"______ of The Year"
Trying to put a wrap on a nearly spectacular year. Having already covered the matter of album of the year, I'm now going to look more closely at the year that was 2009 and from several different angles. The year ultimately may be remembered, in terms of the mainstream, as one full of disappointments for the genre on the commercial side and maybe even for the fall of one the music's most controversial figures, however on the MUSIC side, things at least in my opinion, were WONDERFUL. Join me as I pass out mystical, mythical and often nonsensical 'awards' for the year that was 2009.
Album Artist of The Year:
Singles Artist of The Year:
I’ve seen a few different names here across the board as this is generally the method we rank ‘artist of the year’ in Reggae (an album typically only HELPS, but of course I focus more on the albums). I’ve seen Kartel’s name, Mavado, Tarrus Riley, Queen Ifrica and a few others, but I’m going wholly unconventional and I’m going to address it by thinking who CONSISTENTLY put out great music that I loved over and over and if I do it by that method, then three names stand out FOR ME. The first is Queen Ifrica and she is the runner up and there‘s also Assassin who I believe in the terms of Dancehall has become THE MOST TALENTED artist, period. But my winner here is surprisingly I-Octane, who had single after single which may not have ‘wowed’ me, but were well solid and
Album Female Artist of The Year:
Singles Female Artist of The Year:
New Artist of The Year:
Tie - Mr. Williamz & Lion D
I couldn’t pick between the two because they both DEFINITELY have qualities which set them apart from the rest. In Lion D’s case, of course, when 2008 ended I had NO IDEA AT ALL who he was and at the end of 2009 I was calling his, the album of the year. In Mr. Williamz’ case, I don’t think that I can think of any new artist who solidified their standing more so than the UK chanter/DJ. And furthermore, he ALREADY may be one of the top dozen or so most talented artists in the game, regardless of origins.
European [or based] Artist of The Year:
Ziggy is my favourite European based artist and outside of the years where Gentleman has a big album out, I’d just as soon always give him this title. However (and forgive me if there was just some crazy crazy ass European artist out there in 2009 that I just wasn’t paying much attention to), I’m going with Smiley for making a big name for himself and then going to solidify it as one of the biggest and most talented names on the European scene (and you’ll see his name on this post elsewhere also).
French/French Caribbean Artist of The Year:
VI Artist of The Year:
Pressure [Runner Up: Ras Attitude]
Disappointing Artist of The Year:
This one was difficult because I had a few names in my head (no, I’m not going to tell you who they were), but I-Wayne is probably the most talented of that bunch and save for a song here and there (like ‘The Beast’ which isn’t amazing) he didn’t really do much. I do expect him to have a somewhat big 2010, however, as all eyes will be pointed towards an album which will MAYBE come in the second half of the year (I’m estimating there in terms of time, I have no ‘inside information’), but his 2009, in my opinion, was basically a ‘throwaway’ from this almost unnecessarily talented singer.
Surprising Artist of The Year:
Most Consistent Artist of The Year:
Lutan Fyah [Runner Up: Chezidek]
Most Inconsistent Artist of The Year:
He can probably get this ‘award’ every year, simply based on his style. But here, things are VERY simple. The man dropped CLEARLY one of the worst and CLEARLY one of the best albums of the year in the exact same year! Nuff said.
Lyricist of The Year:
Assassin [Runner Up: Lutan Fyah]
Of course you know who I’m tempted to bestow this honour upon, but in my opinion Assassin kicked things into an even higher gear in 2009 as where ‘that other guy’ merely maintained (because he’s probably gone as ridiculously wicked as he possibly can at this point) his genius.
Producer of The Year:
Kemar ‘Flava’ McGregor
. . . Until further notice
Label of The Year:
The man made me a jingle. Are you serious (Going all Sagat on the people)! . . . Okay and yeah Perfect’s album, Perfect’s singles, the Arena riddim, ton of other stuff too.
