Toppa Top 12: Twelve Caribbean Albums We Loved in 2016

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December 21, 2016

2. Akae Beka, Portals (I Grade Records)

Vaughn Benjamin is making music under a new name, but he hasnโ€™t changed the way he does business. The co-founder and frontman of iconic Virgin Islands group Midnite has continued to release his lyrically-dense brand of reggae at a stupefyingly prolific clip in his new guise as Akae Beka. Portals was the first of two Akae Beka albums released this year, followed by Octoberโ€™s Livicated, and, in our estimation, the superior of the two. Benjamin has never left listeners with a lack of food for thought, but musically Portals was one of the most challenging releases to date, adding rock and jazz influences to his typically rich reggae stew. ย โ€”ย Jesse Serwer