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20 top reggae & bashment bangers fi da year ya - 2015 edition

This ain't in a particular order because how innit? And to be fair, its the first 20 songs that spring to mind. That's gotta be a good way to tell. I think anyway. And it ain't factual, its just my opinion. There will be a lot of songs I like that aren't on here so yeah, wul dis.

I did an awards ceremony you can check here but this one is a way to share the song's I rated. The world a reggae and bashment ones here. Stay locked.

But anyway, here goes...

Vybz Kartel - Dancehall

Gotta set things off properly. One of the biggest statement songs of the year that only Kartel would've made. I say that because only Kartel seems focused on reflecting Jamaican culture to the world. A lot of others chase foreign glory. Kartel is in jail and couldn't travel to many territories for the best part of his career, so he hasn't got much choice.

Mavado - My League

If I was pushed, I'd have to say this is my favourite song of the year. I rate every single thing about it. The riddim is mad. The lyrics match the riddim and my mindset. The way Mavado rides the riddim is similar to how he was killing it in 2011. That singjay vibe is just his element. Man. I love this song.

Mavado's best song of the year by a million miles. Good uplifting, wash off the haters vibes. So good, DJ Khaled included it on his latest album. I just want him to put money into a video for it.

Vershon - Inna Real Life

Vershon had a little bit of a buzz last year with 'Fxck Up The World', but 'Inna Real Life' is his real breakthrough moment. The song that hits the ghetto youths, hustlers, schoolaz and working people demographics. These types of riddims don't tend to crossover to the casual or older dancehall fan but so what? Reality lyrics people forget actually happen in dancehall. The casuals and old people. Wanna know why? Cos they don't listen to these songs.

Popcaan - Way Up

Popcaan will pop up a few times on this list. Just saying that from now. "Mi can't go a day without a gyal in my bed and. Mi can't do a day without high grade inna my head" = the aims in life. How awesome is the riddim though. Anju Blaxx dropped an intricate dancehall riddim that doesn't sound over produced which is rare.

And Drake took this slang to the world this year.

Dexta Daps - Shabba Madda Pot

This song is essential to his catalogue. After establishing himself as a ladies man with 7Eleven, the Tifa-featuring 'Jealous Ova' and 'Morning Love', he could have easily been bracketed as a just that. However, Shabba Madda Pot is the one for the thugs to buss gun finger and for the ladies to know he isn't some any wet wipe out here. Every gyallis needs a gun tune to be a real don out here.

Popcaan - Rup Rup (Bad Inna Real Life)

One with the kinda hip hop vibe the purists hate but, again, so what? "Bwoy drop when di M1 claart. Mini say di pxssy haffi dead" is pound-for-pound the best opening lyric for me this year. As I mentioned above, every true Jamaican artist needs at least one song a year to show everyone they know how to defend it and have the ting dem oil and lock if anyone violate.

Busy Signal - What If?

Dropped at the top of the year. Busy always drops one showcasing why he's still one of the most fearsome and slept on lyricists in the business. Also has a good way of bringing back riddims that were tough and still have a vibes but don't get played anymore. This time around it's Gun Inna Baggy riddim, famously featured Little Lenny 'Healthy Body'.

And there's the customary throwing words on Kartel (and others). That happens annually too.

Vybz Kartel - Money Pon Mi Brain

Kartel is the best on the island at capturing the youths on the road think in a song which is why he's the top guy. He just knows how to convey the street feeling into songs and the people them connect with him. Hustlers anthem. Taxi man, bus man, hustler, vendor, man who sell the Star to students and fresh out of education types can all relate.

Spice - Needle Eye

Arguably one of the strongest songs from the women's perspective to really represent this. Shabba Ranks sample, throwback production of both song and video, and freaky vibes that usually goes down well when the dance is well warm and people aren't standing by the wall.

