For more than half a century Jamaican music, in all its many forms, has continued to spread throughout the world. Whilst this selection steers clear of reggaeton – a whole world in itself – it does venture from the Tanzania of Tiggs Da Author to Katchfire’s New Zealand.
Brit Joe Yorke opens the ball with an retro acoustic production from long-lived French label Stand High Patrol. Big Ranx, Blundetto, and Kalash each in their own ways explore the reggae, dub, and dancehall of Jamaica in France, or perhaps it’s the other way around. KitschKrieg, the hugely successful trio of German beatmakers, welcome dancehall icon Vybz Kartel onto their track “International Criminal” from their latest album.
All over Africa there’s a lot of talk about Afrobeats, Afropop and also Afrodancehall. Here we have the Nigerian Yung L giving us a great example of this with “Bwoy”. King Perryy also knows how to get the crowd dancing in Afro mode, but here he sings a rolling melody on “African Boy”.
From the US, popstar Nicki Minaj covers Skillibeng’s hit “Crocodile Teeth”, which has been playing nonstop on Kingston’s sound systems since last year. Common invites Damian Marley and PJ onto “What Do You Say”, while multi-platinum producer DJ Khaled hands over a hit to a line-up of Jamaican veterans: Bounty Killer, Buju Banton, and Capleton. Last but not least, two quite different dubs make up the epilogue, with a final jungle track from Shy Fx, Bou, and Gappy Ranks. Plenty of new evidence to remind us that Jamaica is everywhere, from rap to roots.