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60 Biggest Jamaican Songs since Independence in 1962. The fifth 10 years: 2002-2011.

Updated: May 1, 2023

This is the fifth installment in the series "60 Biggest Jamaican Songs since Independence in 1962," and represents the Yaawd Media team's contribution to the debate as to the crucial songs from Jamaica over the past 60 years. It is well established that Jamaica's music is largely responsible for positioning the island among the top ten most culturally influential countries around the world, and in the last 60 years, Jamaica has produced some of the most influential music styles including Ska, Rock Steady, Reggae, Dub, and Dancehall. As Jamaica celebrates its Diamond Jubilee (60th year) Independence, I believe that Yaawd Media would be remiss to allow the occasion to pass without acknowledging some of the most impactful pieces of music produced by Jamaicans over the period. To this end, I have selected 60 songs (one for each year) since Independence in 1962. These selections were made based on the impact the recording had on Jamaica and the world in the year that the disc was produced. Yaawd Media recognizes that there were many pieces of music that may have had great impact in particular years but may not have been released in the year of impact. It is therefore important to keep in mind that we are looking only at the year of release. Here is the fifth installment in the series with my selection of Yaawd Media's top 10 songs covering the period 2002-2011.

2002-Galang Gal: TOK This single Galang Gal by the group TOK was one of the releases on Marsden’s Diwali rhythm that rocked the dancehall and party scenes in 2002. T.O.K. would later be described as "the world's greatest dancehall-reggae boy band" by The New York Times in 2004. 2003-I’m Still in Love with You: Sean Paul and Sasha "I'm Still in Love with You" is a song by Jamaican recording artist Sean Paul for his second studio album, Dutty Rock. It features vocals from Sasha. The song was released on October 6, 2003, and reached number six in the United Kingdom and number 14 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. It also became a top-10 hit in Hungary, Italy, Ireland, and Switzerland. 2004-It’s a Pity: Tanya Stephens Vivienne Tanya Stephenson, aka Tanya Stephens, emerged in the late 1990s. She is most known for her hits "Yuh Nuh Ready Fi Dis Yet" — later featured on the Reggae Gold 1997 compilation album — and "It's a Pity", for which Stephens achieved international recognition

2005-Welcome to Jam Rock: Damian Marley Damian Marley’s blistering lyrics and astonishing delivery peel back Jamaica’s idyllic image by contrasting luxurious all-inclusive resorts with the notorious Kingston ghetto Back-To, where “the thugs dem will do wha dem got to and won’t think twice to shot you.” This potent Stephen Marley produced tune has influenced many reggae stars who emerged in the next decade, including Chronixx, Kabaka Pyramid, and Protoje who have each cited “Jamrock” as sonically and lyrically impactful on their own music making.

2006-She’s Royal: Taurus Riley The gorgeous melody, burnished reggae rhythm, and conviction in Tarrus Riley’s beautiful vocals as he utilizes regal Rastafarian references to honor women’s natural beauty then promises to “treat you like a man is supposed to” catapulted rocksteady-reggae singer Jimmy Riley’s son to marquee name status. Produced by Tarrus’ musical arranger, acclaimed saxophonist Dean Fraser, “She’s Royal” was one of the most beloved songs released in the 2000s and remains a fan favorite today.

2007-Love and Affection-Pressure Delyno Brown, aka Pressure or Pressure Busspipe, gained his experience from working the Star Lion sound system in the 1990s. After a few years working the music circuit, he hit in Jamaica in 2007 with a remixed version of "Love and Affection", a song produced by Don Corleon.

2008-The Plane Land: Richie Spice This Richie Spice’s single addressed the issues faced with international travel as a Jamaican ghetto youth steeling him/herself to face the immigration authorities in the foreign land as he “saddled up himself to be interrogated while he trods earth to spread the works of His Imperial Majesty.

2009-Rompin Shop: Vybz Kartel “Ramping Shop” played for months on Jamaica’s radio stations, until a schoolteacher wrote a letter to the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper expressing outrage at its raunchy lyrics and their harmful impact on children, which sparked numerous debates about dancehall’s lascivious content and the song’s removal from the airwaves. Co-opting the beat of Ne-Yo’s “Miss Independent” without clearance, EMI Music Publishing demanded the song be destroyed. These controversies made Vybz Kartel and “Rampin Shop” even more popular, driving it to Number Two on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Kartel’s popularity remains intact despite being incarcerated since September 2011 on a murder conviction. Spice currently reigns as dancehall’s queen and stars on VH1’s Love and Hip-Hop Atlanta.

2010-Jim Screechy: Spice Grace Hamilton better known by her stage name Spice began her career in the early 2000s, tasting success when she teamed with Vybz Kartel on the controversial "Romping Shop" with Vybz Kartel in 2009. In 2010, she demonstrated her full mettle with the single Jim Screechy which sounded the alarm that she had to be taken seriously.

2011-I Love My Life Collin Demar Edwards aka DeMarco made a huge impact on the Reggae/Dancehall charts with this massive hit “I Love My Life”. The song was a virtual celebration for the youths and “I Love My Life” became a mega hit single for the lyrically conscious Deejay. Thanks for taking the time to read our blog, please leave your thoughts in the comment section below, we appreciate your feedback. We also invite you to check Sunday Scoops our Jamaican music streaming and commentary program every Sunday from 2-4pm on feel free to share with your friends. Check out our Reggae wear merchandise at: Reggae Clothing | Yardabraawd Gallery and Collectibles

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