At no fault of their own, Jamaican dancehall icons Vybz Kartel and Popcaan lost their round of clashes during No Signal’s 10v10 battles to Nigerian stars Wizkid and Burna Boy. The two No Signal clashes aired on music-streaming platforms, in collaboration with Spotify UK over the weekend. Listen to both below.
No Signal is a new UK radio show designed to give DJs the opportunity to reach audiences in a cool and unique way. This is especially convenient, being under COVID-19 lock down and all. The program platforms two DJs as they pit two select artistes against each other. Unlike an actual Jamaican dancehall clash, the DJs play 10 full-length songs of their choice from each artiste, pausing after each play for some casual commentary.
When we tuned in on Friday, audiences from over 34 countries locked in to vote on a round by round basis via Twitter @theresnosignall within a time limit during the show.
So far, No Signal has had over a dozen battles since the conception of the show about a month ago. What they thought at the time was their biggest clash, was a dynamic pairing with dancehall artistes Popcaan and Nigerian singer Burna Boy just two days ago. On Friday morning, the show had already amassed 5000 followers, however the Poppy and Burna clash amped up their listeners to over 24,000 by the end of the day.
Hosted by Scully, DJs Victory and Facenthenews went head to head armed with 10 songs from Burna Boy and Popcaan respectively for the record-breaking battle. Unfortunately Popcaan’s chosen singles, Dream, his feature on Jamie XX’s I Know There’s Gonna Be Good Times along with Fall In Love, Clean, Only Man She Want, Clarks w/Vybz Kartel, Party Shot, Family, Naughty Gal and My Type, simply did not stand up against Burna Boy’s Afrobeat and hip hop inspired tunes, which ultimately landed him the winning spot for that round.
Then on Sunday (May 3rd) was the highly anticipated battle between Vybz Kartel and another Nigerian icon, Wizkid. With 99 countries and more than tripling their audiences to 89,000 by then, host Henrie refereed DJs Jamila and Levs for this round.
The two DJs came to combat with their 10 select songs from the two musician titans. DJ Levs started out strong and laid down his first of 10 singles from the Worl’ Boss, Real Bad Man. He continued with One Man w/Gaza Slim, Business, Nah Let Go, Virginity, Touch Down w/ Stylo G and Nicki Minaj, Ride Pon Di Bicycle, Beg You A Touch, and Last Man Standing.
However, like Poppy, the Teacha didn’t come out on top for this musical battle and Wizkid took the crown. Let it be said, while Wiz copped more votes it was disclosed on the show that his win was pretty marginal.
Jamaicans on Twitter were understandably upset at the so called clash and its results. “First of all, sound clash is a Jamaican ting and unuh come pon Beyoncé internet bout unuh a do it fi fun, worst unuh use Kartel fi it??? No eno”, said one user. Another Jamaican fan rightly said, “Don’t call it a clash then if it’s for fun. In Dancehall clash means war”.
DJ Matt Camps fired up his radio in disgust of the song selection during the Kartel and Wizkid clash. “I’m so annoyed right now I’m just going to search kartel in my serato and rant while playing some song so join in if you want #mattcampsradio”, he said.
While another user provided a list of Kartel tracks that should have made DJ Levs’ 10 song selection: ‘”Can’t lie. Not a “Fever”. Not a “Touch A Button”. Not a “Duppy Know”. Not a “Summertime”. Not a “Bicycle”. Not a “Dumpa Truck”. Not a “Benz Punani”. Not a “Clarks”. Not a “Romping Shop”‘.
Interestingly DJ Levs, after being asked how he felt about his Kartel delivery admitted, his selected 10 was heavily influenced by fans asking him to do more commercial plays. Had he done his personal Kartel favorites, they would have included Up to The Time, Teacha’s Pet among others from his JMT album. Perhaps this would have changed the outcome for the DJ, but regrettably he had to walk away from this episode of the No Signal’s 10v10 battle the defeated opponent.
During the show for both episodes, audiences were told that the featured musicians were in fact locked-in and listening to their songs being pitted against one another. Vybz Kartel however, allegedly tweeted and later removed a call-out in reference to himself being on the show.
Now picking up speed, No Signal is scheduled to release a slew of many more battles in the upcoming days. The extraordinary teaming of genres extends to a whole new bionetwork and has even influenced album sales and chart positions, as fans look to familiarize themselves with the discographies of the artistes being pitted against each other for battle.
Check out No Signal’s 10 v 10 battles with Popcaan v Burna Boy and Vybz Kartel v Wizkid below –