Shaggy's Reggae Intoxication
- Words: Tomas Palermo
He had the biggest summer single by taking on a sacrilegious topic, he’s been a recent guest on Craig Ferguson’s Late Late Show, and his label has racked up an impressive set of chart-topping dancehall riddims. Is there any doubt that the baritone-voiced deejay Shaggy is on track to make another run at the Billboard charts? Already one of reggae’s most successful selling artists, the 38-year old–born Orville Richard Burrell–will drop his eighth album, Intoxication, November 13 on Big Yard/VP.
And since he topped the international pop charts with tunes like “Boombastic,” “Oh Carolina,” and “It Wasn’t Me,” Shaggy has done the near impossible: thoroughly reclaimed his core reggae fan base. Well-timed dancehall burners like “Wild 2Nite,” “Reggae Vibes,” and the enormous summer single “Church Heathen” have again made the artist (who debuted in 1992 with “Mampie,” the dancehall ode to plus-sized women) a favorite with radio and club DJs.
The strategy to go back to his dancehall roots was entirely intentional.
“While creating the album I wasn’t signed to any particular label, so I didn’t have the usual A&R interference into my creative process," says Shaggy of the new album's recording process. "That’s what I was trying to get back to with Intoxication–both hardcore dancehall and reggae."
Shaggy isn’t abandoning his more recent pop-attuned fans, however, as guest appearances on the album by Akon, Collie Buddz, and Sizzla attest. First single, "Bonafide Girl," is a classic reggae-pop affair, reuniting Shaggy with "It Wasn't Me" collaborator Rik Rok and adding Tony Gold to the potent mix. The single, produced by Big Yard mainstay producers Robert Livingston and Sting International, rides a new lick of the Desmond Dekker classic “007–Shanty Town” riddim.
Further reaching out to the core singles market, Big Yard has issued other tracks on the riddim, including Collie Buddz’s “Searching,” Daville’s “Fling It Pon Me,” and gruff-voice deejay Red Fox’s “I Don't Think So.”
Intoxication is a return to form, a return to his roots, and most of all, a damn fun album. What else would you expect from one of reggae’s tough-but-grounded superstars?
1. Can't Hold Me
2. Bonafide Girl-feat. Rik Rok & Tony Gold
4. Those Days-feat. Nasha
5. More Woman
6. Woman Scorn
7. Mad Mad World- feat. Sizzla Kalonji & Collie Buddz
8. Out Of Control- feat. Rayvon
9. Church Heathen
10. Wear Di Crown- feat. Mischieve
12. Body A Shake
13. What's Love- feat. Akon
14. Holla At You
15. All About Love
16. Wrong Move
17. Reggae Vibes
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