Playlist: December 31, 2011

106.7 PBS-FM > Melbourne, Australia

DECEMBER 31, 2011

The annual Babylon Burning year in review, looking at the biggest reggae and dancehall tunes of 2011. These lists were aired in reverse order from number 20, counting down to the number one spot; reggae in the first hour, dancehall in the second.

As always, the list takes into account the response which tunes received in the dancehalls of Melbourne, as well as in Jamaica and elsewhere – but my own personal taste is strongly reflected, and this is definitely a subjective list. I also try to avoid including more than one song on a particular riddim, and selecting a standout cut on some riddims can be as hard as working out the list order itself.


Like 2010, 2011 was another quiet year for reggae. True one-drop roots reggae seemed rarer than ever, with a lot of reggae releases leaning more to the R&B-influenced lovers style riddims. Don Corleon was clearly the producer of the year when it came to Jamaican reggae, while Maximum Sound was again the top European label. Honorable mention must go to Necessary Mayhem for their Gorilla and Mad Organ riddims, and the late Fatis Burrell’s Xterminator label, which returned in 2011 with some sweet riddims and big tunes from young artist Jesse Royal (whose songs “One Eye Open”, “Bittersweet”, “Talk To Me” and “Singing The Blues” were all considerations). Other songs worth mention include Queen Ifrica’s “Pot Still Haffi Bubble”, Bryan Art’s “Dem Fass”, G Whizz’s “Boom Skeng”, Queen Omega’s “Passover”, Zamunda’s “One People”, I Octane’s “Topic Of The Day”, and Danny I & Sabbattical Ahdah’s “Sometimeish Rastaman”. Lastly, Midnite’s “Kings Bell” release on I Grade deserves mention as the best reggae album of 2011 in my opinion – many of the songs on it could have bumped others from this countdown, but it didn’t seem fair when evaluating the biggest singles of the year.

25. CHAN DIZZY – 21 Gun Salute (Love Salute riddim: Head Concussion)
24. TOK – Yardie (Bubble Gum riddim: Washroom Entertainment)
23. ASSASSIN, BOUNTY KILLER, HALF PINT – Ghetto State Of Mind (Maximum Sound)
22. JAH MASON – Here Comes (Opus riddim: Eclectic Music)
21. TREVER OFFKEY – Highest Grades (Bambino Muzik)
20. KYMANI MARLEY – Be Smart (Antique riddim: Don Corleon)
19. FANTAN MOJAH – Road Code (Fairground riddim: Maximum Sound)
18. CHRIS MARTIN – I Wish (Communication riddim: Fresh Ear)
17. CHRIS MARTIN – Cheaters Prayer (Cardiac Strings riddim: CR203)
16. JAH VINCI – Love You (Sunset Boulevard riddim: NCF)
15. I OCTANE – Keep On Walking (Deep Cover riddim: 2 Hard)
14. ZAMUNDA – Chatty Mouth (Times Square riddim: DJ Frass)
13. GAPPY RANKS – Knowledge (Sweet Corn riddim: Pure Music)
12. PEETAH MORGAN – I’m A Survivor (Feel Good riddim: Special Delivery)
11. QUEEN IFRICA – It Hard (Sweet Wata: Juke Boxx)
10. DAVILLE – Dem Would A Love It (OMG riddim: Penthouse)
9. MIDNITE – Mongst I&I (I Grade)
8. COLLIE BUDDZ – Too Watchy Watchy (Bomboflow riddim: Upsetta)
7. DELLY RANX & GAPPY RANKS – Could A Run Away (Pure Music)
6. STEPHEN MARLEY & CAPLETON – Break Us Apart (Revelation pt 1: The Root Of Life: Tuff Gong)
4. TARRUS RILEY – Bless Me (Broken Hearts riddim: Don Corleon)
3. VYBZ KARTEL – Poor People Land (The Message riddim: Don Corleon)
2. STEPHEN MARLEY & DAMIAN MARLEY – Tight Ship (Revelation pt 1: The Root Of Life: Tuff Gong)
1. TARRUS RILEY – Rebel (Skateland Killer riddim: Maximum Sound)


