Toppa Top 12: Twelve Caribbean Albums We Loved in 2016

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10. Vybz Kartel, King of the Dancehall (Zojak Worldwide)

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“Trust me, this album is the #1 dancehall album of the year and in the last 10 or so years,” Vybz Kartel told me when we spoke this summer, before the release of King of the Dancehall. I don’t know if I can agree: Kartel’s 2011 album Kingston Story might deserve that second title. Like that album, released through Dre Skull’s Mixpak Records, King of the Dancehall is a collaboration with a single producer, Linton “T.J.” White of TJ Records, and achieves a similar cohesion. The 22-track LP contained “Western Union” and “Fever,” the biggest hits in what was a big year for Kartel, and a gang of lesser-known and previously unreleased tracks, in both clean and dirty versions. If it doesn’t quite match the highs of Kartel’s best LP, it’s still a proper runner-up within his ballooning catalog. — Jesse Serwer

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