He was nicknamed after the Scooby-Doo character and at age 18, he joined his mother in the Flatbush area of Brooklyn, New York, and soon began performing with the local Jamaican-style sound system Gibraltar Musik. A steady income proved to be a more pressing matter, however, and in 1988 Shaggy joined the Marines. Stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, he continued to pursue music in his free time, and often made the drive back to New York for recording sessions. He cut his first single, 'Man a Mi Yard' b/w 'Bullet Proof Buddy', at age 20 for producer Don One's own small label; for the follow-up, 'Big Hood' b/w 'Duppy or Uglyman', he worked with producer Lloyd "Spiderman" Campbell.
Shaggy's most important connection, however, proved to be radio DJ/studio engineer Sting (born Shaun Pizzonia), who got him a gig cutting dubplates at Phillip Smart's studio. One of those records, 'Mampie', became a huge hit among New York reggae fans; its follow-up, 'Big Up', was even more popular locally, and marked the first of several duets with Brooklyn singer Rayvon. However, Shaggy still had obligations to the military, and his budding career was interrupted by Operation Desert Storm in 1991; he was sent to Kuwait for a five-month tour of duty. After returning to Camp Lejeune, Shaggy resumed his sessions in New York, and waxed a cover of the Folkes Brothers' ska hit 'Oh Carolina'. Originally recorded for Prince Buster's label, the song was given a modern dancehall update complete with a prominent 'Peter Gunn' sample. At first, 'Oh Carolina' was simply another local hit, but thanks to some overseas promotion, it was picked up for release in the U.K. by Greensleeves in late 1992. It was an instant smash, vaulting all the way to the top of the British pop charts early the next year and doing the same in several other European countries.
'Oh Carolina' wasn't as big a hit in the U.S., where it stalled in the lower half of the charts, despite its inclusion on the hit soundtrack to the Sharon Stone film Sliver. Furthermore, its follow-up singles, the tongue-in-cheek gospel of 'Soon Be Done' and the jazzy 'Nice and Lovely', failed to duplicate its success. Nonetheless, the overseas success of 'Oh Carolina',coupled with the high-profile Maxi Priest duet 'One More Chance', was enough to land Shaggy a lucrative deal with Virgin Records. His debut album, Pure Pleasure, was released in 1993, and included many of his recent singles; the following year, Greensleeves issued a collection called Original Doberman, which covered many of his earliest recordings.
Now firmly a star in Europe, Shaggy went on to conquer the U.S. with his next album, 1995's Boombastic. The title track was an inescapable hit, selling over a million copies; it reached number three on the pop charts and number one on the R&B charts, and also became his second U.K. chart-topper. 'In the Summertime', the flip side of the American single release of 'Boombastic', climbed into the U.K. Top Five as a follow-up. Meanwhile, the album went platinum, nearly reaching the R&B Top Ten, and spent a full year at number one on Billboard's reggae album chart; it also won a Grammy for Best Reggae Album. A third single, 'Why You Treat Me So Bad', featured guest rapper Grand Puba and nearly reached the British Top Ten in 1996, but failed to make much of an impact stateside.
Shaggy followed his breakout success with an extensive world tour, consolidating his European following, and recorded a hit duet with Maxi Priest, 'That Girl', in 1996. He returned to solo action in 1997 with the Midnite Lover album. The first single, a dancehall version of Big Brother & the Holding Company's 'Piece of My Heart' featuring duet partner Marsha, was a relative flop in the U.S., though it had some international success. Similarly, the album was a commercial disappointment, and Virgin, assuming that Shaggy's moment had passed (as it quickly had for many of dancehall's crossover hitmakers), dropped him from its roster.
Undaunted, Shaggy turned to movie soundtracks to keep his name in the public eye. He appeared on a minor hit duet with Janet Jackson, 'Luv Me, Luv Me', from the soundtrack of How Stella Got Her Groove Back in 1998, and followed it by contributing the solo cut 'Hope' to For Love of the Game in 1999. By this time, he was able to land a new deal with MCA, and rewarded them with one of the biggest-selling reggae albums ever. Released in 2000, Hot Shot started off slowly as its lead single, 'Dance and Shout', flopped in the States. However, a radio DJ in Hawaii downloaded the track 'It Wasn't Me' (featuring Rik Rok) from Napster, and began playing it on his show. Soon it was a national hit, rocketing up the pop charts and hitting number one in early 2001; naturally, it did likewise in the U.K. and many other European countries. Its follow-up, 'Angel' -- a rewrite of the country hit 'Angel of the Morning', featuring Rayvon on vocals -- also went straight to number one in the U.S. and U.K. Hot Shot, meanwhile, spent six weeks at number one on the album charts and eventually sold over six million copies in the U.S. alone -- an almost unheard-of figure for a reggae release.
