rolling dancehall & reggae 2022

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Some recent tunes I have been enjoying:

Shenseea - Dolly

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6Qha7pjgWs

I'm mostly looking forward to her album, though I'm not sure she'll sustain interest at length

Ding Dong - Rubber Band

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Wi6kfYfJdw

excellent rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrriddim

Kranium - Wi Deh Yah

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hM0RJ8Ib-N8

vibey but nice

Then there's Laa Lee who seems to be carving out a new afrohouse/techno-influenced lane for himself that's different from both the killy killy trap-hall guys and the trad go-down-deh veterans (cf. last year's Tip Inna It and Dirt Bounce)

Piy Piy

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

Bird

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

rob, Tuesday, 1 February 2022 19:20 (nine months ago) link

for my money though, the it's the trap-hall scene generating the most energy (even though this stuff is *cold*)

Skeng - Curves

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bUH9hz9mEA

sadly Skeng chucked in his uninterrupted run of razor-sharp singles for some crap ballads

Prince Swanny - Bad & Clean

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUvnc_0Ibcc

Soldier

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOjqRcq2I-w

Ding Dong on that same "Dolly" riddim (Upstairs is the name) is not bad too

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

rob, Tuesday, 1 February 2022 19:29 (nine months ago) link

if you have the Criterion Channel, this looks fire: https://www.criterionchannel.com/roots-revolution-reggae-on-film

rob, Tuesday, 1 February 2022 19:58 (nine months ago) link

Okuda Hiroko: The Casio Employee Behind the “Sleng Teng” Riddim that Revolutionized Reggae

https://www.nippon.com/en/japan-topics/g02027/

StanM, Tuesday, 1 February 2022 23:55 (nine months ago) link

two months pass...

from October last year, the remix of Projexx’(x?) “Sidepiece” with Nigerian singer Ruger:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqyiNni9u84

(it’s also featured on P’s Queen Hill EP)

Ruger’s mission, according to his Twitter: “I will make Africa and the whole world fall deeply in love with dancehall music”.
His is an extremely afropoppy version of dancehall - not surprisingly he’s blown up in East Africa even more than in Nigeria itself.

I'm too sophisti for the pun generator, so sophisti it hurts (breastcrawl), Saturday, 2 April 2022 18:56 (seven months ago) link

Put your back in it
Put your back in it
Just a likkle more

Nabozo, Sunday, 3 April 2022 11:49 (seven months ago) link

Pitchfork likes Koffee

curmudgeon, Sunday, 3 April 2022 13:20 (seven months ago) link

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/03/11/magazine/scam-rap.html

Intence’s “Yahoo Boyz” that Rob highlighted previously, is included in this discussion of scam rap, and afrobeats and dancehall examples of songs about internet scams

curmudgeon, Sunday, 3 April 2022 14:01 (seven months ago) link

Jamaicans on twitter and elsewhere speaking out against Grammys best reggae album going to northern Virginia band Soja and not to Spice , Sean Paul, or other nominees

Others aren’t surprised. Grammys are notorious for not reflecting critical or popular consensus

curmudgeon, Monday, 4 April 2022 14:07 (seven months ago) link

It is entirely unsurprising but nonetheless worth speaking out against.

I go back and forth with awards shows in general: I resent that we have to talk about them every year as if everyone who knows anything doesn't know they're a joke but at the same time can't entirely deny that there's an audience they reach and that could therefore be theoretically exposed to worthwhile stuff.

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 5 April 2022 09:58 (seven months ago) link

Just discovered this. Syrupy dub reggae from Puerto Rico, just adding a coating of varnish on the classic sound.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qu0SIQVoAnE
Pachyman - All Night Long

Nabozo, Saturday, 9 April 2022 14:23 (seven months ago) link

I think you all might like this Laa Lee & Cristale:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gm8GMl_S17c

rob, Monday, 18 April 2022 14:14 (seven months ago) link

two months pass...

