The continued decline in the quality of dancehall music coming out of Jamaica has led more fans throughout the diaspora to look to Reggae for their fill of daily inspiration amid the debauchery that currently saturates the mainstream.
Based on the abovementioned, the question was asked, Who has the best pen game in Reggae? The subject was broached during a group discussion on the popular clubhouse app on Friday night. It was interesting to observe the responses as several names were consistently mentioned. Vybz Kartel and Busy Signal were atop the list. However, while they dabble in Reggae, they lack the consistency to be classified as ‘true Reggae artists’. Hence, some guidelines needed to be outlined.
After much debate, the criteria were that the music must be consistently positive, good pen game, with socially conscious messages within the genre. This definition significantly decluttered the myriad of choices resulting in a shortlisted group consisting of Agent Sasco, Kabaka Pyramid, Jahmiel, Damian Marley, Chronixx, Protoje, Koffe and Bugle. However, following another round of discussion, in the end, the top three choices were Agent Sasco, Kabaka Pyramid, and Bugle. Based on the guidelines, it would be difficult for anyone to disagree.
Oddly, despite the public outcry for better quality compositions, dancehall remains at the forefront locally, though the support is solid for Reggae shows, especially with live bands. This was noticeable at recent events such as Bling Dawg’s album launch, Bugle’s concert at Rocksteady, and Kabaka’s current U.S tour.