Toppa Top ’16: The Best Dancehall Singles of 2016

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9. Vybz Kartel, “Western Union”


Jamaica is no stranger to the lotto scam. According to The Wall Street Journal, Jamaican scammers took in $1 billion from U.S. citizens in the last four years. This year has seen some high-profile arrests involving US authorities. A chronicler of the Jamaican hustler lifestyle in all its forms, Vybz Kartel has been referencing this phenomenon for years, on songs such as ‘Reparation.” It even drew attention from the Jamaican Security Minister. who was in an uproar of this so-called glorification of ghetto life. The artist Xklusive touched on the topic back in April with his track “Scamma Dem Deya.” Kartel revisited the topic on one of his biggest songs of 2016, “Western Union,” with an extended 10-minute visual to boot. The track, which begins with a cryptic reference to Georgetown, Guyana (a city where Kartel ran into trouble a few years back after a dispute with a promoter) sees the World Boss at the top of his lyrical game, weaving in and out of his nasal flow whilst painting a vivid picture of the life of a scammer. Essential listening. — Jamie Rodigan