December 31, 2019 marks the last day of the 2010s, and January 1, 2020 will mark the first day of a new decade. It was the best of times, and it was the worst of times, but today we look back at some of Dancehall Artists who have made an impact on the scene. With so many hits and moments, we know lists and faves will vary. Before we start, we want to thank everyone who has given our Blog and Social Media a chance since 2012. We’ve featured so many and have assisted in the careers of plenty, we look forward to doing even more in 2020, and beyond. Let’s get started with our lengthy list.
(Editor’s Note: Everyone’s list is different, so if you have a problem with this one…make your own!)
I mean, what’s a list without the “World Boss“? A man who continued to add fuel to the fire of his musical career, long after making his debut in the early 2000s. With his entrepreneurial side blooming with a Shoe line, Liquor line, Nightclub, Merch, to even Condoms, Vybz was everywhere. He even had a Reality TV series, and kept up with quite a bit of controversy too. Despite him being thrown behind bars in 2011 and facing 35 years soon after, it didn’t stop him from recording music, and releasing singles and albums up to this day. Remember his “Freaky Girl” saga? We know you all have a few Kartel tracks in rotation.
Spice is also an Artist you can’t deny when it comes to this list as well. Spice held it down for the ladies, and showed the men that she can handle her own. With so many bookings, i’m surprised there isn’t a row or an Airline named after her yet. Spice kept the hits coming, and flexed her entrepreneurial muscle as well with her “Spicey Couture” store which started growing since opening in 2009. With the help of Social Media, Spice’s brand got bigger, and took a major turn in 2018 when she was made a cast member on the popular VH1 Reality TV series, “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta”. Spice welcomed her share of controversy as well which included relationship issues, and the topic of Colorism. With her career starting in the early 2000s, she kept the fire going like her “World Boss” colleague, and got crowned Queen in the process.
Konz started his musical career with his late brother, Delus in the group, “Sojah” in the mid 2000s. Taking the solo route, he found a couple hits prior to the 2010s. But when he rocked the red hair, his career skyrocketed. With plenty “Gyal Tunes” up his sleeve, Konshens was the ladies’ go to man, and was unescapable. He launched a short lived line of sneakers under the name, “Konz 876”, and found his career taking off in various parts of the world. With all great Artists in the 2010s, Konshens got his share of controversy including a few beefs, and in 2019, Marital problems. He’s still making it happen, and the ladies still love him.
The King of the Dancehall still held on to his reign in the 2010s. He gave us the classic, “Rum & Redbull” with Fambo, and still rocked stages worldwide as the greatest Dancehall Entertainer. While he wasn’t topping the charts, he still commanded your attention. He shared a few controversies, but rekindled a friendship with fellow Dancehall Artist Bounty Killa, and released a collaboration titled, “Legendary” in 2015. Now in a highly publicized relationship and a father again, Beenie is just sitting on the throne, and overlooking the Dancehall scene.
With a career that spanned at least a decade, Mr. Vegas still had some hits in the 2010s, but plenty of controversy (you see the theme of this article so far?). While he made ladies “Bruk It Down”, found himself on Zumba Playlists worldwide, and even scored a Beyonce collab, Mr. Vegas was the topic of discussion of Social Media, Blogs, and traditional Media. No amount of blocking could stop this Artist from being the hot topic. From a mostly one sided beef with Drake, a falling out with a controversial American Evangelist, relationship problems, and his numerous Social Media videos, Vegas rubbed many the wrong way in this decade. But he still had good music including the highly rated “Sweet Jamaica” and “Lovers Rock And Soul” albums which paid respect to the Old School. What will Mr. Vegas get into in the 2020s? Stay tuned.
Di Energy God electrified his 2010s, and had more people dancing. This decade saw Ele making plenty remixes from many of our favourite pop hits. From “Gangham Style” to “Harlem Shake” to “This Is How We Do It”, Elephant Man had to take it over. While there were hits and misses, Elephant Man’s personality kept fans close. With Instagram rising, Elephant Man jumped on and showcased even more (lots of repeated pics). 2013 found him joining his fellow Dancehall brethren on the BET Music Award stage and repping the Caribbean, and the end of 2019 found him hitting the gym in a series of hilarious Instagram clips. We hope he finds it in 2020.
