It’s arguably a rite of passage to sing about ‘badmind’ at some point of your career as a Jamaican artiste.
Call it the ‘Cain and Abel’ effect or the natural tendency to feel tempted to envy someone for what they have or who they’ve become, but many artistes have had a lot to say about ‘badmind’ in the dancehall space. The subject has become so ingrained in Jamaican popular music that there’s a spokesperson, I-Octane, who could have easily co-authored this article.
Here are 10 of the biggest ‘anti-badmind’ songs recorded in Jamaican history.
‘Badmind‘ – Blak Ryno
Ryno questions producer Rvssian about the suppressive ways of man and their disdain for his success. People envying others for expensive jewellery and clothes weren’t unheard of when this song debuted in 2009. It was the ludicrous revelation that “some bwoy…grudge all yuh two gyal fren” that helped to place this song among the best in the topic area, paired with the slapping beat and Ryno’s impassioned vocals.
‘Badmind Dem A Pree‘ – I-Octane and Bounty Killer
The song sees Killer and the head of the badmind-detector taskforce going bar for bar on this anti-envy record. Markus Myrie was recruited for the militant production, and the video unfolds with the artistes working with special agents on a mission to outsmart and “send demons go a hell.”
‘Bun Badmind’ – Elephant Man
Remember when Ele was in his sample bag? This song follows the flow of Marvia Providence’s Hear My Cry Oh God and includes some “shankle dip” here and “Christian dip” there. A yellow-haired Ele literally takes it to church in the visuals, as he leads a flock of people to “bun out badmind.”
‘Hello Badmind‘ – Chan Dizzy
Produced by Rvssian, Chan Dizzy earned his breakout song (also his biggest) by asking badmind “how you doing today?” The video wasn’t particularly impressive, but the song holds up after nine years.
‘Evil Head‘ – Aidonia
What’s a song about badmind without some mention of obeah or being God-blessed? Another Rvssian joint, Aidonia contributes to the “badmind catalogue” with this banger.
‘Dem Badmind‘ – Agent Sasco
He was known as Assassin when this was released on the ‘Rebirth’ Rhythm in 2003. It almost every extreme of badmind you can think of, from people finding “joy in your dismay” to even wanting to “take your life away.”
‘The Best A Dem‘ – Vybz Kartel
He’s released a bunch of badmind-related songs, but when a selector cues “me nuh say friend, me say family,” it’s a wrap. The hip hop-inspired Head Concussion beat also differentiates it from the rest.
‘Badmind‘ – Capleton
A little bit of Sly and Robbie magic paired with flames from Capleton go a long way. This song also provided dancehall with one of its most iconic openers, “Badmind a guh kill deeeeeeeemmm!”
‘Lightning Flash‘ – Shane O
Was it the “Oh my gosh” for you? How about the lighting effects in the video? Shane O made quite the impression as a teenager when this blew up in 2004. It didn’t hurt that he gave dancehall something to relate and dance to.
‘Fade Way‘ – Romain Virgo featuring Agent Sasco
The cowboy sample, Western-inspired visuals, and Virgo’s yearning that the “dutty-heart” shall slowly fade away make this a top pick for this playlist.
‘The Realest Song‘ – Konshens (bonus)
Konshens recognises that “it’s easy to pree the wrong way” so he takes a different approach when addressing this badmind topic. Instead of merely bashing the envious, he has a four-minute conversation with God to “keep badmind outta mi heart.”