NYC Dancehall, 20 Years After ‘Oh Carolina’

(Photo of Shaggy by Daniel Boud)

Yes, yes, it’s time for more Iswayski. Let’s get into some dancehall this time around. Since we’re on that New York Tropical tip at DA, I’ll zero in on the local stuff. Jamaica is obviously where it’s at, but there’s plenty of tuff sounds coming out of NYC. And since it was recently the 20th anniversary of Flatbush-bred Shaggy’s “Oh Carolina” version, it’s fitting moment.

Life is a state of mind, and your actions live on with those still here after you’ve passed. This ode to Bob Marley has a blue skies outlook, with heartfelt vocals by Mighty Flex and a bright riddim produced by Brownsville’s J.R.E. J is part of the Vibez Package team, a circle of Grenadians living in Brooklyn banging out dancehall, soca, rap, and R&B.

You have to persevere, especially in the face of haters. Don’t mind the bad mind them. Juss Craig produces and sings on this tune filled with rapid clipped lyrics and a rhythm charged with urgency. Craig is from Kingston but calls the BX home now.

Some beats just scream King Of The Hill. Taking a dubplate version of T’nez’s “Cyaa Mad Me” lyrics, Brooklyn’s BlackHart lays down this new production, bringing it into much more powerful territory. Most of his remixes weave together a number of other people’s tracks into one new whole, but this appears to be entirely his. Another remix to pick up is BlackHart’s rendition of “Touch Regular” by Konchens.

She’s shaking it in front of you at 4AM in her living room, so give her what she wants. Producer Healy and hook master Kimik X – both out of Brooklyn – team up with Young Future on the verses for this sweaty track. It’s a bit old (from 2011), but you can catch Kimik X on Friday at The Electric Warehouse.

OK, so rather then chat you to death, I’ll just link to these last three real quick: Erup voiced the hook for the very hard “Warned Them” by East New York’s Uncle Murda. Popcaan jumped on the intro for “Blocka” by The Bronx’s Pusha T and they filmed the video in JA. Mavado also recorded a track called “On Top Of My Game” with Bed-Stuy’s Papoose.

I’m out chyea. See you all next week.


  1. That last track by Healy and Kimik X is so damn hot! Got any more suggestions along that line?

    Tell Shadetek and the crew I can’t wait to see them in LA on Friday.

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