R.I.P: Sluggy Ranks, 1968-2012

Words by Jesse Serwer—

From Kingston comes the sad news that iconic ’90s dancehall deejay Sluggy Ranks died in a car accident yesterday. Sluggy, for those that don’t know the name, was part of the initial wave of deejays who bussed from out of Brooklyn in the 1980s, voicing tunes for New York labels like Whitty, Super Power and Park Heights.

I won’t front like I know too many things about Sluggy Ranks but I can certainly vouch for of the impact of what was probably his best known tune in the States, “95% Black,” which got a lot of play on mixshows in New York City back in the early ’90s. When you’re a kid like I was, you don’t think about things like the prison-industrial complex really, so hearing a song like “95% Black,” with its lyrics about the racial imbalance between blacks and whites in the U.S. prison system, was definitely an eye-opener. Even if you can’t remember that far back, this is one of those culture tunes that still gets played when DJs run through ’90s sets. Revisit it below, and rest in peace, Sluggy Ranks.

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4 Responses

  1. Karene

    When You loose a Friend you have known for years….. I met Sluggy from back in the late 80’s and actually spoke with Sluggy end of May, who would have known it would be the last time i speak to my friend, R.I.P. Andrew Sluggy Ranks my condolences goes out to his family and other friends…. You are gone my friend but never will you be forgotten…

  2. justsherman

    I am pretty sure Sluggy Ranks & Nitty Gritty having in out right now in the afterlife as Tenor Saw sings “Roll Call” RIP Sluggy, a lot of people still think that your are Haitian.

  3. simee

    RIP Sluggy. One of the best out of Brooklyn. I met him back in 2003 @ the Black Star bar in NYC. I had his cd in my car and he signed it. Gone way too soon but only JAH know why. You will be missed Sluggy.


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