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 weeks 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 weeks 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 weeks ago) link

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q81eLhogSyg

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

Yeah! Good way to celebrate his 44th birthday.

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

I guess it's his Here, My Dear?

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

new Govana epic is pretty wild with the perfect punchline:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ihNwYz7Was

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

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

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

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

rob, Wednesday, 22 January 2020 23:45 (two days 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 (yesterday) link


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