Now Things: Listen to the Best New Caribbean Sounds on Apple Music

November 15, 2017

Our Now Things playlist returns with a selection of the best new Caribbean sounds streaming on Apple Music. From the latest dancehall anthems by Vybz Kartel and Aidonia to the first wave of 2018 Trinidad Carnival soca, you’ll find a mix of the tunes running road right now and some slept-on gems we think you need to know about ASAP.

Run tune below, and listen to all of our playlists over on our Apple Music channel here.

Bounty Killer, “Duh Better Than This”

The Poor People’s Governor addresses some of the biggest social issues facing Jamaica today on this standout cut from the Law Riddim. Bounty Killer’s in-your-face delivery perfectly compliments Suku from Ward 21’s stripped-down production, making for one of the best tracks in years from this dancehall icon. — Gibbo

Vybz Kartel, “All Aboard”

“All Aboard” is the latest in a long line of collaborations from Vybz Kartel and Linton “TJ” White, producer of many of the Worl’ Boss biggest tunes. The catchy, singalong chorus ensures the song will be stuck in your head from first listen, but Kartel’s wordplay and varied delivery will only be fully appreciated after multiple plays. — Gibbo

Vybz Kartel, “Kremlin”

Despite his ongoing incarceration, Vybz Kartel remains as important, relevant and influential as ever. The Worl’ Boss reminds fans and fellow artists of his special status on “Kremlin,” from Tarik “Rvssian” Johnston’s first dancehall riddim in over a year. Tarrus Riley and Chan Dizzy provide other notable cuts on the aptly-titled Moscow riddim. — Gibbo

Tommy Lee Sparta and Shenseea, “Bridgets & Desert”

This tune is definitely a banger. Shenseea and Tommy Lee Sparta spew catchy lyrics while celebrating two icons of Jamaican footwear: Bridget Sandals, and the ever-popular Clarks Desert boot. — Keva Evans

Aidonia, “Hot Tool”

“Hot Tool” is gearing up to be the next big hit from Aidonia. The dancehall general has certainly been running road since his chart-topping “Yeah Yeah” dropped this summer, and it doesn’t sound like he’s slowing down anytime soon. — Keva Evans

Vybz Kartel, “Don’t Come Back”

Vybz Kartel is “back,” no doubt. One of his latest tracks “Don’t Come Back” is a comical and creative twist on dancehall. He even works a reference to Hot 97 radio personality Ebro Darden into the hook. This tune has “whole heep a lyrics fi yuh head top.” — Keva Evans

Mavado and Jahmiel, “Badness”

One of the “baddest” dancehall songs out right now, “Badness” was produced by dancehall heavyweight Chimney Records. This is the first official collaboration from Mavado and Jahmiel, two-thirds of the newly-formed supergroup MVP (along with Alkaline), and we certainly hope not the last. — Keva Evans

Beres Hammond and Jigsy King, “Love Gets Stronger”

This Beres and Jigsy King combination has all the traits of a ‘90s dancehall classic. Hammond’s multi-generational appeal and popularity make this one a great fit for both radio and early warm segments. — Gibbo

Romain Virgo, “Trouble”

Romain Virgo’s distinctive voice and emotive abilities are on full display on “Trouble,” another reggae love song from the young veteran. The Kurt Riley-produced single appears on Strictly The Best Vol. 56, and will also be included on his forthcoming album, LoveSick, both on VP Records.  — Gibbo

Lila Iké, “Gotti Gotti”

Lila Iké is the newest artist out of Protoje’s Indiggnation camp and, like her female cohort Sevana, her stock is rising fast. “Gotti Gotti,” premiered here on LargeUp, is only Ike’s second release but she already sounds like a vet, coolly tackling a vintage Sly & Robbie/Black Uhuru riddim like a boss. — Jesse Serwer

Randy Valentine, “Vigilant”

Randy Valentine’s calls on “Vigilant” to stand firm and exercise caution will resonate with many in today’s politically turbulent climate. This is surely one of the reasons why it was chosen as lead single from New Narrative, his new LP on Royal Order Music. — Gibbo

Protoje feat. Mortimer, “Truths and Rights”

Conscious, positive vibes are always present in Protoje’s music. He teams up with Mortimer, another conscious Jamaican artiste, to give us “Truth and Rights.” Together, they bring that cool, easy vibe that feels like Sunday Morning. — Keva Evans

EchoSlim and Striker Lee feat. Crys Alexandra, “Do U Love Me

Florida’s EchoSlim digs into the vaults of iconic reggae producer Bunny Striker Lee on “Do U Love Me,” updating the landmark Cherry Oh Baby rhythm which Lee originally cut for Eric Donaldson in 1971 (with instrumentation by a very early Inner Circle). The new version features vocals from Crys Alexandra, crooning and chatting over a flipped sample of Donaldson’s original warble.— Jesse Serwer

Fyakin, “Steamin”

This number by Fyakin has that old-school, rub-a-dub sound. Good ole’ Maryjane is Fyakin’s muse, as he references the joys of smoking a lot. Needless to say, this song is pure fyah. — Keva Evans

Mista Savona feat. Solis and Randy Valentine, “Candela”

“Candela” is one of two tracks featuring Cuban singer Francisco ‘Solis’ Robert and Jamaican-born, London-based vocalist Randy Valentine included on the innovative, genre-blending album Havana Meets Kingston. Producer Mista Savona’s attention to detail and use of thirteen live musicians (including Sly Dunbar), bring the song to life. — Gibbo

Walshy Fire and Popeye Caution, “Work”

The debut single from Miami-based Popeye Caution represents a melting pot of musical cultures. Afrobeats, dancehall, soca and a hint of pop all come together on this cool, delightful production from Major Lazer’s Walshy Fire. You can’t help but move when you listen to this one. — Keva Evans

R. City, “Fling It Back”

It’s November, and the floodgates for 2018 soca are open. Virgin Islands-bred hitmakers R. City have been wading into soca waters lately and in “Fling It Back” they have a proper 2018 Carnival anthem. Brothers Theron and Timothy Thomas bring their penchant for humor and ad libs to the track, a co-production between T&T’s Precision Productions and their own DJ, Deli Banger. — Jesse Serwer

Salty and Travis World, “Trouble”

Up-and-coming producer Travis World and Trini radio personality Salty (of “Tic Toc” fame) first joined forces on “Free Up Yuhself,” one of the most unique and unusual tracks of the 2017 Trinidad Carnival season. “Trouble” isn’t as inventive as its predecessor, but it certainly has the right elements to get the wining and bubbling started in ah fete. — Jesse Serwer

Olatunji and System 32, “Bodyline”

From the salsa-flavored “Bam Bam” to the trend-setting Afro Soca of  “Ola,” Trinidadian crooner Olatunji Yearwood is constantly finding new ways to expand the parameters of soca. But “Bodyline,” with production team System32 (with whom he previously teamed on “One Life to Live”) is his most unconventional tune yet, a retro number conjuring the ragtime jazz and carefree vibes of the 1920s. — Jesse Serwer

Juke Ross, “Shadows In The Dark”

And now for something completely different via Guyana’s Juke Ross, freshly signed to Universal/Republic Records in the States. “Shadows In The Dark” is the standout track on Grey, the debut EP from the strikingly mature 22-year-old singer/songwriter, who we first met up with in Guyana last year. The whole track is flames, but the sample at the end (a field recording featuring the natural cacophony of a night in the Caribbean) brings it all home.  — Jesse Serwer