Playlist: December 31, 2022 – best of 2022 review

106.7 PBS-FM > Melbourne, Australia
Saturday 31st December 2022

For more than 20 years, I’ve compiled a list of my favourite reggae and dancehall songs of the preceding year, putting them to air in a countdown format. Last year however, I didn’t put them in any particular order, and I’m doing the same for 2022. Last year I played fewer DJ gigs than usual because of Covid, but this year I played fewer by choice. As such, these lists are more biased towards my personal opinion than ever, so don’t take this as an objective review – it’s entirely subjective – my personal picks for the year, and nothing more.


Bob Marley’s offspring have been a big part of reggae music for decades now, with Damian Marley in particular being one of the genre’s most popular artists. Accordingly, it’s not unusual that they dominated reggae in 2022. What is interesting, is that they did it as producers, not vocalists. The Ghetto Youths International record label was started by Stephen, Julian and Damian Marley in the 90s, but they never had the impact on reggae that they had this year. With Damian himself driving most of the production in recent times, the riddims they put out were mostly pure reggae – a variety of styles, but always interesting, and always quality. They worked with legends such as Beres Hammond and Buju Banton, as well as vanguards of the reggae revival like Kabaka Pyramid, and newer artists such as Black Am I and Christoper Ellis; and they could do no wrong.

Protoje’s In.Digg.Nation Collective also produced a lot of my favourite music once again in 2022, though it wasn’t Protoje himself who was the real star here, but Lila Ike. Though not especially prolific by Jamaican standards, her output was outstanding – and if I was forced to pick a number one song for the year, her song “True Love” would be a clear contender.

Another would be Samory I’s “Blood In The Streets” for Winta James and his Overstand Entertainment label – the kind of song that makes me want to start promoting More Fire again, just so I can play it.

Chronixx – Never Give Up (Forever Living Originals)
Beres Hammond – Hold Yuh Corner (Ghetto Youths International)
Lila Ike – Wanted (In.Digg.Nation)
Lila Ike – True Love (In.Digg.Nation)
Breetania – Sticky Out Yah (NeWave Music)
Khalia – Nothing Can Justify (Digital Cut & Dance Soldiah)
Koffee – Lonely (Promised Land Recordings)
MediSun – Love Is the Way (Young Pow)
Dexta Daps – Blessings (Train Line Records)
Protoje – The Charm (In.Digg.Nation)
Roe Summerz – Good Dayz (Green Lion Crew)
Christopher Ellis – Rub A Dub (Ghetto Youths International)
Kabaka Pyramid & Nathalia – Stand Up (Ghetto Youths International)
Kabaka Pyramid, Stephen Marley, Protoje, Jesse Royal – The Kalling (Ghetto Youths International)
Kabaka Pyramid – Make Things Work (Ghetto Youths International)
Kabaka Pyramid & Damian Marley – Red Gold and Green (Ghetto Youths International)
Kabaka Pyramid & Buju Banton – Faded Away (Ghetto Youths International)
Black Am I & Kabaka Pyramid – Jah In My Corner (Ghetto Youths International)
Kabaka Pyramid & Black Am I – Mary Jane (Ghetto Youths International)
Black Am I – Mr Hurry Come Up (Ghetto Youths International)
Samory I – Blood In The Streets (Overstand)
Lila Ike – Dinero (In.Digg.Nation)


