Toppa Top ’16: The Best Dancehall Singles of 2016

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1. Vybz Kartel, “Fever”
vybz kartel

Vybz Kartel’s pulsating party starter “Fever” was hands down the dancehall anthem of the year, further solidifying the incarcerated World Boss’ dominance of the genre — even after five years in prison. From Cardi B of Love & Hip-Hop fame singing along with Kartel’s lyrics on her way to visit her incarcerated boyfriend, to the countless videos of synchronized poolside twerking and tick-tock booty shaking on Snapchat and other social media, this one really struck a chord with the ladies. Kartel has always been ahead of his contemporaries when it comes to the art of lyrical seduction, but from the opening line (“X-O, X-O my love is very special, if you want it you can have it but don’t take me for granted”) to the instructional breakdown (“Tick-tock, tick-tock, bruk it, set it, bruk it, set it”) to the coded “Gypsy” language (which translates to “Mi wan see you come ah my yard fi di best fuck”) Kartel uses intermittently, everything about “Fever” resonated with di gyal dem. Kartel fans worldwide are optimistic that he will win his upcoming appeal from his 2014 murder conviction and be free once more, but, whatever the outcome, you still have to rank Vybz Kartel as the top man in the dancehall business. — Juss Kool