Words by Saxon Baird—
We don’t want to call it a full-on revival, but dancehall has definitely been leaning towards a return to the vintage style and sound of Jamaica in the late ‘80s and ‘90s. Mr. Vegas (and Joe Lickshot!) just dropped “Real Don,” channeling the simple sound of dancehall’s early digital era. Konshens and Romain Virgo meanwhile gave us one of 2013’s most memorable dancehall videos, donning old-school Jamaican fashions—mesh marinas, backward Kangol caps— for their excellent throwback tune, “We Nuh Worry Bout Dem.”
Aidonia—an obvious inclusion in our recent ‘10 Dancehall Artists that Matter Now’ feature —already offered up his own throwback gem last year with the ‘90s Madhouse Records-channeling “Boom Flick.” Now comes the video for “80s Dancehall Style” (the track also known as “One Voice”) featuring Aidonia inna similar fashion, looking like an old-school yardie in flip-up shades, gold rope chain and black mesh marina. The track’s infectious live sound, with vinyl crackling and echoing vocal effects over the Golden Hen riddim, sounds straight off a live dancehall cassette, fitting perfectly with the fashionable visuals of a past golden-era that the video takes inspiration from.
Aidonia has been on something of a roll lately this year. His most recent offering “Don Deh Ya” off the Hot Yeer riddim is serious fyah that features the deejay bussin off forceful verses with verbal dexterity that at first listen could be mistaken for a unreleased Kartel track. Watch the full riddim medley video here.