25. KIPRICH – Line Inna Road (Drink and Party riddim: Birch)
23. KHAGO – Blood Bath (Hotta Clapz riddim: Frass)
23. MAVADO – Do Road (Contra riddim: CR203)
22. AGENT SASCO – Talk How Mi Feel (DJ Frass)
21. I OCTANE – Who Fool Dem (Employer riddim: Cashflow)
20. BEENIE MAN – Inna Di Go Go Club (357)
19. MAVADO – Star Bwoy (Star Bwoy riddim: Chimney)
18. MAVADO – Final Destination (Summer Fling riddim: Chimney)
17. I OCTANE & ZAMUNDA – Rasta Ever Clean (Dutty Gamez riddim: Seanizzle)
16. I OCTANE – Loud Mouth (Buss Pipe riddim: Frass)
15. JAH VINCI – Draw Mi Line (Young Money riddim: Good Good)
14. TARANCHYLA – Turn It Up (Island Breeze riddim: Madd Spider)
13. KONSHENS – Represent (Island Vibes riddim: Chimney)
12. AGENT SASCO – Earth Strong (Life riddim: Good Good)
11. CHAN DIZZY – Hello Badmind (Head Concussion)
10. I OCTANE – Badmind Fi The Year (Cashflow)
9. BEENIE MAN – No Talk Too Long (Hungry Dawgz riddim: Seanizzle)
8. DI GENIUS – Nah Beg Friend (Bad Acid riddim: Big Ship)
7. I OCTANE – Nuh Ramp Wid We (Bus Stop riddim: Cash Flow)
6. KHAGO – Blood A Boil (Bottle Party riddim: TJ)
5. VYBZ KARTEL & RUSSIAN – Look Pon We (Head Concussion)
4. DEMARCO – I Love My Life (Star Kutt)
3. MAVADO – Pepper (Pepper riddim: Big Ship)
2. VYBZ KARTEL – Summer Time (Summer Time riddim: Adidjaheim)
POPCAAN – Ravin (Summer Time riddim: Adidjaheim)
1. MAVADO – Settle Down (Overproof riddim: Justus)

Honorable mentions: Once again, Vybz Kartel had the most impressive work ethic in Jamaican music, releasing a crazy amount of tunes in 2011 despite spending the last quarter of it in jail. His songs “Coloring Book”, “Step Up Inna Life”, “Nuh More Dan Mi”, and “Duppy Know” all deserve mention. Kartel’s prodigy Popcaan continued his rise this year, with the number one hits “Ravin” and “Only Man She Want” the most notable. His tune on TJ’s Smudge riddim, “Party Shot” was unlucky to make the countdown, and almost certainly would have if it was released earlier in the year. Likewise, newcomer Adjrenalin might have made it with “Nuh Want No Hand Out” on the Symphony riddim if had more time in the dance. I Octane continued to hold a top spot in Jamaican music – as well as several entries in both the reggae and dancehall charts, his tunes “Ting Dem Loud”, “Cyaan Do Wi Nuttin”, “Belt Miss A Loop”, and “Burn Dem Bridge” were also in contention. Until last year’s smash hit “Drinking Rum and Red Bull” with Beenie Man, Future Fambo was just another washed-up dancehall artist, but after his rebirth he found further success this year with “Swaggin” (with Wayne Marshall and Tifa) and “Wedding Crashers” (with Sean Paul). Both got a lot of play around the world, though I was never a huge fan personally. Conversely, some songs like Taji’s “Dat Dem A Say” and Deablo’s “Mr Death” struck a big chord with me personally, but went almost unnoticed by others. Mavado explored the boundries of dancehall music with songs like “Delilah” and “One By One” (with Laza Morgan), both tunes that got a lot of play worldwide, but somehow didn’t really fit in this countdown. Other songs that deserve mention include Gappy Ranks & Russian’s “Tun Up”, Cecile’s “Hop Off”, Ward 21 & Million Stylez “Wah Dem Wah”, Beenie Man’s “Progress”, Di Genius’ “Only God Can Judge Me”, Laden & OC’s “Nah Lose Wi Medz”, Charly Black’s “Too Blessed”, Khago’s “Tax Inna My World”, Jah Vinci & Aidonia’s “Badmind Cyaan Stop We”, Vegas’ “Certain Law”, and Wayne Marshall’s “Good Ole Wife”.

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