Look out for my brand new mix cd LIVE FROM LONDON – over 2hrs of the hottest dancehall
Out this Friday
Yesterday saw the sentencing of Vybz Kartel following his conviction for Murder, for those of you who have some how escape the news; he was sentenced to life with no chance of parole until served at least 35 years. As I said on facebook yesterday the sentence does fit the crime, so I won’t be one of those people that claims to be shocked by his sentence, it’s just shame its come to this, dancehall has lost a very talented individual as we will see below.
Here I will try to take you through my top 41 favorite Kartel songs (in no paticular order), expect some surprises, some hits from his earlier years and plenty of slackness.
So Mi A Say
One of many collabs between Vybz Kartel & Don Corleon we will see in this list, it’s tunes like this that highlight why kartel rose to fame so quickly, lyrics & delivery mixed with a great beat…..”Most Girls love Mi So…..”
Last Man Standing
This tune dropped within 24 hrs of his sting clash with Mavado and was like a final nail in the coffin for Mavado in terms of this clash. Kartel did little more than sum up the clash in this tune but some of the comparisons Kartel uses really hit hard!
Taken from his first album Up to Di Time, this cut on the Marmalade riddim was a banger! There’s a saying that a beat is only half a song and this is a great example
Badda Dan Dem
Kartel killed the Casablanca riddim with this boastful track. At the time kartel offered something so different to what dancehall had been offering and anyone who can remember the original Life Of Grime Mix CD (In the days of the physical CD) will remember this track kicked off the whole series!
In days before smartphones, Kartel released this lyrical bomb! Cheekily using the “Hello Motto” tagline Motorola (remember them) had used in an advert around the same. Kartel’s use of melody to emulate phone sounds and the line “Can You Hear Me Now” were brillaint!
White Trash Party Remix
Vybz Goes toe to toe with one of Hip Hop’s finest Eminem on his remix and easily delivers, it’s tunes like this that make me wonder why no one within Hip Hop reach out properly.
Frontin’ Def Jamaica Remix
Part of the Def Jamaica Album, Kartel, teams up with Wayne Marshall and of course Jay Z & Pharrell to produce one of my favorite dancehall remixes. Not Much more to say really except BIG TUNE!!!
Kartel in full Teacha mode, although many blamed Kartel for everything under the sun. This is Vybz talking directly to youths and talking a lot of common sense – that teamed with a classic riddim equals this great track.
Produced by Vertex, this combo with Jah Cure shows Kartel’s other side. At the time this was rumored to be part of a album project that would of see the Worl’ Boss take on his Addi Di Teacher alter ego for an entire album, Kartel’s Social commentary is often overlooked but this highlights how good he was at it
Thank You Jah Jah
If you read the Vybz Kartel book, he explains this track in detail in the first chapter, taken from the Gangster City Riddim, his lyrics sit nicely over Not Nice’s simple chord progression. Even after 3 years this track is still huge!
Move Your Body Remix
Just what this tune needed, from the minute Jabba shouts remix the madness begins! “Ladies ride ride it….”
Brilliant Marketing hear from Kartel, advertising his rum through a big tune. Imagine how much it would cost to get an advert out to the amount of people this tune has reached, plus its a big tune!
Touch A Button Nuh
From the intro drops, you no what time it is! The damage this tune used to do in a dance!
Love this tune, partly because I can do a great british accent just like kartel 😉 Also any tune that features the line “Come In the kitchen lets have a cup of tea” get’s my endorsement.
The Soundtrack to many peoples summer and Kartel perfectly provides that summer vibe, also a big break for swedish producer Adde Instrumentals.
Business itself could be on this list but teaming it with DJ Snake & Lil Jon’s Turn It Down For What was a masterstroke by Willy Chin, similar vibe to Touch a Button Nuh and this tune is doing damage!
Kartel & Wayne Marshall combo often in the early years and this was their first real commercially successful tune (I remember seeing the video on MTV Base)
Picture This (Me & You)
Classic on the blackout riddim, using the popular Nursery Rhyme to provide this great slice of slackness
Kartel & The Doctor on one tune! What a combo, especially as at the time Vybz Kartel was Bounty Killer’s Protogje
Sweet To Di Belly
Kartel working with Don Corleon who produced much of his first album their relationship produced some big tracks and none bigger than this
Go A Jail
In Combo with Alozade on this piece from the Chrome Riddim, hopefully life really is a cushy for him in Jail as his going to be there a long while.
