Words by Selector
Ninjaman is, simply put, one of the most talented and storied dancehall artists around. Putting in work in Kingston’s sound system circuit from the early ’80s, the “Don Gorgon” became one of the top dancehall deejays for the next decade or so, regularly clashing with fellow legends like Super Cat and Shabba Ranks in the late ’80s and early ’90s.
Ninja was the undisputed king of the hardcore gunman chune and, although his high-caliber lyrical prowess has always been undeniable, this sub-genre of dancehall fell out of favor in the mid to late ’90s. Ever since, new music from the artist has been somewhat rare and, indeed, “Badness” marks Ninja’s first new artist release in several years. (His most recent appearance was a featured spot on American outfit Collapsing Scenery’s “Money” released last year.) Since December 2017, Ninja has been serving a life sentence for murder, which allegedly took place in 2009.
For the track, the artist teamed up with Australian producer Monkey Marc, who provides a digital-sounding hip-hop beat vaguely reminiscent of Rockwilder’s work from the late ’90s. The lyrics contain a jarring message from the jailed artist to the youth, warning them not to follow in his footsteps, or else pay the price. Badness anuh game, Ninja warns: It naav nuh referee.
“Badness” makes its online debut via the lyric video below; its out on all digital retailers on Friday, 11/2. Check out our countdown of Ninjaman’s most essential gunman tunes here.