Find album reviews, stream songs, credits and award information for Greatest Hits - Shabba Ranks on AllMusic - 1994. New Age; Pop/Rock; Rap; R&B; Reggae; Stage & Screen; All Genres.
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 '9. Grammy. Ranks' distinctive, booming growl of a voice earned him many imitators, and his sex- obsessed lyrics - - while drawing criticism for their unrelenting .
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Ranks' early success also helped pave the way for even bigger crossovers by artists like Shaggy and Sean Paul. Shabba Ranks was born Rexton Rawlston Fernando Gordon on January 1. Sturgetown, Jamaica. When he was eight years old, his family moved to the Kingston ghetto of Trenchtown, where Bob Marley had grown up.
By age 1. 2, he was fascinated by the sound system DJs who spun records in local clubs, and often chatted on the mic over the backing tracks. His early inspirations included Charlie Chaplin, General Echo, Brigadier Jerry, Yellowman, and especially Josey Wales. He soon tried his hand at performing as a toaster, and spent the early '8. Admiral Bailey at the Roots Melody sound system. Paired with a record selector dubbed the Navigator, Ranks initially called himself Co- Pilot.
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Under that name, he cut his first single, . He soon changed his name to Shabba Ranks, and caught the attention of his idol Josey Wales, who took the young toaster under his wing. Wales introduced Ranks to some of the producers at King Jammy's studio, and Ranks soon began recording there, debuting with the single . More crucial, though, was his move to King Jammy engineer/producer Bobby Digital's new studio and label, Digital B, in 1. Having known each other for some time, the duo's chemistry was immediate, and Ranks quickly vaulted to stardom that year with a series of hit singles and an electrifying stage show (at one point, Ranks arrived on- stage via helicopter). From 1. 98. 9- 1. Ranks recorded some 5.
Bobby Digital but also with producers Gussie Clarke and Steely & Clevie. He scored hit after hit, including the massive . His album Rappin' With the Ladies featured covers of songs by female reggae artists, and gave him another big hit with a new version of J. C. Gussie Clarke produced his 1. LP Holding On, which spawned major hits in . He also cut several other tracks with Cocoa Tea and Home T, including . His Epic debut, As Raw as Ever, featured a high- profile duet with the then- hot Maxi Priest, .
As Raw as Ever was awarded a Grammy for Best Reggae Album, making Ranks the first dancehall artist ever to notch a win. Ranks released his follow- up album, X- Tra Naked, the same year, and notched yet another duet hit with the Johnny Gill collaboration .
X- Tra Naked also featured other minor hits: . Ranks was so popular that two compilations of his earlier Jamaican hits, Rough & Ready, Vol. Maximum, both charted in the U. S. He completed his third Epic album, A Mi Shabba, in 1. He did return to Jamaica to record some more material for King Jammy during the late '9. Get Up Stand Up in 1. However, no new major- label offerings appeared, and Sony issued several compilations around the turn of the millennium.