Big expectations for Skillibeng’s album

September 28, 2021
Johnny Wonder with the Billboard Hot 100 plaque.
Johnny Wonder with the Billboard Hot 100 plaque.

Fast-rising dancehall prodigy Skillibeng has the music industry in a frenzy with the announcement that his Crocodile Teeth album will be released on October 15.

The campaign is picking up momentum off the title track's success. Last week, producer extraordinaire Johnny Wonder shared publicly that the Crocodile Teeth Remix, which Nicki Minaj had added to a re-release of her 2009 mixtape Beam Me Up Scotty, received the Billboard Hot 100 plaque.

Johnny Wonder told THE STAR that his expectations for the album far exceed that of the single.

"There are 12 great songs that nobody has heard except for the Crocodile Teeth, that we have worked on from scratch, exclusive material," he said. "There's big marketing around the album, from merchandise to billboards that people will begin to see around the place next week and a private listening party. We're using all these marketing strategies to get the numbers where they need to be."

Skillibeng has recruited the likes of dancehall hitmakers Popcaan and Spice, up-and-coming artiste Davianah, as well as international acts Stefflon Don and rapper Bobby Shmurda, who was only released from prison earlier this year February, after serving six years for illegal firearm and conspiracy charges. UIM Records' Kadeem Christie, expressed confidence in Johnny Wonder's work.

"The album is going to do good. Remember who is on the album too, they'll get the numbers they are aiming for," he told THE STAR. "However, we can expect a little bit of competition which isn't a bad thing, as other dancehall artistes such as Popcaan and Mavado, are mobilisng themselves to release albums too."

This year, top acts like Alkaline, Spice and Vybz Kartel released albums. In August, Alkaline's Top Prize amounted to 2,957 units while Spice's TEN and Vybz Kartel's Born Fi Dis barely made 1,000 units for total consumption. Record producer Not Nice expressed that dancehall songs don't always do well internationally and that the success of an album is also determined by the label behind it.

"There are no big labels backing the projects to pump big money into the marketing. Sometimes there is, but the project simply isn't good where the topics the artistes focus on aren't understood by those listening beyond the local scene. I hope the album does well, not saying that for Skillibeng's purpose, but for the whole look of dancehall to the global market. Dancehall a bring in the numbers still. It's good compared to the past, but we are not reaching gold and platinum," he said.

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