Hot Shot is the fifth studio album released by Jamaican rapper Shaggy. The album was first released on August 8, 2000, in the United States, before being issued in the United Kingdom on April 8, 2001 with a revised tracklisting. It was certified Diamond in the US with 8.8 million copies sold, while worldwide sales are estimated at 20 million. Four singles have been spawned from the album: "It Wasn't Me", "Angel", "Luv Me, Luv Me" and the double A-side single "Dance & Shout" and "Hope".
Lucky Day is the sixth studio album by Jamaican rapper Shaggy, released on October 29, 2002. The album peaked at #24 on the Billboard 200 and later reached Gold certification. Three singles were released from the album: "Hey Sexy Lady", "Strength Of A Woman" and "Get My Party On". The album featured guest appearances from Shaggy's longtime collaborators Brian and Tony Gold, as well as a guest appearance from Chaka Khan.
Boombastic is the third studio album released by Jamaican artist Shaggy. The album was released on July 11, 1995.
The album spawned five singles: "In The Summertime", a cover of a Mungo Jerry classic, "Boombastic", which peaked at number 1 on the UK Singles Chart, at 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and at number 1 on the U.S. R&B chart, "Why You Treat Me So Bad?", the double A-side "Something Different" / "The Train Is Coming", and "Day Oh", which was released as a Japanese only single. "Boombastic" was used as the theme for a 1995 Levi's ad, which was directed by Michael Mort and Deiniol Morris. It was also used in the 2006 and 2007 films, respectively, Barnyard and Mr Bean's Holiday. The album won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album. The album sold over a million copies in the US, receiving platinum certification, and sold over 300,000 copies in the UK, receiving gold cerification. It peaked at number 34 on the Billboard 200 and topped the 'Top Reggae Albums' chart in the US, and reached number 37 on the UK Albums Chart.
Shaggy's debut album, Pure Pleasure, has been described as a dancehall album for those who generally don't care for dancehall and, to be sure, the CD managed to reach a lot of listeners who find dancehall limited and one-dimensional. The toaster accomplished this by striving for variety and being more musical than a lot of dancehall artists. Plus, the fact that he is fairly recognizable doesn't hurt; when other 1990s dancehall upstarts were becoming Shabba Ranks clones, Shaggy combined dancehall aggression with such influences as Yellowman. Pure Pleasure has its share of conventional, sexploitive dancehall, but Shaggy takes some chances on conscious numbers like "It Bun Me" and "Give Thanks and Praise" as well as his infectious interpretation of Prince Buster's "Oh, Carolina." Pure Pleasure isn't a gem, but it's an often enjoyable album that has some variety and does its part to broaden dancehall.
Words: Alex Henderson
Midnite Lover, the follow-up to Shaggy's career-making Boombastic, doesn't have anything as memorable as that album's title track or his dancehall reworking of "Oh Carolina," but that hardly makes the album a failure. It's a consistently entertaining collection of ragga from one of the leaders of the genre. There is a bit too much sexism for some, but even "Sexy Body Girls" has one of the best beats on the record, and the title cut has a supremely funky hip-hop rhythm. It's hard to excuse the ridiculous cover of Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart," but his version of Bob Marley's "Thank You Lord" (featuring vocals by Ky-Mani Marley) shows that there's more to Shaggy than bumping and grinding.
Words: Leo Stanley
The polished boasting and bragging on the opening "Clothes Drop" is no big surprise, but the minimal and bubbly production from Sly & Robbie is fresh and exciting. The pace is kept up with some raw dancehall -- the pounding "Broadway" with its brittle Barrington Levy sample is especially tasty -- before things get much slicker. "Wild 2Nite" takes the singer into the perfect-fitting world of G-Unit with special guest Olivia, and "Supa Hypnotic" is the first of two stylish winners with the Pussycat Dolls' Nicole Scherzinger, the saucy "Don't Ask Her That" being the second.
Words: David Jeffries
Released the same year as Virgin's The Best of Shaggy, Universal's The Boombastic Collection contains all the hits missing from its competition including the big one-two punch of "It Wasn't Me" and "Church Heathen." The earlier singles "Boombastic" and "Oh Carolina," plus the electronically pumped cover of "In the Summertime," have carried over from the Virgin set, meaning that when it comes to massively important Shaggy numbers, this one is only missing "That Girl."
The great sequencing of this compilation almost makes up for it and while this disc is packed at 18 tracks long, this is high caliber dancehall the whole way through and varied enough to keep things interesting. Following the singer from the '80s electro dancehall sound to the R&B-injected reggae of 2008 with all the flavors in between, The Boombastic Collection is a near perfect representation of Shaggy's career and a great argument that he's reggae's most popular crossover artist since Bob Marley.
Words: David Jeffries"
The previously mentioned early cuts are included alongside the Maxi Priest duet "That Girl" and the underappreciated "Why You Treat Me So Bad" single. Entertaining cover versions of "In the Summertime" and "Piece of My Heart" seal the deal, while well-chosen album cuts provide the B+ filler. Know that what you're really getting is The Best of the Virgin Years and this set doesn't disappoint.
Words: David Jeffries