When the sun sets after a long day of hustling in Kingston, Jamaica, the city is outlined by hazy ganja smoke and an explosion of pink and orange. There's no skyline quite like it — which is why producer TGUT chose Kingston to kick off Audiomack's new project SKYLINE, highlighting emerging talent from cities around the world. The six-song tape mixes dancehall with classic hip-hop for an edgy island sound that pushes the idea of what dancehall could be, featuring some of the genre's biggest rising names: Jahmiel, Vanessa Bling and Baker Steez.
SKYLINE: Kingston comes as part of a new wave of musicians and producers with an aim to move past strict definitions of dancehall and reggae by incorporating hip-hop and dance music. Following in the vein of Koffee's Walshy Fire-produced smash-hit "Toast", the songs have a dancehall beat injected with a catchy dance and Afrobeats sound. The standout song is Jahmiel's "Holiday Freestyle", which is reminiscent of Popcaan's "Unruly Rave" — another artist whose work with producer Dre Skull has experimented with dancehall sounds. Baker Steez, Jamaica's leading dancehall trap artist, was another ideal selection for the project; his collab song with Projexx, "We Nuh Leff It", is best suited for playing while cruising on a highway late at night.
With this project, TGUT wanted to pay homage to JA and its impact on culture and music worldwide. "The whole world takes things from Jamaica," he said in a recent interview, "from the slang, swag, colours — and people don't pay enough tribute or appreciate that enough." TGUT, who has worked with Spragga Benz and Serani, grew up on dancehall and reggae and felt this was the next step: "I wanted to see how we can contribute to the culture and bridge the gap to the international market."
Check out SKYLINE: Kingston in full below.