Hearing "Toast" booming out of a house in Tobago on christmas day was a highlight of my 2018, so I'm excited to start off with a new Koffee tune. She looks likely to have an eventful 2019.
― rob, Thursday, 3 January 2019 16:13 (two months ago) Permalink
That's actually her first 2018 single, but since I love it let's pretend it's from this year.
― human and working on getting beer (longneck), Thursday, 3 January 2019 20:47 (two months ago) Permalink
Here's a brand new Aidonia, Dom Perignon, to set things off for the new year:
― human and working on getting beer (longneck), Thursday, 3 January 2019 20:49 (two months ago) Permalink
xp oh really? I was fooled by youtube's upload date. Actually I'm glad that's not new, Toast is doing well and wouldn't it be amazing for a JA artist to slowly release a series of great tracks :)
― rob, Thursday, 3 January 2019 21:01 (two months ago) Permalink
Aidonia has hit a great groove lately
I like this new Jada Kingdom that kinda doesn't belong on this thread:
― rob, Thursday, 3 January 2019 21:05 (two months ago) Permalink
Alkaline with another solid tune that I am currently not blown away by but could grow on me over the year like most of his '18 releases did:
I posted this at the end of the last thread, but in case you missed it, here is Rygin King's sweet Powerful:
― rob, Thursday, 3 January 2019 21:13 (two months ago) Permalink
That's a great Alka jam, yet for some reason he keeps choosing beats that will never give him a huge hit in JA or make him... big like Jesus. It's pretty fascinating, actually. I keep wondering about what he's thinking. In a way I´m happy that he's doing something else. But he's still nowhere near the stature he should have had by now.
― human and working on getting beer (longneck), Thursday, 3 January 2019 22:05 (two months ago) Permalink
Yes, I love “Black Heart” too, has to be my favourite of his since “Yaadie Fiesta”. But now you have to explain to me exactly how big Alkaline is in Jamaica. I always assumed he was huge there (but then I don’t follow dancehall closer than through this thread) but you’re telling me he doesn’t really have big hits?
― breastcrawl, Friday, 4 January 2019 08:48 (two months ago) Permalink
(Luckily though, he’s big enough at least to have been asked for this enjoyable latin/island-flavoured hodgepodge from Keith Sweat’s latest album:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7c-JIM1k6ZMKeith Sweat ft. Akon, Alkaline & RayFade • Fuego)
― breastcrawl, Friday, 4 January 2019 08:49 (two months ago) Permalink
(at least outside Jamaica, that should say)
― breastcrawl, Friday, 4 January 2019 08:51 (two months ago) Permalink
Well I'm not sure just how big he is in Jamaica, but a couple of years ago it seemed as though he might be the next Kartel and I don't hear many people saying that anymore. Whenever he's on a big riddim like the Netflixxx or Levels he tends to shine but he mostly seems to be releasing a string of singles that, while good, don't really go anywhere. I'm sure they're played but they don't seem ubiquitous. I'm not saying he's a minor figure, just that he should be bigger and that his choice of production seems to be at least part of the reason why he isn't. Maybe he's just taking his time and carving out his own niche, idk.
― human and working on getting beer (longneck), Friday, 4 January 2019 09:16 (two months ago) Permalink
To longneck's point, I don't think Alka had a "hit" (even in Jamaica) all last year, which given the head of steam he had years previously is remarkable. Actually, I'm not sure he had one in 2017 either?? I mean, I love "Fast" but I'm not sure it was a hit. 2016 was a *massive* year for him though. That was also the last year he put out a tape/album.
I think part of why the "Alkaline slipping" narrative has emerged is that his last big media splash was his clash with Popcaan. My sense of things was that at the time most people thought Alkaline had "won." But in the time since, Poppy has become the biggest dancehall star of his generation--possibly in part by realizing that shit like clashing doesn't matter to the larger pool of potential dancehall fans out in the world. OTOH, "Stray Dog" (go suck yuh muuuuudda) is the only song from the clash that has stuck around, so maybe Poppy "won" in both ways.
I'm sympathetic to longneck's production point, though mostly due to my already stated concern about current dancehall production in general. I'd be curious if there was a riddim from last year that you'd have liked to hear Alka on but didn't? Now that I'm thinking about it: I think he could have killed whatever riddim "Better Than That" is on plus I'd be curious to hear him on one of the slower, trap-like ones. My secret hope is that he's on this mythical forthcoming Rihanna album.
― rob, Friday, 4 January 2019 14:48 (two months ago) Permalink
Well put, rob.
