Words by Jesse Serwer—
The year was 2003, and dancehall was at its peak, attaining unprecedented infiltration of the U.S. and other global markets. Naturally, given the long-running connection and similarities between dancehall and rap, the hip-hop world wanted a piece of the action, and tracks featuring big-name rappers ‘longside the day’s top dancehall deejays proliferated. One major result of this phenomenon was Def Jam’s Def Jamaica project, featuring the Meth and Red x Damian Marley collab “Lyrical. 44,” among other memorable tunes.