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Top 5 Soca Songs That Crossed Over {VIDEO + PICS}

TIED AT # 5 Rupee “Tempted To Touch”(2004) and Alison Hinds “Roll It Gal”  (2006)


The longtime frontwoman for Barbados’ No. 1 band Square One, Alison Hinds solidified her place as soca’s biggest female solo act with “Roll It Gyal.” A girl power anthem inspired by Destiny’s Child’s “Independent Women,” “Roll It Gyal” has just the sort of twist you’d expect from a Caribbean winin’ queen like Miss Alison.

Rupee “Tempted To Touch” (2004)

Island music was at its commercial peak in 2004, and tunes like “Tempted to Touch” were a major reason why. Taking inspiration from Beres Hammond’s 1990 hit of the same name, Bajan-British singer Rupee crafted a track that sat perfectly in the crosshairs of soca, dancehall, R&B, reggaeton and pop, and it suited the mood on dancefloors around the world just perfectly.


4. Bunji Garlin “Differentology” {2013)


Crossing over for Caribbean artists in recent years has often meant compromise, or at least outside help, be it a pop-friendly remix or a cameo from a mainstream-approved artist. Bunji Garlin’s “Differentology” needed no such assistance, instantly taking the Caribbean by storm with its release during 2013 Carnival season. Sure, it was later treated to a Busta Rhymes verse, but this one was headed for the WBL's and Hot 97s of the world whether Bussa Buss touched it or not.


3. Kevin Lyttle “Turn Me On” (2001, 2003)


Recorded for Vincy Mas in 2001, “Turn Me On”  blew up across the Caribbean in 2002, hit Canada and the U.K. in 2003, and reached #4 on the U.S. pop charts in 2004. 


2. The Baha Men “Who Let the Dogs Out” (2000)


Your grandma. Your old Sunday school teacher. The annoying lady at work. Everyone knows “Who Let the Dogs Out.” The Baha Men’s roots date back to the late 1970s when they were originally known as High Voltage. Despite their name and roots, the group was actually formed in England. They finally hit it big in 2000 with their cover of this song written in by Anslem Douglas. Not only was it the best-selling soca song of all time and one of the biggest songs of any variety in 2000, but it’s retained its place in pop culture ( by turning up in countless movies and TV shows since that time.


1. Arrow/Buster Poindexter “Hot Hot Hot” (1982/1987)


You simply can’t take a cruise or stay at an all inclusive hotel in the tropics—we’re going beyond just the Caribbean here—without hearing “Hot Hot Hot.” Recorded by an artist (Arrow) from one of the Caribbean’s smallest and least populated territories (Montserrat), it managed to have a worldwide impact both before and after New York Dolls singer David Johansen—then operating as Buster Poindexter—put his own spin on it and made it one of the signature “vacation tunes” of the late ’80s, right next to “Kokomo” by the Beach Boys.

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