Toppa Top 10: Reggae/Dancehall’s Greatest Lady Deejays

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May 23, 2014

1. Lady Saw

Of all the female deejays to break into the male-dominated Dancehall arena, Lady Saw is the undisputable and indomitable champion. Saw emerged on the scene in the early 90s with the slack lyrics and machismo that put most of her male counterparts to shame. Early tunes like “If Him Lef,” “Stab Out The Meat,” “Hardcore,” “Sycamore Tree,” and “Woman Mi Name” were among the first sexually empowering female Dancehall anthems.

Two decades later Saw is still going strong as the reigning Queen of the Dancehall – the only female Dancehall artist to win a Grammy, hit the Top 10 of the Billboard Top 100, and be certified triple platinum (“Underneath it All” with pop Punk group No Doubt). She’s redefined femininity and female sexuality in Dancehall culture and shattered many sexual stereotypes and taboos. (In what may be a first she’s recently dropped the masturbation-themed “Pretty Fingers”). She is also one of the few female producers in the industry, producing many of her own tunes and albums, and co-producing singles for the likes of Vybz Kartel and others with her longtime love interest, Lloyd “John John” James. —Raine Martin