I’m fresh from my annual trip to Jamaica, and the freezing polar vortex that is New York City has me yearning to return to the island’s plush beaches. But I always look to my country’s flourishing music scene to warm my spirits! Every year, I gather the biggest tunes that is taking over the Jamaican airwaves and bring them back to America for me to enjoy. This time around, it is no different! I know there are many Dancehall lovers out there, non-Jamaican or not, so I’ve decided to share my wealth with you. A majority of these singles are all-too familiar to native Jamaicans, but they are definitely new for us who live abroad — not ah yaad.
Keep on reading to listen to some of the biggest songs that are fueling Jamaican bashments all night long!
(In no particular order)
1. Vybz Kartel — “Cya Test We”
This is one of the Dancehall artist’s more subdued songs, thanks to the R&B-inspired floating production. But don’t let that fool you! “Cya Test We” is a explicit-laden gangster anthem that both the thugs and the ladies rock to.
2. Ding Dong — “Syvah”
While this tune was released in December 2013, it still continues to sound fresh wherever you play it — from your iPod “Turn Up” playlist to the biggest island parties. Let’s face it, the dance associated with the single is too damn catchy!
3. Alkaline — “Live Life”
Alkaline is currently the “It” artist of Dancehall, and this song is one of his most respected. It’s basically a “fuck you” to all of his haters that is filled with honest lyrics, which is something that many people can relate to.
4. Demarco — “Good Book”
Demarco is known for his tunes for the ladies (see number 7), but he can no doubt throw down a gangster’s song at any request! From the minimal yet heavy-hitting production to the shit-talking lyrics, “Good Book” simply goes hard, or as many would say, it tun up up up!
5. Gully Bop — “Wuk Offa Mi”
This next artist is truly a “From nothing to something” musical fairytale story! Gully Bop was a no name just a few months ago, but a viral video caused his popularity to sky rocket in a way that Jamaica hasn’t seen in a long time! Despite his humbled backgrounds, his old-school flow is unmatched.
6. Ishawna — “Restraining Order”
Unfortunately there aren’t many female artists who are making intense waves in the Dancehall scene from what I’ve witnessed (other than Spice‘s “So Mi Like It”), but Ishawna’s “Restraining Order” was one of the few songs that stood out to me. It is a brash middle finger to her ex-husband as well as an anthem for females who want to leave their no-good men behind!
7. Demarco — “Puppy Tail”
As previously stated, Demarco has mastered how to create a popular ladies’ song! His latest is “Puppy Tail,” an energetic, dance-heavy tune that has women everywhere shaking their booties. Move over 6:30, it’s all about wagging your tail!
8. Vybz Kartel — “Nuh Trust People”
You can always count on Vybz Kartel to create a singalong song that people of all ages want it to wheeeeel and come again when the DJ drops it at the party! His latest, “Nuh Trust People” is no different! It makes you grateful that he still has control of the Dancehall scene even behind bars.
9. Mavado — “Nah Use Dem”
This song is on the same riddim as the one above (Happy Hour Riddim), and it is performed by Kartel’s longtime music rival — Mavado. The theme is along the same wave as Kartel’s one, but the singjay puts his own spin on the tune.
10. Vybz Kartel — “Credit Alone Done”
If you’re familiar with Kartel’s discography, then you know that his songs for the females are just as strong as the ones for the thugs. “Credit Alone Done” is a feel-good, summery tune. When he croons in his low voice, “Ah yuh back fi a bend,” trust me — all ladies everywhere will gladly oblige!
11. Alkaline — “Holiday Again”
For the summer season, a bevy of artists churn out tunes that are meant to be blasted throughout the sweltering months. Alkaline’s own ruled last summer and spilled over into the winter months! It’s catchy hook and witty lyrics is perfectly suitable for bashments everywhere.
12. Gage — “Kitty Kat”
Every Dancehall lover has a string of raunchy tunes in their arsenal, and this one should definitely be added. When Gage sings, “Attack it pon di spot, Miss Kitty Kat,” he’s not talking about your furry pet animal!
Honorable Mention: O.T. Genasis’ “CoCo”
Along with Dancehall, Jamaicans are also huge fans of Hip-Hop. The song that was played at almost every party that was met with endless gun signals was O.T. Genasis’ drug dealer anthem — “CoCo.” The song is so popular, in fact, that Leftside & Esco created their own remix — appropriately titled, “Ganja.”
Photo Courtesy of: Middbeat.org
What are your current favorite Dancehall songs? Share them with us below, we’d love to add to our music playlists!