words by Eddie STATS Houghton
Shabba Ranks has been deh pon the mind lately, turning up here, here and here. Maybe it’s because he is the influential godfather of the deejay school, the founder and trailblazer of everything we mean when we say “dancehall” in the modern era. And/or…maybe it’s because quiet as it’s kept I was helping FADER put together this double-barrel cover story tribute for their annual Icon issue.
Even I, however, did not know they were going to go and give him BOTH covers. AT ONCE. Hell, even Bob Marley had to share the bill with Marvin Gaye. But that’s only one of the ways in which this issue is a history-making monster. If you’re a fan of a) Jamaica b) music or c) magazines you should definitely download the free .pdf version on FADER’s site. Drink in the interviews with Vybz, Tego, King Jammys and Damian Marley, the epic behind-the-seen tale of Shabba’s rise told by original rudeboy Dahved Levy (who was there) and of course X amount of iconic photos and archival material. Then go cop the newsstand edition and keep it in a plastic baggy like it was a mint condition X-Men #1.