Toppa Top 10: Beth Lesser’s Most Essential Foundation Dancehall Tunes

Intro 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1


Words and Photo by Beth Lesser

With her latest book Rub A Dub Style, dancehall historian/photographer and Reggae Quarterly founder Beth Lesser is taking a comprehensive look back at dancehall’s emergence in the 1980s. As the release of the book—available as a free download through her site on May 14,—nears, we had Lesser share her picks for the 10 most crucial and indefatigable tunes from dancehall’s formative years.

  • Theseus.

    wicked set of tunes. The early dancehall era might just be my favourite era of all of reggae music.

    About “entertainment”, I would just like to add one thing: even though it is all about, well, entertainment, there is a subtle, darker and – dare i say – political note in the intro: “Many people keep on dancing… while the prophecy fulfill”, a reference to what was going on at the time i.e. political gang warfare, largely fueled by cocaine money.