Best Tracks of 2017
selected by Lucy Grin

Bunny Wailer

The founding member of the greatest Wailers – Bunny Wailer – is still performing and touring all around the world.

Even though he’s a bit obsessed with the conspiracy theory about both Peter Tosh and Bob Marley were killed by Marley’s wife Rita and his producer Sam Blackwell, even though he even claims, he’s been threatened and that’s why you won’t ever see him unguarded, and even though he very rarely sings the golden old Wailer’s hits from stage, he’s worth your attention nowadays as a respect to the history of the roots music since without his presence reggae would never be the same.

Duet of the roots reggae movement pioneer Bunny Wailer and the Dancehall Empress Ruffi-Ann also known as Lady Shabba is a succesfull combination of sharp jumpy riddim and roots reggae vocal. Also note that the word «bad» has a total opposite definition for jamaicans – the «bad» here means «great», so when you say «the baddest» it actually means «the best». Enjoy.

Bunny Wailer on Instagram, Soundcloud, Twitter, Facebook, www.

Inna de Yard
“Youthman” feat. Cedric Myton

Once you get to Kingston, Inna Di Yard is one of the first things to see in town for those who appreciate real roots reggae.

Any taxi driver here knows where that is – big yard in front of Chinna Smith’s House where every day you can find reggae veterans together with young artists impovising from dusk till down.

Real roots vibe, small shop of rare vinyl, only ital food served – here, in this yard, you may feel the true spirit of rural Jamaica.

Cedrick Myton – the vocalist of legendary Congos – is one of the Inna Di Yard regular participants, and this song called “Youthman” is like a little anthem for the reggae gathering taken place here almost everyday.

Inna de Yard on Facebook, Instagram, www.


Janine Cuningham, daughter of preacher from Trelawny, like many other Jamaican kids started to sing in a church choir.

Also there, in her early childhood, this future empress of reggae began to experiment with rhymes.

Strongly influenced by jazz and gospel, she later began her solo career as a singer, writing her own lyrics and music, and that’s how Jah9 became one of the brightest stars of roots reggae revival.

“Hardcore” is one of her recent videos, featured on Jah9’s latest album simply called “9”.

Jah9 on Facebook, Twitter.

Kabaka Pyramid
“Can’t Breath”

Meet Jamaica’s most beloved young artist Kabaka Pyramid who’s famous by his experiments in blending hip-hop with roots and dancehall, but few years ago when together with his friends he started Bebble Rock Music Studios, they barely could imagine this big success.

Among other things, Kabaka is a hard working artist who tours often and willingly, he releases at least few albums each year but every one is nothing like the previous. The turn he gonna make in his music next time is unpredictable, the field of his musical interest is borderless.

“Can’t Breath” is surprisingly lyrical and gentle track, which together with powerful text and simple melodica really stuck it your head already after the first time you play it. The track was inspired by the Lauren Hill’s Unplugged.

While watching Hill’s live act recorded in 2002 Kabaka was amazed how the life didn’t really change during these decades, and the same problems we are dealing with then and now – stressful schemes of polluted systems, loneliness, depression, lack of love, drugs, corruption.

Kabaka Pyramid on Instagram, Twitter, Bandcamp, Facebook.

Kristine Alicia
“Roll It”

Kristine Alicia is a well-recognized roots reggae kingstonian artist who relocated to Florida years back when she was a kid. Even though when it comes to work she only recording in Jamaica with local producers.

Kristine describes her own songs as “the music of freedom and elevation”. Nowadays she mostly works within reggae genre, but the kickstart of her vocalist career were gospel performances in local churches of Kingston.

The track «Roll it» is about usual musical jam sessions Jamaicans love to organize on the backyard of their homes. The song is based on one of the biggest riddims existing in reggae music – The Real Rock Riddim. However, Kristine Alicia has managed to make it sound truly unique.

You can find this track on “Songs from Zion” album which charted iTunes Top 10 in 2017.

Kristine Alicia on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, www.

