#JAMAICA50: 10 Great Songs Where Rap, Reggae and Dancehall Met

Written by J.Monkey. Posted in Lists, Spotlight

Published on August 06, 2012 with No Comments">No Comments

Today, August 6th, marks the 50th anniversary of Jamaica’s independence. The island is well-known for its musical output, bringing reggae culture and Rastafarianism to the world in the ’70s and keeping bodies moving with dancehall since the ’80s and ’90s. Rap has very srong ties to reggae, as the DJ culture from Jamaica and the toasting done to liven up sets by soundsystems there, grew into what would become hip-hop when these practices were transplanted to New York and used on American tunes. Reggae, and it’s descendants hip-hop and dancehall, are family, and even though they grew up apart from each other, in their history their have been many moments where they crossed paths again. Here’s 10 instances where it happened with great succes.

Happy birthday Jamaica!

Bounty Killer ft. Busta Rhymes & Junior Reid – Change Like The Weather
Back when Busta Rhymes was in full rah-rah dungeon dragon mode he linked up with Bounty Killer and Junior Reid to give you this gem.

Super Cat ft. Third Eye & Biggie Smalls – Dolly My Baby
Super Cat, the same man prominently sampled recently in Nas’s insane banger The Don, turns some shine towards Third Eye and a then relatively unknown Brooklyn MC by the name of Biggie Smalls. He’d turn out to be pretty famous a year later.

Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley & Nas – As We Enter
The Mulatu Astatke sample in this remains unf*ckwithable. Anthem with a capital A!

Bob Marley ft. Lauryn Hill – Turn Your Lights Down Low
I’m usually not a fan of posthumous duets/remixes. This one however, proves it can be done respectfully and turn out dope.

Postmen – Cocktail
Rotterdam representers Postmen blended hip-hop and reggae in a way that felt natural and had European heads bobbing during the tail end of the ’90s. Their breakout hit ‘Cocktail’ still remains fresh. They’ve recently reunited and are currently touring again.

Shyne ft. Barrington Levy – Bad Boyz
Yeah, Shyne’s semi-Biggie flow and voice left a lot of people scratching their head when he popped up on Diddy’s label. This joint with Barrington Levy left a lot of people bobbing their head too though. A banger is a banger!

Wu-Tang Clan ft. Junior Reid – Jah World
Meth, Rae & Ghost spit to this joint with a great chorus by Junior Reid on the underrated Wu album ‘The W,’ which also featured the unior Reid collaboration ‘One Blood Under W.’

The Game ft. Junior Reid – It’s Okay (One Blood)
Junior Reid was once again on board to lend his tune One Blood for another incarnation, this time turning it into one of Game’s biggest and hardest hit records.

Beastie Boys ft. Santigold – Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win
The Beastie Boys clearly had a lot of fun creating this dubby slice of goodness with Santigold

Capleton ft. Method Man – Wings Of The Morning
Praise Jah for linking up the Wu’s resident ganja expert with Rastafarian Capleton for this excellent collaboration!


1982 was when Jaap van der Doelen aka J.Monkey shot his way out his mom dukes. A mere two years later he was already battling Big Brother and The Illuminati. Whenever he has time to spare from those efforts he writes (about music, mostly), hosts a radio show and designs graphics for a living. He lives in The Netherlands where he continues to be winning.

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