Song of The Year:
Genesis by Lutan Fyah [Runner Up: King Selassie H.I.M. by Tarrus Riley] [Last year’s winner: Manifest Joy by Arkaingelle]
This one was kind of difficult because what I essentially did was to play these two tunes (which were clearly my favourites of the year) back to back to each other over and over for quite awhile and both damn near FLOORED me each time out. Still, probably because I’m partial as hell, I favour ‘Genesis’ by the slightest of margins. But BOTH are HUGE. Other ‘contenders’ included ‘Stay Like Bees’ by Assassin, ‘One Big Nation’ by Black Dillinger and ‘I Am Blessed’ by Vegas.
Reggae Riddim of The Year:
Dancehall Riddim of The Year:
Video of The Year:
Distance by Smiley [directed by Mike Fugers & Jeroen Bont]
This one was between three tunes, the aforementioned ‘I Am Blessed’ by Vegas, which utilized a cheap, but somewhat hilarious rewinding sequence which eventually grew on me. OF COURSE Alison Hinds’ & Richie Spice’s DIVINE ’King & Queen’ and Smiley’s ‘Distance’. I eventually went with ‘Distance’ simply because of HOW FUCKING COOL it is. The song itself is very well done also and you have to admit that Smiley singing such a cool love song (LITERALLY on the street corner) was damn cool and the little girl. Adorable! (and also check Destra’s ‘Bacchanal’ and ‘Tiwony’s Viv La Vi’)
Combination of The Year:
‘Good Girl Gone Bad’ by Tarrus Riley & Konshens
Diss Track of The Year:
‘Chatta Box’ by Bounty Killer
Best Album of The Year:
The Burnin’ Melody by Lion D [Runner Up: Real Rebels Can’t Die]
Worst Album of The Year:
Anyting Mi Say A Law by Tuggawar
. . . And there were like 5,000 songs on it too. If ever a case for less being more, here it was.
Underrated Album of The Year:
Motherless Child by Teflon
Overrated Album of The Year:
Buzzrock Warriour by Jahdan Blakkamoore
This isn’t that hard actually. iTunes called it the best Reggae album of the year and Allmusic.com called it one of the best. By no means was Buzzrock Warriour a bad album and it may have actually been damn good. . ., but it wasn’t a Reggae album. Call it ‘international Hip-Hop’ is what I’d do, but it wasn’t Reggae (and on a side note, should Jahdan’s Reggae album materialize anytime in the next eleven months and ten days or so, expect to be in HEAVY contention for the album of the year 2010).
Ambitious Album of The Year:
Poor by Culture Brown
High Profile Album of The Year:
Montego Bay by Queen Ifrica
Such an album would almost have to live up to expectations and Montego Bay didn't just do that. It SMASHED expectations.
Zouk Album of The Year:
Entre Toi Et Moi by Kénédy
EP of The Year:
Raise Hell on Hellboy by Bounty Killer
Weirdest Album of The Year:
(holds breath) To Mene by Midnite
Artist of The Year:
As much as I would love to put new mommy Destra here (congrads go to Destra) (Ms. Garcia, if you nasty), definitely if ever there’s a case when someone would. . . Oh, I don’t know, let’s say for example, win BOTH Groovy & Power Soca Monarch in Trinidad and then take Road March too, yeah that’s too much even for Destra (although technically, it is the end of the decade, so Destra is the Soca artist of the Decade!) (DUH!). Fay-Ann’s 2009 was fucking retarded.
Male Artist of The Year:
Album of The Year:
Hott by Destra
Song of The Year:
Bacchanal by Destra
Of course, I’m partial as hell, but Bacchanal, despite the fact that it didn’t win, was CLEARY a PERFECT tune for Road March and in terms of just a general chaotic sounding tune, I think it was THE signature Soca tune of 2009, regardless of locale.
Video of The Year:
Bacchanal by Destra
New Artist of The Year:
I’m sure Kage isn’t new, but I didn’t know who the hell he was until recently and that damn ‘Colours & Bumpas’ tune was absolutely retarded.
Absolutely Retarded Song of The Year:
Gay Man Doh Like No Cat by Kuba Dazz!
