This month, we welcome Pittsburgh DJ duo Top Dollar, who have pulled up an hour of loved up dancehall selections.
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My love for dancehall blossomed in the mid 2000s when Pittsburgh had quite a robust dancehall scene, with people like Dan Dabber and Vybz Machine running weekly nights that would go off. Top Dollar started as an idea about 8 years ago and eventually became an umbrella name whenever I was working on something related to dancehall: experimenting with producing rhythms and recording versions, doing a comprehensive 1980s dancehall mix series, and now running a monthly night with my friend and DJ colleague Pete Butta.
When I was selecting the tracks for this mix, I was concerned I would end up with a 3-4 hour mix because the quantity of love songs in dancehall is immense (not even counting rockers or roots songs). I wanted to represent all 4 decades of dancehall (1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s) and show the listener that the genre continues to inspire artists everywhere to this day (watch out for the two big Canadian artists in the mix) and also continues to innovate. While listening, keep an ear out on the evolution of the sound and the lyrics: current dancehall production is as ruthless and purpose driven as ever, and the lyrics have been stripped down to the essentials. Things are to the point. This is dance music.
Somehow we were able to record the mix at just over 50 minutes, yet include some of the best known love songs and some lesser known examples, as well. We tried to represent our favorite artists and production teams. Hope you enjoy the mix and good luck with your love hangover.