Playlist: January 8, 2022 (best of 2021 review)

106.7 PBS-FM > Melbourne, Australia
Saturday 8th February 2022

For more than two decades, I’ve compiled lists of what I rated to be the biggest reggae and dancehall releases of the year. Normally it is reflective of both my own personal taste, and what got the biggest response in the dance. For the second year in a row however, proper reggae dancehall parties were few and far between, at least here in Melbourne. Normally I present my top 20 or 25 songs in a countdown format, but this year I found it really hard to place things in an order. When gigs are happening regularly, the biggest tunes tend to stand out naturally, as there are certain songs that virtually have to be played at every big dance – but obviously this didn’t happen in 2021.

This year I’ve simply decided to present my favourites in no particular order, so there is no particular “biggest tune of 2021”. The reggae side of the things is almost entirely based on my own personal taste, while the dancehall review is a little more influenced by the knowledge of what was dominant in the dances and streets of Jamaica. As usual, I’ve tried to avoid including more than one song on a particular riddim, though in some cases an honourable mention must be made where songs were equally big and always got played together. Some songs from the previous year often sneak into the countdown – slow burners that took a while to catch on, became popular when a music video was released some time after the song itself, or were simply more popular this year than last (songs with an asterix were released in 2020).

THE EMETERIANS & KUMAR – Outta Babylon (Lockdown Project: Emeterians Records)
TAJ WEEKES – Rainstorm (Pause: Jatta Records)
SOLANO JACOB – Chanting (Roots As I Am riddim: Jah Wise & Nusantara Records)
JAH TUNG – Adulterer (Roots As I Am riddim: Jah Wise & Nusantara Records)
LUKE YEOWARD – Energy (Marigold Avenue: Half Way Records)
TEEJAY – Two Side Cutlass (Irie Bliss riddim: Big Zim Records)
BLACK FYAH – Stronger (Irie Bliss riddim: Big Zim Records)
GAPPY RANKS – Greetings (Divorce Court riddim: Lion King Muzik)
GENERAL JAH MIKEY – Ethiopia Calling (Issachar Muzik)
KA’IKENA SCANLAN – A’ali’i (Les)
KA’IKENA SCANLAN – Perfarmer (Spoon Meat Entertainment)
AKAE BEKA – Righteous Synergy (Righteous Synergy: Ffith Son Records)
XANA ROMEO – Holy (The Roots Of X: Charmax Music)
PRESSURE BUSSPIPE & KABAKA PYRAMID – No Man Is An Island (Heights Of Greatness: Buss Pipe Records)
BLACK AM I – Spliff Haffi Bun (Ghetto Youths International)
LUTAN FYAH – Weed Ooh (Stella Green Farms riddim: Buckler Music)
RUNKUS – General (Stella Green Farms riddim: Buckler Music)
ALBOROSIE – Challawa (For The Culture: VP Records)
LILA IKE – Batty Rider Shorts (In.Digg.Nation Collective & Six Course Music)
REEMAH – Everbless (Rimshot Productions)
MICAH SHEMIAH – Spiritual (Still: Zion High Productions)

