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60 Biggest Jamaican Songs since Independence in 1962. The sixth 10 years: 2012-2021.

Updated: May 1

This is the sixth and final 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 has been 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 sixth and final installment in the series with my selection of Yaawd Media's top 10 songs covering the period 2012-2021.

2012- Bruk it Down: Mr. Vegas Mr. Vegas scored the biggest hit in dancehall in 2012 with his single “Bruk It Down.” Thanks to this huge success of this single Mr. Vegas had one of the best years of his career in 2012. The Single top 10 million views on YouTube and found its way into the hearts of dancehall music fans from Jamaica all the way to Japan. “Bruk It Down” defines what a hardcore dancehall banger is.

2013-Here Comes Trouble: Chronixx he was born Jamar Ronaldo McNaughton and started in the music business in 2003 singing harmony for various artistes under the name Little Chronicle. He would later change his name to Chronixx as several singles followed over the years. In 2013 "Here Comes Trouble" landed. It soared across the nation and helped to launch the name Chronixx as a major artiste and kickstart the famous “Reggae Revival.”

2014- Who Knows: Protoje ft Chronixx In 2014 the most celebrated artists of the reggae-revival era collaborated on the movement’s biggest hit, which received silver certification in the U.K. earlier that year. Chronixx’s alluring sun-kissed “chilling in the West Indies” refrain contrasts the depth of Protoje’s verses, which address hypocrisy, poverty, nation building, and thinking for oneself. Both artists are fond of sonic experimentation, but this roots-reggae juggernaut merges tradition with a shimmering contemporary edge.

2015-My Dream: Nesbeth Nesbeth vaulted into the big leagues of Jamaican music with the release of “My Dream”, which featured the singer’s heartfelt delivery detailing his journey from Trench-town to Jamaican music stardom and how the strength he derives from his Rastafari faith provided guidance to his journey.

2016 One Dance – Drake feat. Kyla & Wizkid "One Dance" is a song by Canadian rapper and singer Drake released in 2016. The song features guest vocals from Nigerian afrobeats artist WizKid and British singer Kyla. The song reached number one in 15 countries, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States, becoming Drake's first number-one single in all 15 countries as the lead artist. It topped the US Billboard Hot 100 for 10 non-consecutive weeks and became the joint-second longest consecutive number one in the UK Singles Chart

2017- “Mhm Hm” Vybz Kartel Despite his incarceration, Vybz Kartel continued to wield his creative magic on the Dancehall genre with hits after hits. The provocative joint “Uhm hmm” escaped the penitentiary in 2017 and added to Kartel's stocks as one of the islands most talented DJ's.

2018-Toast: Koffee Mikayla Simpson better known as Koffee rose meteorically from her Kingston high school setback to take the island and later the music world by storm since she began in 2017. The singer/DJ/Rapper, and guitarist’s vibrant mix of dancehall, reggae, and rap quickly earned her international attention and a major-label deal with Columbia U.K., from where she released the singles "Toast" and “Ragamuffin” in 2018. Toast though went all the way and presaged her first Grammy win in the same year.

2019-Where I’m Coming From: Lila Ike Reggae, country & western, R&B, gospel, and jazz were all significant elements in shaping the vocal versatility that characterizes Lila Ike’s music. Her trap-influenced single “Where I’m Coming From,” produced by Kasadie “Caspa” Jones, is a moving autobiographical sketch depicting the tribulations she has faced on her journey to becoming one of Jamaica’s most buzzed-about young artists. Lila is currently signed to RCA Records through a partnership between the label and her mentor Protoje’s In.Digg.Nation Collective.

2020-Lockdown: Koffee As the Covid-19 pandemic raged through 2020, almost bring the world to a standstill, Koffee’s great songwriting skills were aptly demonstrated in this song which literally became the soundtrack for everybody since its release in the summer of 2020, as it captured the spirit and ethos of this very gloomy period.

2021- Ambition: Yaksta “Why own a Ferrari with nowhere to park it? Why shop at Louis V when there is a Target?” asks Yaksta (a.k.a. Bush Lawd) in his trap-accented hit, the antithesis of dancehall’s typical brand-conscious braggadocio. “Ambition” significantly placed Yaksta, 28, on the musical map, and he is establishing himself as a powerful performer with a command beyond his years, delivering uplifting messages for the youth, a refreshing addition to the dancehall terrain. Thanks for taking the time to read our blog. If you liked this piece, 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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