Toppa Top ’14: The Most Essential Dancehall Singles of 2014

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December 23, 2014

14. Gully Bop aka Countryman “Body Specialist”

There is probably no other music culture where someone can rise from literal rags and obscurity to become the object of national fascination and (arguably) and the main draw in a world-renowned music showcase in just a few weeks—and without a corny, pre-fabricated reality show and hidden money pulling all the strings. There’s an ’80s movie fit for the late Harold Ramis in the rags-to-riches story of Gully Bop aka Countryman (aka “Daddy Kartel”), a reputedly homeless deejay who came from out of nowhere to become the talk of dancehall and top draw at this year’s edition of Sting. Cleaned up for the radio as “Body Specialist” (and also referred to as “Every Gyal”), his slackful freestyle over a version of the classic Punanny riddim became instant viral fodder when it appeared online last month. Gully hasn’t officially graduated from one-hit wonder status just yet, but his second single “Dem Nuh Bad Like We” is picking up, and is now the subject of an EDM remix from Major Lazer’s Walshy Fire, so his run should at least be longer than Potential Kidd‘s. —Jesse Serwer