Around the same time in the early '90s, MTV's 120 Minutes replayed the macabre clip for Siouxsie & the Banshees' "Cities in Dust" while Shabba Ranks' "Mr. Loverman" entered heavy rotation. The latter featured Ranks riding king-like on a raft across a Jamaican waterway among a gaggle of girls. In an era when MTV had musical impact, these two ruled the airwaves as unlikely royalty: Siouxsie Sioux the smoldering goddess of the underworld, Shabba cutting a stoic figure across maniacal crossover dancehall. Each brought their own explosive styles to a culture that had never seen anything quite like them—the dark dynamics of stately post-punk and a groundbreaking entry to global airwaves by Jamaica's newest sound.
Siouxsie Sioux and Shabba Ranks, besides individually upheaving the musical landscapes of their time, can both be heard in copious new music we love right now. So, rather than pretending we weren't equally passionate for both, for the first time ever, we chose two cover icons. To properly honor each of them, we printed four covers and split them fifty-fifty. And while the duo might initially seem like opposing forces, you just have to look at the artists featured throughout this issue to see how perfectly they intersect: from Santigold to Ikonika, RZA to Dave Sitek, Dum Dum Girls to Cassette Playa, Vybz Kartel to Tego Calderon, while tracing their legacies we found exactly how fiercely today's musical and cultural climate reflects the dovetailing forces of the king of dancehall and the queen post-punk. See the Shabba cover above, and check out Siouxsie after the jump.