Toppa Top ’14: The Best Reggae Singles of 2014

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December 19, 2014

1. Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley “Is It Worth It (Gunman World)”

Originally released in 2013 (and highlighted in last year’s Toppa Top reggae list) ย Chronixx’s “Here Comes Trouble” and Jesse Royal’s “Modern Day Judas” were two of the most ubiquitous reggae songs this year, and though nearing two years old at this point they’re still reaching new audiences. Binding the two tracks together is Winta James’ Rootsman riddim, a dubwise modern update of Sly and Robbie’s instrumental from Ini Kamoze’s “Wings With Me” that has become one the definitive reggae riddims of the modern era. Nearly a year after its release, Jr. Gong solidified Rootsman’s stattus with his own release on the track, “Is It Worth It (Gunman World),” and it too appears destined for a long and fruitful life. The subject of an inventive and just-released video directed by Nabil Elderkin (the director behind lauded visuals from Frank Ocean, Kanye West and FKA Twigs), “Is It Worth It” is arguably Damian’s most stirring and massive-sounding anthem since “Welcome to Jamrock” hit nearly a decade ago. โ€”Jesse Serwer