It is a galaxy of the hottest Dancehall stars, which forms the majority of the slew of 23 songs that feature on Montego Bay music producer Zum’s Liquid Sunshine juggling riddim.
The release of the delightful and bouncy Liquid Sunshine, by Good Good Productions, on September 11, is proving to be one of the most momentous occasions in Jamaican music this year. Many Dancehall connoisseurs are celebrating the fact that the feel of the 1990s to early 2010s, when a plethora of artistes would unquestioningly voice on one riddim, is making a resurgence.
The list of established artistes on Liquid Sunshine ranges from Vybz Kartel and his long time rival Mavado, Dexta Daps, Elephant Man, Konshens, Shenseea, TeeJay, Jahmiel, Ding Dong, I-Octane, Sikka Rymes, and Kemar Highcon, Shaneil Muir, Denyque as well as disc jockey ZJ Liquid.
It is the first time since 2015 that Vybz Kartel and Mavado are featuring on the same production, the last being Chimney Records’ After Party riddim, which also featured Dancehall top guns including Sean Paul, Alkaline, Tarrus Riley, Popcaan, Beenie Man, Agent Sasco, Demarco, I-Octane and Aidonia and more.
Dancehall is coming full circle in 2020.
Over the last several years, there have been grave concerns expressed by music fans about the various ‘camps’ being formed by artistes, resulting in situations where juggling riddims, which would have at minimum 12 artistes voicing on them, were now confined in most cases to a handful, as artistes refused to voice on the same productions with their musical rivals.
Some of the most memorable juggling riddims over the last 30 years have come from Madhouse productions. These include the unforgettable Pepper Seed in 1994; Joy Ride in 1996, Buy Out also in 1996, and Showtime in 1997 and Bruck Out in 1999 and the legendary Drop Leaf in 2005, by Don Carleon.
The last huge riddim, which attracted a massive number of artistes, was Overproof, which was created by producers Justus Arison and the late Patrick ‘Roach’ Samuels of JA Productions. Overproof had featured songs from 25 artistes, including Mavado’s Settle Down, Konshens’ Bad Gyal, Tifa’s Dash Out, and Khago’s Tun Up Di Ting.
In the Liquid Sunshine riddim, of the 23 songs, the top ten that standout are mainly from established, more experienced artistes, and interestingly, a primary school student.
In no particular order, they are:
Jahmiel – Role Model
A track in which the 28-year-old boasts about the object of his desire, Role Model, is an anthem for independent women, who, for Jahmiel, are ‘pretty like city lights’.
It could also be a lesson in Social Studies or Geography as he also names almost all the CARICOM member countries, as well as other islands washed by the Caribbean sea, and then a barrage of other countries and other continents. The hook ‘You a a role model, every girl waa be like you; so every girl want be like you” is also very catchy and pleasing to the ear.
Dexta Daps – Call Me If
In the very infectious hook of this raunchy song, the Seaview Gardens native samples Louie Culture’s Old Gangalee, and as usual, spends his verses bragging about his bedroom prowess. As is also characteristic of him, he urges the woman he is lusting after to cheat on her man with him, the Old Gangalee. Unlike the militant figure described by Louie Culture in the original track, Dexta redefined the Gangalee as a ‘bedroom bully’ and a ‘champion jockey’. He even cleverly adapts an entire second verse of Old Gangalee for his sex-talk purposes.
The track appears on Daps’ album, VENT, which was released on July 30.
Vybz Kartel – Party Nice
Vybz Kartel, as expected, scores big on this rhythm. In just two minutes and 11 seconds, he stamps his lyrical, melody, and rhyming authority in the song, which is centered on him promising to do salacious things to a sexy girl he only just met at the party.
It is a complete song, loaded with lyrics, that leaves out nothing. The Worl’ Boss starts off, sounding almost scholarly, singing his verses in standard English beginning with: “So nice to meet you, I’m f_king delighted”. He enunciates his words like a schoolmaster, sounding rather gentlemanly even with the profanity, before launching into the Jamaican vernacular, riding the riddim seamlessly, and of course, does not disappoint in the hook:
Da party yah nice nice yow
A bare goods vibes now
If yuh come yuh wid yuh f_kery leave right now
Shaniel Muir and Denyque – Same Guy
This duo of Shaniel Muir and Denyque climbed quickly to the top of the YouTube trending in Jamaica list with Same Guy. With a theme similar to R. Kelly’s 2007 hit collab Same Girl with Usher from his Double Up album, both women, in discussion about their love life, realize they are dating the same man, and decide to exact revenge on him.
Mavado – Legacy
With his melodious voice, Mavado has the capability to make any lyrical composition sound fabulous.
In this song, which was released more than two weeks ago, he brags of running foreign and yard and talks about his partying and womanizing ways, as well as bashing haters.
Elephant Man – Dancers Segment
The Elephant is in fine form in this well-constructed song, which is an ode to all dancers and dancing groups within the Dancehall space, dead or living.
From urging Marvin to go into Beast mode, to ‘bigging’ up parties such as Spicey Fridays and Hot Mondays, Elephant is in his element. This song is the clearest indication yet that the Elephant is back.
I-Octane and Kemar Highcon – Sauce Unlimited
In this song titled Sauce Unlimited, Highcon and Octane ride the rhythm like champions.
Both men are fully charged, with lyrics galore, as they boast of how hot they are; so hot, that they were attracting girls like flies. The hook of the song is superb, and this, too, makes the song a winner.
Shenseea – Rebel
As usual, Shenseea stamps her authority as ‘Miss Independent’, declaring on this track that she is no man’s fool and cannot be programmed or hit by any man; earns her own and will not be dictated to. She admonished women to assert themselves as she herself is doing.
Konshens – Celebration
Konshens does a lot of singing on this track, in which he expressed praises his friends for progressing in life and urged them to celebrate with him.
Octavia and Banxx – Escape
The sixth-grader samples American R& B singer Teena Marie’s 1988 single Ooo La La La”. In her very mature lyrics, she makes it known in no uncertain terms, that she is ready for the world and ready to make money, but only through honest means, and not by immoral deeds, noting: “if a waitress, once mi get di paycheck. Mi a guh make it but mi naw fake it”. It is clear demonstration that a little child shall lead them.
I-Octane’s 11-year-old daughter also dishes out words of wisdom to her audience, noting too that she is hell-bent to buy her mother a house. Banx’s smooth flow also adds to the song and complements her voice. Octavia shines and shows that despite her tender age, she is ready for the music industry.