Established in 1993, Strictly The Best is the first annual reggae compilation in the business. This year’s installment Vol. 48 & Vol. 49, which features an explosive collection of trendsetting hits on two separate discs, is available this week (Dec. 17) and marks the series’ 20th anniversary. Year after year, the Strictly The Best series unveils a comprehensive collection of the genre’s most popular tunes and breaking hits. The go-to compilation features reggae’s biggest stars and is also a platform for new talent to gain notoriety in the industry.
This year’s Strictly The Best Vol. 48 includes 2013’s most sought-after smooth sounds in lovers rock and roots. Jamaican powerhouse Tessanne Chin, who is a top contender on NBC’s The Voice this season, delivers a spine-tingling ballad on “Incredible Love,” while roots empress Etana celebrates life’s blessings that are often taken for granted on the title track of her most recent effort Better Tomorrow. Reggae’s royal family Morgan Heritage makes a grand entrance with “Here Come The Kings,” the title track off their most recent album, and delivers a powerful plea on “Forgive Me” towards the close of the album. No. 1 Billboard hitmaker and UK’s reggae pop icon Maxi Priest also shines on his latest chart-topper “Easy To Love,” which will be featured on his 2014 album on VP Records. Volume 48 will provide the perfect soundtrack to unwind and reflect over the holiday season for years to come.
On the other end, Strictly the Best Vol. 49 delivers the hottest Jamaican dancehall tunes banging in the streets, clubs and on the airwaves. The set opens with the fierce sizzler “Riot” from multi-platinum reggae star Sean Paul featuring Grammy-winning musician Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley. The song will also be featured on Sean Paul’s upcoming studio album Full Frequency. Then, the fire keeps blazing with Major Lazer’s remix of 2013 Soul Train Award winner Bunji Garlin’s massive carnival hit “Differentology (Ready For The Road)” Also, songs like Elephant Man’s “Miley Cyrus Twerk” and Mr. Vegas’ “Party Tun Up (remix)” featuring Fatman Scoop and Sean Paul will get the dancefloor shaking. The 17-year-old rising Jamaican pop star Samantha J recently performed Vol. 49’s featured track “Tight Up Skirt,” which samples Red Rat’s iconic anthem, on BET’s 106 & Park last Monday (Dec. 9). Whether it’s currently at the top of the Jamaican charts or an underground club anthem sweeping the dancehalls, every song on Volume 49 will get the party started no matter the occasion.