Akae Beka – Yad
Anthony B – Sound Killer
Austin James – High Grade
Beres Hammond – American Dream
Beres Hammond, Wickerman, Peter Metro – Dis Ya One Ya Come
Biblical – Ancient Nazarene
Binghi Ghost – Win The Race
Bling Dawg – Facts Of Life
Bling Dawg – Father God A Guide Me
Bling Dawg – Married To Music
Busy Signal – Thank You Jah
Busy Signal – The Mood
Busy Signal & Kananga – Jah Always There for Me
Chezidek – My Life
Chezidek – Nothing Else Matters
Chris Demontague – The Revolution
Christopher Martin – Trust
Claye – Big Gun
Clinton Fearon – The Chain
Collie Buddz & Bounty Killer – Twisted Agenda
Daniel John & Lions Flow – Don’t Run
Derajah – Eternally
DMP & R City – Ready, Set, Go
Dougy – Guide Them
Fikir Amlak – Rastafari Music
Frightnrs – 30-56
Giallo Man – I Know
Groundation, Israel Vibration, Abyssinians – Original Riddim
Groundation, Wiss, Skelly – Iron
Hezron – Smile Today
Hezron – Trouble Tonight
I Octane – Selassie I Work
I-Shua – Inner Eye
I-Taweh – Straight Fyah Bun
Imeru Tafari – Rastafari Student
Imeru Tafari & Addis Pablo – Nyabinghi Mountains
Indubious, Mike Love, Ted Bowne – Ease and Flow (Ted Bowne Remix)
Inna Vision, Jemere Morgan, Dre Island – Life’s Sweet
Iotosh – Skillful
Israel Starr – Beat You Down
Israel Starr & Lutan Fyah – Gods Corner
Israel Starr & TeKahu Rolleston – Keepers of the Flame
Israel Starr, Million Stylez, Riddim Cartel – Cool Calm and Collected
Jah Lil – My Room
Jah Lil – You Teach Me
Jah Tung – Rumours
Jah Tung & Botanist Mr Lamington – Ital Cuisine
Jahdan Blakkamore – Can’t Tolerate Dat
Jalifa – Direction
Jalifa – Hear Ye
Jalifa – Whereas
Jaz Elise – Gratitude
JonQuan – So Far Gone
JonQuan & Danny Rebel – Lean
JonQuan & Kelly Di Filippo – I Am Trying
Junior Natural – Time A Get Dread
Kabaka Pyramid – Addiction
Kabaka Pyramid – EZ Ride
Kabaka Pyramid & Peter Tosh – Mystik Man
Kabaka Pyramid & Tifa – Mr Rastaman
Kenny Smyth – Nobody’s Slave
King Kong & Little Lion Sound – Morning
King Tide – The Cool Place
Koffee – Shine
Koffee – x10
Kristine Alicia – Hold Strong
L’Entourloop & Kabaka Pyramid – Rock Mi Nice
L’Titude – Burnin and Lootin
Lion D – Sheep Clothes
Marcus Gad – Recall the Fullness
Marcus Gad & Tribe – Ready For Battle
Medisun – Escapism
Medisun – The Reign
Nga Han – Temple In A Man
Mista Savona, Micah Shemaiah, PuchoMan, The Gideon, Anyilena – The Fire From Africa*
Norris Man & Anthony B – House of Parliament
OBF, Linval Thompson, Nazamba – Curfew Drop
Olaf Blackwood – Struggle
Protoje – Hills
Protoje – Incient Stepping
Protoje & Jesse Royal – Family
Protoje & Lila Ike – Late at Night
Queen Omega – No Love
Queen Omega, Kushite, Jalifa – Wise Queens
Rasanaii – Cannabis
Reemah – Let Love Lead
Robert Dallas – Go Hard
Roe Summerz – Keep Blazin
Samory I – Love And Mercy
Sevana – Lowe Mi
Shawn Kalieba – Always Love Selassie I
Shy FX & Liam Bailey – Come Around Slowly
Skari – Seven Times Rise
Stranjah Miller – Take I Home
Swashii – Dread and Turble
Tanya Stephens – Not Today
The Push Reggae Band – Call On Jah
The Push Reggae Band – Whip Dem
The Yutes & Govana – Riches and Power
Torch – Conqueror
Torch – My Mission Is Possible
WSTRN & Lila Ike – Never Leave*
Yaadcore – Ghetto Youths

*released 2021


This is definitely the most subjective my take on dancehall has ever been, with some particularly notable omissions. The dark trap sound continued to dominate the genre, and as much as I loved it in previous years, I have to admit that I was a bit over it in 2022 – I guess there’s only so much murder music I can stomach.

Skeng stormed in to take 2021, but I found his output a little boring this year. Valiant was the hype new name for 2022, but not much of his stuff connected with me personally – I liked a lot of it, but didn’t love any of it. The most conspicuous absence though is Vybz Kartel. To me, he is the greatest dancehall artist of all-time, so I don’t say this lightly – but I think we’ve already seen the best of Adidja Palmer, and his star is on the wane.

The biggest surprise to me this year was Squash, as I’ve never been a huge fan – Chronic Law always being my pick of the 6ix – but I really enjoyed a bunch of his tunes this year. It may have helped that they seemed almost light-hearted next to so many other gun tunes.

450 first made a name for himself in 2021 with songs like Journey, Imperfection and Gyal Thief, and he continued on that promise with some of my favourites this year – 2 Face, Be Honest, Know Weh You A Do, Save Mi Life, and Mood Vibes. He was definitely the breakthrough artist for me in 2022 (sorry Valiant and Kraff).

In an age where riddim juggling and riddim releases seem less important than ever, Chimney Records continued to deliver, giving us the huge riddim “Upstairs”; a worthy successor to recent hit riddims like Style A Style and Aircraft. Here’s hoping they give us another big riddim in 2023 and help keep proper riddim juggling alive.

