Toppa Top 10: Top Reggae/Dancehall Songs About New York

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June 7, 2011


3. Charlie Chaplin, “Entertainer”

This deceptively simple-sounding tune paints a descriptive portrait of the city, as seen through the eyes of a first time visitor from Jamaica. A step-by-step recounting of Chaplinโ€™s arrival for a performance here (with, he notes, fellow deejays Nicodemus, Lone Ranger and Brigadier Jerry), โ€œEntertainerโ€ is rich with placemarkers: โ€œThe airport where mi land named Laguardia,โ€ โ€œMi seh the tallest building is World Trade Center,” โ€œDem have a likkle bridge run underwater/Fi pass that, you pay a dollar, quarter,โ€ etc. But the best part is Chaplinโ€™s contrasting of Jamaican and American terminology: We say spliff but dem say J/We say fish, dem say filet/We say train station, dem say subway/We say forward, dem say replay/We say yes, dem say Awwkayy.