“First Thing we do when we wake up” – Big Weed anthem! Need I Say more
Often Exclaimed in dances by patrons! It’s one of those tunes that has people screaming the lyrics regardless of the content, I wonder if Kartel looks back on that tune as his recent content is very far removed
Taken off the divisive Kingston Story Album produced by Dre Skull, this is a simple track that allowed Kartel to deliver some heart felt lyrics.
Go Go Wine
Another Dre Skull collab and big one at that! The Bass on this tune is immense and his lyrics encourage the ladies to buss that “Go Go” wine
The title says it all, puts many MCs/Rappers too shame
The Lyricist part 2
Part 2 of the above track – Kartel effortlessly delivering lyrical fire!
Addi di teacha on this one teach the ladies the ABC with a difference!
Buss It Up
Kartel alongside Kano on this grime inspired track, can you imagine Kartel on a Grime Set??
Pon Di Floor
Without this combo many people would not of been introduced to Kartel, although he only features briefly the combo with Major Lazer’s beat took dancehall to a new audience.
Took Neyo’s Miss Independent and made it his own to the point where people associate the riddim with him more that Neyo.
Slackness pure and simple but even when talking slackness Kartel makes hits
Send Fi MI Army
There’s a lot of warish tunes I could of picked but this is my favorite – one of them tunes that make selectors gassed!
Straight Jeans & Fitted
Kartel always mixed fashion and dancehall well and this combo with Russian run dances across the world!
This song fuelled the Gaza/Gully rivalry in the UK I remember being in a club in essex and got asked by a rather intoxicated raver if I was Gully or Gaza my answer “Let me tell you about Gaza…”
Get Your Own Lighter
Any song I can use to tell my bredrins not steal my lighter is a winner with me. Plus it features the line “Jesus Christ Fatty gone pon di sound box….Cross mi Fingers hope she don’t drop”
More Freestyle than track at only 1min 18secs but still better than a lot of artists full tracks
This alongside his piece on Set Mi Free riddim and English town seemed to run “Urban” raves for years and considering the slackness this was huge hit!
As Soon as “Hustle di Money” comes in the whole dance lights up! At a time when there was lots of big tunes centered around the ladies this was a man dem anthem! taken off the brilliant Good Life riddim this still gets a huge response now
Kartel has always had a knack for summing up periods in dancehall and this tune sums up perfectly what was happening at the time
From mentions in The Guardian to Clarks themselves Acknowledging that sales went up after this tune, this is truly a modern anthem. Although not being the first to sing about Clarks he brought desert boots back to the masses
This freestyle was featured on the Up To Di Time CD and is bad!
It’s officially the first week of British summer, and I haven’t written a blog post in a while so I thought I’d give you little round up of my thoughts on what’s been happening in dancehall recently.
The Art of Blogs
I thought I’d start with a little moan about the current trend for blogs to post the same content without offering any sort of individual opinion. Many bloggers seem content with copy and pasting stories from each other (or from other media outlets) without offering their own slant on the topic. I’m not saying people have to go down the line of Vice and others that give the impression they are looking down their noses at most things they comment on but I for one enjoy reading a blog that offers me the chance to get an insight into the writers opinion and even give me a sense of their personality. I understand blogs are competing for clicks but still I don’t believe that’s an excuse for some of the shoddy plagiarism I’ve seen lately!
Media Need to Get Their House In Order
Continuing on from my little moan on the lack of creative bloggers, I think the media has a lot to answer for lately. If you only read blogs/websites you would think that dancehall has descended into some sort of strange sexual frenzy, with numerous reports of slack artists, slack songs, demonic behaviour and a lot more along those lines. Now before we start I’m by no means pretending that we haven’t seen a lot more slackness within dancehall but as I’ve said before Dancehall is a genre that encompasses many styles of artist and the media’s obsession with reporting on the negative elements of dancehall, although nothing new holds back the genre. Artists achievements go unnoticed while an unknown artist gets a full page article on his song about his love for eating pussy or for tattooing his eye balls!
