So it’s that time of the year again. December means best-of-the-year-lists, and first out is the best songs put out in 2012.
This year I decided to make a huge list covering no less than 50 tracks, mainly for two reasons – it has been a great year for both reggae and dancehall and I also wanted to present a list showcasing several different styles – dancehall, dubstep, one drop and UK steppers are all included on the list.
Just as previous years the list features mostly artists from Jamaica, while the producers hail from Europe, the U.S. and Jamaica. What makes this year’s list a bit different though is the inclusion of lots of dancehall. This year has been fruitful for electronic, bouncy and playful dancehall.
When browsing the list you’ll probably notice that Tarrus Riley is still the artist running the show. On the production side Frenchie from Maximum Sound is perhaps the most reliable and consistent producer and all of his riddims from 2012 are included in the list.
Female singers are few and far between. It’s a pity, but it’s sadly how the reggae industry looks like. A one riddim album usually has about ten tracks, and of these one, or at most two, are by female artists. This has been the case for years, and nothing indicates a change in the near future.
The tracks are presented in no particular order and I’ve only selected tracks released as singles, from one riddim albums or from compilations, i.e. no one artist albums.
If you’re curious about the music you can check a playlist I’ve made on Spotify by clicking here. This list doesn’t however cover all tracks, and lethal gems such as General Levy’s Dub Murda on Irie Ites’ Stop That Sound riddim or Loyal Flames’ Keep Focus. The latter is currently only available as 7” and the former is available on other digital platforms, for example iTunes.
Song title – artist (label – riddim)
Capital Offence – Captain Sinbad (Maximum Sound – Rudebwoy be Nice)
Selecta – Rayvon (Ranch Ent. – Kingston 13)
Final Move – Cornadoor & Kabaka Pyramid (Weedy G Soundforce)
Original Dancehall Days – Starkey Banton (Mafia & Fluxy – Bun n’ Cheese)
We Run It –Tarrus Riley (Charlie Pro)
Go Down – Machel Montano (Mixpak – Loudspeaker)
It’s a Party – Elephant Man & Tarrus Riley (Romeich – Stinking Link)
Shots – Voicemail (Akom – Full Swing)
No Barbershop – Conkarah (Lifeline – Rock Fort Rock)
Badmind a Kill Dem – Popcaan (UPT 007 – Juicy)
Trod in the Valley – Lorenzo (Irie Ites – Borderline RMX)
Chill Spot – Chris Martin (Chimney – Chill Spot)
Independent Ladies – Gaza Slim (TJ – Summer Wave)
Chant Rastafari – Tarrus Riley (Maximum Sound – Most Royal)
Blood Thirsty – Jah Mali (Necessary Mayhem – Possessed)
Fire Fire – Capleton (Dynasty – Kush Morning)
Perilous Times – Luciano (Maximum Sound – Dance Ruler)
Start A Fyah – Chronixx (Jungle Josh – Game Theory)
Cyaan Tek Di System – Burro Banton (Weedy G Soundforce – Roadster)
Make It Bun Dem – Skrillex & Damian Marley (Big Beat)
Kingston Town Remix – Busy Signal & Damian Marley (VP)
Addicted – Conkarah & Denyque (Lifeline)
Irie Collie – The Tamlins (Irie Ites – Jah Jah Man)
Nuh Rate Dem – Capleton (DJ Frass – Cross Fire)
Sorry Is A Sorry Word – Tarrus Riley (TJ – Live In Love)
OK – Sizzla & Neïman (Union World – Melodical Fyah)
Jump + Rock + Move – Wrongtom & Deemas J (Tru Thoughts)
Blaze & Rum – Etzia & Fambo (Jugglerz – Kickdown)
Let Jah Lead The Way – Iba Mahr (Notice Productions – Digital Love)
Badmind Dem A Pree – I Octane & Bounty Killer (Markus)
Wild Bubble – Voicemail (Cr203/ZJ Chrome – Wild Bubble)
We Nah Bow – Sizzla (Boom Shak – We Nah Bow)
Obeah Man – Turbulence & I Shenko (Riddim Wise – Downtown)
Kingston Be Wise – Protoje (Don Corleon)
Upgrade – Ce’Cile (21st Hapilos – Corner Shop)
Dub Murda – General Levy (Irie Ites – Stop That Sound)
Them See Me As A Threat – Lutan Fyah (Adde Instrumentals/RR345 Muzik – Sweet Sounds)
Again And Again – Stein (Cashflow – Sun Tan)
Mama – Christopher Martin (DZL – Perfect Key)
Party – Top Cat (Weedy G Soundforce – Jump Up!)
R.A.S.T.A.F.A.R.I. – Professa Natti (Scoops)
Sound System Culture – Digitaldubs & YT (Scotch Bonnet)
Words Of My Mouth – Earl Sixteen (The Bombist – Words Of My Mouth)
How Do You Like My Music – Terry Linen (TeTe)
Keep Focus – Loyal Flames (Vikings – Focus)
I’m A Survivor – Peetah Morgan (Special Delivery – Feel Good)
The Streets of London – Soothsayers (Red Earth)
Every Single Thought – Christopher Martin (Jugglerz – Street Soul)
Badda Dan Dem – Beenie Man (Radio Active)
Jamaica 50 – Captain Sinbad (Maximum Sound – Leggo Di Riddim)