Best of the best
OUT: SIDE by Runkus x Toddla T (number 94), Third Time’s the Charm by Protoje (number 90) and Gifted by Koffee (number 38) are ranked among Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Best Albums of 2022.
The list was revealed on December 1 by the respected American trade and music publication.
Out: Side was released in July via Delicious Vinyl Island. It has 10 tracks including collaborations with Chronixx, Zenya, Ky-Mani Marley and Francis Nooks.
Third Time’s The Charm, released by In.Digg.Nation Collective/Six Course Records/RCA Records, peaked at number eight on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart. It is nominated for Best Reggae Album in the 2023 Grammy Awards.
Among its tracks are Hills, Dreamy Eyes, Family featuring Jesse Royal, Ten Cane Row featuring Jorja Smith, Heavy Load featuring Samory-I and Late at Night featuring Lila Ike.
Gifted, released in March by Promised Land Recordings/Columbia Records, rose to number two on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart. It also debuted at number nine on the UK Albums chart.
The 10-track set, which is also nominated for Best Reggae Album, features the songs Lockdown, Pull Up, West Indies and Lonely.
Toddla T, a respected disc Jockey/broadcaster and producer from west London, said the collaboration with Runkus came after he met the singjay on a trip to Jamaica with BBC 1Xtra.
“It was amazing working with Runkus. I met him when I came to Jamaica about six or seven years ago and we decided to make a mixtape which snowballed into this record. Even though we are from different places, we aligned so much in sort of taste, sound, lyrical, message and content. We’re just bizarrely similar and it was a joy for me to kind of explore dancehall and reggae culture to a different level with this guy. It was a complete blessing,” Toddla T said in an interview with the Jamaica Observer on Friday.
Toddla T is pleased with the acknowledgement by Rolling Stone.
“It’s a joy to be recognised, you know, because we put so much work into this. In many ways it’s a very left field album to the public but to me and Runkus, it’s super authentic and what we wanted to achieve. I’m so proud of this record, it was sincere and authentic, so the fact that people are doing things and giving accolades, is like a nice pat on the back,” said Toddla T.
Said Runkus, “Jah is good. I feel such love and joy in my heart to know that something that France Nooks and I spoke about — doing the music bravely, without fear et cetera—is exactly what I’m doing through those same inspirational moments, and also the world is realizing the beauty in the art that we create. I’m grateful, forever grateful.”
Most of the vocals for Out: Side were recorded at Smart Kids studio in Portmore, while some of the backing vocals were done in Hawaii.
Toddla T and Runkus, Kareem Burrell, Roel “Roe Summerz” Powell, and Tyrese McNaughton also produced songs for the album.
Renaissance by Beyonce is ranked at number one on the Rolling Stone list, with Un Verano Sin Ti by Bad Bunny at number two and Midnights by Taylor Swift at number three.