- BEST OF 2003
PAUL KILLS IT FOR 2003 !!!
Yow! Another year has come and gone, as it is time to look back at what reggae had to offer in 2003. Remember that this chart is based on what got played how many times on BROTHERHOOD SOUND SYSTEM and REGGAE RUNNINS radio. It would be unfair & unrealistic to include commercial radio-play as certain tunes got included on mainstream-stations' heavy rotation, which pretty much means that they ran up to 50 (!!!) times per day. BROTHERHOOD and REGGAE RUNNINS only have the opportunity to run tunes once a week, so you can see the discrepancy.
Sean Paul, nonetheless, killed 2003, even on our charts. His album "Dutty Cup" has gone triple platinum (over 3 million copies sold), while newer material like "Baby Boy" featuring r&b superstar Beyonce has the potential to increase Sean's popularity even further. On top of that, Mr.Dutty Cup has remained true to his roots, voicing excellent tunes on most of the hottest Jamaican dancehall riddims like TAI CHI, MASTERPIECE, EGYPTIAN, SURPRIZE, SEXY LADY, COOLIE DANCE, HYDRO, GALLOP, and the list goes on and on.Nearly everything he touched in 2003 turned to gold, lifting him way above the par of the chatter of the average Jamaican dj. Sean Paul has 8 tunes on this top 50, easily making him dj/artist of the year in New Mexico. "Get Busy" became the most requested tune in our 11 years in the dancehall arena, getting an enormous 56 rotations on our outlets. Although recorded in 2002, Sean's combination with Busta Rhymes, as well as "Like Glue" did not really achieve much of a breakthrough until 2003. They are therefore included here. Most other tunes are from 2003. Sean Paul's streak even managed to top that of Elephant Man, our runner-up in the dj/artist of the year category. Ele by no means lost his touch/dropped off , as compared to 2002 & 2001, when he was our champion. Sean simply outdid him. Elephant Man managed to bring back niceness inna di dance. Tons of dances were created after his tunes and vice versa: "Pon Di River", "Signal Di Plane", "Blaze", "Egyptian Dance" and "Genie Dance" just to name a few. This marked a return of good times & enjoyment in the Jamaican dancehalls: putting the focus back on the dance & away from the posturing/posing, so go deh Ele! Still:
The prophet Capleton had a good year in NM , topping our charts with 2 different tunes, as did Wayne Wonder, whose remix on the DIWALI with LL Cool J and Duchess enjoyed enormous commercial success. Wayne may have made SINGER OF THE YEAR if it hadn't been for Sanchez, who managed to get 3 different songs in our top 20 alone! Congrats go out to Sanchez D. SINGER OF THE YEAR: SANCHEZ.
UPCOMING DJ OF THE YEAR had many contenders, as 2003 saw a number of rising dancehall stars establish themselves on the scene. Predator had a massive year, starting the whole"Sick Head/Head No Good" trend a yard. Vybez Cartel also cut a number of wicked bad-man and x-rated tunes before he ruined much of his reputation at Sting 2003 on December 27th, where he boxed Ninjaman at a clash in front of over 30 000 amazed patrons. No other newcomer enjoyed as much success in NM as did Ms.Thing. She managed to top our charts on Dave Kelly's MI NUH KNOW riddim and is currently holding the pole position alongside Beenie Man for January 2004.
UPCOMING DJ OF THE YEAR: MISS THING
Many other, new female artists also managed to shine, as Storm and Queen Paula. A good number of the established artists also put out excellent material. Lady Saw had a good year, as did Tanya Stephens and Cecile. Sasha, aka Duchess managed to get on some of the biggest tracks in 2003 though, so she mek it.
FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR: SASHA aka DUCHESS
New Mexico got spoiled with an enormous amount of live artists in 2003, yet patrons did not seem to appreciate it. Artists as Luciano and Morgan Heritage played in front of "crowds" of 100 or less (!!!), while others as Sizzla, Capleton & Cocoa Tea, and Beres & Marcia & Wailing Souls did not nearly draw what they deserve/are used to either. In both Santa Fe and Albuquerque, the reggae massive hardly ever came out in full force, even though many of these artists performed for the first time in NM, making the events special and different from the regular acts that seem to pass thru nearly every year. I'm thinking about the Beenies and the Bujus, as well as about the Wailers and the Burning Spears. These artists seemed to draw the actual crowds making me wonder if New Mexico is even ready to support ANYTHING that's fresh in this neck of the woods. And dont tell me nobody has ever heard of Capleton before. Not one artist came even close to performing LIVE as well as Beres Hammond did. Although the crowd was sparse, he belted out hit after hit after hit.