I think part of his "slipping" has to do with the fact that he is not jumping on too many hot riddims - it's as if what's hot barely interests him at the moment. Whereas, you know, other major players will inevitably try to hijack or in some way exploit a certain moment - Spice making Under Fire to counter Kartel's Under Water on the Zinc Roof riddim would be a perfect example, and while Kartel has been relatively quiet this year, he used to do stuff like that all the time, even from jail. Alkaline, on the other hand, seems to have gone for a lot of one off singles with mostly low profile producers (Perfect was the only song he did with Frass, right?). . Whenever he did a riddim - LEVELS, Rice Grain, Money Order and Netflixxx, he was usually the best thing on it, but strangely it still feels as if he's not really out there competing. Which is... weird.
On the other hand, I guess 2018 wasn't that great a year for riddims? There were some good ones - but on the whole I have could have used a few more of those zinc roof moments.
At the same time... lesser artists like Rygin, Govana and Shane O - heck, even Ding Dong had a great 2018, so I don't really know what's going on here. Maybe Alka just needs the right song.
― human and working on getting beer (longneck), Friday, 4 January 2019 15:28 (two months ago) Permalink
That makes sense, and there is a feeling of isolation around Alka right now.
But yeah I'd have a hard time making a list of best riddims for the year. Even the best ones didn't quite transcend their biggest versions. Zinc Roof was fun but I'm not sure that made much of a splash--certainly nothing like Bruk Off or the dozens of riddims I could cite if we went back to like 2011-14.
Alkaline's woes aside, I feel like the riddim ecosystem is crumbling. Probably too early to make any big conclusions, but Alka is certainly not the only artist putting out mostly one-off singles, and nearly all riddims seem to get no more than four versions max now. I'm not sure what the culprit is: boredom with the tedium of version dumps? economic pressure? streaming? maybe a lack of social connection among artists and producers?
Another thing I've been wondering about: Now that Popcaan's signed to OVO, I wonder if Mixpak will just move on from (Jamaican) dancehall or will they look to sign someone else up?
― rob, Friday, 4 January 2019 16:29 (two months ago) Permalink
Good questions. The thing is... the riddim ecosystem must have been crucial in establishing a market for so many talented artists out of such a small population. Riddims are great if a competent dj is mixing one version into another (and such fun for the dj too!), but obviously less suited for the streaming era where you have to listen to the whole thing from start to finish. Not sure what could replace it though - it's not as if minor dancehall artists are particularly visible on a global scale. If they had been, Tuff would have been on a whole lot more year end lists.
Also, one of my favourite musical moments of 2018 is still Shenseea making her presence known on the intro to the Flairy Riddim. First there's the subtle "heh... quenga quenga/ some gyal just a merma-merma (?)"just testing the waters like, followed by the playful "Talk 'bout say dem a no real genna-genna / stick 'pon him like tattoo with you hena-hena", then the brash "OH GOSH!"as if there's no turning back and she's preparing to go all in, followed by the quick rehersal of the song's theme with "Boy good, body clean / Body good, face cute and your body clean / Me no watch man, man fi watch me, how you meeeeean!?" before she finally drops the mandatory "Woi! a-Shenseea!" then a short full stop - and the song can start for real. It's such a quintessential riddim transition moment and I love it more than 90% of the music I listened to in 2018. I hope we're not losing that with the onslaught of streaming.
(The rest of the song is quite good too.)
― human and working on getting beer (longneck), Friday, 4 January 2019 16:51 (two months ago) Permalink
Wow, thanks, guys. You sure did answer my question, and then some! Very interesting and illuminating.(I guess this is what happens when you don’t follow a scene closely: I mean, of course I noticed that his singles have become less striking/immediate over the past 1-2 years, but you sort of assume that an artist’s status is a given.)
― breastcrawl, Friday, 4 January 2019 17:20 (two months ago) Permalink
I suppose the most pertinent question re riddims is: what's happening in the dance? Which I have no insight into. And tbc I'm def not in favor of the riddim system going away (by "tedium of version dumps" I meant the unavoidable quality dip when you have like 15 versions--there's only so many Diwalis--or, a diff problem, if the riddim isn't that special) as I completely agree that it's instrumental for trying out new artists with minimal investment.
In that sense, I can't see it going away entirely (it's worth noting that soca has embraced it), but as you said streaming does seem like a legit threat to its enjoyability for casual listeners, and a shift to a more artist-focused feels inevitable to me. Hell even on streaming: a few years ago I heard new tunes always via Dancehall Dopeboi or Akam or some other promo YT channel, and now it's almost always the artist's own account and unofficial streams seem to get shut down pretty quick.