All he needed was a beat and a mic to get things started. Thanks to his 2012 “Start A Fyah” Mixtape with Walshy Fire, Chronixx quickly rose up the ranks with his unique blend of Dancehall and Reggae, and his ZincFence Redemption. Since then, he, along with other on the rise Reggae Artists, have started what Journalists have called the “Reggae Revival” wave. With no slowing down, Chronixx made hits, dropped a couple mixtapes (including one before “Start A Fyah”), delivered a Grammy nominated debut album called “Chronology”, and performs to this day worldwide to sold out crowds. This Spanish Town General has more tricks up his sleeve come 2020 and beyond.
Another member of the new movement of Reggae Artists like Chronixx, Protoje stepped on the scene in the late 2000s and scored a hit with “Arguments”. It wasn’t until 2010 where tracks like “JA” and “Roll” got his name buzzing, and 2011 finding his “Seven Year Itch” debut album and the Ky-Mani Marley featured “Rasta Love” that really getting the ball rolling for his career. Since then, he has taken his talents (and his In.Digg.Nation) to the world and shed light on talented folks like Lila Ike, Mortimer, and Sevana in the process. He has also lent a hand to many in the “New Wave” movement, and like Chronixx, is a Grammy Nominated Artist thanks to his 4th album, “A Matter Of Time”. Watch Protoje do even more in the 2020s.
I-Octane saw a lot of up moments during the 2010s. Thanks to hits like “My Life”, “Buss A Blank”, “Love Di Vibes”, “Gyal Ting”, “Gal A Gimme Bun”, and “L.O.V.E.”, Octane found himself headlining various events, reaping up the booking requests, signing various Corporate deals, and closing events like Reggae Sumfest where he did for 2 years straight. He also had his share of beefs throughout, but he still kept the music flowing. He looks to conquer the globe in a major way for 2020.
If Elephant Man made you dance, Ding Dong had a dance for you to learn every week. With his career starting from the early 2000s first as a Dancer and then a Recording Artist, Ding’s musical career climbed thanks to hits like “Genna Bounce”, “Gas”, “Flairy”, “Wul Up”, “Shampoo”, and “Syvah” that got him more International appeal. The 2010s found him becoming the first Dancer turned Dancehall Artist to perform at Rebel Salute, and the late 2010s found him taking over Corporate through various Advertising deals and campaigns. Armed with his Ravers Clavers, Ding Dong is ready for 2020.
He is loved, he is hated, but Alkaline is one of the Artists that made an impact in the 2010s. With controversy being his guiding light, he started stirring up the pot with “Church Folks” and “Not A Slack Song” which both had videos that had folks mad online and off. With his buzz growing however, Eyeball Tattooing and bleaching his skin became other topics of controversy (the eyeball tattoos were later revealed to be fake), then the Vybz Kartel comparisons which continue to plague his career. He has also welcomed a “cult like” following thanks to his own “Vendetta” movement, released hit singles, dropped a debut album, collaborated with International acts including Keith Sweat, French Montana, and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, beefed with various Artists, and made the year 2016 one of his biggest years. While 2019 found him in a couple beefs, we hope 2020 finds him back in hit making mode.
Though her buzz started to grow in 2016 thanks to her feature on Vybz Kartel’s “Loodi”, Shenseea basically took the spotlight and ran with it as she quickly became one of Dancehall’s fast rising Artists. With Romeich Entertainment having her back, she has collected Corporate deals, stole the hearts of many, been a go to collaborator, and has seen her career catapult onto the International scene thanks to tracks like “Blessed”, “Shen Yeng Anthem”, “Love I Got For You”, “Happy Juk”, and “Baddish”. With Major Label deal secured, 2020 is going to see a lot more Shenseea!
First he was the Prefect at Portmore Empire/Gaza, but when his “Teacha” Vybz Kartel got locked up in 2011, Popcaan stepped up and held it down for the Gaza Nation. Having scored a hit with the classic, “Clarks” featuring Vybz Kartel and Gaza Slim in 2010, he gained a following to his “Unruly” movement thanks to tracks like “Party Shot”, “Ravin'”, “Clean”, Everything Nice”, “Dream”, and “Gangsta City”. He has also released his debut album, “Where We Come From” which has received a lot of praise. The rest of the 2010s found him working with Pusha T, Young Thug, Chaka Khan, Freddie Gibbs, Davido, and Drake, who signed him to his OVO Sound Imprint recently after having talks for a few years. At this rate, Popcaan took more than a page from Vybz Kartel’s handbook, and became a Valedictorian (Yyyyyy). Unruly!
