- BEST OF 2004
VEGAS TOPS 2004!!!!
Completely opposing world-wide trends once again, New Mexico crowns
While his tune on the COOLIE DANCE "Pull Up" (featuring the up & coming singer Wayne Anthony) did well across the entire globe, it was right here in New Mexico that the track got requested over & over again, sparking up countless dancehall sessions and kicking them into over-drive. Not only that, Mr.Vegas' "Tamale" was also right-on for the senoritas AND the rude-bwoys, topping the New Mexico Reggae Dancehall Charts as well. A HOT year for Vegas again finally; probably the hottest since 2000. Back in those days it looked like Vegas was bound to be the superstar, rather than Sean Paul, and after the break-up of the Scare Dem Crew a certain Harry Toddler also looked liked HE was heading for stardom, rather than Elephant Man. Remember? Well, 2004 treated the ever-youthful sing-jay quite good again, as he signed to the hip-hop giant Delicious Vinyl and "Pull Up" was covered in Spanish by rappers Cool O and Little John, achieving an incredible mainstream HYPE on the COOLIE DANCE, which also set the huge Ele/Kiprich/Twista/Young Bloodz combination "Jook Gal" into motion. Speaking of Ele: he had a good year again, yet dropped off a little, as some his tunes didn't quite have the incredible quality of earlier years. Still, he came in at #3 amongst the dj's, almost solely responsible for the dance-hype of the past year or two. Baby Cham doesn't have the output of many of his fellow chatters, yet what he does put out is usually top notch. He had a great year in New Mexico, topping the charts with selections on Dave Kelly's PRETTY PRETTY and Black Chiney's KOPA. His "Vitamin S" on the FIESTA also carried over well from 2003. The runner-up spot for Baby Cham therefore; wah wah!!! As far as other dj's go: Vybz Kartel had a fantastic year world-wide and his "K.I.S.S.I.N.G." on the BLACKOUT riddim mashed up NM as well, yet his style is a bit too hardcore for the mainstream out here. No chart-toppers yet. #4 spot for the word-smith from Portmore. Capleton had a good year with great tunes on the WHY WORRY, TUNDA KLAP, KLYMAXX and MAD INSTRUMENTS DANCE . #5 for the man from Islington, St. Mary. Chuck Fender had another great year, and the doctor Beenie Man also did pretty good, yet most of his success carried over from 2003 and the combination with Ms.Thing. Bounty Killer had a TERRIBLE year. He shone on a few collaborations but came across too bitter as an individual. Highlights occurred when he went conscious ("Almighty"). Assassin also improved quite a bit, while Sean Paul and Predator nearly disappeared completely.
UPCOMING ARTIST OF 2004:
can only go to I-Wayne, yet in NM where time moves a bit slower than elsewhere he has to share the title with Natty King, whose "Don't Bring Your Guns To Town" from 2003 didn't really take hold in bad-man territory until 04. So congrats to I-Wayne and Natty King. By the way, last year's winner in the category Ms.Thing just released her first album and is currently having her first baby. She'll be out on tour starting in spring.
FEMALE ARTIST OF 2004:
in NM is bad-gal Cecile, whose "Hot Like We" on the RED ALERT was massive out our way. Tanya Stephen's "Gangsta Blues" album on Vp got rave reviews everywhere, showcasing her versatility. In NM it was mainly her "It's A Pity" on Germaica's DOCTOR DARLING (which didn't figure in last years top 50 yet) that put her in the runner-up spot. In Jamaica though, the top-a-top female entertainer was veteran Lady Mackerel, who changed her name and her style for 2004 to Macka Diamond. Alicia Keys did a great reggae remix, which in turn was covered nicely by Fiona.
LIVE PERFORMER OF 2004 in NM:
was Junior Reid, who gave us plenty of his classics on a slow Sunday night in front of 60 people.
SINGER OF 2004:
is 5th Element's Richie Spice. His "Earth A Run Red" from 1998 finally sunk into everyone's brain and got followed up with ganja anthems like "Marijuana" and "High Grade In My Chalice". Not so much from either Sanchez or Beres, or George Nooks for that matter, who took this title in previous years. Daville had a good year, as did Anthony Cruz, Nicky B and Mister Easy. Luciano and Bushman also released some great tunes, as did Freddy Mc Gregor and Lukie D. I still miss D.Brown to the max though, don't you?
DANCEHALL RIDDIM OF 2004:
the COOLIE DANCE wasn't really a 2003 riddim, the choice would be clear,
otherwise its hard. South Rakkas' RED ALERT is my top choice, as it ran
up & down NM dancehalls and its most serious competitor Dave Kelly's
BAD GAL didn't get released until the end of the year. At #3 I put the
FRENCH VANILLA aka KRAZY HYPE, one of those typical 120 bpm bulldozer-style
Don Corleon typa beats, followed by the more mid-tempo SCOOBAY. At #5
I see the BLACKOUT, at #6 the KOPA and at #7 the TUNDA KLAP. Enough? Although
I figured 2003's SALSA & FIESTA into these charts, they don't get
to compete here. Otherwise they would be in top 10 among riddims as well.
Wow! Very hard one here as so much music came out. Great premieres from labels/new producers as Black House (BLACKOUT riddim), Dem Yute Deh (SPANISH FLY riddim), Mario-C & Tony Matterhorn (SCOOBAY riddim), Renaissance (TUNDA KLAP, STEPZ), H2O (FRENCH VANILLA,SLOW BOUNCE), Black Chiney (KOPA) as well as tuff contributions from plenty of dancehall-veterans like Birch (MILITARY, KLYMAXX), Frenchie (BLUE STEEL), Tony Kelly (GRINDIN, KATANA). Once again no producer topped Donovan Bennett's output though who had his hands on FRENCH VANILLA, COOL FUSION, MAD GUITAR, TIGHTY TIGHTY and SLOW BOUNCE plus more still yet. Dave Kelly managed to top the NM Reggae Dancehall Charts in 2004 with 2 riddims (the FIESTA from 2003 and PRETTY PRETTY), while the BAD GAL reached the #2 spot just in December. After last year's top-scoring CLAPPAS beat, Mr. Dennis "Dow Jones" Shaw hit the jackpot again with his follow-up riddim RED ALERT. The TOK & Cecile tunes were big hits in NM and other tracks were quite popular as well. Therefore a three-way tie between Donovan Bennett, Dave Kelly and Dennis Shaw: big ups & keep the riddims & the hits coming !!!
ROOTS RIDDIM OF 2004:
Plenty of contenders here as well. How bout Don Bennett's DROP LEAF, Mr.Tipsy's MARCUS GARVEY, or Lion Paw's 9-11 ? Or maybe Heartical's DUB FIRE/PROMISED LAND, Digital B's FOREVER LOVING JAH, or Gibbo's HARD TIMES? In NM the top riddim was 5th Element's 5TH ELEMENT/I-SWEAR selection though, with top tunes from Richie Spice, Chuck Fender and Sizzla.
a blessed 2005 and please enjoy and support the music.