Toppa Top ’15: The Best Dancehall Tracks of 2015

15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 +1
December 16, 2015

2. Busy Signal – Text Message

Busy Signal has the best ear in dancehall. It’s a landslide. No contest. As a deejay, he always seems to find new sounds outside of the norm to pull into dancehall. See how he singlehandedly introduced fused modern West African sounds into the genre’s vocabulary, from โ€œDa Style Deh” to โ€œSame Way,” a remake of Sarkodie’s Azonto banger โ€œU Go Kill Me.โ€ As a producer, he’s supremely underrated, too. His style could be described as ultra-minimalistโ€”See โ€œCool It Babyโ€ for an example of how he’s able to do the most, with the least. But โ€œText Message,โ€ a dancehall song that plugged into modern communication like no other, might be his masterpiece, musically and lyrically. First off, the beat, based around the Whatsapp notification whistle, is ingenious in and of itself. But it’s how Busy builds upon the theme of the beat with his lyrics, telling an intricate story through popular Internet acronyms and such (WTF, BTW, KMRT โ€” that’s Kiss my rassclart teeth, for you non-Jamaicans) that made us have to hit rewind day in and day out, all year long. โ€”Jesse Serwer