Lee Scratch Perry
“War Ina Babylon”

The Living Legend, Lee Scratch Perry, the owner of cult Black Ark Records, claims that he himself gave reggae music to Bob Marley as a present. which seems to be true, since all of the early Marley’s hits – after Wailers trio fell apart – were produced and recorded here, in the Black Ark, by Perry. And without any single doubt we can also say that along with King Tubby Lee Scratch Perry invented dub, and this is a great present to of all us.

Another track from the brand new Lee Perry’s album «Super Ape Returns to Conquer» which is a complete rework of all time classic – the Upsetter’s «The Original Super Ape». Made in colloboration with Subatomic Sound System, Perry reviewed his own records made 40 years ago and filled it with the techologies of the new century.

But don’t worry – crazy loops, deepest bass, hypnotical vocal of Max Romeo – it’s all here.

Lee Scratch Perry on Bandcamp, Instagram, Facebook, Soundcloud, www.

Max Romeo
“The Farmer’s story”

Opened by Lee Scratch Perry, Max Romeo is a true Shining Star of the Reggae music.

He started his way with vulgar dubby songs but soon recognized himself as a rastaman and started to create dubwise roots reggae tracks with deep revolutionary lyrics.

In these days Romeo still performs and tours around the world, but he’s very picky with live performances, and the audience respects his choice every time. Apart of his musical career he’s mostly busy with his farm in Clarendon where everyday he practices beautiful simple and true rasta living.

It’s remarkable that in 50 years of his bright career Max Romeo, veteran of reggae movement, never ever released an official video before and The Farmer’s story is his first! Hard to believe, but true.

The track is here to remind the world of the exploited Jamaican farmers, who’s life is an everyday struggle.

Max Romeo on Twitter, Facebook.

Micah Shemaiah
“In This Land”

Young gifted artist with the unique vocal, Micah Shemaiah is one of the major names on Jamaican reggae scene at the moment.

Once you’ve heard it, you’ll never confuse his vocals with anyone else’s. Micah’s original voice, deep preaching lyrics and unhacked melodiousness make his experiments in mixing dub and reggae truly unique.

His recent video, “In this Land”, is a who di cap fit kind of song, a rebel kind of song. Even though it’s inspired by thoughts of unjustice and schemes of existing ruling downpression systems, it’s written with the strong hope for changes.

“In this Land” was voiced in Micah’s own studio “Bigga Dread”, but the music was made at the Swiss label Addis Record. The video was shot at the famous Twelve Tribes HQ, where Micah was born.

Micah Shemaiah on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, www.

Samory I
“Rasta Nah Gangsta”

Another big tune from Samory I’s debut album «Black Dub» is about rastafarian dream of repatriation to the Promise Land, Land of Africa. Be ready to experience deep heavy lyrics about jamaican rastaman’s everyday struggle and root though dubwise reggae sound.

Starting with the solo of sacred Nyabinghi drums, this track is probably the biggest tune of the 2017 to remember.

Again, in his usual style Rory Stone Love is taking classical roots sound but adds the deepest bass you may imagine and mixes it together with Samory I’s pure clear vocal – The New Black Dub Experience as they call it.

Samory I on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud.

Samory I
“Take Me Oh Jah”

One of the brightest newcomers of 2017 – Samory I – the artist opened by the world-famous Rory Stone Love Studio, that’s where his debut album Black Dub was produces and recorded. First of all, this LP is about what it takes to be a Rasta, and it may truly take a lot of you.

Thing is – most of jamaicans are Christians, while Rastafarians are only 5 percents of the whole island’s population. Very rarely they got decent jobs, quite unlikely they got good homes, so still nowadays most of them live in the ghetto. Music is one of few ways to escape the struggle of ghetto living – Bob Marley and all of the Wailers come out of concrete jungles and that ’s how the dream was born in the heart of every jamaican ghetto boy and girl – to be a reggae star. For some kids – like Samory I himself – it actually worked out.

Samory I on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud.