Call from God, a song by little known reggae artist, Jango Fresh, which is featured on the album 18 Karat Reggae Gold 2021 : ONENESS is the number one song in China. The only problem is, while the song has half of China dancing; in Jamaica, throughout the Caribbean and the rest of the western world, the song is virtually unknown.
Even more astonishing the songs is not the Bob Marley, Dennis Brown, Mr. Bertus or Peter Tosh type of Reggae music where the lyrics are easily understood. It is hardcore dancehall reggae sung in the Jamaican dialect (patwa / patois), the kind of lyrics that you would hear from a Vybz Kartel, Save The World or Skillibeng.
So how are the Chinese getting into dancehall when half the country don’t even speak English much less patwa? Many believe that it is the beat that has them going, a beat that most current Jamaican producers and artists have long forgotten about, the old dancehall beat from the 90s.
According to diamond selling and Grammy Award winning reggae artist, Shaggy, people love the dancehall beats from back in the 90s. Even if they could not understand what artists like Terror Fabulous, Frisko Kid and Daddy Screw were saying, they enjoyed the beat and loved dancing to it.
“The beat itself, they’ve taken the dance out of dancehall. If you listen to the new dancehall now, the style they’re on is a kind of trap, kind of a fusion dancehall, so they’ve taken the dance out of dancehall,” Shaggy said. “You go to a dancehall party and people stand up and they’ll sing these songs rather than dance along and I think that the dance of dancehall is what was appealing to people.”
The beat that Shaggy is referring to is the strong bassline that music coming out of Jamaica had back in the 90s and in the early 2000s. Somewhere along the way, maybe it was with more Fruity Loops producers making beats, the music lost that strong bassline and most experts believe it has paid a hefty financial price for that.
Luckily, artists like Jangor Fresh and Save The World are bringing back that 90s type of reggae dancehall. Maybe their efforts will be ignored in the west, however, the east is listening as is evident by Call from God being the top song in China right now.