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Shabba Ranks

Shabba Ranks
Rexton Rawlston Fernando Gordon
Born (1966-01-17) 17 January 1966 (age 52)
St. Ann, Jamaica
Origin Kingston, Jamaica
Genres Reggae, dancehall, reggae fusion, ragga[1]
Labels Epic (1991-96)
KRS-One, Maxi Priest, ASAP Ferg

Shabba Ranks (born Rexton Rawlston Fernando Gordon; 17 January 1966) is a Jamaican dancehall musician.


Ranks was born in Sturgetown, St. Ann, Jamaica. He gained his fame mainly by toasting (or rapping) rather than singing, like some of his dancehall contemporaries in Jamaica. He was a prote;ge; of deejay Josey Wales. His international career started in the late 1980s, along with a number of fellow Jamaicans including reggae singers Cocoa Tea and Crystal. Ranks also worked with Chuck Berry and American rappers KRS-One and Chubb Rock.

He secured a recording contract with Epic Records in 1991.[2]

The stylistic origins of the genre reggaeton may be traced back to the 1990 song "Dem bow", from Ranks' album Just Reality. Produced by Bobby "Digital" Dixon, the Dem Bow riddim became so popular in Puerto Rican freestyle sessions that early Puerto Rican reggaeton was simply known as "Dembow".[3] The Dem Bow riddim is an integral and inseparable part of reggaeton, so much so that it has become its defining characteristic.[4]

His biggest hit single outside of Jamaica was the reggae fusion smash "Mr. Loverman". Other tracks include "Respect", "Pirates Anthem", "Trailer Load A Girls", "Wicked inna Bed", "Caan Dun", and "Ting A Ling".

In 1993, Ranks scored another hit in the Addams Family Values soundtrack to which he contributed a rap/reggae version of the Sly and the Family Stone hit "Family Affair". His third album for Epic, A Mi Shabba, was released in 1995, however it fared less well. He was eventually dropped by the label in 1996. However, he won two Grammy Awards for previous work, and Epic went on to release a 'Greatest Hits' album, entitled Shabba Ranks and Friends in 1999.

Ranks lives in New York City. Ranks made a partial comeback in 2007 when he appeared on a song called "Clear The Air" by Busta Rhymes, which also featured Akon. Shabba released a single on Big Ship's Pepper Riddim called "None A Dem", in April 2011. In 2012, Shabba was featured on Tech N9ne's EP E.B.A.H. on the track "Boy Toy". In 2013, Shabba was also mentioned in A$AP Ferg's song "Shabba," and has a cameo near the end of the music video.[5] He was featured in the remix alongside Migos and Busta Rhymes on 23 November 2013.[6] In August 2013, he was reportedly working on a new album.[7]


In 1992, during an appearance on Channel 4 music show The Word, he was asked to give his thoughts on the subject of the hit song 'Boom Bye Bye' sung by Buju Banton. Shabba held a copy of a Bible which he carried with him and stated that the 'word of God' advocated the death of homosexuals, and was subsequently condemned for his comments by presenter Mark Lamarr, who said "That's absolute crap and you know it".[8]




  • 1989 "Peanie Peanie" - Shabba Ranks - Jammys
  • 1990 "Roots & Culture" - Shabba Ranks - Digital B
  • 1991 "She's A Woman" - Scritti Politti Featuring Shabba Ranks - UK Number 20
  • 1991 "Trailer Load A Girls" - Shabba Ranks - UK Number 63
  • 1991 "Housecall" - Shabba Ranks Featuring Maxi Priest - UK Number 31 - US Number 37
  • 1991 "Just Reality" - Shabba Ranks - Digital B
  • 1992 "Love Punaany Bad" - Shabba Ranks - Jammys
  • 1992 "Mr. Loverman" - Shabba Ranks Featuring Deborahe Glasgow - UK Number 23 - US Number 40
  • 1992 "Slow And Sexy" - Shabba Ranks Featuring Johnny Gill - UK Number 17 - US 33
  • 1992 "Shine & Crisis" - Shabba Ranks - Shang
  • 1993 "I Was A King" - Eddie Murphy Featuring Shabba Ranks - UK Number 64
  • 1993 "Mr. Loverman" - re-issue - Shabba Ranks - UK Number 3
  • 1993 "Housecall" - remix - Shabba Ranks Featuring Maxi Priest - UK Number 8
  • 1993 "What'cha Gonna Do" - Shabba Ranks Featuring Queen Latifah - UK Number 21
  • 1993 "Family Affair" - Shabba Ranks Featuring Patra And Terri & Monica - UK Number 18 - US Number 84
  • 1995 "Let's Get It On" - Shabba Ranks - UK Number 22 - US Number 81
  • 1995 "Shine Eye Gal" - Shabba Ranks Featuring Mykal Rose - UK Number 46
  • 1996 "Heart of a Lion" - Shabba Ranks - Digital B
  • 1997 "So Jah Say" - Shabba Ranks - Brick Wall[9]

Videos and DVDs

  • 2002 Shabba Ranks: Dancehall Ruff - Best of Shabba Ranks (DVD)
  • 2001 The Return of Shabba Ranks (DVD)
  • 1994 Darker Side of Black
  • 1992 Shabba Ranks: Naked and Ready
  • 1992 Shabba Ranks: Fresh & Wild
  • 1992 Shabba Ranks vs. Ninja Man: Super Clash Round
  • 1990 Reggae Showdown, Vol. 4: Shabba at Showdown (DVD)
  • 1987 Prince Jammy

References in other media

The "Mr. Loverman" video was parodied on the satirical ITV1 puppet show Spitting Image, and by Marlon Wayans of In Living Color (an American comedy television series) in a video called "Mr. Uglyman",[10] which played upon the opinion that Shabba is unattractive.


  1. ^ "Shabba Ranks - Music Biography, Credits and Discography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014. 
  2. ^ "Shabba Ranks". Reggae Reviews. Archived from the original on 30 June 2012. Retrieved 2013. 
  3. ^ Marshall, Wayne (19 January 2006). "The Rise of Reggaeton". The Phoenix. p. 4. Retrieved 2007. 
  4. ^ Carimanica, Jon (12 January 2006). "Grow Dem Bow". The Village Voice. Retrieved 2007. 
  5. ^ "A$AP Ferg feat. A$AP Rocky - Shabba". YouTube. Retrieved 2013. 
  6. ^ "A$AP Ferg - Shabba (Remix) (feat. Shabba Ranks, Busta Rhymes & Migos) - Listen". AudioMack. Archived from the original on 27 November 2013. Retrieved 2013. 
  7. ^ "Shabba plans new album - Entertainment". 16 August 2013. Retrieved 2013. 
  8. ^ "The Word". Channel 4. 1992. Retrieved 2010. 
  9. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 450. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  10. ^ [1] Archived 7 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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