AKAE BEKA – Became A Queen (Righteous Synergy: Fifth Son Records)
AKAE BEKA – Charges (Polarities: I Grade Records & Zion I Kings)
AKAE BEKA – Don’t Feel No Way (Polarities: I Grade Records)
AKAE BEKA – Manger (Righteous Synergy: Ffith Son Records)
AKAE BEKA – Polarities (Polarities: I Grade & Zion I Kings)
AKAE BEKA – Principles (Earthman riddim: The Merchant Records)
AKAE BEKA – Sing A New Song (Polarities: I Grade Records)
ALAINE – Victory Rock (Victory Rock riddim: Bebble Rock Music)
ALBOROSIE – For The Culture (VP Records)
ALBOROSIE – Never Let Me Down (VP Records)
ALPHA PUP & BASS CULTURE PLAYERS – Come Along (Come Along: BCP Music)
ANSWELE – Jah Is In Control (Set Up Shop vol 4: Ghetto Youths International)
ANSWELE & CHRONIC LAW – Jah Is In Control (remix) (Ghetto Youths International & Chronic Law)
ANTHONY QUE – More To Come (Stingray Records)
BEENIE MAN – Marijuana Knowledge (PRP Publishing & Nodoprod Inc)
BELLY – Good Music (Igniter riddim: Astro Melody Records)
BLACKOUT JA & SOULS LIBERATION – Hidden Truth (Love Dancehall: Liondub International)
BLACKOUT JA, RANKING JOE, BLAKKAMOORE – Wrath of the Supreme (Love Dancehall: Liondub International)
BLESSED – Money Don’t Grow Pon Trees (New To You: Iron Balloon)
BUGLE – Consequences (Toxicity: Evidence Music)
BUSY SIGNAL – Born Fi Survive (On The Lines riddim: CR203)
BUSY SIGNAL – Burdens Heavy (The Healer riddim: Maximum Sound)
CAPLETON & LITTLE LION SOUND – In The Game (Evidence Music)
CAPLETON & YAMI BOLO – Chosen People (Set Up Shop vol 4: Ghetto Youths International)
CHEZIDEK – Inna Dem Eye (Inna Dem Eye riddim: Tads)
CHINO, JAHMIEL, KABAKA PYRAMID – Victorious (The Process vol 3: Jamworld Music)
CHRISTOS DC – Long Tongue (Crisis 2.0: Honest Music)
CHRISTOS DC – War and Peace (Igniter riddim: Astro Melody Records)
CHRISTOS DC & NICK SEFAKIS – Be Of Knowledge (Honest Music)
CHRONIXX – Freedom Fighter (Soul Circle Music)
D’YANI – Sad Story (Kev Star Records)
DAHVID SLUR – Positive Mindset (Addis Records & Marily Gustus Music)
DAHVID SLUR – Marijuana (Highleaf riddim: Mxt Underground)
DALWAYNE – Deal Wid It (Irie Yute Records)*
DEMARCO, JONNY BLAZE & STADIC – Rice and Peas (Jonny Blaze & Stadic)
DEVANO – Nah Reverse (City riddim: Oneness)
EESAH & KABAKA PYRAMID – Police and Badboy (King I-Vier & Loud City Music)
EESAH, CAPLETON, LUTAN FYAH – The Beginning Of Time (King I-Vier Music, Loud City, Caspa Productions)
FIKIR AMLAK – Jailhouse (Most High Records)
FIKIR AMLAK & TREE OF DUB – Opening (Immense Ocean: Akashic Records)
GAZA KYM – Weed Minister (Capture Land riddim: Echo One)
HANI DREAD – Koohimuhimu (Hani Dread)
HOPETON LINDO & FIONA – In Your Eyes (In The Mood: Irie Pen Records)
INEZI – African Proverbs (Blaze riddim: Addis Records)
INEZI – Rise (Addis Records & Evidence Music)
J WRITTEN – Deal Wid It Proppa (Iffa Cush Muzik Group)
JADA KINGDOM – Jungle (Republic)
JAH LIL – Human Race (Marching riddim: Real People Music)
JAH MIRIKLE – Firm and Strong (Grubby Miits)
JAH TUNG – My Innocence (Nuh Rush Nuh Fuss riddim: UTH Music)
JAH VINCI – Officer (Sensei riddim: X-Ray Production)
JAHFRICAN – Cold Blood (LockeCity Music)
JAHLLANO – Stand Up (Rubber Bullet riddim: Chromatics Music Studio)*
JAHZILEE – People Fed Up (Big Island riddim: Full Chaarge Records)
JAZ ELISE – Good Over Evil (In.Digg.Nation Collective)
JEMERE & KING MAS – Free Up The Grades (Tree of Life riddim: Nature’s Way Ent)
JO MERSA MARLEY & BLACK AM I – No Way Out (Eternal: Ghetto Youths International)
JOE YORKE & STAND HIGH PATROL – Quicksand (Stand High Rec)
JOHNNY OSBOURNE & RAS DEMO – The Right Time (Raised riddim: Fogata Sounds)
JONQUAN & ELLIOT MARTIN – One Bright Road (Easy Star Records)
JUNIOR KELLY – Nth Nuh Deh (Boxy Records)
JUSTICE & KUMAR – Cross The Border (Kulture Walk & JHRecords)
KENNY SMYTH – Vibe (Addis Records)
KEZNAMDI – Natty Dreadlocks (Better Must Come riddim: Pop Style Music)
KHALIA – Free (K-Licious)