― rob, Friday, 4 January 2019 17:34 (two months ago) Permalink
I think the Alkaline hype cycle kind of breaks down like this:*2016--the next Kartel, a massive star who will break far beyond dancehall*2017--the next, let's say, Aidonia, i.e., a major artist for those in the know but not making big waves outside of the genre*2018--the next, uhhh, Gyptian? some big early tunes but not a career artist
all of which is pretty premature, considering he just turned 25
― rob, Friday, 4 January 2019 17:48 (two months ago) Permalink
lol yeah, let's hope he figures it all out. Part of it must be that he is indeed trying to find new markets outside of JA, but for the moment at least Stefflon Don is a far more credible second coming of Sean Paul than Alka is.
― human and working on getting beer (longneck), Friday, 4 January 2019 18:35 (two months ago) Permalink
Between Stay So, One Way and Hold A Medi, Busy Signal had a really good 2018, btw.
― human and working on getting beer (longneck), Friday, 4 January 2019 19:12 (two months ago) Permalink
Man I have just not been able to get on board with Stefflon Don (though I dig Pretty Girl's chirpy male singer/gruff female deejay combination). See also Hood Celebrity/"Walking Trophy": I do not get why that one caught on, especially when Alicai Harley seems to be continually ignored (I feel bad pitting women against each other, but I think it's fair to say she's doing something similar but, imo, superior).
Busy is in a wonderful class of his own these days. The whole Dolla Van EP is also good, speaking of versions & riddims. I saw you nominated Stay So in the eoy poll--pretty torn on that as I'm almost certain I nommed it last year and definitely would have voted for it. If I can convince myself it's a 2018 track, it'll be very high on my ballot.
― rob, Friday, 4 January 2019 19:22 (two months ago) Permalink
YouTube says 20 December 2017 for Stay So, so maybe you did. It didn’t really register with me until a few months later I think but it has stuck with me throughout the year.
As for Stefflon, I like her. But I think the point is that it’s a lot easier for a Londoner with a Jamaican accent to become the hot dancehall crossover artist than it is for someone like Alka or Shenseea, and mainly because she’s not Jamaican. I’m guessing it’s mostly a cultural literacy thing. Western audiences want something that registers as caribbean but not necessarily the real thing. What comes across as pure and raw about Jamaican culture is often also what seems most insular and resistant to translation. And someone like Stefflon has grown up with all these different cultural impulses and knows how to translate them from one sphere to another. It’s not that she’s faking it - she comes across as steeped in a variety O f musical cultures.
― human and working on getting beer (longneck), Friday, 4 January 2019 22:11 (two months ago) Permalink
I guess this is NYC/flex/FDM but I heard this on an Equinoxx NTS show and I love it:
― change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 9 January 2019 17:07 (two months ago) Permalink
The vocal version is dope. I have no idea what flex or FDM are though?
― rob, Wednesday, 9 January 2019 17:13 (two months ago) Permalink
Afaik it's an NYC regional thing based around the contortion-heavy dance style w/dancehall-ish beats around 100 bpm?
― change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 9 January 2019 17:21 (two months ago) Permalink
very cool. I guess it's been around for quite a while: https://pitchfork.com/features/article/9864-flex-tunes-brooklyns-own-dance-music/
― rob, Wednesday, 9 January 2019 18:52 (two months ago) Permalink
Er*n MacLeod voted Protoje album A Matter of Time” as her #1 album in the Uproxx poll of 200 writers. Her #1 song was Soca Kingdom by Machel Montano and Superblue
― curmudgeon, Thursday, 10 January 2019 15:19 (two months ago) Permalink
I should go back and listen to that one again. I recently put on Chronology and it was waaay better than I thought at the time, I think my expectations were too high
― rob, Thursday, 10 January 2019 15:40 (two months ago) Permalink
she also voted for Popcaan's album
― curmudgeon, Friday, 11 January 2019 04:35 (two months ago) Permalink
Oh, onetime Ilxor Alex M voted for Spice - Captured.
― curmudgeon, Friday, 11 January 2019 04:48 (two months ago) Permalink
New Dexta, “Dash It Out”:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXGfm53KOgc(It’s good. He’s had sex again)
― breastcrawl, Friday, 11 January 2019 09:33 (two months ago) Permalink
It's very good, yes.
― human and working on getting beer (longneck), Friday, 11 January 2019 09:51 (two months ago) Permalink
Weak To You was one of 2018's very best songs, btw.
