Each week, we add the best new tracks from across the Caribbean and the Diaspora to our Now Things playlist on Apple Music. While the playlist is always available to listen to here, keep up with the latest additions in this, our weekly new music roundup, every Tuesday on LargeUp.
This week’s update spans diverse turf, form mystical Virgin Islands reggae to global bashment out of NYC by way of Miami, plus a hookup between two of Jamaica’s top female artists and one of the moment’s most in-demand T&T soca producers.
Run tune below, and find all of our playlists over on our Apple Music channel here.
Rapper (look it up!) turned soul diva Estelle is tapping into her West Indian heritage (Grenada by way of London) album with an album called Lovers Rock on VP Records this fall, and the Harmony Samuels-produced “Better” is its second single. The follow-up to “Love Like Ours” with Tarrus Riley swaps the traditional reggae of that cut for a moody, post-genre late-night sound a la Partynextdoor.
Akae Beka, the prolific U.S. Virgin Islands artist formerly known as Vaughn Benjamin of Midnite, just dropped his first album of the year produced by musician Drew Keys and Haze Street Studios. Benjamin’s never been one for surprises, and the title cut is a typically dense slice of mind-expanding reggae mysticism that his fans have come to expect from Benjamin over the last two decades.
Wasteman is one of the latest Jamaican slangs to gully creep itself into the mainstream conversation, thanks to adopters like Drake. Over Big Rock, producer Gregory Morris’ 2018 update of the perennially classic Real Rock riddim, the “Unruly Bobo” Teflon literally lays waste to all those to whom the term fits.
New York bashment DJs Melo-X and Jasmine Solano have have evolved their long-running Electric Punanny party and mixtape series into a production concern, and “My Way” is their third single. The follow-up to last year’s “Tiger Eye” featuring Donae’O taps Miami’s Popeye Caution over a beat straddling the line between dancehall, soca and Afrobeats.
A truly international production, “Show Off” combines the vocal talents of Jamaica’s Shenseea and Samantha J and Trinidad’s Azaryah, over production by Trinidad-based producer Stadic and collaborator Jonny Blaze. Shenseea and Samantha match up nicely with their respective takes on dancehall and pop, while the production is right on time with the current trend of bashment pop songs for the global market.