rolling dancehall & reggae 2019

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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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HSO9YtEAyA

"Raggamuffin"

rob, Thursday, 3 January 2019 16:13 (one year ago) link

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 (one year ago) link

Here's a brand new Aidonia, Dom Perignon, to set things off for the new year:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i715zMjJbys&frags=pl%2Cwn

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Thursday, 3 January 2019 20:49 (one year ago) link

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 (one year ago) link

Aidonia has hit a great groove lately

I like this new Jada Kingdom that kinda doesn't belong on this thread:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Hq7FhNaJeI

rob, Thursday, 3 January 2019 21:05 (one year ago) link

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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_f1AlRFrqpM

I posted this at the end of the last thread, but in case you missed it, here is Rygin King's sweet Powerful:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OrpJCditas

rob, Thursday, 3 January 2019 21:13 (one year ago) link

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 (one year ago) link

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 (one year ago) link

(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-JIM1k6ZM

Keith Sweat ft. Akon, Alkaline & RayFade • Fuego)

breastcrawl, Friday, 4 January 2019 08:49 (one year ago) link

(at least outside Jamaica, that should say)

breastcrawl, Friday, 4 January 2019 08:51 (one year ago) link

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 (one year ago) link

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 (one year ago) link

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 (one year ago) link

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 (one year ago) link

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 (one year ago) link

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 (one year ago) link

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 (one year ago) link

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 (one year ago) link

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 (one year ago) link

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 (one year ago) link

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 (one year ago) link

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 (one year ago) link

I guess this is NYC/flex/FDM but I heard this on an Equinoxx NTS show and I love it:

https://soundcloud.com/immortal-instruments/magazine-riddim
https://soundcloud.com/immortal-instruments/magazine-ft-kiyano

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 9 January 2019 17:07 (one year ago) link

The vocal version is dope. I have no idea what flex or FDM are though?

rob, Wednesday, 9 January 2019 17:13 (one year ago) link

Afaik it's an NYC regional thing based around the contortion-heavy dance style w/dancehall-ish beats around 100 bpm?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRBJv1bdAFk

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 9 January 2019 17:21 (one year ago) link

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 (one year ago) link

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 (one year ago) link

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 (one year ago) link

she also voted for Popcaan's album

https://uproxx.com/critics/erin-macleod/

curmudgeon, Friday, 11 January 2019 04:35 (one year ago) link

Oh, onetime Ilxor Alex M voted for Spice - Captured.

curmudgeon, Friday, 11 January 2019 04:48 (one year ago) link

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 (one year ago) link

It's very good, yes.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Friday, 11 January 2019 09:51 (one year ago) link

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 (one year ago) link

Yeah, “Weak To You” is fantastic.

breastcrawl, Friday, 11 January 2019 10:45 (one year ago) link

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 (one year ago) link

Absolutely agree w regards to Dexta's slackness.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Friday, 11 January 2019 15:07 (one year ago) link

Same here, hence my sort-of trigger warning.

breastcrawl, Friday, 11 January 2019 15:33 (one year ago) link

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 (one year ago) link

Listening to ILX Listen: 2019

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 16 January 2019 16:51 (one year ago) link

Koffee - Throne
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQJZ9NIRKSo

Her style + rootsy.

Nabozo, Thursday, 17 January 2019 09:37 (one year ago) link

Wow that's awesome, very excited for the EP to drop

rob, Thursday, 17 January 2019 15:02 (one year ago) link

yeah, that's great

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Thursday, 17 January 2019 16:59 (one year ago) link

I'm really enjoying the Peppa Mint riddim these days:

Busy Signal - Know You Good
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KT8QUDcIYDg&frags=pl%2Cwn

Konshens - Set It Up
https://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 (one year ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5V4ZDNV4si0
Throne repost with the video

Nabozo, Thursday, 31 January 2019 13:22 (one year ago) link

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 year ago) link

same tbh. she's definitely one to watch; all the singles are great.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Thursday, 31 January 2019 21:34 (one year ago) link

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 year ago) link

Great song, great video.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Thursday, 31 January 2019 21:48 (one year ago) link

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 year ago) link

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 year ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7o64Mc6Ids

just sayin, Monday, 19 August 2019 02:42 (seven months ago) link

yeah that's dope, the video is fun too.

