Busy Signal—”Professionally”/”Well Prepared”
We couldn’t do a rundown of dancehall in 2014 without acknowledging one of its greatest lyrical stylists. Ever the experimental opportunist, Busy Signal’s most notable recent tracks saw him co-opt a pair of international rhythms—P Square’s Afrobeats hit “Personally” and Lorde’s “Royals”—turning them into dancehall, on “Professionally” and the late ’13 release, “Well Prepared,” respectively.
KONSHENS -“Sumn Deh”
Courtesy of RVSSIAN’s Head Concussion Records, “Sumn Deh” was another gem for the producer this year. It wouldn’t be what it is though without Konshens offering up some super fun, X-rated lyrics to the riddim. A perfect response to critics who think slackness in dancehall is tired, “Sumn Deh” might make your mother blush but is bound to induce some serious whining in the dancehall.
Gage – “Throat”
The latest post-Kartel darkhorse in the vein of Tommy Lee and Alkaline, Gage isn’t for everyone. Lyrically, his blow-job anthem “Throat” is a bit tough to swallow (ahem) but his delivery on the minimal, bass-and-tom-tom riddim known as Street Mongrel is nothing if not effective.
Demarco -Good Book
Demarco dropped the toughest song on one of the year’s hardest riddims.