KHALIA & DRE ISLAND – Wild Fire (K-Licious Music & DubShot Records)
KING CANOE – Gallo Pinto (High Tide: Canning Park Recordings)
KING CANOE – Jazz Time (High Tide: Canning Park Recordings)
KING TIDE – Lockdown (Big Island Records)
KUMAR – Dem Lost (BrodaHood Records)*
LILA IKE & SKILLIBENG – Thy Will (remix) (In.Digg.Nation Collective)
LONE ARK & THE 18TH PARALLEL – Build An Ark (Showcase vol 1: Fruits Records & Evidence Music)
LONE ARK & THE 18TH PARALLEL – Snake In The Grass (Showcase vol 1: Fruits Records & Evidence Music)
LUKE YEOWARD – Always In Your Heart (Half Way Records)
LUKE YEOWARD – Shadows (Marigold Avenue: Half Way Records)
LUKE YEOWARD – The End (Marigold Avenue: Half Way Records)
LUKE YEOWARD – This Ain’t The Place (Marigold Avenue: Half Way Records)
LUKE YEOWARD – Two Years In June (Marigold Avenue: Half Way Records)
LUTAN FYAH – Dawg Eat Dawg (Mash Down riddim: Zion I Kings & Lustre Kings)
LUTAN FYAH – Sell Dem Soul (Giddimani Music)
LUTAN FYAH – So Bless (Crawba Productions)
LUTAN FYAH – Stick To Your Culture (Ambassador Musik)
LUTAN FYAH, DAN GIO, 5 STAR CELESTIAL – Dem A Criminal (Raging Storm riddim: Hills of Sainty)
MARCUS GAD & TAMAL – Callin I Tribe (Brave New World: High Records & Sudar Publishing)
MARCUS GAD & TAMAL – Treasure (Brave New World: High Records & Sudar Publishing)
MEDISUN – Mek It Rock (One Wise Studios)
MELODICIAN – Air Fried Plantains (Astro Melody Records)
MICAH SHEMIAH – House Of Cards (Still: Zion High Productions)
MISTA SAVONA, MICAH SHEMIAH, PUCHOMAN, THE GIDEON, ANYILENA – The Fire From Africa (Havana Meets Kingston II: Baco Records)
PEETAH MORGAN – A Nuh We Dat (Shishenkeh riddim: Newave Music)
PEETAH MORGAN – Rise (Peak riddim: Nah Lef Ya)
PRESSURE – Blaze Fire (Six Miles riddim: DJ Frass)
PRESSURE – Chase Dem (Addis Records)
PRESSURE – All Said and Done (Victory Rock riddim: Bebble Rock Music)
PRESSURE – Blaze (Heights Of Greatness: Buss Pipe Records)
PRINCE LEVY – Walk With I (DJ Frass)
PROTOJE – Righteous (In.Digg.Nation Collective)
PUBLIK REPORT – Blazing (My Reality: Stingray)
PUBLIK REPORT – Sunshine Bright (My Reality: Stingray)
RAD DIXON – Giving Thanks (Arise riddim: Tasjay Productions)
RANDY VALENTINE & SAUCE PERREIER – Surrounded By Angels (Troots Music)
RAPHA PICO & NGA HAN – Haile Selassie I (Roots Unity)
RAS TEO – Cooyah Cooyah (Celestial Rockers: Zion I Kings)
RC – Grateful (Eye Wata riddim: Shoppist Music & K&R Production)
REBELUTION & KEZNAMDI – Places Unknown (In The Moment: Easy Star)
ROBERTO SANCHEZ – So Strong (Heavy Vibez)
ROMAIN VIRGO & BUSY SIGNAL – Pray (Kirkledove)
ROYAL BLU & THE AUTOS – Dancehall Session (Easy Star)
SAMMY JO – Tun Up D Heat (Rubber Bullet riddim: Chromatics Music Studio)*
SAMORY I – I Roots (Larger Than Life & I-Pez Productions)
SHATTA WALE – What If (Symphony riddim: Red Panther Music)
SHUGA – Don’t Make A Sound (Let Me Tell You Boy riddim: Penthouse)
SK SIMEON – Ammunition (Naram)
SK SIMEON – Nkolokota (Naram)
SLASHE – I’ll Be On The Train (Let Me Tell You Boy riddim: Penthouse)
SOJA, J BOOG, COLLIE BUDDZ – Press Rewind (Beauty In The Silence: Ato Records)
STONEBWOY – Greedy Men (Rock Steady)
STONEBWOY – Strength and Hope (Victory Rock riddim: Bebble Rock Music)
STRANJAH MILLER – Israelites (TK riddim: Street Rockaz)
STRANJAH MILLER – Ruffa Than Dem (Street Rockaz)
STRANJAH MILLER – Smoking (Dubstation)
TANYA STEPHENS – Press Now (Good Good) (Tads)
TARRUS RILEY – Be Great (21 Greatness riddim: Innovation Muzik)
TILIBOP – Psalm (Marvin Amos)
TRUVICE – No Weapon (DJ Murray Records)
VANZO – In The City (Street Machine Production)
VAUGHN BENJAMIN – Take Your Time (Sir James)
XANA ROMEO – Marijuana Culture (The Roots Of X: Charmax)
YAADCORE & RICHIE SPICE – Nyquill (Spliff A Light Spliff) (12 Yaad Records)
YT – Pressure (Moment For Change: Oneness)
YT – Say Nuttin (Moment For Change: Oneness)
ZAMUNDA – Marijuana (Bad Bwoy riddim: Mizik Muzik)
ZAMUNDA – Nuh Lock off The Sound (Old Yaad riddim: Cutstone Production)

