Tag Archives: Best 2014

Summing up 2014

Last year was unique in a couple of ways. There were at least three solid dancehall albums released, which almost never happens, since dancehall is largely based on singles and one riddim compilations. But Popcaan, Jah Vinci and Bugle all put out very worthwhile efforts, efforts that also were real albums, rather than a compilation of singles.

But 2014 was also the year when dancehall deejay Gully Bop rose to prominence. And he did it fast. He’s probably the fastest rising Jamaican artist ever. Basically thanks to the Internet. He’s however far from a rookie and according to a post on the B&F forum he recorded an album in the 90s for producer Phillip “Fattis” Burrell, but it was never released and Gully Bop – at the time recording as Countryman – fell into obscurity to rise again about two decades later.

And when writing about dancehall it’s impossible not to mention the wurl boss, even though he’s in prison. Vybz Kartel has been extremely productive, even though he has been incarcerated. During 2014 he managed to put out several successful dancehall singles, none of them made into Reggaemani’s top 50 tunes 2014 though.

Judging by 16 reggae personalities taste, tunes of the year were Protoje & ChronixxWho Knows and Stephen Marley & Capleton & Sizzla’s Rock Stone. Magic!’s pop-reggae effort Rude was also popular among the producers and singers that we received answers from.

Last year was also the year when Addis Pablo and Chronixx cemented the sound of the reggae revival with their excellent debut albums, now I’m looking forward to debut sets from Iba Mahr, Dre Island, Kelissa and Jesse Royal, among others.

Several more seasoned artists also made powerful sets. Sizzla dropped his best albums in years thanks to the meticulously produced Born a King and with I Rise Etana proved once more why she is one of the most solid contemporary artists and one of the finest voices from Jamaica today.

Few albums from Reggaemani’s top 30 albums 2014 received a Grammy nomination. Actually only two made it – Lee Perry’s haunting Back on the Controls and Shaggy’s Out of Many One Music. The latter was however released in 2013 and included in Reggaemani’s top 25 best albums 2013. Don’t expect any of those albums to receive the Grammy though. Ziggy Marley’s Fly Rasta got a nomination and judging by previous year’s winners – a Marley will definitely collect it.

If you need more top 2014 reggae lists I suggest you check Largeup, Billboard, Reggae Record Collectors, Midnight Raver, Allmusic and House of Reggae (in German) to quench the desire. They have much to offer.

Last by not least I want to thank all old and new readers for the continuous support over the years. Reggaemani is been online for almost six years and today the site collects more than 1,150 articles. Last year 265 articles were posted and readers came from no less than 189 different countries. It’s amazing how far reggae music reaches these days.annual-report-

More to come in 2015 and don’t forgot to check Reggaemani on Facebook, Twitter and Instgram.

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Top five reggae EP’s 2014

During 2014 an unusually high number of EP’s were put out, and many of them were also very, very strong efforts.

Three of the EP’s below are by up and coming singers. And we’re far from there yet, but issuing an EP before a full album might be a trend for debuting singers.

Best EPs II

The list below is presented in no particular order and if you are curious about the EP’syou can download this Spotify playlist with all of them.

Papa Michigan – DJ Legend
Vintage dancehall in a contemporary style with loads of musical references to 80s Jamaica.

Clay – 1st Chapter
It’s easy to fall in love with this set, particularly the melancholy and darkness that is expressed in the more conscious cuts.

RC – Rough Survivor
Promising and smooth debut album from this passionate and uplifting vocalist. managed by the legendary Donovan Germain

Randy Valentine – Break the Chain
Energy and smoothness in a divine combination.

Kenyatta Hill – Riddim of Life
The son of legendary singer Joseph Hill – lead singer in Culture – carries his father’s legacy forward and waves the red, gold and green banner high and proud.

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The 25 best reggae songs of 2014 so far

As 2014 now has passed its midpoint Reggaemani has collected 25 reggae and dancehall favourites so far. It can be hard to grasp just how much great music that is released every day and every week. It’s tons. So the list below might be of some help to navigate in the heavily competitive and extremely productive reggae industry.

The past six months have been great and lots of tunes have lingered in my memory for weeks, for example Zagga’s uplifting Attitude of Gratitude, Protoje & Chronixx’ hip-hop flavoured Who Knows and Morgan Heritage’s soulful Put it On Me.

Half year 1

If I was to select only one favourite song and only one favourite riddim it would have to be Cornell Campbell & Burro Banton’s Pressure and Jugglerz’ Penthouse riddim. Luckily I’m not a victim of such limitations.

The list below is presented in no particular order and the songs included are only singles or tracks taken from compilations. If you are curious about the songs you can download this Spotify playlist with 23 out of 25 tracks.

Artist – song title (label/riddim)
Chan Dizzy – Informer (Frequent Flyer Records)
Kelissa & Chronixx & Kazemde – Winna (Anbessa Productions & Zinc Fence Records)
Konshens – The Journey (Irievibrations Records)
Jah Sun – Never Give Up (House of Riddim)
Raging Fyah – Jah Glory (Frankie Music)
Stephen Marley & Sizzla & Capleton – Rockstone (Ghetto Youths International)
Bugle – Anoited
Mr. Benn & Champian – Everytime (Nice Up! Records/Stars)
Stick Figure & Collie Buddz – Smokin’ Love (Roughwood Records)
Protoje & Chronixx – Who Knows (Overstand Entertainment)
Collie Buddz – Thank the Almighty (TJ Records/Peace and Love)
Cornell Campbell & Burro Banton – Pressure (Muti Music/I’m Living)
Loyal Flames – Go Hard (Maximum Sound/Jah Blessings)
Sizzla – Away With the Violence (Irie Ites/Soulful Spirit)
Sound Dynamiq & Skarra Mucci – Revolution
Lukie D – Calling (Akom Records/Way Back)
Zagga – Attitude of Gratitude (Liv Up Records/Zion Train)
Lutan Fyah – Roll it Up (Irievibrations/Village)
Demarco – Rise to the Top (Deadline Recordz/New Day)
Burro Banton – Inna Mi Legue (Jugglerz Records)/Penthouse)
Busy Signal/Christopher Martin – Lock Di Endz (Weedy G Soundforce)
Randy Valentine & LionHeart – Sound the Alarm (Hemp Higher Records)
Addis Pablo – Road to Addis (JahSolidRock)
Morgan Heritage – Put it on Me (JukeBoxx Productions)
Bushman & Skarra Mucci – Pretty Looks (Flash Hit Records/Pretty Looks)

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