Alkaline, Vybz Kartel Mk 2 I Think Not
This brings me on nicely to Alkaline who seems to be dividing dancehall recently, I am a genuine fan of Alkaline but he’s come in for a lot of criticism lately whether it’s being compared to Vybz Kartel or for the content of his music. Now let’s address the Vybz Kartel comparison, yes he uses similar shock tactics (although I will say Kartel’s use of shock tactics always seemed more calculated) and yes he sings about some more freakier topics but that’s where the similarities end for me. I have said on radio a number of times Alkaline embodies a lot of aspects from various “Gaza” artists and has almost refined it, taking the best elements of a number of different artists, Kartel included. As for the criticism regarding the content of his music, I think its simply if your not a fan don’t listen, as I’ve said earlier there is plenty of artists with various styles to choose. I also have a problem with the number of artist jumping on his hype with “diss” songs. Yes it’s always a part of dancehall but I don’t like seeing a young artist being shot at lyrically, when very few of these artists are bringing anything more constructive to the dancehall table and on this subject I will let Alkaline have the final say
Alkaline – Too Real
P.S look out for Alkaline hitting the UK in April for his first UK appearance
Dancehall Music Round Up
Time to take you through a few of my favourite new releases
Busy Signal – Professionally
The Turf President delivers a brilliant visual for his take on P Squares afro beat anthem “Personally”. Not only do we get Busy’s brilliant lyrical delivery but the video is a great advert for all that’s great about dancehall, with the female dancers throwing down some great moves and having some great fun doing it!
Its not only Busy who’s caught the afro beat bug, ANG artist Kalado has jumped on Personally as well with a much more explicit take (Check it out below)
Kalado – Personally
Spice Ft Busta Rhymes – So Mi Like It Remix
Fresh from collaborating with Soca king Bunji Garlin on the remix of Differentology, Busta has brought his talents to Spice’s Hit “So Mi Like It”, Busta delivers everything you expect and a little bit more and I can see this dominating dances over the summer.
Onto big riddims and I have to mention Claims Records new riddim “Pre Order” featuring big cuts from Cham, his wife O and a nice collab from Veterans Wayne Wonder & Beenie Man. I remember seeing Cham post a preview of this on facebook and I looked forward to its release, it follows a simple formula but like the saying goes if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
Cham – Don Fi Who
Finally I wanted to mention Rvssian’s new riddim aptly named after him, I’ve always been a fan of his production and although I was initially disappointed when I first heard this riddim it really has grown on me. The riddim features cuts from Masika, Konshens, Vybz Kartel & J Capri and Sean Paul and it’s Sean’s piece that I have really taken to (Never expected to say that).
Sean Paul – Front & Back
End Of An Era
Finally it saddens me to write that after a long run Heatwave have decided to concentrate on their Hot Wuk parties and will finish their weekly event Hot Wuk Wednesday’s at The Social. As someone that has been resident there on and off since it’s Madd Raff Inception I have nothing but good things too say, the vibes have always been electric and it will leave a lot of patrons wondering where they can get their weekly west end dancehall fix!
OK for those that follow me on twitter (@joegrime) you’ll know I haven’t been too impressed by the recently released Summer Wave Riddim, which to me is unneeded, not on the same level as last years anthem bringing Summertime Riddim, nor is it in my opinion even on the same level as BBQ or even Smudge. Now I’m sure through my Twitter conversations that a lot less avid dancehall fan or those that just look for the latest Kartel tune will be loving this riddim and admittedly it even grew on me a little when listen back to it on this weeks show. My biggest problem with riddims like this is not the fact that they’ve remade a riddim that still gets regular play, nor is it the fact that although artist like Beenie, Popcaan & Gaza Slim do an alright job on the riddim there is no stand out piece. My biggest problem is the almost instantaneous way DJs, selectors and fans have jumped on the “wave” and leaves me asking the following questions: When are DJs/Selectors going to say enough is enough and exercise some quality control over what they endorse? When will producers stop trying rinse out every forgotten Vybz Kartel acapella they have on their hard drive? And finally when are we going see producers attempt to make riddims firstly for the dancehall rather than radio (it reminds me of the influx of euro pop that has invaded are airwaves in the last couple of years on mainstream radio) This concept isn’t new and I know from reading a recent interview with Truckback Records Sexx Tape Riddim was built and voiced for the dancehall not radio, but it seems to be happening less and less. Historically Dancehall & Reggae music has always been championed by sounds in dances, and radio would pick up on a tune from the buzz and although we now leave in a world of on demand media,where I can listen to what I want when I want it; it would be nice to see