LIVE PERFORMER/VOCALIST OF THE YEAR: BERES HAMMOND
DANCEHALL PRODUCER OF THE YEAR would normally go to Dave Kelly, if the chart-topping FIESTA riddim had taken hold in NM a little earlier. MI NUH KNOW was not very successful in JA, yet it was HUGE here, elevating the Mad House camp's status. While none of Donovan "Don Corleon" Bennett's beats were that big in NM, they were massive a yard&abroad. He was responsible for works such as MAD ANTS, EGYPTIAN and GOOD TO GO, all of which are dancehall masterpieces. Richard Browne had a slow year. After a raging start with TAI CHI, nothing really followed to reach our area. Lenky Marsden hit it big-time with the success of the DIWALI, which got licensed by a number of hip-hop labels. He also created a top-a-top follow-up in late 2002 called MASTERPIECE, which did quite well out here. Newer 2003 riddims as TIMETRAVEL and DREAMWEAVER were also good, yet they did not really work on the dancefloors. More of a cruisin' type of thing: tunes to bump in your ride. Jeremy Harding is a producer I truly miss on the dancehall circuit, yet he apparently has his hands full, managing Sean Paul's career. Scatta's COOLIE DANCE was another red-hot beat, yet between Don Corleon's onslaught of hot riddims and Dave Kelly's success in NM its a toss-up:
DANCEHALL PRODUCER OF THE YEAR: DAVE KELLY and DONOVAN BENNETT
DANCEHALL RIDDIM OF THE YEAR also had enough competitors, ranging from BAGHDAD (basically a yardie re-make of the r&b beat SNAKE) to the rocking premiere CLAPPAS on South Rakkas. Yet no other beat was as popular out here as MI NUH KNOW, launching the careers of two new artists: Ms. Thing & J.
DANCEHALL RIDDIM OF THE YEAR: MI NUH KNOW.
After a weak 2002, roots reggae gained some popularity again. Germaican Records' DOCTORS DARLING remained popular throughout the entire year. Played by Germany's super-reggae band SEEED, it is a re-creation of the NIGHT NURSE. Anthony B & Seeed killed it everytime we gave it a rotation, as did Muenster's Dr.Ring Ding and female sensation Crystal Axe. Jah Life's HOT MILK was also strong with nuff good tunes from Beenie & Barrington, as well as a whole heapa veterans whom it was a blessing to hear once again: I'm thinking of the likes of Flourgon, Louie Rankin', Frankie Paul and Carlton Livingston. Still: no-one could touch DOCTORS DARLING.
ROOTS RIDDIM OF THE YEAR: DOCTORS DARLING.
in all it was a great year for reggae accross the globe. Through the mainstream
success of artists as Sean Paul, Wayne Wonder, Elephant Man and Wayne
Marshall, a huge amount of other people got exposed to our music. Hip-hop
sessions seem unable to exist without featuring a good, healthy peppering
of dancehall tunes anymore, while Ele, Sean Paul and crew are running
up and down the FM and the video channels. The danger in this is that
the hip-hop industry may just use dancehall reggae to give it a much needed
booster-shot, while it is not willing to do anything to help dancehall
music prosper. In NM I see mainly hip-hop dj's and stations benefiting
off Dutty Cup's success, while us reggae folks are still struggling along.
Yet there are encouraging signs, as the public's approval & acceptance
of hardcore Jamaican dancehall beats as DIWALI and BUZZ. This clearly
shows that the people are hungry for something REAL, rather than the watered-down
reggae-hip hop crossover approach, which may also explain the failed attempts
in the 1990's to bring artists as Shabba and Louie Rankin into the mainstream's
fold. The people want the real-deal and dancehall reggae is it !!! In
its pure, hardcore and unadulterated form. Lets see what the future holds.
Only time will tell.
Blessings for 2004