10. Sean Paul – Sean Paul hails from Kingston, Jamaica has often described by top producers as having a similar style to that of another popular Dancehall Artiste in the 80s known as Super Cat. The artiste saw his rise to fame in 2001-2004 after his album Dutty Rock featured hits such as Get Busy and Beyonce’s Baby Boy. In addition to those chart topping singles the album featured “Gimme the Light”, “Like Glue” and “I’m Still in Love with You”. Since then Sean Paul has had a steady career and has done music with many top international artiste.
9. Mavado – David Brooks AKA Mavado grew up in St. Catherine, Jamaica and officiallyannounced himself on the Dancehall scene on the Anger Management Riddim with his hit titled “Real McKoy”. The artistes who has arguably been described as one of the “changers of the game” cites Bounty Killer as been a major influence in his craft.
Mavado’s peak of power has often been centred around his clash with now incarcerated Dancehall Artiste Vybz Kartel during which from 2007-2010 there were many who divided by supporting Gully (Mavado) and Vybz Kartel (Gaza). So influential was Mavado to Dancehall in the 2008-2010, Rolling Stones Magazine stated that he is “Jamaica’s Next Bob Marley”.
8. Elephant Man – O’niel Bryan AKA Elephant Man grew up in the Kingston, Jamaica. He started off as a member of the Scare Dem Crew and eventually broke away to form his career as a soloist. He is credited for the transition of consistent dancing related Dancehall songs from Log on (2001) through to 2008 (Gully Creeper). Elephant Man’s greatest moments came in 2004-2005 where he had several songs which featured on MTV and BET respectively. In addition he was a part of the game characters along with Sean Paul in Def Jam: Fight For New York.
7. Shaggy – Orville Burrell from Kingston, Jamaica known more popularly as Shaggy is credited mostly with his fusion of Dancehall and RB. His ‘Hot Shot’ album which released in 2000 went 6x Platinum in the US with hits such as “It wasn’t me” and “Angel”, surprisingly it his is 96 album titled Boombastic that won him his Grammy Awards. Since then, Shaggy has been nominated 5 more times for Grammy Awards including this year’s edition to come with his album titled Out of Many, One Music.
6. Buju Banton – Mark Myrie the man called Buju Banton is often described by many 90s Dancehall listeners as one of the greatest artistes to grace the game. The now incarcerated DJ had hits after hits as a Dancehall artiste such as “Love Me Browning” and “Bogle”. Not one to shy away from violence with anti-gay tunes, the North American and UK audience have a love/hate relationship with him. Still his powerful voice and tunes such as “Driver” has kept him upheld in the eyes of many Dancehall and Jamaican fans as well as his peers. Buju Banton won his Grammy award for the album titled “Before The Dawn” in 2011.
5. Vybz Kartel – Adidja Palmer AKA Vybz Kartel/Teacha/World Boss make of it what you will is considered the greatest lyricist in the history of Dancehall. The now detained artiste first came to prominence with his song ‘Start Well’ in 2003 before releasing the controversial “Tek —— Gal” song which gained him both positive and negative notoriety. The artiste who has always been a controversial figure which saw him square off with fellow artistes such as Ninjaman, Assassin, Spragga Benz and Mavado just to name a few, blossomed in the eyes of Dancehall fans as a lyrically potent DJ. Although he has not been able to release tunes at his own free will since 2011, the artiste continues to “run the streets” according to many fans. Many people have claimed that imprisoning Vybz Kartel was the imprisoning of Dancehall Music – that’s the kind of impact he still has.
4. Beenie Man – The man called Anthony Davis known by his Dancehall name Beenie Man is referred to by many as “King of the Dancehall” credited as a “Game Changer” of the 90s with fellow artistes Bounty Killer. He is known for his versatility in doing party, women, sexual oriented and war tunes. What makes Beenie Man so great is having the ability to be relevant since the 90s up until this point. His career started at 17 compare that to Sean Paul at 27, to top it off he is one year younger than Sean Paul who is 42. Seems like he has been around forever. Beenie Man also has a Grammy Award to his name for his album titled Art & Life.
3. Shabba Ranks – Rexton Gordon – Shabba Ranks was born in St. Ann, Jamaica – yes, the same Parish as the Greatest Reggae Artiste in History Bob Marley. He is widely credited as the first Dancehall artistes to gain lyrical acceptance for his loose and slack expressions. Shabba Ranks remains the only Dancehall artiste to have won two Grammy Awards for his albums “As Raw As Ever” and “X-tra Naked”.
2. King Yellowman – Winston Foster aka Yellowman is considered a popular Dancehall artistes of the 70s and 80s. Yellowman has had a substantial influence on the world of hip hop. He is widely credited for leading the way for the succession of reggae artists that were embraced by the growing hip-hop community in America during the 1980s. Eazy-E used a sample of his voice from his recording “Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt”, which also became a major hit by Eazy-E with the same title. The basic rhythm of his hit “Zungguzungguguzungguzeng” can be traced throughout the hip hop scene as it was reused by such hip hop giants as KRS-One, Sublime, Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur, andBlackstar, formed by Mos Def and Talib Kweli. Some circles in the music arena have stated that Yellowman is to Dancehall what Michael Jordan is to Basketball.
1. Bounty Killer – Rodney Price known to many as Bounty Killer is considered the most influential Dancehall artistes in history for 3 main reasons: 1. His “game changing” style with Beenie Man in the 90s, 2. His ability to make good performances on the stage and 3. His exposure of many artistes who have gone on to have successful careers: three of which made this list – Elephant Man, Mavado and Vybz Kartel. While has never been the outstanding number one by himself lyrically he is certainly the complete all-rounder. He has not only entertained Dancehall but has given back to it by exposing artistes who have had a significant impact on the current generation.