Toppa Top 10: The Best Caribbean Albums of 2014

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7. Midnite I-Grade – Beauty For Ashes/Ride Tru
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The partnership between Midnite and I-Grade Records has given us enough works to at this point to be considered a reggae treasure. This year the Virgin Islands’ best reggae band and its most influential label collaborated on two albums: Beauty for Ashes, recently named iTunes Reggae Album of the Year, and the just-released Ride Tru. Each is distinctive. Within Beauty for Ashes there is an inspirational and uplifting thread, songs of human resiliency and faith like “Same Boat We,” “Weather The Storm” and the title track. Ride Tru has a more militant vibe throughout, with some different rhyme flexes we haven’t heard from Vaughn. Then you have a song like “Credited,” which highlights true roots reality, and Midnite’s close ties to the Virgin Islands community with its lyrical references to figures like the USVI RasTafari elder, Bashan. While these words might go unnoticed by many listeners, for those that know they are indicative of the unique vibe Midnite brings to reggae. β€”Kaya.lah

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