TOPPA TOP 17: THE BEST DANCEHALL SINGLES OF 2017

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11. Vybz Kartel, “Highest Level”/Kremlin


Photo by Varun Baker

Vybz Kartel and RVSSIAN are the most undeniable artist/producer combo of dancehall’s modern era. It’s a lock that, when this pair link up, airhorns will sound and forwards will forward. RVSSIAN, who got his start a decade ago producing peak Kartel like “Go Go Club” and “Straight Jeans and Fitted,” has made a lucrative move into Latin music recently, producing massive global hits for reggaeton king Farruko and the lord of Trap Latino, Bad Bunny. Back in the dancehall, the Jamaican producer issued a pair of tunes this year with his old cohort Kartel, and both were, predictably, straight 🔥🔥🔥.  “Highest Level,” a one-off that was arguably the year’s most slept-on Kartel banger, came first, followed by “Kremlin,” the lead single on the Moscow riddim, a sinister, Scarface soundtrack-inspired instrumental from RVSSIAN that also featured badness from Tarrus Riley and Shawn Storm. It’s a toss-up which is better, so here’s two tunes for the price of one… — Jesse Serwer

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