By EW Staff
May 09, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT


BARRINGTON LEVY The Best of Barrington Levy: Broader Than Broadway (Profile, 1990) Stellar collection from dancehall’s sweet-voiced elder statesman.

SUPER CAT Don Dada (Columbia, 1992) This pioneer’s rapid-fire “chatting” reinvigorated not only reggae but rap as well.

SHABBA RANKS Rough & Ready Vol. 1 (Epic, 1992) The original “Mr. Loverman” taps into–and exploits–dancehall as seduction music.

BUJU BANTON ‘Til Shiloh (Loose Cannon, 1995) An eclectic, thoughtful effort from a controversial figure hints at dancehall’s eventual maturity.

LADY SAW Raw: Best of Lady Saw (VP, 1998) Nonstop potty-mouthed mayhem from the lascivious first lady of reggae.

BEENIE MAN Best of Beenie Man: Collector’s Edition (VP, 2000) Massive two-CD volume from the genre’s hardest worker.

CAPLETON More Fire (VP, 2000) Dancehall’s most politically minded rootsman raises hell.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Dancehall 101, Vols. 1-4 (VP, 2000-2002) Surprisingly comprehensive collections for a genre that thrives on dub plates and 7″ singles.