I made a playlist of some recent trap dancehall stuff:

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0IadjozPPc2pSE8jan5LBL?si=PY8_ID9OTCK_pLaq4d5GEQ

Please let me know if I’m forgetting something awesome.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Sunday, 19 June 2022 12:27 (five months ago) link

thanks for this! i’m not sure i’m into it but it’s interesting

Tracer Hand, Sunday, 19 June 2022 12:53 (five months ago) link

Pr promo email but still kinda interesting ---

Spice, Queen of Dancehall returns to the Billboards in Times Square in promotion of Spotify’s EQUAL Campaign. The streaming platform’s playlist entitled EQUAL features the voices of prominent women from around the world. Seen as one of the leaders in the streaming space, the playlist offers more visibility to women.

Gracing billboards in New York’s Time Square, Spice amplifies the messaging that female creatives should be treated as equally as their male counterparts. In Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square, Spice will be re-featured in time for her PRIDE performance live on Friday June 24th that officially opens the weekend celebration in Toronto.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 23 June 2022 18:20 (five months ago) link

one month passes...

this is Ghana’s NYA with the lovely “Jam” from her Euphoria - Vol. 2 EP. lots of old school flavour, but very fresh at the same time:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Y8QErT1DBw

big movers, hot steppers + long shaker intros (breastcrawl), Monday, 22 August 2022 20:13 (three months ago) link

trying again (second time this week!) to make rob care about his rolling dancehall thread:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PC3x3sUfp00
Skip Marley ft. Ayra Starr • Jane

(I can’t make heads and tails of all these genre mashups anymore. what am I hearing? is there amapiano in this? is this reggae as processed through a Made in Lagos afrobeats filter and then processed all the way back? Rykeyz is an American pop/r&b producer. I like it a whole damn lot either way)

big movers, hot steppers + long shaker intros (breastcrawl), Friday, 26 August 2022 16:32 (three months ago) link

aw thanks for the push, breastcrawl :)

I like the production on "Jam" especially the horns, though it's a touch shapeless as a song. "Jane" is quite lovely, and yeah I've no idea what genre to call that, there's not much Jamaica in Skip's singing (though it comes in around 2:30). Funnily enough, as soon as she starts singing, I'm like "oh, it's an Ayra Starr song"—perhaps she's her own genre! but idk there's maybe something Latin in there too?

I'm still mostly listening to the "traphall" drill-ish stuff (like the playlist longneck posted) that, please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that beloved on ILM? This kind of thing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JE118eRQsAI

Skeng - Day Break

I do like this recent Sevana on a roots tip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAd3JQ1V-10

I don't really regret ignoring this thread this year—I can't pretend I don't sometimes get over-invested in ILM at times, and it was nice to divest a little—but I feel bad I never posted this, which is an ANTHEM (plus the video rules):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UwKrek6gks

Ding Dong - Bounce

rob, Friday, 26 August 2022 18:24 (three months ago) link

alright two more. I just love this Countree Hype beat:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8KEudRl_SM

Intence - Raid

And the dancing in this Squash vid:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0RiCWFdxxs

Squash - Sweepstake Life

rob, Friday, 26 August 2022 18:27 (three months ago) link

ranking them because I feel like ranking:

1) Squash • Sweepstake Life
my favourite. what a great sound.

2) Ding Dong • Bounce
a banger, you were not kidding & great vid too
(as an aside: I couldn’t help comparing the dancing/looks/fashion + production value with those of African videos (Nigerian, Ghanaian, Tanzanian, Angolan, Ivorian, South African, doesn’t matter), and the African ones are so much more inspiring and glamorous in all respects. the creativity is off the charts. one more reason the axis has shifted, I think.

3) Intence • Raid
good stuff, love the skitterish beat & percussive accents. in the clean version the vocal is kind of skitterish too because of all the gaps. oh, videos with acted out crime scenes: not a fan.
I will also very belatedly endorse “Yahoo Boyz” here.

4) Sevana • Lowe Mi
very nice. a whole different world.

