Koffee: Reggae's 1st Global Superstar Since Bob Marley

Updated: May 12, 2021

FOR SOME, REGGAE IS A GENRE whose relevance remains centered around either a Caribbean vacation or a summer beach day. And when people do listen to the genre, it can easily be Bob Marley or nothing at all. And that really is whack to me. As great as Marley was, the genre’s got too many promising artists dropping music for that to be it. From Runkus to Jah9, Protoje to Sammy Johnson, or even the return of Busy Signal, the future of reggae is in good hands. But in my opinion, leading all the incredible talent, Jamaica’s Koffee is the one who’s gonna push the genre to new heights.

Despite having only put out 10 songs on her own, Koffee’s features and co-signs are disgustingly impressive. Her 2019 single, W, features Gunna. Tory Lanez remixed her song Toast on his 2019 mixtape, International Fargo. Mura Masa also did his own remix of the song, along with Throne, another track off her Grammy-winning debut Rapture EP. She stole both verses from J Hus on their collab Repeat (if you don’t know J Hus, dude is one of the biggest up-and-coming rappers out of the UK, his most recent album taking the top spot on the UK charts). She happened to find her way onto both the remix of Daniel Caesar’s Cyanide and John Legend’s latest album, thanks to Don’t Walk Away. Oh, and remember that little song from Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber called I Don’t Care? Yeeeaa, so she hopped on the official remix with Chronixx… and yet arguably the most impressive cosign so far comes from Buju Banton’s feature on her Pressure remix. I assume if Gen Z knows about him, it’s from his work on DJ Khaled’s recent albums. With that said, the man is a legend in Jamaica, considered as one of the most influential artists in the island’s musical history. Grabbing that feature had to have been huge for Koffee personally, and even bigger in the Reggae scene. All this and she just turned 21… sheesh!

Photograph Courtesy 4thFloorCreative

Part of what makes Koffee so special is her ability to mix the past with the present. With rap becoming (one of) the most popular genre(s), Koffee borrows aspects of conventional rap and trap, blending the two with aspects of traditional reggae and dancehall. The result: songs that are damn fun, and groovy as shit. Tracks like Pressure, Throne, and Raggamuffin are great examples of this. Koffee’s melodic raps are intoxicating, pulling you deeper and deeper into the song… head bobs become mandatory by the end. There’s definitely instances where English-only listeners might not understand everything she’s saying in her music, thanks to the barrier created by her use of Jamacain Patois, but that absolutely shouldn’t discredit her work. You should still be able to decipher enough to understand the general concepts behind her work, of which she regularly focuses on thankfulness and feelings of gratitude. From there, let her voice and instrumentals take the wheel to do the rest.

Koffee is an artist I’ve been big on for a few years now, ever since the release of her Pressure EP in 2019. And ever since, I’ve been doing what I can to put my friends on. It’s been well over half a year since we last heard from Koffee, so as we move into the warmer months, I’m praying we get new music. Could only a song, I'm not even asking for a full project, just gimme something! We've already been teased by rumors she’d end up on DJ Khaled’s latest album, but that turned out to be nothing more than a damn lie. Whenever we do get that song, or really just any song from Koffee, I can promise that shit is gonna be on replay for days.

PERSONAL FAVORITES: Burning, Throne, Raggamuffin, Lockdown, Pressure, Switch It Up (Protoje x Koffee)

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