my favorite Alkaline track this year--the MJ-esque "With the Thing"--has a moody, cinematic video now:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T63F7KgF16g

rob, Monday, 19 August 2019 14:05 (seven months ago) link

kind of shocked to be the one posting this /bordering on parody, but somehow making it work/ Dexta song "Strangers":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsfnrliX8e4

rob, Monday, 19 August 2019 14:16 (seven months ago) link

Busy, I love you!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hywcq4KTJAQ
Busy Signal • Balloon

breastcrawl, Friday, 23 August 2019 23:33 (seven months ago) link

Balloons 🎈need threads.

breastcrawl, Saturday, 24 August 2019 09:57 (seven months ago) link

It's pretty exciting that all the already released tracks on the Busy album are excellent

more good Alkaline:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5dLPb8YFCM

"Depend Pan Nobody"

rob, Saturday, 24 August 2019 12:42 (seven months ago) link

Yeah, “Depend Pan Nobody” is nice.

What are the other tracks that you know will be on this new Busy album? I feel with dancehall artists it can be hard to get the full picture on Spotify. A lot of tracks never appear there, or only belatedly. Also, the label situation often seems complicated.

breastcrawl, Saturday, 24 August 2019 18:23 (seven months ago) link

the album is called Parts of the Puzzle; tracklist is up on itunes

"Stay So" and "One Way" are the first two songs and would be my picks for his best recent tracks

"Dolla Van" is on there and that's a jam

"Got To Tell You" is more recent and has an irresistible hook (thanks to Cutty Ranks, but still):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MsWt_psndM

the last track is called "Jah Know Dawg" which I'm kinda hoping is this, though might not be:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJCl2HXq8hI

rob, Saturday, 24 August 2019 18:52 (seven months ago) link

so that’s 3/5 on Spotify then, seems about the going rate

breastcrawl, Saturday, 24 August 2019 18:59 (seven months ago) link

yeah part of why I'm wondering about that "Dawg" track is it was never officially released anywhere iirc despite there being artwork
I'm surprised "Dolla Van" isn't on spotify though, that's at least on Apple

rob, Saturday, 24 August 2019 19:05 (seven months ago) link

When I played his recent stuff earlier today I also liked “Furnace Flow” with G3n3xgy, of which there’s only this video-wise: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HEhUeNn9K4

breastcrawl, Saturday, 24 August 2019 19:26 (seven months ago) link

i had been digging 'it ruff', 'know you good' and 'great man' all of which i guess aren't on the lp?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSMdCn1dbRs

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Sunday, 25 August 2019 19:46 (seven months ago) link

(would also spare some 2019 busy love for 'set it good', 'perfect spot' plus the duets of 'go dance' with afro b, , 'nuh weh nuh safe' with bounty killer and - of course - 'celebrating life' with davo)

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Sunday, 25 August 2019 20:10 (seven months ago) link

((busy is also headlining a show in BK this upcoming Friday with Afro B, Shenseea, Spragga Benz an a bunch more: https://concerts1.livenation.com/event/1D0056DCD56143BA))

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Sunday, 25 August 2019 20:12 (seven months ago) link

Fader feature on Squash: https://www.thefader.com/2019/09/04/squash-mek-it-shake-6ix-interview

I saw this on LargeUp and really like it; Jaz Elise "Fresh & Clean":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaZ6t2IKAmo

Her older "For You" is lots of fun too:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kzd2mrkzpoY

rob, Thursday, 5 September 2019 12:46 (six months ago) link

She's great!

Love to the Solomon Islands:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXNrSp6zcEY
Jaro Local - "Dakini Tangarareh"

Dunno if ILM's ever had a track from there, but this one was a hit in the south Pacific, and won the international award at the New Zealand Pacific Music Awards.
- https://www.chmsupersound.com/jaro-local-makes-history-pmas

sbahnhof, Wednesday, 11 September 2019 08:37 (six months ago) link

yeah, this is great!

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Thursday, 12 September 2019 22:44 (six months ago) link

one month passes...

UK dancehall, this one has a murder's row of great producers (Epic B, Anz, Sinjin Hawke, etc)
https://mcfoxmcr.bandcamp.com/album/juice-flow

change display name (Jordan), Friday, 18 October 2019 19:53 (five months ago) link

two weeks pass...

