Grammy-winning dancehall entertainer, Rexton ‘Shabba Ranks’ Gordon, is one of the most iconic Jamaican artistes of the past three decades. Having signed to American music label, Epic Records, in 1989, he was able to experience not only local but international success in his music career. Known for hit singles such as Dem Bow and Mr. Loverman, he was and still is one of the major influencers of dancehall music.
Shabba Ranks was the first dancehall artiste to win the Best Reggae Album award at the Grammys, winning twice in a row, in 1992 for As Raw As Ever, and 1993 for X-tra Naked. He has recorded 14 studio albums, and after dominating the 90s to early 2000s, he made a comeback in 2013, with rumors that he was working on a new album. These are some of the many reasons some believe he is qualified to be crowned… the King of Dancehall, at this year’s staging of Reggae Sumfest.
That’s right, after it was announced that Spice will be officially crowned the Queen of Dancehall at the biggest Reggae show on earth, CEO of Downsound Records, Joe Bogdanovich, has made known that the male counterpart will also be crowned at the event. But who will it be? That’s the question everyone has been asking.
Despite recent social media feuds that erupted between entertainers Beenie Man and Vybz Kartel over who the title rightfully belongs to, Joe Bogdanovich may have given some hints that Shabba Ranks will receive the coveted honor, even stating, “I think he’s the first one to ever get a Grammy award” – possibly a jab at both Beenie and Kartel.
For years Beenie Man wore the self-claimed title of King of the Dancehall, and while many Jamaicans thought he deserved the label others believed Vybz Kartel was more worthy. However, with new claims that Shabba Ranks will sit on the throne on Reggae Sumfest night, it will be interesting to see the response of the people and members of the music industry as well.
While announcing that Spice will be awarded publicly with the title as Dancehall’s queen, Bogdanovich said, “We’ll have her crown there unveiled as well as the male counterpart’s crown will be there also. It’s going to be a great launch.” He went on to hail Shabba as, “The Emperor of Dancehall, in any era.”