Koffee – Pull Up (Promised Land Recordings)
Kranium – Wi Deh Yah (Non Native)
Alkaline – Weekend (Autobamb Records)
450 – 2 Face (Black Shadow)
Alkaline – Static (Black Shadow)
Alkaline – Profile (Black Shadow)
Squash – Foot (World Team Production)
Squash – Lattry (6ix Real & Godspeed Records)
Squash – The Block (East Link Records)
Squash – Ambala (6ix Real & Hemton Music)
Iwaata & Gold Up – Bingo (Gold Up)
Intence – Nuh Bad Like We (Claims Records)
Busy Signal – In Town (Lenky & Bulpus Productions)
Busy Signal – Deh Pon Yuh Own (Jah Snow Cone)
Cham & Bounty Killer – Blood Claat (Mad House)
Bling Dawg & Busy Signal – Tables Turn (Creative Titans)
Govana – Cranberry and White Rum (Emudio)
Teejay – Rage (Extended Play Records & Building Block Entertainment)
Zerimar – Feel Yuh Tuff (Triple O Records)
Chronic Law – Middle Day Crime (Ireland Records)
Chronic Law – Venom (Haikou Music & Brown Ras Entertainment)
Jahmiel – Third Eye (Upstairs riddim: Chimney Records)
Shaneil Muir – Naturally (Upstairs riddim: Chimney Records)
Demarco – Big Speech (Upstairs riddim: Chimney Records)
Shenseea – Dolly (Upstairs riddim: Chimney Records)
Zagga – Vibe Check (Upstairs riddim: Chimney Records)


10Tik – Don’t Destroy
10Tik & Skillibeng – Activate
450 – Be Honest
450 – Know Weh Ya Do
450 – Mood Vibes
Alkaline – Valum
Alkaline – World Domination
Beenie Man – Cyahh Tame
Beenie Man – So Me Stay
Bounty Killer – Banga Dem
Burna Boy & Popcaan – Toni-Ann Singh
Busy Signal – Tropics
Chronic Law – 6ix Variant
Chronic Law – Bad Tackle
Chronic Law – Empty
Chronic Law – Kill and Pray
Chronic Law – Too Dark
Chronic Law – Trickster
Chronic Law & Crime Flow – High Grade and Migraine
Demarco – Brag and Boast
Dimelo Flow & Chris Marshall – Along Fi De Ride
Ding Dong – Bounce
Ikaya & Dexta Daps – Mi General
Intence – Correction
Intence – Cry Out
Intence – London Drill
Intence – Gangsta Life
Intence – Ring
IWaata – Shoot Out
Jada Kingdom – Dickmatized
Jahshii – 25/8
Jahshii – Dem Nuh Bad
Kalonji – Apply Pressure
Koffee – Where I’m From
Kranium – Section
Kyodi – Wait and See
Laa Lee – Floating
Masicka – History
Masicka – Pack A Matches
Masicka – Umbrella
Mavado – Thunderclap
Moyann – Mad Out (raw)
Munga – Music
Popcaan – Skeleton Cartier
Popcaan – Cocaine Money
Queen Ifrica – Serendipity
Rygin King – Therapy
Rytikal – Insubordinate
Shane O – Yo Dawg
Shaneil Muir – Hype and Boasy
Shenseea & Megan Thee Stallion – Lick
Silk Boss – Surgery
Skeng – Gvnman Session
Skeng – London
Skeng – Rain Like Hail
Skeng & Govana – Gvnman Spaniard
Skeng & Stalk Ashley – Talibhan
Squash – Champion
Stalk Ashley – As A Bad Gyal
Stylo G – Mussi Mad
Teejay – Different Species
Teejay – Make It Out
Teejay – Judas
Tuggawar – Ah Mi Seh Huhhh
Tuggawar – Blud Klaat
Tuggawar – Turnt Up
Valiant – Dunce Cheque
Valiant – North Carolina
Zeebee – Savage
Zerimar – New Intel


Songs that didn’t fit the traditional definition of reggae or dancehall, but deserve mention.

Koffee – Defend (Promised Land Recordings)
Koffee – Gifted (Promised Land Recordings)
Randy Valentine – Are You Ready? (Troots Records)
Randy Valentine – Libation (Troots Records)
Runkus, Royal Blu, MediSun – Selassie Calling (Green Lion Crew)
Samory I & Chi Ching Ching – Life is Amazing (Zion I Kings)
Jahshii – Media (Sonovic)
Chronic Law – Wedding Cake (Control Tower Squad)
Shaneil Muir – Born Rich (Chemist Records)
Rytikal – Vice Versa (Johnny Wonder & Adde Instrumentals)
Rasta Progrez – Inspired (18 Karat Reggae)
Konshens – Dear Bro Gad (Head Concussion)
Shane O & Chronic Law – Dark Room (S.O.R.)
Nation Boss – Calm and Steady (Dan Sky Records & Automatic Records)
Popcaan & Imeru Tafari – Elevate (Dan Sky Records & Automatic Records)
Popcaan – El Gringo (Dan Sky Records & Automatic Records)
Byron Messia – 12 AM Freestlye (Fatty Beats)
Byron Messia – Far (Lee Milla Productions)
Hitmaker – Naked Truth (Hitmaker Muzik & Hemton Music)
Teejay & Govana – Forgive Me (Top Braff Music & 1ngram Musik)
Jahshii – Born Fighter (DJ Mac & JanoDon Records)
Chronic Law – Mind Games (Heights of Heights& Malakhii)
Teejay – People (Top Braff Music)

listen online at