ATX Sound System: March 21, 2019

March seems to be bringing out the powerhouse collaborations, judging by the new tracks getting rinsed on the ATX Sound System so far this month. Here are some of our latest favorites, featuring several big names joining forces.

Wow, talk about a triumvirate: Mixpak founder Dre Skull on the production, a sweet vocal lick from Afro B (one of the leading lights of the UK’s afrobeats scene and the man behind megahit “Drogba”) and dancehall legend Vybz Kartel sounding like he’s genuinely enjoying himself on his snappy, swaggering verse. Short, sweet and summing up everything we love about the current fusion of pop, dancehall and afrobeats.

Though he moved to the US as a teenager and is signed to a major label (Atlantic), crossover star Kranium still keeps one foot in the Jamaican dancehall scene. Here he joins forces with fellow hitmaker Alkaline for a smoothed-out dancehall production tinged with trap beats.

Back in 2016, a young Quada entered the Unruly Clash, where he caught the attention of none other than the Unruly boss himself, Popcaan. He ended up being the first artist signed to Unruly Entertainment and was introduced to the world via a guest spot with Popcaan on the Henging Tree Riddim called “We Don’t Play” (2017). Fast-forward two years and Quada is slowly emerging from Popcaan’s shadow. His latest single “Hail” finds him striving for the epic over a production from Mario Dunwell (another rising talent to keep an eye on; probably best known so far for Konshens’ “Don’t Pull It Up”).

Speaking of Dunwell, the hot producer is also the man behind the tasty, afro-influenced Supreme Riddim (named, no doubt, after the popular clothing brand du jour). The full Supreme Riddim album came out this week and features versions by Masicka, Dexta Daps, Quada and Popcaan (“Unruly Law”, as featured on our playlist)

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Fast-rising Montego Bay deejay Squash (aka Squash 6iix Boss) had a minor hit last year with “Trending.” That was before he got locked up for six months. Last week, Squash celebrated his release from jail by dropping a new track featuring another incarcerated star, Vybz Kartel. “Can’t be the Same” is a surprisingly reflective (and even touching) track for both of these artists but it’s particularly notable just how thoughtful and weary-voiced the normally boisterous Kartel sounds on here. One to treasure, for sure.

 

Click here to hear all the dub sounds we have been listening to the last few days.