Toppa Top 12: Twelve Caribbean Albums We Loved in 2016

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December 21, 2016

3. Alkaline, New Level Unlocked (DJ Frass Records)


The rise of Alkaline over the last few years has perplexed many dancehall listeners who initially counted him as another Vybz Kartel knockoff. Known early on more for his publicity stunts than his music, Alkaline has cultivated one of dancehallโ€™s most loyal followings, as heโ€™s dropped more and more hits each year. This year, the 23-year-old cemented his place as the genreโ€™s top-ranking contender, adding an indispensable number of tracks to selectorsโ€™ arsenals. New Level Unlocked gathered many of these tunes, like the ubiquitous โ€œCityโ€ and โ€œChampion Boy,โ€ however it seems he was just getting started, as heโ€™s since released at least a half dozen more hits. For those still new to Alkaline โ€” and heโ€™s still fairly little known outside of the core dancehall market โ€” the 15-track LP offers a decent enough introduction to his now-distinctive style. โ€”ย Jesse Serwer