Dancehall continues to evolve as its influence on popular music grows. Case in point, two new singles released by Major Lazer (feat. Justin Bieber) and PARTYNEXTDOOR . Both of these singles show how far the genre has come; dancehall is now pop music. With all of these current iterations of dancehall, we thought we'd bring it back. So, we compiled a list of our favorite old school songs that created the genre's sound.
Shinehead is one of the pioneers of genre mashing on the island; mixing Jamaican rhythms with American hip-hop music. His career took off in the 1980's after he became well-known in New York's Bronx neighborhood, for performing with various dancehall sound systems. Now based in LA, reggae fans have been lucky to catch the artist at underground dancehall events such as Irie Tuesdays at Carbon Lounge.
No throwback dancehall list would be complete without Shabba Ranks. Shabba has been one of the most well-known dancehall artists to date. His songs have become classic tunes for all hardcore dancehall lovers.
Beenie Man came up as a youth in Kingston Jamaica. Many fans don't know he started performing at only five years old. The musically inclined artist was mentored by his uncle, Sydney Knowles, who worked with Jimmy Cliff as his drummer. Since then, Beenie Man has gone on to make hit after hit, but his early '90s classics are still some of our favorites.
Free Buju. The Champion dancehall veteran has been hailed by many music historians as one of the most controversial dancehall artists to date. Mostly due to his sociopolitical lyrics and commentary. Regardless of his contentious reputation, Buju's classic hits still peppers the playlist of any seasoned dancehall fan.
Patra began her music career as a dancehall deejay in New York, coming up in the late 1980's. She went on to record four albums and her song "Queen of The Pack" still stands out as a classic big tune.
Belizean rapper Shyne burst onto the scene in the late 90's. His mega-hit "Bad Boyz" featuring dancehall pioneer Barrington Levy will continue to raise gun fingers until the end of time.
Sean Paul and Mr. Vegas, two of dancehall's most treasured cross over ambassadors. Both voiced tracks on the notorious, Bookshelf riddim which has become a staple for global dance vibes.
So what is the most played throwback dancehall track of all time? This is our guess for now. Stay tuned for our second throwback edition coming soon, until then enjoy the dancehall out there.