Track of the Day: 'Streets So Warm (feat. Wayne Marshall and Skream)'
By Brendan Hasenstab
Gross oversimplification: The very best reggae tracks are all protest songs. Don't take my word for it. Wikipedia, under its main reggae listing says, "Reggae is noted for its tradition of social criticism in its lyrics ..." The core production for this track comes from Toddla T, an up-and-coming producer and DJ in the UK, but the star of the show is dancehall heavyweight Wayne Marshall and his lightly Auto-Tuned vocals. (Dubstep master Skream has some role in here, as well.) The subject matter is the plague of gang violence and gun crime that infests Kingston, Jamaica's capital city. "Accusations, bwoy, police murder charge / Who is to be trusted? / Is it the witness or the sarge?" is just one of the pointed questions Marshall has for the country's government. Rare to hear op-ed-quality commentary on a club track, but that's what makes this anthem doubly good.