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Top 10 Biggest Dancehall Tunes of 2016 - Fact

People go on about how dead dancehall is, like no one cares for it, but when you consider these people lack major industry experience and resources, these numbers are pretty healthy. Dancehall has always been a hit industry. Hit songs and shows. Talking about sales in this day and age is pretty dead.

A problem is people compare dancehall success to hip hop and r&b. Why compare music from a place of 2 million people with one that has 200 million+ people on their own land space? A predominantly independently run and divided scene against one boasting millions of $ of investment from corporates. A genre that relies on foreign territories to sustain it compared to one where homegrown artists can tour home and live well. Dancehall has to be exported but doesn't have to investment to do so yet still survives.

Yes, dancehall has punched above its weight in the past, but believe me, it continues to do that. Don't think "Oh, it ain't in the Billboard charts anymore" as if that's the be all and end all of music. It's still far more popular than most music in the world. It just doesn't punch as heavy as it did. Some of it is down to the songs only appealing to dancehall fans who understand the culture, some down to the mass music industry changing and lack of opportunities (radio play, TV play, general investment). Covered that in this post here.

All the numbers are correct as of 6/October/2016. Slightly wonky placements due to combined numbers but you can see the audio + video number breakdown. It could be that a lot of the audio views crossover with the video viewers but you can decide how you feel about that. And the total views only include the audio with the highest views not all the audios listed on YouTube. I ain't got time to add up all of them.

YouTube is the first place most people go to hear music they like when they want. For that reason, it is the most accurate reflection of popularity because, while every click doesn't suggest the listener likes the song, more like than dislike. Unlike the other platforms (Spotify/Apple Music/iTunes), YouTube is available in Jamaica, plus its popular across the world and easier to access 'cos all you need is internet access. Not everyone uses their disposable income on 99p songs or £9.99 a month subscription.

I can say from my own experiences that majority of these songs are definitely the most important. I collated this list by searching the most popular ones I've seen in the dance. Well, that's how I formed most of this list. The only song I can't say I've heard in a party is Popcaan "Feel Good". But it's obviously popular to some people somewhere.

And the order won't change dramatically before the end of the year so take this as a review of the biggest songs.

1. Konshens - Bruk Off | 24m
18.5m video  + 5.9m audio
iTunes / Google play

2. Vybz Kartel - Fever | 16m
10m video + 6m audio
iTunes / Google play

3. Popcaan - Ova Dweet | 8.4m
iTunes / Google play

4. Alkaline - Champion Boy | 8.2m
iTunes / Google play

(Audio released in November 2015 but video dropped this year. It also grew a lot more/impacted in 2016.)

5. Alkaline - Company | 8.0m 
4m video + 4m audio
iTunes / Google play

6. Alkaline - Formula | 7.9m
2.2m audio + 5.7m video
iTunes / Google play

7. Alkaline - City | 6m
audio 3.5m + audio 2.5m
iTunes / Google play

8. Alkaline - My Side of the Story | 5.6m
iTunes / Google play

9. Mavado - Big League | 5m
audio 3.46m + video 1.57
iTunes / Google play

10. Vybz Kartel - I'll Take You There | 4.8m
audio 3.4m + video 1.4m
iTunes / Google play

Honourable mentions

 Alkaline - Conquer The World | 4.5m
iTunes / Google play

Popcaan - Feel Good | 4.2m
iTunes / Google play

Nesbeth - My Dream | 2.8m
iTunes / Google play

(Definitely one of the biggest songs in the core audience. A lot bigger than some of the above.)

Spice - Indicator | 1.9m
iTunes / Google play

Popcaan - World Cup (We Still A Win) | 1.7m
iTunes / Google play

Jahmiel - Where Were U | 1m
iTunes / Google play

Chi Ching Ching - Roast or Fry | 1m
iTunes / Google play

Vershon - Use To Hungry | 800k
iTunes / Google play

Masicka - Hard Ball | 400k
iTunes / Google play

Tanto Blacks - Real Rich | 400k

So yeah, some songs to spin.


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