Shabba Ranks is 43 years old today. There would be no Beenie Man, no Sean Paul and no Shaggy (yes, one of these things is not like the others but stay with me nonetheless) in pop music culture without Rexton Rawlston Fernando “Shabba Ranks” Gordon, the father of the deejay dancehall style. Reggaton may never have existed without the legend’s famous Dem Bow riddim, and though we may have our opinions on how his content treats women and sex, it is undeniable that this man helped make dancehall music visible and viable as an international pop music form. There were to be no entries today, but I had to pop in to say many happy returns to the self-proclaimed best baby father in Jamaica. Although he now lives in New York, so perhaps that no longer applies.
And yes, I’m posting this late in the day because I couldn’t figure out how to cut that famous ‘Shabba!’ audio clip until now. Silliness is a serious waster of time. Take a listen below to the still energetic Mr. Loverman performing at Madison Square Garden in 2007.
Edited to add: Some people seem not to have the right plug-in to play the file type I used for the automatic audio clip. Not to worry. Just sing "Mr. Lover Man - SHABBA!" really loudly twice, and the effect is the same.