5) Skeng • Day Break
well, you put me on the spot. I do like this one the least of this bunch, still good tho

big movers, hot steppers + long shaker intros (breastcrawl), Saturday, 27 August 2022 00:04 (three months ago) link

I can't pretend I don't sometimes get over-invested in ILM at times, and it was nice to divest a little

feeling you on this. I quit ILM around this time last year, had enough of several aspects of ILM itself and my interaction with it/them. returned six months later, because where else do you go? been struggling to find (back) my footing, but the decade polls, in all their woefulness, seem to have had a kind of cathartic effect. got some things off my chest an’ ting.

big movers, hot steppers + long shaker intros (breastcrawl), Saturday, 27 August 2022 00:15 (three months ago) link

VP promo email text that y'all might nevertheless find of interest

Notting Hill Carnival returned triumphantly to the streets of London last weekend for the first time in two years. Greensleeves held an exclusive rooftop party at Soho House White City for a night of Reggae, Dancehall and Carnival Anthems. Special guest selections came from the amazing Ayanna Heaven and also U.K. Grime legend Footsie who had the crowd moving with one-away dubplates and revival gems. The Greensleeves Hi-Fi team (Oxman and Adam Prescott) played a scorcher of a set packed full of top-ranking music from the Greensleeves catalogue and beyond.

On Sunday there was a moment of silence observed by the Carnival faithful to remember the Grenfell Tower victims and commemorate the five-year anniversary of the tragedy. A fitting tribute was held at Channel One Soundsystem, one of the heaviest Roots & Dub outfits in the world. Afterwards Channel One performed a special one-off Greensleeves Records showcase in which the great selector Mikey Dread drew for a hardcore sequence of vinyl from the Greensleeves archive, all of which was played on his own custom hand-built Sound to rapturous applause.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 30 August 2022 18:49 (two months ago) link

Brooklyn NYC carnival is labor day weekend I believe. Lots going on there

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 30 August 2022 18:59 (two months ago) link

Thoughts on the new Jada Kingdom, anyone?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wiSBeUhx9Q

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Tuesday, 30 August 2022 19:38 (two months ago) link

was just gonna mention it - reminds me of Tiwa, but not necessarily in a good way. only played it once tho.

came across it when I checked the Jamaican charts, it’s top 10 - see… my upcoming post

big movers, hot steppers + long shaker intros (breastcrawl), Tuesday, 30 August 2022 19:43 (two months ago) link

These are the 100 top streaming tracks on Jamaican Apple today

the top 20:

1 = Nicki Minaj & Skeng - Likkle Miss (Remix)
2 = DJ Khaled - GOD DID (feat. Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, JAY-Z, John Legend & Fridayy)
3 +1 Chris Brown - Under the Influence
4 -1 Burna Boy - Last Last
5 = Skeng - Likkle Miss
6 = Chris Brown - Call Me Every Day (feat. Wizkid)
7 = Jada Kingdom & Di Genius - GPP
8 +3 Skeng - Gang Bang
9 = Chronic Law - Empty
10 -2 Rygin King - Therapy
11 +3 Oxlade - KU LO SA - A COLORS SHOW
12 -2 DJ Khaled - USE THIS GOSPEL (feat. Kanye West & Eminem) [REMIX]
13 +2 DJ Khaled - STAYING ALIVE (feat. Drake & Lil Baby)
14 -2 Bayka - She Like It
15 +2 Skeng - Vibes
16 -3 DJ Khaled - THESE STREETS KNOW MY NAME (feat. Skillibeng, Buju Banton, Capleton, Bounty Killer & Sizzla)
17 +5 Skeng - London
18 +1 SKENG - Gvnman Session
19 -3 DJ Khaled - BIG TIME (feat. Future & Lil Baby)
20 +11 SQUASH - Peace of Min

don’t know how representative this is for what happens on the streets, but interesting just the same, I think.

heaviest hitters:
Skeng: 16 (he is huge!)
Masicka: 10 (still going strong!)
Bayka: 6
Squash: 6
Chronic Law: 4
Kraff Gad: 4
Malie: 3

Naija represent: Burna x 7; Oxlade at number 11!!!! It’s breathtaking how “Ku Lo Se” is blowing up worldwide.

big movers, hot steppers + long shaker intros (breastcrawl), Tuesday, 30 August 2022 19:44 (two months ago) link

so I found a Skeng track I really like, “London” (#17):

