Toppa Top ’16: The Best Dancehall Singles of 2016

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December 15, 2016

6. Drake feat. Popcaan, “Controlla”


Debates around this obviously dancehall-inspired record have been going on for months, even before the release of Drake’s VIEWS in April. While “Controlla” might not ride a riddim per se, co-production from Supa Dups and Stephen McGregor definitely sets it apart from the many other “Caribbean-tinged” hip hop tracks which graced the charts this year. The first version of the record (and the only one we acknowledge) featured Popcaan’s commanding opening verse that stole the show before the Canadian rapper even shows up. Coupled with Drake’s sing-song cadence and plenty of patois-derived Toronto slang, it makes for a strong contender on our list. Even though the song’s album cut swapped Popcaan’s verse for a quick flip of Beenie Man’s 1995 classic, “Tear Off Mi Garment”, the unofficial version is a fan favorite thanks to almost unmatched slow wine possibilities. — Sajae Elder