Welcome to the third edition of the Global Reggae Charts! Only three months in, and we already learned a lot. For those of you who haven’t been following from the start, a little reminder of the goal that drove us – and Felix in particular! – to create the Global Reggae Charts: We want to create a trustworthy destination that helps everybody who’s interested in reggae music to find out what truly matters right now. A guidepost in the diverse jungle that is reggae and dancehall in 2017, so to speak.
Because we aim to create global charts that reflect everything that’s relevant in reggae – including, for instance, free Soundcloud releases – we took a votes-based approach. For reasons I explained in the first issue’s editorial, we initially decided to limit the group of eligible voters to hosts of regular reggae radio shows. Starting with the upcoming voting period, we are going to broaden that group.
From now on, we’ll also accept votes from trusted reggae and dancehall media contributors. For one, we want to increase voter turnout in order to make our charts ever more representative of the global reggae community. Plus, it appeared somewhat arbitrary to exclude people based on the medium they chose to publish in.
It goes without saying that there are potential pitfalls. As we are first and foremost committed to creating a trustworthy representation of what’s relevant in reggae, we want to protect our data from manipulation. Everybody who spent some time in the reggae and dancehall scene knows this is a potential issue. For now, we are going to ensure the Global Reggae Charts’ integrity by being selective about what applications we accept. Voters will need to have a track record of publications on credible sites and/or in traditional media. Being that kind of gatekeeper is a thin line to walk and we’ll hopefully manage this balancing act well.
However, we don’t intend to rely on this security measure for too long. The best protection against fraud and corruption is scale. Once we have a sizable number of applications, we’ll open up the voting to every media member willing to participate. In blunt terms: You can pay five people to vote for you but you can’t pay a few hundred (and if you can, you almost certainly don’t have to). As always, keep in mind that we are still in the early stages and getting everything right will take some time and experience.
That said, enjoy this month’s edition of the charts! While we don’t claim to paint a representative picture yet, the results give us confidence. The single and album charts both contain many releases you would expect there, but also some gems from across the globe. If we can continue that trend while increasing our voter base, we are on track to develop the GRC into what they are supposed to be.
If you have any feedback or suggestions for improvement, please let us know!
Thomas Euler is founder of the German reggae & dancehall blogazine whagwaan-magazine.de