Kabaka Pyramid - Well Done

A relatively quiet year on the songs front for the neo-roots (or 'Reggae Revival') artists. Lots of forward movement on the touring side though. However, the most relevant song for me in a general election year was Well Done by Kabaka Pyramid. So many stand out lines, so many real, real lines. Certain lines (like Goat Island) are very particular to Jamaica, but most of the observations are relatable the world over.

A light hearted, politically charged record isn't common nor do I think it's something that easy to do while maintaining the serious point. Inspired my convo with him.

Busy Signal - Text Message

The way I can't stop myself saying "Gyal ah Whatsapp" every time I hear a Samsung notification pop off. Busy showing off how clever he is again and why he really does deserve to be one of the most rated. Very smart song.

Lukie D - Thinking Out Loud

Thinking Out Loud. Felt like everyone gave it a go this year. I've counted at least eight versions. It was like XFactor auditions in reggae reality. In fact, the whole reggae cover thing is getting a bit out of hand at the moment. Reggae's never been frightened of covers, but its like every decent song is getting covered. Considering it stopped for a very long time, the Jah Cure 'All Of Me' then Romain Virgo 'Stay With Me' kicked off this new trend.

But anyway, the best one by far was Lukie D's. Riddim still felt like it had the same feeling, key and vibe. His voice is one of the most underrated and it felt natural. This locked down the whole of London.

Romain Virgo - Stick By You

Another one in that lovers vibe. As a British man who grew up in the 90s when big ballads dominated the most weeks at number 1 spot, I love ballads. Jamaicans do too. You look at greats like Sanchez, Beres, further back to John Holt and Alton Ellis or even today with Jah Cure and Romain Virgo, these guys sing ballads driven by a reggae riddim.

Wicked song this. Who said Jamaicans don't make good love songs? They aren't all explicit.

Christopher Martin - I'm A Big Deal

I think dancehall produces the best songs about good friends. This was the strongest for 2015. And it's a big favourite of Usain Bolt's so its obviously a winner.

Dexta Daps - 7Eleven

I have to throw this song in there. Was absolutely killing it in Jamaica when it was only a month old. Controversial or confusing topic depending on the listeners interpretation of the tune. Nothing more to say about this one. Big breakthrough moment for Dexta.

Vanessa Bling - Future Guaranteed

Another controversial one. "Him touch you. but him love me." Something a lot of women won't agree with but this one is representing for the many women who accept their lovers infidelity. Whether a person agrees with the sentiment is up to them, they can't deny this is a reality for some.

Protoje featuring Kabaka Pyramid - The Flame

My favourite song off my favourite album for the year. Lyrics and riddim are solid. Protoje wasn't nominated for a Grammy but the wise MOBO Awards panel nominated him for Best Reggae. Absolutely criminal not including him.

The line "I rather be spiritually attained than critically acclaimed" rings so true in regards to the Grammy situation. I'm firmly against chasing those people. If it comes, give thanks. Nothing can be done. It must be frustrating but I hope all artists value the fan appreciation over that.

sidenote: 'Who Knows' became the first reggae song playlisted by BBC Radio 1 in 10 years. Radio 1 is the biggest national station. Guess we're just ahead of the other side of the pond. And we just like real music.

Alkaline - Up

Alkaline is dancehall's first social media hero. Child of the style and controversies Vybz Kartel courted so his talent doesn't get the respect it deserves. The youth can write a song though. Never seen him live so I'm still weary of how he performs these songs live. Must have quality breath control.

But back to the song though, this song is full of youth romantic fantasy. Instagram ready quotes to match his and hers pics by young go getters.

Popcaan - Junction

Probably the most complete crossover-y dancehall song. When I say crossover, I don't mean into charts and that, I mean something all types of casual party music appreciators can appreciate the message and sound.

Charly Black - Party Animal

The biggest crossover song of the year. Silently creeped up through the central and South American markets, plus certain parts of Europe. It's that Latin-friendly, female-appreciation dancehall that travels well. Big up Charly Black who always seems to deliver songs for the worldwide dancehall appreciators.


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