I'm currently hooked on this catchy little trifle.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xfnRoHpBy0
Skillibeng - Brik Pan Brik

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Thursday, 7 November 2019 13:13 (four months ago) link

I re-discovered the Lifestyle riddim today :)

change display name (Jordan), Thursday, 7 November 2019 17:51 (four months ago) link

Loving the Power House riddim at the moment.

https://youtu.be/B-Lo2DKE1zM

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Thursday, 7 November 2019 18:14 (four months ago) link

two weeks pass...

hi thread

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBUrfyZmii4

Chronic Law, "Pull Up"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHYndFq91xs

Govana, "Up Front" + basically the whole Aircraft riddim

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMaC2_SmNgk

Jada Kingdom, "Finally" -- love the bits where this threatens to turn into some kinda dembow house

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCtFzTccpWY

Ding Dong, "Gyalis Story"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucfWqTot8iA

Buju Banton, "Steppa"

rob, Sunday, 24 November 2019 01:13 (four months ago) link

Hi, rob! Thanks for those. I've been waiting for Aidonia to pop up with some real heat again, and with Aircraft he's back for real.

Has there been a real consensus hit from JA this year outside of maybe Beat Em Bad and idk Owna Lane or something?

I'm still amazed at how Kartel manages to stay one step ahead of the competition this far into his sentence. 2019 hasn't been the best post-incarceration year for him, but most of the stuff he has released has been pretty great.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Sunday, 24 November 2019 11:59 (four months ago) link

I've been super out of the loop since the summer (there's probably an album's worth of recent Kartel I haven't heard yet lol), but I think the genuine consensus hit for 2019 is Toast? Obvs that's kind of unsatisfying since it came out a full year ago, but I'm not aware of anything else in real contention with it. Plus, of course, it rules. It was my #1 for the eoy poll last year and I might just do that again.

Tommy Lee Sparta has a song called "Blessings" that I did not like when I checked it out, but is pretty popular. Surprised there isn't a Popcaan or Alkaline to consider, except With The Thing maybe? That's a personal fave at least. If there's a consensus choice for Squash or Chronic Law, maybe one of those?

Speaking of, I feel like there's lots of room for new artists to make a splash right now. I haven't heard *the* song from Intence yet, but I think he's worth keeping an eye on; here's Go Hard on thread-fave Lifestyle riddim:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWqkjWuOakA

his buddy I Waata's version is good too; Cut Off Jeans:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2xtt6EUNnc

Daddy 1 on this skeletal riddim (I'm broadly in favor of the minimalist turn riddims seem to have taken?):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3aEvwDF1Cs

I dig this Rygin King "One Time":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aANPLvpKKLg

rob, Sunday, 24 November 2019 14:57 (four months ago) link

Yeah Toast is the obvious one - I just keep thinking of it AS a 2018 tune. I feel like this has mostly been an off year for dancehall AND rap though. Most of my favorites have been afro stuff.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Sunday, 24 November 2019 15:19 (four months ago) link

*as

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Sunday, 24 November 2019 15:19 (four months ago) link

I basically agree about both genres, though I don't follow rap enough to be as confident. I've got a few things saved to check out, but the Denzel Curry album is the only thing I've really loved this year.

My year has largely been jazz and rnb for albums, and definitely afropop for tracks (plus African Giant likely my AOTY), and I have at least a few days worth of breastcrawl posts to work through once the semester is over. So I could end up with a couple dozen afropop jams on my year-end playlist, which is more than enough for one year really!

But it is telling that Mixpak do a "best new dancehall" playlist for Spotify and it's like 5% stuff from JA. Quality of the music aside, there's a lack of enthusiasm for sure. My hunch is the kinds of listeners who might have been keeping an ear out in the past are mostly listening to afropop and reggaeton instead? IDK, I think Koffee's trajectory illustrates a strong desire for freshness and lightness too.

rob, Sunday, 24 November 2019 15:49 (four months ago) link

Don't get me wrong, there have been plenty of dope dancehall riddims this year. Lifestyle riddim is among the best but it's not alone. What I do miss is the great singles, stuff like Tuff or Bullet Proof or Yeah Yeah or Fever or Loodi, just to name a few from the past couple of years. There's Toast and, of course, Balloon, but those truly great singles have not been popping off the way they used to afaict.

