Remember Shabba Ranks? Here’s Why He Put BET On Blast For ‘Disrespecting’ Him
We were throwing some ideas around over here at the ILOSM office the other day, and lo and behold, guess who’s name came up? You guessed it – 90’s dancehall reggae artist, Shabba Ranks! No matter what era you came up in- the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s or the 90’s- you probably know “Mr. Loverman” Shabba. He was one of the few reggae artists who was able to successfully crossover and have huge success in the United States, selling millions of records internationally. It’s also difficult to forget the man who was screaming “Shabba!” on record and made it cool to brag about your own name, while gyrating and dry humping the air every chance you got.
Although he hasn’t been seen in mainstream media in the past few decades, in 2013 Shabba let BET have a piece of his mind, when he publicly blasted them for what he says was the utmost disrespect.
Why Shabba Was Outraged With BET
According to Shabba, he was offered an opportunity, by BET, to be exposed to a younger generation in 2013. He says he was invited to do a rare dancehall music performance on the 2013 BET Awards Show, but he gave them a resounding ‘Hell naw!’…well, not exactly in those words, but he sure felt disrespected about it and he let them know. The reason being, is because Shabba felt that the network does not treat dancehall reggae artists in the same manner as they do hip hop, R&B and gospel artists. Here’s what Shabba said about that via The Herald:
Shabba Ranks: “For years dem have wi music a put it in a little corner and tek it out when dem feel like, and I am not for that. I am here to stand up so dancehall can be rated and respected as every other people music. It doesn’t take five and six of us to show dancehall to the world in one forum – Shabba Ranks could do it, Shakka Demus and Pliers can do it.
None a dem nuh faster dan Usain Bolt all now, none a dem nuh badda dan Shabba all now, none a dem nuh badda dan Bob Marley all now . . . we as Jamaican must stand up for our ting in a strong way and nuh mek dem feel like dem wah kip wi een. Nuh hide mi behind nuh little corner and den bring mi up pon stage for four little second . . . dat a nuh weh Shabba want fi dancehall.”
Translation: Shabba was not going to allow BET to allegedly treat him and fellow reggae artists like little peons, by ‘hiding them in a little corner,’ not allowing them to walk the red carpet just like any other artists. Thus, bringing them on stage for a short segment of the show, which he referred to as a ‘4-second’ set. All of those things are things that Shabba claims BET does not ask artists of other genres to do and until they give him the same respect, he will not degrade himself and accept the perceived disrespect.
Wow, we give Shabba major props for standing up for what he felt was right. It’s always great learning about these artists and their true personalities. Shabba’s refusal to perform, based on his personal beliefs, shows us that he’s not a man who is ever willing to sell out for a check or for publicity, he’s the real deal.
Technically speaking, Shabba should be crowned the King of being ‘turned up,’ like the youngins say nowadays, because every single time he performed he got the crowd hype and even if there was no crowd, he was still hyped up.
Shabba didn’t let that stop his grind though because if you didn’t know, he’s still crushin’ a whole lotta these new artists out here! He still performs regularly to sold out crowds and at 52 years old, he’s still performing like it’s 1992. Don’t believe us? Check out this concert clip from his performance in 2017…he had the crowd on their feet, as he was doing his signature moves in the video up trop. Do your thang Shabba!