Tommy Lee Sparta
Another one who joined the ranks at Vybz Kartel’s Portmore Empire/Gaza, the Montego Bay native delivered a style of his own when he was called up to bat. With comparisons to the Gothic lifestyle and complaints from folks who said he was demonic, Tommy Lee Sparta gave us hits like “Shook (Uncle Demon)”, “Psycho”, “Buss A Blank”, “Some Bwoy”, “Sparta Angel”, “Vibes Inna Dis”, “Stocking Up Di Paper”, and “A Million”. The 2010s also found him being a topic of controversy, and was in a few beefs as well including his continuous troubles with the law. Tommy Lee Sparta has made his contribution as inspiration to the new wave of Montego Bay Artists, and he is still making his moves in Dancehall.
The Gully Gad carried his movement well into the 2010s. With a signing to DJ Khaled’s We The Best Music label, Mavado still touched base with tracks like “Gyal A Mad Ova”, “Caribbean Girls”, “Weed & Hennessy”, “Action Pak”, “Box Of Money”, “A Bwoy Like Me”, “Father God”, “My League”, and “Top Shotta Is Back”. Though they somewhat settled their differences on the Sting 2008 stage, his beef with Vybz Kartel rekindled in the late 2010s. He also had his troubles with the law, fell out with Bounty Killa, and collaborated with the likes of Nicki Minaj, French Montana, Future, Ace Hood, and LL Cool J. We hope Mavado comes back with a full force in the next decade.
If we’re talking about Singjays, you have to include Dexta Daps in the conversation. With hits like “Shabba Madda Pot”, “7 Eleven”, “Chinese Jordan”, “See Me Bed And Miss You”, “F*ck U Mean”, “Weak To You”, “Owner” and “Jealous Ova” with Tifa, Dexta quickly rose to the ranks, collaborated with International acts like M.I.A., and became the ladies’ next fave. With sexually charged content and stage performances, Dexta left the studios and stages steaming, and ladies weak to his “Woo woo woo”. It took a long time for him to get here, and he didn’t waste any time.
Masicka got his break in the 2010s, and proved that Theo is di future! With hits like “They Don’t Know”, “Hard Ball”, “Changes”, “InfraRed” with Vybz Kartel, “Top Rank” with Bounty Killa, “Guh Haad An Done”, and his “Story” series, Masicka was quickly hailed as the next big Dancehall lyricist. With the hits came the beefs as he had war of words with Demarco, Kalado, Aidonia, and Chan Dizzy. With his Genahsyde movement going strong, Masicka has a lot more in store for the upcoming years.
With his career starting from the mid 2000s, Aidonia started his 2010s with plenty hits, and a few beefs as well. With tracks like “My Heart Is Hers” “Buss Gun Charge”, “Caribbean Girls”, “Run Road” with Deablo, “Hot Tool”, “Fi Di Jockey”, “Jack Hammer”, and “Breeze”, Didi had a lot of lyrics to spare. While he got into some beefs and switched up his style a lil, he showed in 2019 that he is still working, and the hits will come. From J.O.P. to 4th Genna!
Demarco is another Artist you can’t deny as he made some progress in the 2010s. While many are still singing his “Fallen Soldiers” single from the late 2000s, he made a lot more noise with hits like, “Puppy Tail”, “Show It”, “I Love My Life”, “Continue Whine”, “Good Book”, “Bun Up Road”, “Bun Friend Killa”, and “Lazy Body”. He even found himself on the Afrobeats scene with the Runtown and Akon collab titled, “No Wahlala” in 2017. He made a lot of moves with his True Gift Entertainment label, and he also signed with Akon’s KonLive label in the late 2010s. Apart from music, he had Youtube popping thanks to his “Talk Yuh Mind” Vlog series where he would have various conversations with some of the players in the Dancehall scene. He got himself in some bits of drama as he beefed with Konshens, Mavado, Masicka, Popcaan,Jahvillani, and Alkaline, and was under fire for a couple controversial music videos. Demarco’s name is definitely in the good book for the 2010s.
