The Biggest Ragga Dancehall Anthems 2007
Greensleeve’s latest edition to their Ragga Danchall Anthems series kicks off with Busy Signal’s These are the Days, one of my own personal favourite tracks right now, and yet another in a steady stream of big tunes from Daseca Productions. The trio, made up of brothers David and Craig Harrisingh and Craig ‘Serani’ Marsh, have been creating massive hits recently, including Demarco’s Standing Soldier and Serani and Bugle’s Doh. They have also created their own distinctive sound, marked by hip-hop influenced beats and more complex harmonic progressions.
These are the Days stands apart from the latest crop of anthems in its use of dynamics, and particularly the way Busy matches his own lyrics and delivery to the shifting mood of the riddim. The lyrical content also sets it apart, as more of a conscious tune than most on the album, exploring issues such as rising violence and poverty, and terrorism.
The only other tune on the album which I would term ‘conscious’ follows, and is another Daseca production; Bugle’s What I’m Gonna Do. Bugle laments his current situation and hard times in the persona of a father struggling to feed his family. Bugle’s distinctive tone has helped to propel his career forward recently, with some big tunes to his name like the aforementioned Doh with Serani, and Nothing Change alongside Tarrus Riley.
In stark contrast to Busy Signal’s sombre vision of a troubled modern world and Bugle’s introspective elegy, and keeping in step with last year’s installation in the series, Ragga Dancehall Anthems 2007 prominently features dancing tunes. The youngest ever artist to have a hit song in Jamaica (Poverty at age 10), QQ sets the new pace with his big hit Tek it to Them (Rum Ram). QQ has had some serious dramas in his life recently, involving custody and child labour cases; hopefully he can continue to keep the vibe and create more massive dance tunes like the Rum Ram, Walk Out, and Stookie.
Tek Weh Yuhself was certainly one of the biggest dancing tunes of 2007, and seemed certain to see a return to stardom for its creator Mr Vegas. Unfortunately Vegas has become so disillusioned with the business side of the music industry that he has since decided to retire from his career performing music. Another notable dancing tune featured is Macka Diamond’s Hoola Hoop. Look out for Macka D’s all female crew, formed in ’07, the Galliance featuring Lady G, Queen Paula, new artists Black Queen and Champagne, and Macka Diamond herself.
The rest of the album is a selection of some cuts off some of 2007’s big riddims. Another massive dancing riddim features twice; the Don Corleone produced Raging Bull riddim with cuts from Busy Signal and Munga. Earthquake, Munga’s piece on the riddim being, arguably, one of his biggest hits to date.
Another big Munga tune (one which I much prefer to Earthquake) features, on the Bluetooth riddim (H20); Own Thing. This was a very big riddim for me in 2007, with wicked cuts from Assassin, Pressure and Mavado.
Perhaps aside from the omission of any Mavado tunes, this is a good collection of 2007’s big dancehall tunes. At only eighteen tracks it does feel somewhat brief, yet the addition of a DVD featuring videos of eight tracks on the album more than makes up for this.
Al Good