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Rough & Ready, Vol. 1

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iTunes Review

Shabba Ranks doesn't sound like a leading man, with that booming low voice of his. But the lyrics on digital-heavy reggae jams like "Hard and Stiff" and "Wicked in Bed" here make it clear what’s on his mind. He’s a bit more family-friendly on the smoother "Mr. Loverman", on which Chevelle Franklyn's come-hither vocals burn hot. The half-sung "Pirates Anthem" is super-catchy, and "Raggamuffin" works a live-band sound to huge effect. But the rest of the album revels in stripped-down, riddim-driven dancehall, as Shabba unleashes rapid-fire rhymes against synthesised pulses.

Biography

Born: 17 January 1966 in St. Ann's Parish, Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '10s

During his heyday, Shabba Ranks was arguably the most popular dancehall toaster in the world. He was a massive crossover success in the U.S., thanks to an openly commercial hybrid of reggae and hip-hop, and also to prominent duet partners like Maxi Priest, Johnny Gill, and KRS-One. All of this brought him several hit singles and albums on the R&B charts in the early '90s, and made him the first dancehall artist to win a Grammy. Ranks' distinctive, booming growl of a voice earned him many imitators,...
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Rough & Ready, Vol. 1, Shabba Ranks
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