Today I read from the always informative Dancehall Mobi (apparently winner of a Best of Jamaica award) that there’s a “new genre of music emerging from Jamaica“. The reference is to a new Stephen “Lenky” Marsden riddim (he of Diwali fame) called Tantric. It’s a smooth, R&B stunner, perfect accompaniment to Richie Stephens among numerous others. In my mind, I agree with Mr. Mobi (a.k.a. Seymour Raymond) about this seemingly new genre: it aint dancehall or reggae, but it is most certainly a cousin. I wrote about my inability to think of a name for it in my 2009 wrap up and I guess “raggapop” is my fallback. It’s a bit or R&B and hip hop, as Mobi describes, but this new “genre” is really really poppy. Going back a couple years, you can hear the raggapop in Chino’s “Ruff it up”, but it still has a touch of dancehall beat that’s completely missing from last year’s fantastic “Never Change”. In addition to this big tune, I’ve also mentioned Ding Dong’s “Holiday”, G Whizz’s “Life” (Mood Swing riddim) and Voicemail and Busy Signal’s “Dance the Night Away” . But there’s also the terrific “Starlight” from Mavado and di Genius (according to @alliancejamaica we’re due to hear a version with a touch of everyone’s favourite Canadian rapper, Drake, any time now–and the former Degrassi Junior High star will totally fit with the raggapop stylings of the tune). “Starlight” is the tune that a friend of mine (who’s not really a dancehall fan) actually said, just the other day, sounds like the kind of thing that Celine Dion was doing in the late 90s. And, believe me, this is high praise. Any other suggestions for tracks in this category, or, better yet, a more fitting name for the category itself?