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

I also like “Vibe”

big movers, hot steppers + long shaker intros (breastcrawl), Tuesday, 30 August 2022 19:47 (two months ago) link

"london" is excellent, one of my fav songs of the year

comedy khadafi (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 30 August 2022 19:56 (two months ago) link

have to say, this is some depressing vibe they’ve got going on right now in Jamaica: “Empty”, “Therapy”, “Dark Room”…

that Jada song makes a lot of sense as an antidote to that. listened to it some more and I can see its appeal. it’s extremely catchy and memeworthy (hello World of TikTok!). I still hear a lot of Tiwa there - which is good actually, it’s just that I’m a bit allergic to that cutesy 1960 retro sound (the aural scars Sean Kingston’s “Beautiful Girls” left on me still haven’t disappeared)

big movers, hot steppers + long shaker intros (breastcrawl), Tuesday, 30 August 2022 20:12 (two months ago) link

Bayka’s “She Like It” is very moody as well, but it’s a lot livelier (also compared to his other big hit “1Uptown”) - plus his voice sounds great here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-m2Kemt1jw

big movers, hot steppers + long shaker intros (breastcrawl), Tuesday, 30 August 2022 20:14 (two months ago) link

oops, video is x-rated or something (hadn’t watched it yet)

here’s the audio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zC8ws-bkJZU

big movers, hot steppers + long shaker intros (breastcrawl), Tuesday, 30 August 2022 20:16 (two months ago) link

I'm on the fence about GPP myself. I think it will be huge for the above mentioned reasons but it still feels a bit... cheap.
I do, however, love Shenseea and Skillibeng's Rain which SOUNDS huge:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKsq4xL1Kt0

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Tuesday, 30 August 2022 20:17 (two months ago) link

"london" is excellent, one of my fav songs of the year

― comedy khadafi (voodoo chili), Tuesday, August 30, 2022 3:56 PM (one hour ago)

^otm

GPP is a bit too novelty for me I think. Surprisingly cheap sounding for Di Genius too. Jada is very funny though

I love the production on Rain but I'm not sure it works as an actual song. Listening now and liking it more than last time though

Bayka is awesome. "Real Life Killa" (a Zimi production) is a fave:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJcTsFZq1G0

also Mobster:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DMdieTawZo

and Top Tier:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgWVj6MvRqg

breastcrawl: I have no idea what happens in those videos, so probably don't watch them

have to say, this is some depressing vibe they’ve got going on right now in Jamaica

I know, it's so great :)

rob, Tuesday, 30 August 2022 21:11 (two months ago) link

The trinibad wave seems to have receded a bit, but I really like this Boy Boy track (you might remember him from the Pa Salieu tape).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7q9X75enXs

Pitch Out

Over the winter/spring JA was churning out all these terrible piano-led ballads, but that one works for me

rob, Tuesday, 30 August 2022 21:14 (two months ago) link

heh just noticed longneck called GPP cheap too

rob, Tuesday, 30 August 2022 21:15 (two months ago) link

another Squash tune I really love is 6ix Rack:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqzDo-VGcbI

as otm as "depressing vibe" is, Squash tends to bring a more impish energy to things (as in Sweepstake Life--glad you liked that one bc)

ironically Grim YG has that same energy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbKyOELoZ6s

Bruk Choppa

rob, Tuesday, 30 August 2022 21:27 (two months ago) link

@rob:

a depressing piano-led ballad: Y/N

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UY6uKSBj2N4
it’s Alkaline’s latest, “Lone Madness”

big movers, hot steppers + long shaker intros (breastcrawl), Tuesday, 30 August 2022 21:28 (two months ago) link

and as for Squash, oh yes, definitely and otm - I was just preparing this post:

it’s also becoming ever clearer that in the Skeng-Squash wars I’m very much #TeamSquash

