher:

rob, Sunday, 15 March 2020 15:55 (two weeks ago) link

in a completely different mode, Jada Kingdom's new dembow banger "Heavy!" is super infectious uhh fun:

rob, Sunday, 15 March 2020 16:06 (two weeks ago) link

Heavy is indeed... uhhh... dope.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Sunday, 15 March 2020 20:43 (two weeks ago) link

DJ Frass' High Rev Riddim is nice.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Monday, 16 March 2020 09:18 (two weeks ago) link

love “Dela Move”

No mean feat. DaBaby (breastcrawl), Sunday, 22 March 2020 00:34 (one week ago) link

the way trap dancehall is crossing over to Trinidad is really interesting to me... enjoying these new medz records esp

but also prince swanny and boy boy

ILX’s bad boy (D-40), Sunday, 22 March 2020 01:20 (one week ago) link

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