Tifa definitely held her own in the 2010s. With a couple hits before, she piled on a few more including “Bak It Up”, “Why You Mad” with Spice, “Jealous Ova” with Dexta Daps, “JA Party”, “Wife Me Up”, “Swaggin’ (WTF)” with Fambo and Wayne Marshall, and “Move Yuh Body”. Tifa also secured a few Corporate deals like a few of her peers, collaborated with a few International acts, and even released her debut album in 2018. While she announced retirement that same year, Tifa is still putting out music, and we hope she doesn’t stop any time soon.
Ishawna surprised many in the 2010s. While she scored a hit with Specialist on “Do For Love”, she really pressed gas on her career when she split with former lover, Foota Hype. With controversy by her side, she gave us tracks like “Need Love”, “Restraining Order”, “Answer Me” with Masicka, “Washer Dryer” with Vybz Kartel, “Everybody Need Somebody”, “Mi Belly”, “Cheerful Giver”, and “Equal Rights”. She has made her mark, and we’re curious to see what she’ll do next.
Busy Signal had his share of hits in the 2010s. With “Come Over”, “Stay So”, “What If”, “Watch Out Fi Dis”, “The Reasoning”, “Bedroom Bully”, and “Dolla Van” leaving marks worldwide, Busy showed that he still got it despite having troubles with the law and a few beefs. Expect Busy Signal to pile on more hits in the coming decade.
This songbird was just a few steps away from being a major force in the 2010s. With tracks like “Reverse It”, “Pull Up To Mi Bumper” with Konshens, and “Whine & Kotch” with Charly Black, J Capri was making noise wherever she went. With the International scene having her on their radar, she found herself touring consistently since her first hit. Sadly, J Capri’s life was cut short in 2014 due to a Car accident. Her passing sent shockwaves throughout the Music Industry, and left many pondering on her potential if she was still alive. An inspiration to many, her music is still touching listeners worldwide. Sleep well J Capri.
Sean Paul has been on the grind since the 90s, but the 2010s found him being a multiplatinum International Star as he has collaborated with the likes of SIA, Migos, Tory Lanez, Stefflon Don, Konshens, Major Lazer, Dua Lipa, Stylo G, Chi Chi Ching, Squash, Alkaline, David Guetta, and many more. With over a few Billion streams to his name and an awardee of the Order of Distinction, Sean Paul never forgot about Jamaica, and still stayed true to his Dancehall roots.
The man from Trelawny stepped up in the 2010s, and made a scene! With hits like “Bike Back”, “Hoist & Wine”, “Right Deh Suh”, “Whine & Kotch” with the late J Capri, “You’re Perfect”, and the mega successful “Gyal You A Party Animal”. He also lent his vocals to various Artists in the Latin America music scene including hopping on the remix to Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito”. You couldn’t turn the Radio on without hearing some Charly, and he continues to wow fans worldwide. With music plaques and huge streaming numbers to his name, expect more in 2020 and beyond.
Koffee’s one of the late bloomers in the 2010s, but she picked up the pace real quick. Starting from a tribute to Usain Bolt in 2017, she quickly became the talk of the town thanks to the track, “Burning”. It wasn’t until her signing to Columbia Records and the release of “Toast” that showed she really mean’t business. She followed up in 2019 with the release of her now Grammy nominated “Rapture” EP, then took her talents from Jamaica, to Dubai, got her music featured in the Horror flick “Us”, and has collaborated with Ed Sheeran, Daniel Caesar, and Gunna. Even Jay Z and Barack Obama love her, and the world is waiting to see what’s next for her.
They’re also late bloomers in the 2010s, but they’ve all made an impact so far. With most of the members hailing from Montego Bay, the 6ix Is Real/6ix Real camp include Artists like Squash, Chronic Law, Daddy 1, Big Voice, and Bobby 6ix while Artists like Shane E and Rygin King are closely associated with the camp. With tracks like “Custom”, “Hillside”, “Trending”, “Beat Dem Bad” (ft. Squash & Vybz Kartel), “Tuff”, and “Dutty Money”, they are all inspired by Trap Dancehall, and the new wave of “Scamming Music“. With members getting caught in beefs or having trouble with the law, they all enjoy a huge following. 2020 and beyond will tell what big moves they have in store next.
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