Another interesting year for dancehall, as the trap sound cemented itself as the mainstream, and more new young artists came to dominate. 10Tik, Rytikal and Yaksta were the hype new names for the first half of the year, but by the end of the year it was Skeng, Skeng, Skeng. Kartel was as dominant as ever, but in the last couple years I’ve found fewer and fewer of his songs really connecting with me personally. Alkaline proved he’s still a force in dancehall, while Shenseea reigned as the queen of the dancehall. Intence had another huge year, though he had fewer tunes in my personal top 20 than he did in 2020.

CHAM – Lock Down (Clockwork riddim: A-Team Lifestyle & Usain Bolt)
SEAN PAUL, SHAGGY, SPICE – Go Down Deh (VP Records)
SHENSEEA – Upset (Style A Style riddim: Chimney)
AIDONIA – Dat Eazy (Style A Style riddim: Chimney Records)
INTENCE – Light Up (Zimi Ent)
POPCAAN – Rukumpeng (Cry riddim: FadaRoy Muzik)
TEEJAY – Trust (Chimney)
SPICE – Hydraulics Wine (BMW riddim: World Team Productions)
VYBZ KARTEL – Every Hustler (Shabdon & Hemton Music)
CHRONIC LAW – Program (Shabdon & Hemton Music)
ALKALINE – Sell Off (Autobamb Records)
ALKALINE – System (AutoBamb & BlackSpyda)
ALKALINE – Hostage (Autobamb Records)
POPCAAN – Win (Unruly Ent)
GOVANA – Undefeated (Raheef Muzik Group & Bing Bang Studios)*
ZERIMAR – Somebody Great (Triple O Records & Armour Bay)
RYTIKAL – Chosen (My Letter To You riddim: Dynasty Entertainment Group)
SKENG – Gvnman Shift (1Matik riddim: Chemist Records)
SKENG – Brrrp (John Coop Records)
SKENG – Street Cred (Di Truth Records)
YAKSTA – Ambition (Bush Lawd) (Afro Boi Entertainment & Wuss Muzik)
10TIK – Roll Deep (Khaos)

