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Looking back at Dancehall's best of 2018

BIG NOISE: Seani B with Stylo G

IT’S BEEN a very busy 12months in dancehall and Reggae. Lots of “Passa Passa” as we like to say in our genre, but also so much good that has come out of the music.

As it’s the end of the year, we like to do our wrap up. I know doing lists is the most dangerous thing nowadays but I like to think my opinions are always from the heart and non-biased. Plus I have very broad shoulders. So with no further ado: The BrukOut Awards 2018!

BEST NEWCOMER

It’s only the first category and already feeling under pressure. This year has been incredible for young artist getting their “Bust”. The younger listening generation have been open to so many new names its really refreshing.

Can I break the mould and say I wanna give the best Newcomer award to a region. The region has to be Montego Bay. It seems that all the artists that we have to look out for come from the North Coast of Jamaica. Its undeniable the impact that Rygin King and Teejay have had on the industry this year.

Both have brought the dancehall spotlight the Parish of St James that has been under a state of emergency due to intense violence. Their music reflects this and the struggle of a community that many may only know for tourism

BEST MALE AWARD

I’ve seen the rise of this artist over the last few years. I also worked very closely with him during his rise. During this time he was in the shadows of Aidonia, but 2018 he flew from the nest to show he has come of age.

During my time I spent in Jamaica this year I saw the power of “Genna Genna”. Govanna started the year with a few singles that rolled over from last year like Gyal Clown. But he staked his claim for 2017 when “Bakebean” was released, quickly followed up by “One and Move”. Both these singles dominated the dancehall space during the summer season.

He continued his growth throughout the year with singles like “Champ” and “ Hot Topic” for Chimney Records. His growth enforced Aidonia to pause on his own music all year to give his protégé the space to run the place.

BEST FEMALE

I think this year she has been officially crowned the “queen of dancehall”. With the help of US reality TV show Love and Hip Hop: ATL, Spice has grown into a superstar. When you see the likes of Wendy Williams talking bout you, you know you have broken out of the smaller dancehall circles. Grace gawn mainstream!

Talking is one thing, but she also has substance. Her Live show is one of the best in the business. I had the pleasure of bringing her onstage at Reggae Geel in Belgium. Every performance seems to be her last as the energy she puts in is unbelievable. You won’t leave disappointed.

THE “I DIDN’T SEE THAT COMING” AWARD

Hands down, Grace Hamilton aka Spice aka Dancehall Queen wins this. Spice who has 2million + followers on her Instagram page deleted all her pictures. If you know Spice you know this was an odd move as she loves social media. Then all of a sudden we saw “White Chicks” Spice.

Spice seemed to be fully bleached out on Kartels Cake Soap. How could this be? My beautiful black sister has really done that was the question I kept asking myself.

Thankfully not as it was her way of launching her “Captured Mixtape” and Single “ Black Hypocrisy”

MOMENT OF THE YEAR

The release of Buju Banton has got to be one of the happiest moments for dancehall and reggae fans worldwide. Do I actually need to write anything more? The world awaits the new music releases from Gargamel in 2019.

UK HOTSHOT OF THE YEAR

2018 has been a great year for UK Dancehall with so many new names appearing and lots of good new music. But I gotta give this award to Stylo G. He took some knocks online this year defending the genre. I may not have agreed about some of the things said, but I admire him for standing up for team dancehall.

During this time the social media gang was talking about his relevance to the current game. The perfect way to shut up all talk is drop a banger. This is exactly what he did.

“Touchdown” has fast become the anthem of 2018. Just check how many people sent videos from around the world in airports. This wasn’t enough for Stylo though, he then drops a video of Nicki Minaj on the remix. Oh no, there is still more, Vybz Kartel ended up on that remix too. Game Over. Top work.

EVENT OF THE YEAR

The Welcome To Jamrock Reggae cruise just gets bigger and better every year! This year was the fifth anniversary and probably my favourite so far. How can I work so hard but yet have so much fun. Five days sailing from Fort Lauderdale to Jamaica and back with your favourite Artists, Sound systems, DJ’s and so much more is really hard to top.

With that, I'd like to say many thanks for all of the support, comments and discussions in 2018, and hope to see you on the other side in ‘19.

Peace!

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