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A Mi Shabba

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Album Review

A nice mid-'90s release from Shabba Ranks, the defending champion of dancehall at the time. The fare is relatively standard, with some level of gun talk and slackness involved as a common motif. The more notable thing associated with Ranks is the re-elevation of the reggae DJ in the production of sound. Relatively surprisingly, given the heavy levels of cameo appearances employed by his rivals, Ranks only makes use of three supporting vocalists, all from within the dancehall tradition. He enlisted some of the best as far as production is concerned as well, with the vast majority of the tracks produced (and played) by Sly and Robbie, and a couple of spare ones guest produced by Naughty by Nature and Puffy Combs (prior to his real dosage of fame). Not a bad dancehall album at all, heavily infused with hip-hop grooves here and there. For fans of contemporary dancehall (at a relatively low speed), this album should be worthwhile to listen to.


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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A Mi Shabba, Shabba Ranks
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