Lyricist of The Year:
Monarch Highway Robbery of The Year:
Isla Man losing St. Lucia Monarch to Ricky T
The Really Sexy, Really Random & Ridiculous
Cutie of The Year:
Of course, I just may be saying this to get her attention again. But even if I am and it works, can you blame me! You’ll also, of course, go back and observe the one of the very first lists I did on this blog almost a year ago and notice that I was still on it, even back then. And should you disagree, then I suppose my good friend Kuba may have something to tell you.
New Cutie of The Year
Typically I like them with a wee bit more flesh on their bones, but there’s just something about the sultry soon to be two-time GT Soca Monarch which you just cannot ignore. Again, if you can however . . . See Kuba Dazz.
Athlete of The Year:
(Did you really think I was going to put his picture up after that^??? Biggup Jean Pascal, Haitian Warriour)
Medley Video of The Year:
Street Bullies Riddim
My Wife’s Favourite Artist of The Year:
My Wife’s Favourite Album of The Year:
(another new Mommy, biggup IZALINE!)
Forgive me for boasting a second, but I wrote my ASS OFF on both of these. Generally when I write a review, I try and dig up an obscure and maybe not so easy to see angle on it and then dive in, however, with these two, I think I made legitimate points with both; one being, in the case of Attitude, that he was arguably an artist who could SYMBOLIZE so much about what is great about our music and the other, in the case of Riley being that his release was potentially the most important of the year.
Worst Review [I Wrote] of The Year:
In an effort to further distinguish myself from the pack of people who write review for ANYTHING, I took on this 40 track monster, setting out to mention EVERY SINGLE TUNE ON THE ALBUM. I did that, but it was shit to read and I’ll never do it again (although now I feel a sudden urge to here ‘Contemplating Mind’ by Danny Red).
Best Post [Of Mine] of The Year:
A Lyrical Analysis of Breaking Babylon Curse by Messenjah Selah
I’d like to do something like this (perhaps sans the actual writing of the lyrics of every tune on the album) with another album this year in a series type of format. This was, in my opinion, really nice because I went and took an extra step in terms of not only reaching conclusions in the music, which is what I always try to do, but I made mi-nute connections which kind of ‘traveled’ in the sense that they became bigger and bigger as you read the piece and of course, I had lyrical references as well, which was very strong in my opinion. It was like a project, which took months and justly so.
Worst Post [Of Mine] of The Year:
This is difficult because EASILY the genuine answer here is one of those lame ass stuff posts I do when I don’t feel like writing, but as far as something I actually put forth an effort on, it would have to be this list which was AWFULLY written. It would have done as much work had I just used pictures and names and no other words. Surprisingly, however, it generated quite a bit of comments and it STILL was as recently as a week or two ago.
Coolest Industry Person I’ve Linked of The Year:
Zoe Zojak From Zojak Worldwide
[Hey Zoe!] Let this go as a group statement (but is she who runs the show) for all of the lovely people at Zojak Worldwide who have helped me so much and that’s saying a TON because I’ve been in touch with a lot of nice people over the last year like especially Denise and Sherkhan and Dean Pond and all those wonderful people who I mentioned not too long ago. Yeah. Biggup Zoe.
Comment of The Year:
In response to a relatively positive review of a Midnite album an anonymous reader left this GEM of a comment on August 19
“we,re in charge not the media. u dont know where we rasta people is coming from and you never will. talk about the wolves in sheep clothing and stop talking about vaughn jah choose him to do this work which no other can do SELASSIE THE FIRST WE PRAISE not u the pen and paper.rasta to the bone”
Which was absolutely PRICELESS and has definitely been BY FAR the most wonderfulest comment I have ever received (I’ve been telling you guys for YEARS that 50% of Midnite fans were crazy as hell).
Ridiculousness of The Year:
Buju. . .
Most Important Lesson Learned of The Year:
Do not write while drifting into unconsciousness. Thank you all, it was a wonderful year! I’m going to bed!