― human and working on getting beer (longneck), Friday, 11 January 2019 09:52 (two months ago) Permalink
Yeah, “Weak To You” is fantastic.
― breastcrawl, Friday, 11 January 2019 10:45 (two months ago) Permalink
I have a very high tolerance for slackness, but I wonder if Dexta wouldn't be bigger if he embraced a more accessible approach? I still remember being surprised when I heard the raw version of 7Eleven after only hearing the clean for a while. Maybe I was misled by that experience, but I feel like he's got a natural pop presence and the explicitness undermines it.
Anyway, despite opening last year's thread with it, I'd kind of forgotten about Weak to You until recently--it is really good!
― rob, Friday, 11 January 2019 14:57 (two months ago) Permalink
Absolutely agree w regards to Dexta's slackness.
― human and working on getting beer (longneck), Friday, 11 January 2019 15:07 (two months ago) Permalink
Same here, hence my sort-of trigger warning.
― breastcrawl, Friday, 11 January 2019 15:33 (two months ago) Permalink
I honestly feel kind of bad about holding him to a double standard. The dirtier songs on Forever don't bother me at all; last night I was unselfconsciously blasting Alkaline's "Fine Whine"; "Banana" is one of my '18 faves; etc. Maybe there's something specific about Dexta's voice/vibe that makes it less agreeable? The heavy-breathing intensity of it? In contrast, there's a casualness to all the counter examples I cited. Exception that proves the rule might be Popcaan's My Type which sounds gorgeous but I couldn't play very often.
That said, the clean version of Weak To You works fine, but the radio edit of Dash It Out has that curiously hollow quality of bad/lazy censoring.
― rob, Friday, 11 January 2019 15:55 (two months ago) Permalink
Listening to ILX Listen: 2019
― Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 16 January 2019 16:51 (two months ago) Permalink
Koffee - Thronehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQJZ9NIRKSo
Her style + rootsy.
― Nabozo, Thursday, 17 January 2019 09:37 (two months ago) Permalink
Wow that's awesome, very excited for the EP to drop
― rob, Thursday, 17 January 2019 15:02 (two months ago) Permalink
yeah, that's great
― Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Thursday, 17 January 2019 16:59 (two months ago) Permalink
I'm really enjoying the Peppa Mint riddim these days:
Busy Signal - Know You Goodhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KT8QUDcIYDg&frags=pl%2Cwn
Konshens - Set It Uphttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8txqRj9AMz8&frags=pl%2Cwn
A riddim mix:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMgCuSnvM_M&frags=pl%2Cwn
― human and working on getting beer (longneck), Saturday, 19 January 2019 13:23 (two months ago) Permalink
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5V4ZDNV4si0Throne repost with the video
― Nabozo, Thursday, 31 January 2019 13:22 (one month ago) Permalink
I love the rootsy "unsexiness" of all her outfits in those clips, looks very deliberate (coupled with the raw camera quality / 80s worship)
― Nabozo, Thursday, 31 January 2019 13:26 (one month ago) Permalink
same tbh. she's definitely one to watch; all the singles are great.
― Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Thursday, 31 January 2019 21:34 (one month ago) Permalink
Her gender presentation is definitely interesting, but she's like 16...not that 16-year old female musicians aren't routinely sexualized. But yeah so far she effortlessly splits the difference between roots revival and crossover-appealing dancehall in a hugely exciting way
― rob, Thursday, 31 January 2019 21:41 (one month ago) Permalink
Great song, great video.
― human and working on getting beer (longneck), Thursday, 31 January 2019 21:48 (one month ago) Permalink
Ah, nice, I knew what age she was, but good that you made me check. Koffee was born on the same day as me (!), which means she'll turn 19 on the 16th.That said, I thought the same as you from seeing the clips, but check the video where she's live in the studio doing Ragamuffin, she's a woman alright and... err very cute imo.
― Nabozo, Thursday, 31 January 2019 23:23 (one month ago) Permalink
ah ok, that's good to know really--I was mildly worried about her blowing up before she'd graduated high school (possibly metaphorically speaking, idk). I wonder if what I heard was she was 16 when she started
― rob, Thursday, 31 January 2019 23:42 (one month ago) Permalink
I was gonna wait for the EP, but fuck it: gratitude is a must: the Koffee thread
― rob, Friday, 1 February 2019 00:01 (one month ago) Permalink
this takes about a minute to achieve lift-off, but then damn:
Tee-Jay, "Owna Lane"
I was kind of vaguely aware that Tee-Jay was getting popular last year, but never really clicked with anything I listened to--I expect this will be huge (the view count is already impressive on that video).
