Yes, that Shabba; the ranking one. I am gonna have to keep this column dumb-short just to make room for the dumb-long tracklisting, still only a narrow core-sample of Shabba’s deep and broad 45-ography. I tried to drill through a good cross-section of his work with different producers from different eras, mostly avoiding the video joints and trying to include a few later/leftfield gems that are not necessarily part of the dancehall canon, either. And then I added a few associated jams and tributary Panamanian and Punjabi riddims to provide some context, give an idea of dude’s impact globally (you can even find samples of Shabba’s trademark ugh! On Egyptian pop records from the early '90s) and make it a proper Ghetto Palms mix.
GP99 Shabba Ranks Blend
Shabba Ranks, “Pretty Please” (LOY)
Shabba Ranks, “Peenie Peenie” (Jammys)
Shabba Ranks, “Roots and Culture” (Digital B)
Shabba Ranks, “Wicked in Bed” (Digital B)
Sugar Minott, “Real Ragamuffin” (Digital B)
Rama f. Cheshire Cat, “Mera Laung Gawacha” (Bally Sagoo/Star)
Shabba Ranks f. Deborahe Glasgow, “Champion Lover” (Gussie Clarke)
Shabba Ranks f. Deborahe Glasgow, “Don’t Test Me” (Gussie Clarke)
Shabba Ranks f. Cocoa Tea & Home T, “Pirate’s Anthem” (Gussie Clarke)
Shabba Ranks, “Young Gals Wine” (Jammys)
La Atrevida, “Que Lo Que Es” Reggaespanol (Columbia)
Thriller U, “I’m All Out of Love” (Cosmic Force)
El General, “Teves Buena” (Gold Disc)
Shabba Ranks, “Trailor Load A Girls” (Epic)
Shabba Ranks, “Dem Bow” (Digital B)
Shabba Ranks f. Krystal, “Twice My Age” (Gussie Clarke)
Shabba Ranks, “Original Woman” (Salaam Remi/Epic Street)
Shabba Ranks, “Respect” (Shang)
Download: Ghetto Palms Shabba Ranks Blend
I would also like to note that every single decibel on this blend was generated by vinyl discs rotated on Technics 1200s. 45s, 12”s or compilations only, no mp3s—that would be cheating. There’s also a nasty buzz in one channel and some awkward fades. But that actually just makes me like it more, because both in selection and in production values this recording is a throwback to my college radio days, when my mind was getting blown by the likes of “Pirate’s Anthem.” If only my mixer had a tape/source switch to make a bootleg echo chamber, then the dub plate time machine would be complete.
Ultimately, though, any quick and dirty (well, dirty) tour through the catalog of such a prolific veteran leaves out more than it says and after I started recording I kept thinking of other jams (like “The Jam”) that should have been included. Which is why you should consider investing in the 4-CD Reggae Legends box set dedicated to Shabba that VP dropped earlier this year. And while you’re shopping in the tough music aisle of the internet, there’s two more things you should put in your cart: 1) the Money Tree aka New Money riddim from Livup records that I reviewed in two parts became available for purchase on iTunes yesterday, as did 2) the Techno Rumba EP from Ghetto Palms regular Chief Boima.