2019 rap has mostly been dead to me, outside of a few club friendly singles. I like DaBaby as much as anyone but tbh it's just not that exciting.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Sunday, 24 November 2019 16:05 (four months ago) link

Re: Jaro Local and Solomon Islands tracks, by chance I've just heard this one which is also from the Solomons, from 2011. I think I like it more (and maybe Jaro did too :-)

Young Davie - "Mama Vule Mae"
- https://youtu.be/-Bb11qg_Oxc

sbahnhof, Saturday, 7 December 2019 08:15 (three months ago) link

Good to see Davido x Popcaan’s “Risky” in that chart, such a jam.

breastcrawl, Sunday, 8 December 2019 16:05 (three months ago) link

lots of songs I don't really recognize on there though. I guess I need to investigate a bit more

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Sunday, 8 December 2019 16:14 (three months ago) link

I should rectify posting the wrong new Buju. The people's choice is the paranoid and otm Dave Kelly-produced "Trust":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rb9F4qsCCk0

btw longneck that Skillibeng track is dope, good Equiknoxx before-they-went-FACT vibes

rob, Thursday, 12 December 2019 15:47 (three months ago) link

two weeks pass...

Speaking of, I feel like there's lots of room for new artists to make a splash right now. I haven't heard *the* song from Intence yet, but I think he's worth keeping an eye on

add Maestro Don to this list too:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBRx9NK7qfU

rob, Friday, 27 December 2019 15:02 (three months ago) link

If I can figure out what to call it, I might make a thread for Jada Kingdom and Stalk Ashley's take on heavily accented but intl rnb:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHY9OV75Ik4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEl11iGFivI

rob, Friday, 27 December 2019 15:20 (three months ago) link

did we ever talk about the Narcos riddim?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CNxHQ2FaFE

rob, Friday, 27 December 2019 15:27 (three months ago) link

This one is intriguing. I’m still trying to make sense of the rhythm. It’s like a rodeo ride. Will Taksik stay in the saddle?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deTaiDXDgV4
Taksik • Party

breastcrawl, Saturday, 28 December 2019 23:45 (three months ago) link

huh. yeah I can't decide if that's excitingly offbeat (literally and figuratively) or a shambles

rob, Sunday, 29 December 2019 15:34 (three months ago) link

Came across this on the Jamaican Deezer chart, where it’s the number one - he has the whole top 5 in fact, which might simply mean that only he and his peeps are using it. I *think* I like it, but/and I keep playing it to make sure.

breastcrawl, Sunday, 29 December 2019 16:40 (three months ago) link

Finding useful & accurate information about JA music has become really difficult! I look at this site sometimes, but I think it's just aggregating YouTube views (arguably better than most other metrics though, but gets too influenced by intl views): https://popnable.com/jamaica. I haven't seen a single EOY or EOD list.

On that note, I found Marvin Sparks' critical retrospective on the decade worth thinking about: https://marvinsparks.blogspot.com/2019/12/wrote-about-dancehalls-deadest-decade.html

I don't endorse all of it--(being American?) I have much more time for the trap-influenced sound than him--but I do think the narrowing of lyrical horizons has been detrimental, especially for women, and helps explain Koffee's instant appeal. Plus I think the slow withering of these threads over the decade does have something to do with the music not just ILM's concurrent depopulation. And his point about the lack of major stars is interesting.

rob, Sunday, 29 December 2019 18:00 (three months ago) link

here's a big hit we never posted (iirc), Munga Honorable's surprisingly jubilant kiss-off anthem "Nah Mad":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40H_Qrq94Lo

rob, Tuesday, 31 December 2019 16:15 (three months ago) link

enjoying that one, as well as Ding Ding’s “Gyalis Story” from somewhere upthread.

breastcrawl, Wednesday, 1 January 2020 17:46 (three months ago) link

https://reggaetop40.com/

Just saw this site linked to on twitter

curmudgeon, Thursday, 2 January 2020 00:47 (three months ago) link

Thanks for what you folks post here

curmudgeon, Monday, 6 January 2020 20:07 (two months ago) link

I am not in touch these days that much, and appreciate your efforts

curmudgeon, Monday, 6 January 2020 20:08 (two months ago) link

thanks curmudgeon! and 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, 8 January 2020 16:54 (two months ago) link

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, 9 January 2020 08:55 (two months ago) link

I wrote up a long response to that, so I think I'll just start a new thread...

rob, Thursday, 9 January 2020 15:46 (two months ago) link

new thread: rolling dancehall & reggae 2020

rob, Thursday, 9 January 2020 15:52 (two months ago) link


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