10TIK – Burning Issue (Droptop Records)
10TIK – Money (Recon & CC Records)
10TIK – Suit and Tie (10TikCity Rec)
10TIK – The Real Way (Swardawg)
10TIK & YAKSTA – Freedom (Swar Dawg Records, Khaos Music, Bigga One Music)
450 – Gyal Theif (Tru Ambassador)
450 – Imperfections (Tru Ambassador)
AGENT SASCO – Excellence (Pop Style Music)
AJJI – 543 (Romeich)
ALKALINE – Deh Suh (Gego Don)
ALKALINE – Sense (Autobamb & Zimi Records)
ALKALINE – Medicine (Top Prize)
ALKALINE – Top Prize (Auto Bamb Records)
BEENIE MAN – Dem Aguh (Stench riddim: Mizik Muzik)
BOUNTY KILLER – Swag Change (Johnny Wonder & Adde Instrumentals)
BUSY SIGNAL – Wah Gwaan Mad Head (Crawba Production & Channel 17)
BUSY SIGNAL – Fed Up and Tired (Gorilla Music Source)
CHI CHING CHING – Vaccine (Jonny Blaze & Stadic)
CHRONIC LAW – Celebrate Life (Donsome Records)
CHRONIC LAW – Still A Bleed (Dynasty & Attomatic Records)
CHRONIC LAW – Rolling Calf (Dansky Records, Attomatic, 1 Law Entertainment)
DAVIANAH – Do What I Want To (Adde Instrumentals)
DEMARCO – Pon Sight (Million Miles Entertainment)
DEMARCO, BOUNTY KILLER, BEENIE MAN – Homage (Attomattic Music)
DEVIN DI DAKTA & GAGE – Eye For An Eye (Saint Kingston Music)
DEXTA DAPS – Consistency (Frankie Music)
DEXTA DAPS – Wifi (Drumma Boy)
DEXTA DAPS, TORY LANEZ, LOUIE CULTURE – Call Me If (Remix) (Good Good Productions)
Gift Card riddim: Lone Don Entertainment)
GOVANA – Chap Chap (Chemist Records)
GOVANA – Karen (Chimney Records)
I OCTANE – Stop (Troyton)
I WAATA – Dat Is A Must (Yowlevite & Frez For Real)
INTENCE – Clucha (Countree Hype Ent, 2000 & Triple ENT, Triple B)
INTENCE – Money Nuff Funds (Claims Records)
INTENCE – Pikachu (Yeng Badness & Zimi Ent)
INTENCE – Slam Bam (Haikou Music)
INTENCE – The Fight (Gypsy riddim: Yellow Moon)
INTENCE – Yahoo Boyz (Countree Hype Ent & CryShy Sounds)
INTENCE & GOVANA – Public Enemy No 1 (Zimi Ent, Crash Dummy & JOP)
IWAATA – Outaada (Gift Card riddim: Lone Don Entertainment)
IWAATA – Reason (Pop Style Music & Crashweh Play Music)
JADA KINGDOM – Perfect Timing (Troyton Music)
JADA KINGDOM – Perfect Timing (Troyton Music)
JAH LIL – Outside (Riddim God Music)
JAHMIEL – Jah Never Leave (Bitcoin riddim: Sweet Music)
KABAKA PYRAMID – Ready (Jugglerz)
KOFFEE – The Harder They Fall (Geneva Club & Roc Nation)
KOFFEE – West Indies (Promised Land Recordings)
KONSHENS & DAVIDO – Boom Bang (Ineffable Records)
LUTAN FYAH – No Just Buss So (Yard A Love)
MASICKA – Different Type (1 Syde & Genahsyde Records)
MASICKA – King (1 Syde & Genahsyde Records)
MASICKA – Update (TJ Records & Genahsyde)
MASICKA & SEAN PAUL – Quality (1 Syde & Genahsyde Records)
MAVADO – Nah Listen (Big Time riddim: One Time Music)
MITCH – Boil Up (Nectar riddim: Rapid Aid & Old Capital)
MOYANN & SHENSEEA – No Limit (Sun Roof riddim: DJ Frass)
NAOMI COWAN – Energy (Izy Beats)
NATION BOSS – Humans (Troublemekka)
NICKI MINAJ & SKILLIBENG – Crocodile Teeth (Republic Records)
POPCAAN – Levels (Unruly Entertainment)
PRINCE SWANNY – Bad and Clean (Ztekk Recioords)
PRINCE SWANNY – Bury Mi Ah G (Serenity: Ztekk Records)
PRINCE SWANNY & GOVANA – Power (Serenity: Ztekk Records)
ROYAL BLU – Misery (Different Level riddim: Markus Records)
RYGIN KING – Pop Mi Collar (Rygin Trap Records & BullPuss Entertainment)
RYTIKAL – Living (Big Time riddim: One Time Music)
RYTIKAL – One Day Good (Banga riddim: Concrete Records)
RYTIKAL – Hello (Austin Records)
SHANE O – On and Off Loyalty (Countree Hype)
SHANE O – Psalms 23 (Countree Hype)
SHANIEL MUIR – Covid Soon Done (Gypsy riddim: Yellow Moon)
SHANIEL MUIR – Exclusive (Shab Don Records)
SHENSEEA – Be Good (Rich Immigrants & Interscope)
SHENSEEA – Run Run (Rich Immigrants)
SILK BOSS – Mankind (Terro Chopcity & Silverbirds Records)
SILK BOSS – Stay To Miself (Dynasty Entertainment Group, DJ Mac, Attomatic Records)
SKENG – 23 (Head Concussion)
SKENG – Cheese (Rvssian)
SKENG – Live Large (Guh Off Ent / Kushmatic Sounds Production)
SKENG & YENG (INTENCE) – Heaven Passport (Ditruth Records & KD Music)
SKILLIBENG & POPCAAN – Pree (EastSyde Records)
SKILLIBENG & TOMMY LEE – Bin Laden (EastSyde Records)
SPICE, CHAM – Condensed Milk (Lawless Army & DubShot)
STYLO G – Hot Wata (Kingston Elite)
TARRUS RILEY – So Blessed (XTM Corvette Corvette Remix)
TEEJAY – Accumulation (Bass Lion Art)
TEEJAY – Bitcoin (TroyBoss)
TEEJAY – Independent Pree (MAY Music Group & Hapilos Records)
TEEJAY – Investing (Extol Music & Top Braff)
TEEJAY – Rich (Tropical Depression riddim: Damage Musiq)
TEEJAY – Weed N Money (JA Production)
TEEJAY & JDON HEIGHTS – Spaceman (One Lee Records)
TEEJAY & VYBZ KARTEL – Pressure (Top Braff Music)
VYBZ KARTEL – African Summer (Drop Top Records)
VYBZ KARTEL – Bududum (T100 Records)
VYBZ KARTEL – Chip Glock (Vybz Kartel Muzik & Short Boss Muzik)
VYBZ KARTEL & SQUASH – Streets (Aiko Pon Di Beat & Vybz Kartel Muzik)
VYBZ KARTEL & TASHINA MUZIK – Cherish The Moment (JB Productions)

