The producer duo that makes up the now renowned Shab Don Records has entered the Dancehall arena at the top tier having quickly gained notoriety from their collaborations with top names in the industry that not many established producers have achieved in their whole career.
Shab Don Records, comprised of producers Linval “Shabba” Thompson Jnr. and Carlos Clarke, emerged in Dancehall with a strong presence after the release of their first project, the G6ixx riddim, in 2018. Although initially formed to serve as the production house for the Squash-led 6ix alliance, the G6ixx riddim attracted artistes like Vybz Kartel. After producing Dancehall hits like Squash’s “Money Fever”, the producers became increasingly sought after locally and internationally.
Having been active in the Dancehall space for some time, even prior to their newfound popularity, Shabba and Carlos are certainly responsible for some of the top songs in Dancehall today.
1. “Any Weather” – Vybz Kartel
Released a year ago, Any Weather continues to enjoy airplay locally and internationally and has racked up nearly 28 million views on YouTube. Vybz Kartel’s anthem for the ghetto youth is the producers’ most renowned song to date. It was the first single to be released on their most renowned riddim, G6ixx.
2. “Henne and Weed” – TeeJay
Still going strong a year after their breakthrough hit, “Money Fever” in 2018, Shab Don teamed up with fellow Mo’bay native TeeJay to produce the ‘braffing’ single, Henne and Weed in July 2019. Expertly mixed on Shab Don’s One Don riddim, Henne and Weed has over 7 million views and has crowned TeeJay as the best new Dancehall artiste by fans.
3. “Bad Mind” – Vybz Kartel
Staying true to the Dancehall tradition of having various artistes voice their songs on one riddim, Shab Don produced yet another track for King of the Dancehall Vybz Kartel on their One Don riddim. Vybz Kartel, widely regarded as the King of Dancehall despite being incarcerated, delivers a steady flow on the single that has gained over 5 million views with a theatrical music video.
4. “Shub Out” – TeeJay
Another hit on their iconic G6ixx riddim is TeeJay’s Shub Out, which was released a year ago. This single was amongst the vast repertoire of Shab Don’s projects released in 2019 and became one of TeeJay’s top hits. It has since racked up over 5.5 million views on YouTube.
5. “Money Fever” – Squash
Shab Don Records burst onto the Dancehall scene with this popular Dancehall hit in August 2018, which they produced in collaboration with fellow Mo’bay native and 6ix leader, Squash. In an interview with the Jamaica Star, Shabba revealed his childhood relationship with Squash and their intention to launch a production company and label to create and release their own music. The release of “Money Fever” ignited Shabdon’s rise to fame and an increase in demand for collaboration. The single now has over 5 million views on YouTube.
6. “World Government” – Vybz Kartel
Calling for a new world order just ahead of a global pandemic seems a bit ironic in this Shab Don-produced single from Vybz Kartel. World Government lobbies for Vybz Kartel’s release from prison and features a strong political motif alluding to Kartel’s ability to govern Jamaica more effectively than the current ruling party.
This Dancehall anthem has garnered over 2.6 million views on YouTube since its upload in January this year. The music video for this single sees cameos from several Dancehall artistes who also voice songs on the World Government riddim including Lisa Hyper, Ding Dong, TeeJay, Sikka Rymes, and Sheba. Shawn Storm, Daddy1, Demarco and Laden also have entries on the riddim.
7. “Baby Yuh Tight” – Popcaan
Collaborating with yet another international Dancehall artiste closely associated to Vybz Kartel, Shab Don teamed up with Popcaan to produce this high-tempo single for the ladies on their One Don riddim in July 2019. On the heels of a fresh hit after producing Teejay’s Henne and Weed, Shab Don Records expertly mastered “Baby Yuh Tight”, which now has a over 1.8 million views since its upload to YouTube.
8. “Up Top Gaza” – Vybz Kartel & Teejay
Historically serving as somewhat of a link for this allegiance between the Gaza and Up Top camps, Shab Don Records wins again in producing this hit single, “Up Top Gaza”. The anticipated collaboration between two of the highest rated Dancehall artistes currently is Shab Don’s latest project, released five days ago, which has racked up almost 1 million views since its uploaded to YouTube for streaming.
The music video for this historic collaboration features Vybz Kartel adorned as an Egyptian pharaoh in a large canvas painting carried throughout the video.
9. “Nuh Rate Dem” – Jahvillani
Shab Don Records sometimes collaborates with artistes outside the circle, including self-styled country artiste, Jahvillani. “Nuh Rate Dem” is one of Shabdon’s tracks released in April 2019 on the One Don riddim. This collaboration capitalizes on the abilities of both renowned musicians to garner over 700,000 views since its upload to YouTube for streaming.
10. “Fi Wi Dancehall” – Ding Dong
Ding Dong’s Fi Wi Dancehall was released with Kartel’s World Government on Shab Don’s World Government riddim in January 2020. It has only racked up under 300,000 views, but the single is arguably one of Ding Dong’s most prolific pieces of artistry to date.
The official music video, released last month, introduces a new dance move from the Ravers Clavers called “Da Rock Yah”. The entire song is littered with big-ups and references to a wide range of dancehall icons, from the vendors, fellow dancers, to international stars.