Entertainment

Spragga cruises to Billboard top

BY KEVIN JACKSON
Observer Writer

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

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At 50 years old, deejay Spragga Benz is the oldest dancehall artiste to top the Billboard Reggae Albums Chart. He does so this week with Chiliagon , his seventh album.

Released on September 27 by Easy Star Records, Chiliagon has 15 songs. There are a number of collaborations, with Hype and Fever, Rebel ACA, Tanika, Rodney P, Killa P, Harry Shotta, and Anna Blue. There is also a remix of Differ which features Sean Paul, Chi Ching Ching, and Agent Sasco.

This is the second entry on the Billboard reggae table for Spragga Benz. His Fully Loaded for VP Records peaked at number six in 2000.

From East Kingston, Spragga Benz emerged on the dancehall scene in 1993 with the hit song Girls Hooray. He chalked up substantial hits during that decade including Jack it Up, She Nuh Ready Yet, Funny Guy Thing, and A1 Lover.

In 1994, he signed to Capitol Records which issued his sole major label album, Uncommonly Smooth. The association with Capitol resulted in Spragga Benz collaborating with Charles & Eddie on the hit song Jealousy which charted in Austria and Germany, and with the legendary Ben E King on a remake of King's Spanish Harlem.

Oh Yeah, a collaboration with American rapper Foxy Brown, exposed Spragga Benz to mainstream audiences in 2001, when that single peaked at number 63 on Billboard's R&B/Hip Hop Songs Chart.

Three years later, Spragga Benz got the biggest hit of his career, when he teamed up with soca artiste Kevin Lyttle on a remix of the latter's Turn Me On, which reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 20 on the R&B/Hip Hop Songs Chart.

Back to this week's Billboard Reggae Albums Chart, World on Fire by Stick Figure falls to number two, while Ways of The World by The Movement is steady at number three.

Local Motion by Pepper rises to number four, while Maxi Priest drops from number two to five with It All Comes Back to Love.

Easy Star Records has a second title in the Top 10 with Free Rein by Rebelution which rises from number eight to six (the set topped the chart last year). Jah Cure's Royal Soldier is number seven.

There is a new lease on life for the Grammy-winning 44/876 by Sting and Shaggy, as it rises from number 11 to eight, while Mass Manipulation by Steel Pulse re-enters at number 10.

The other new entry in the chart is Mood Swings, a seven-song EP by dancehall artiste Drizl. The set, released on September 27 by Carleonie Entertainment/Wai Fuzion Records, debuts at number nine.

On Billboard's Reggae Digital Song Sales Chart, Toast by Koffee continues to hold the number one spot.


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