The second top list in 2016 collects best songs, and just as last year the second half of the year was way stronger than the first six months. And when I wrote the half-year report in July I had difficulties finding enough highlights. But from July and onwards it has been a stream of solid singles, remixes and one riddim compilation cuts. This means that some of the songs included in the half-year report were pushed out due to fierce competition.
As usual the list collects both rising hopefuls and veterans. Most are from Jamaica, but a few are from Europe and the U.S. And I’m delighted that singles from Damian Marley’s and Chronixx’ new albums have surfaced during the year. And all four singles are very promising.
You can also find a brand new collaboration between Iba Mahr and Notis aka Heavyweight Rockaz. Big Machine is a fiercely bouncy tune and a worthy follow-up to their hit Diamond Sox.
UK soul and reggae outfit Pama International is also back in fine form and Heatwave is a killer version of Martha Reeves & The Vandella’s 60s smash.
Also very happy that Jamaican falsetto singer Courtney John is back as a solo singer and his Strangers is a beautiful slice of mellow reggae. And those who have missed Earl “Chinna” Smith’s acoustic project Inna de Yard will be pleased to find two singles from the upcoming Inna de Yard album. The cuts from Ken Booth and Kush McAnuff are sublime.
The list is as presented in no particular order and the cuts included are only singles or tracks taken from compilations. If you are curious about the tunes you can download a Spotify playlist with all tracks. Download the Spotify playlist here and I hope you enjoy the music as much as I do.
Artist – song title (riddim)
Jesse Royal – Blowing in the Wind (Guidance & Protection)
Hempress Sativa – Rock It Inna Dance
Lukie D – Lukie Feeling (Tribute To Dennis Brown)
Perfect – Nobody Knows (World War III)
I-Octane – My Struggles
Dub Inc & Jah Sun – Open Up Your Eyes (They Want)
Sara Lugo & Jah9 – Rejoice
Randy Valentine – Hold On (Blueberry Haze)
Ronnie Davis – Now Generation
Flowering Inferno & U Roy & Alice Russell – A Life Worth Living
Clinton Fearon – Waiting
Christopher Martin & Busy Signal – Steppin’
Kazam Davis & Infinite – Free Yourself Up (No Stress)
Ady Suleiman – Runnin’ Away (Winta James remix)
Chronixx – Out Deh (Lion Paw)
Randy Valentine – Too Late
Soothsayers – Nothing Can Stop Us
Good Vibe Styla & Kazam Davis & Infinite & Exile Di Brave– Nothing More To Say
Damian Marley – Caution
Exco Levi – Siren (Maad Sick)
Kabaka Pyramid – No Guns Round Here (Condition)
Heavyweight Rockaz – Upful Movements
Damian Marley – Nail Pon Cross
Melloquence, Mykal Rose & Cutty Ranks – Hot Wata (Reelz)
Chino McGregor & Stephen McGregor – Zero Tolerance
Ikaya – Side Chick (XoXo)
Chronixx – Roots & Chalice
Jesse Royal – Black Woman (Mile High)
Sandy Smith – Crying Out (His Majesty)
Pama International – Heatwave
Courtney John – Strangers
Mortimer – Ganja Train
Soul Sugar & Leonardo Carmichael – Why Can’t We Live Together
Lutan Fyah – No Assistance (Resistance)
Randy Valentine – It Takes Time (Lifetime)
Iba Mahr – Big Machine
Morgan Heritage – Conscious Revolution (Royal Step)
Ken Boothe – Let the Water Run Dry
Brina – Warmongers by Name
Kush McAnuff – Black To I Roots