― rob, Sunday, 10 February 2019 15:02 (one month ago) Permalink
lol sorry it's just TeeJay, no hyphen needed
― rob, Sunday, 10 February 2019 15:03 (one month ago) Permalink
Speaking of lanes, Masicka isn't exactly swerving out of his usual zone here, but "Darkest Times" is nice:
I'm not sure the lyrics video approach does Quada's "Celebration" any favors but the mood is sweet (I really like that brief instrumental break at the end):
The Supreme riddim has a few good voicings. Dexta's songs are always so dense, I'm never quite sure what I think on first contact, but "Squeeze" is excellent?
Masicka's "Headshot" is more immediately accessible--the contrast really shows what's unique, possibly to a fault!, about Dexta:
Did we ever post Shenseea's rather good "Trending Gyal"? There's a mediocre video now:
On that topic: A/C COOL TURN UP DI TEMPERATURE WITH A PRETTY GYAL WEH FAVOR SHENSEEA is in my head like 60% of the time these days
― rob, Sunday, 10 February 2019 15:43 (one month ago) Permalink
This Stefflon & Sean Paul tune isn't particularly outstanding but should be noted in support of longneck's thesis:
― rob, Sunday, 17 February 2019 15:58 (one month ago) Permalink
Dexta Daps' "No Underwear" does exactly what it says on the tin, but I'm on board:
― rob, Sunday, 17 February 2019 16:02 (one month ago) Permalink
should i assume this was posted last year? love this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7agMxttD7Asquash - money fever
We are kings music channel5 months ago (edited)Bloodclat dem feel like ..dancehall trap all day.6 out here .121
― ILX’s bad boy (D-40), Wednesday, 20 February 2019 10:12 (one month ago) Permalink
that one's new to me but I like it. I was checking this Squash tune the other day:
I'm curious what rap fans think of "dancehall trap." Some earlier attempts were p derivative and uninspired, but I feel like it's stepped up in the past year or so.
I love this fantastic Govana and Tarrus Riley collab on "Unanswered":
― rob, Wednesday, 20 February 2019 16:50 (one month ago) Permalink
feeling the bass line on this new Jada Kingdom ("Business"):
― rob, Wednesday, 20 February 2019 16:53 (one month ago) Permalink
btw Jada fans should watch this excellent, elegant & jazzy live 1Xtra set: https://youtu.be/r73MT8eSvpU
― rob, Wednesday, 20 February 2019 17:17 (one month ago) Permalink
Alkaline, "Eva High"
― rob, Thursday, 28 February 2019 02:10 (three weeks ago) Permalink
Squash with a video for "Trending":
I wasn't completely sold on him at first tbh, but that's vibes.
This new Stylo G knocks:
So far I'm pretty strongly in favor of the dialectical response to trop house eating everyone's lunch being rap
― rob, Saturday, 2 March 2019 22:16 (two weeks ago) Permalink
You posted Stylo G twice! This is that Squash video for real:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hplD4QyV4Q8Great track btw. Plus it namechecks Suriname, I like that!
― breastcrawl, Sunday, 3 March 2019 00:25 (two weeks ago) Permalink
Oh, and “Whoop Whoop” is a bop of a banger!(I don’t really get your comment about rap vs trop house?)
― breastcrawl, Sunday, 3 March 2019 00:38 (two weeks ago) Permalink
Ah thanks for posting the right vid! The trop house comment was my obscure way of presenting an extremely undercooked thesis: after “tropical house” (i.e., watered down dancehall + soca) became mainstream global pop’s default setting, I got the sense that dancehall producers were at a loss to move to a new sound. Over the past year or so trap/rap more generally has emerged as a touch point for a bunch of the most exciting dancehall tunes. So basically I’m saying that dancehall has given up on trying to beat trop house at its own game and moved on to a new, rap influenced sound. However there are tons of exceptions to cite but I think it’s a legit trend now
― rob, Sunday, 3 March 2019 02:30 (two weeks ago) Permalink
idk if Jordan checks this thread, but I dig this new Epic B: https://soundcloud.com/immortal-instruments/meno-eddie-hill
I'm listening to the Little Simz album and no surprise or anything, but between this, Estelle's, and Mr Eazi's albums, Chronixx is a feature secret weapon, hope he puts out something new soon.
― rob, Thursday, 7 March 2019 16:08 (two weeks ago) Permalink
two excellent new Popcaan tunes
― rob, Sunday, 17 March 2019 15:41 (five days ago) Permalink
― change display name (Jordan), Monday, 18 March 2019 20:23 (four days ago) Permalink