Words by Sajae Elder
Whether you loved or hated the trend, pop tunes inspired by the genres we know and love were huge in 2016. From hip-hop to EDM, some of the biggest artists and producers in the world tried their hand at songs backed with reggae, dancehall and soca fusion sounds — with varying degrees of success and authenticity. This isn’t the first time pop music has looked to the Caribbean for reference points, and there has been plenty of discussion and valid critique of the trend. But it can’t be denied that this development spawned some of the year’s best songs, including many that fit equally well at a dance or in a fete as they did on the Billboard charts.
Here’s 16 Caribbean-inspired pop songs that were everywhere in 2016.