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

10TIK & LEAHA – Roll Deep (acoustic version) (10TikCity Inc)
450 – Journey (DWH Records)
5 STAR CELESTIAL – The One (Kostal Kings)
BERES HAMMOND & POPCAAN – God Is Love (Juke Boxx)
D’YANI & JADA KINGDOM – Feelings (Remix) (Televised riddim: EchoBeats)
DJ KHALED, BUJU BANTON, CAPLETON, BOUNTY KILLER – Where You Come From (Epic & Black Butter Records)
FADAGAD – Jah Guide (Pryce Wayne Music)
JAZ ELISE – Elevated (The Golden Hour: In.Digg.Nation Collective)
KABAKA PYRAMID – Believe (Tip God Music)
POPCAAN – Memory (Dunwell)
POPCAAN – Relevant (Droptop Records)
QYOR, KRANIUM, DEXTA DAPS – Be High (Ineffable Music)
SKILLIBENG – Enemy Antidote (EastSyde Records)
SKILLIBENG – Guide Me (Johnny Wonder & Adde Instrumentals)
TARRUS RILEY & MASICKA – Corner (Dunwell)
TEEJAY & TOMMY LEE SPARTA – Power Struggles (Damage Musiq)
TOMMY LEE SPARTA – Ghetto Cry (Boss Lady Muzik)
ZERMIAR – Switch (Dynasty Records)

SKILLIBENG – Coke (Eastsyde Records) *just short of 15 million views on YouTube

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