Toronto Caribana (officially it's The Scotiabank Carnival, but yuck, right?) kicks off its Grand Parade tomorrow at Exhibition Place. For Caribbean communities all across North America, as well as hustlers with coolers full of $8 coconut water cans, it's one of the most anticipated events of the year.
But you don't want to get caught between parade floats without music. So we've selected some of our favourite tracks released this year from around the Caribbean to play during the downtime. Bring your portable speakers, your respective flag, and throw these on.
Popcaan stole headlines with "Everything Nice," but this socially conscious track will better satisfy riddim purists. The Jamaican artist previously took his government to task on "Unfair," a massive local hit.
Mr. Killa, "Pepper Wine"
Grenada's Mr. Killa has been a fixture at the International Soca Monarch competition, an annual showcase for musical talent from around the Caribbean. He placed 2nd this year with "Rolly Polly," and first place went to this next guy...
Machel Montano, "Ministry of Road"
If you're going to pay $70 for a concert in Mississauga this year, it should be for Trinidad's king of soca tomorrow night. He's sold out Madison Square Garden and has been generally running the culture for decades, both solo and with his group Xtatik. Also, how irresistible is a song that's about demanding more road to destroy with dancing?
Destra, "Mash Up"
The "Queen of Bacchanal" delivers. Calling a soca song urgent is redundant to the extreme, but the distorted subs on "Mash Up" drives the song to 11th Commandment territory. Thou shalt mash up erryting.
South Rakkas Crew feat. Beenie Man, "Wine Up Mi Gal"
Alison Hinds, "Riders Pon De Attack"
Nutron, Reina & Shal Marshall, "Come Over"
This is perfect if you find yourself wining with someone you have long standing feelings for. It happens.