producers aiming more for the dancehall rather than radio waves. Talking about tunes doing huge things in the dance, I have to mention Konshens who has really made an impact so far this year. At my recent MADD RAFF birthday set the walls were literally beaten to a pulp when “Do Sumn” & “Stop Sign” were played. Stop Sign is a tune I have mentioned before (in my recent piece for Fact Magazine) and when I recently tweeted the open lines it got the biggest amount of Retweets, proving the tunes either a huge track or I have a lot of slack followers. Talking of slackness & a tune that’s aimed at the dancehall rather than radio I have to give a mention to Gappy Ranks “Wine Pon Di Edge” The tune taken from his “Bedroom Bully” EP is a tune I can see running a lot of dances in the coming months and as you can see the Video seemed like a lot of fun! Before moving on from the slack, dancehall aimed tracks I have to give mention to the Coolie Gal Riddim, which seems like being a firm dancehall favourite. Surprisingly Tommy Lee is getting a lot of air play (Both on radio & in the Dance) with his track “Let Me Put It In” although I have to big up Zamunda, an artists I have always loved and feel is underrated for his effort “Gal Army” and of course Popcaan’s title track which are both getting good responses. Talking about Popcaan he features on the new riddim from Mixpak “Loud Speaker” which is a great, with its up tempo almost soca flavour. Produced by Dre Skull and fetauring some of the finest Caribbean Artist I can see this doing really well. The Machel Montana is the stand out for me but I can see a few more pieces being added in the coming weeks and months including a Joe Grime Refix for sure! Next up I need to give UK its props for a number of reasons. Firstly because in last few months the level of UK dancehall has gone through the roof, especially when you look at the new Ragga Ragga CD which is filled heavily with UK anthems form Stylo G, Gappy Ranks & Lea-anna. I also have to big up the UK because alongside the established artists, the next set of artists have really been bringing some heat! For those that listen to my show you will have heard me play the Suncycle produced Kick Out Teeth Riddim for some time (The Ladychann & Durrty Goodz being my fav) well good friend and all round wicked artist Fresharda has recently jumped on the riddim on a remix of Tenza’s Out & Clean and I have to say Fresh really did up the levels, I never played the original but with Fresharda’s feature its put it up there with Chann & Goodz. Talking of UK, Afterhours have been pushing their own brand of dancehall well for the last 9 months, with Deejay Fingers behind the music and big artists such as Don Andre, Big Chainz & UKG legend Kele Le Roc all featured on his riddims I really predict big things for them! If you downloaded my mix for Dont Watch That TV you would of heard “Too Mix Up” (personally my favourite After Hours Tune) and with the new single with Kele Le Roc “One Man” out now, plus a number of up and coming riddims ready for release you would be well advised to keep your eyes peeled. Talking of Don Andre he appears on the New Hot Coffee Music Release Throw Me Herb, a riddim dedicated to all things Ganja. The riddim features notable tunes from Don, Gappy Ranks & Reddman with Busy Signal leading with his Ganja Tune “Hot Head” This moves me nicely into mentioning 2 of the biggest reggae albums released this year, Busy Signal’s Reggae Music again & Romain Virgo The System. Let’s start with Busy’s Reggae Music again, the album is a great advertisment for all thats been good with reggae music! He has brung together some of Jamaica’s best musicians for it and by recording it at the legendary Tuff Gong Studios the album really brings together all the modern wordplay you would expect from Busy with the musicanship of legendary labels such as Penthouse & of course Tuff Gong. It’s hard to single out favourite tunes from the album, as the album for me should be viewed as whole. I will however mention Royal Night, a masterclass in innuendo, using a classic lovers formula laced with just the right amount tongue in cheek slackness. Moving on to another Shane Brown produced album, I write with great pleasure how much I enjoyed Romain Virgo’s the system (It’s Been on constant play in my car since I got it). The album itself is a great mix of Reality & Lovers tunes put togther with an almost mixtape feel (the tracks flow seamlessly through the album). The album kicks off with some great reality with my stand out “Another Day Another Dollar” and also features “Dem A Coward” which I personally feel has the potential and potency to be a future Dub Plate anthem. Its when I get to track 11 (Fantasize) that I get most excited. This track reminds me of classic Sanchez and with album being heavily produced by Penthouse, you get that classic 90’s reggae feel. Having started writing this by moaning about Summer Wave, it’s nice to finish talking about something so positive. I think we have covered at lot here, and it’s contrasting that for all the up and coming producers making dancehall it’s established & legendary producers who are still putting the majority of quality albums out. Remember catch The Bashment Show every Tuesday 10pm-12am (GMT) on http://www.dejavufm.com & listen back to previous shows via my mixcloud (mixcloud.com/joegrime)