Words by Jesse Serwer—
Nardo Ranks’ “Burrup” is one of those underground street classics that hit in NYC and other major U.S. cities right as dancehall was first starting to be embraced by hip-hop and the broader market. It’s seminal status remained in evidence when rapper Pusha T quoted the song’s lyrics (and sang its hook) in “Mr. Me Too” by the Clipse a decade and a half later. Though “Burrup” was not a major hit in his native Jamaica, with a catalog that also includes still-relevant tunes like “Them a Bleach” (the first song to directly address the topic of skin lightening treatments in Jamaica) and “New Jersey Drive” (a combination with Jr. Demus that tackled police harassment of Jamaicans), Nardo is truly “one of dem originals” and a legend in the dancehall.