“Lattry”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYxLWhorh_Q

“Foot”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftU1AshwBH0

“Ready”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwzxISxYiig (even when he’s at his moodiest, like here, there’s still a playfulness there, also in the production. I like that)

big movers, hot steppers + long shaker intros (breastcrawl), Tuesday, 30 August 2022 21:33 (two months ago) link

xp
That Alka is kind of what I was talking about, though the electric guitar part is quite a swerve compared to the tracks I have in mind. I'd post an example, but I don't feel like finding one lol, they are really generic and draggy, even Skeng's

oh yeah I love Lattry too

thing with Skeng though is he sounds amazing over a wider variety of riddims than you'd expect, like this v pretty one for Gvnman Spaniard w/ Govana:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YH42E7f42Xg

rob, Tuesday, 30 August 2022 21:39 (two months ago) link

“Pitch Out” is pretty, more so than “Gvnman Spaniard” imo

I really like “Bruk Choppa”, as well as all the Baykas you posted - even the piano-led “Mobster”!

big movers, hot steppers + long shaker intros (breastcrawl), Tuesday, 30 August 2022 22:16 (two months ago) link

liking the light African vibes on Jahshii’s “Same Way Suh” - the number one on You Tube Jamaica:

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

big movers, hot steppers + long shaker intros (breastcrawl), Wednesday, 31 August 2022 09:25 (two months ago) link

“Pitch Out” is pretty, more so than “Gvnman Spaniard” imo

I'd agree with that. For a while the trinibad stuff I liked most was all like this: super gorgeous instrumentals with keening, mournful vocals on top, lots of harp and melancholic guitar. I was partic into Prince Swanny's take on the sound at first (posted upthread iirc), but he kept putting out essentially the same song and I stopped paying attention.

I liked Jahshii when I first heard him ("Shift Change"), but he's jumped around stylistically to the point I feel like I've lost a sense of his identity as an artist, like I wouldn't have guessed that was him if I'd heard it anonymously.

Speaking of strong identities, we haven't talked about Skillibeng much itt. "Whap Whap" should be posted for posterity I feel:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsQr3EsWVC0

And the other two standouts from the Mr Universe EP:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWl_S5-T2tE

Thee Most Power, basically straight drill which he sounds great over

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPhyj8wz0RE

Rocket Launcher f. Rich the Kid & Popcaan

Not sure why that one hasn't had more of a push tbh, both guests sound great

rob, Wednesday, 31 August 2022 13:32 (two months ago) link

three weeks pass...

powerfully dank but ravey drillhall from Intence

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpLw1RnOLwM

Correction

(I only watched half the video so caveat watcher)

rob, Thursday, 22 September 2022 13:40 (two months ago) link

one month passes...

revisiting Jahshii and I dig these:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tC2_QdVSUN8

Domino Gyallis

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Na_oQRNih8g

Di Ting Mad (flute alert)

I also like some of what I've heard from Kraff Gad

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwoPvlv94AA

Hot Docs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEMlcy5_z-U

OG Bobby Johnson, which seems to be his biggest hit so far

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81T0NMvtJhE

SleepWalk

Unfortunately, I'm not at all feeling Valiant who is blowing up right now ("North Carolina" in partic).

In general things feel stagnant right now though. I wish we could get some wilder riddims; the slow piano mode is repulsive to me at this point, and in general it would be nice to move past trap, even if I still like some of that stuff (see above)

rob, Thursday, 3 November 2022 17:10 (three weeks ago) link

And on the reggae front, the new Protoje album has some really gorgeous production/playing on it (he's solid per usual)

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

The Charm

rob, Thursday, 3 November 2022 17:13 (three weeks ago) link

https://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/entertainment/20221115/koffee-scores-grammy-nom-gifted-debut?fbclid=IwAR1CzeOfQJd4UHTQwsz6YAd7WS65eIU8F4XXRIYwGzMwLjfgkHsnYClwdUA

the Grammys Best Reggae Album Category. Gifted by Koffee; The Kalling by Kabaka Pyramid; Scorcha by Sean Paul; Third Time's the Charm by Protoje, and Com Fly Wid Mi by Shaggy, also scored nominations.

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 16 November 2022 15:41 (one week ago) link

not bad!

rob, Wednesday, 16 November 2022 16:33 (one week ago) link

Yep for the Grammys that’s not too bad . I guess Shaggy is probably best known to Grammys voters so he will likely win

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 16 November 2022 23:25 (one week ago) link


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