Shabba Ranks returned to Jamaica on Monday to much fanfare. That fanfare is to continue at Reggae Sumfest and will come, not just from those paying to witness his performance, but from the organisers of the show.
Shabba Ranks will be honoured for his contribution to the Jamaican music industry.
The deejay revolutionised the Jamaican music industry through the rhythms and lyrics of his music. Some of his major hits include Ting A Ling, Wicked Inna Bed, Mr Loverman, Peeny Peeny and Live Blanket. He led the craze of dancehall and reggae-styled rap in the 1980s and 1990s throughout Jamaica and the United States, and became the first reggae artiste to win a Grammy Award.
Known for his sexually explicit lyrics and groove, Shabba is also a flagship artiste for reggaeton with the single Dem-Bow and has also helped pioneer the way for American rap. He has collaborated with other reggae artistes, rappers, and R&B musicians, among them KRS-1, Queen Latifah, Eddie Murphy, and Maxi Priest.
Shabba's rise to fame and the subsequent creation of Emperor Ranks Entertainment, began when he was 12. At that stage, Shabba's heroes were artistes like General Echo, Brigadier Jerry, Yellowman and Josey Wales.
FIRST SINGLE IN 1985
He then linked with the Roots Melody Sound System with Admiral Bailey. It was then that he recorded his first single, Heat Under Sufferer's Feet, under the alias of Co-Pilot in 1985.
Adding to the list of Grammy winners that have graced the Reggae Sumfest stage, Shabba Ranks' hard-core and authentic dancehall flavour will add a great vibe to the 2012 line-up.
Dancehall Night takes centre stage tonight, while Shabba will walk on to the Sumfest stage tomorrow for International Night 1.
Reggae Sumfest is sponsored by Digicel, Red Stripe, Iberostar, Jamaica Tourist Board, The Gleaner Company Ltd and Pepsi, and takes place at Catherine Hall in Montego Bay.