BY: JODEE BROWN
As Reggae Sumfest kicks into gear, one prominent Jamaican superstar receives a warm welcome back to the island while another won’t be heading back in time for the week-long stage show.
Multiple Grammy-winning Dancehall superstar,Shabba Ranks has returned home for the first time since 2001 as he prepares to perform at the 20th edition of Reggae Sumfest this week in Montego Bay. The internationally acclaimed superstar, renowned for classics such asBedroom Bully, Ting a Ling and Trailer Load arrived at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston on Monday to a rousing welcome from his Jamaican fans who’ve long awaited his re-emergence on the local scene.
Perhaps the greatest evidence that Jamaicans still have love for Shabba Ranks was during a tour of his native Olympic Gardens as fans rushed a vehicle carrying the beloved deejay through the neighborhood.
“It’s always great fi deh inna mi island because, as mi bigger brother seh, when you check it out, nowhere nuh better than yard. This is the land of my birth, this is Jamaica, the land of my birth. Nuh matta wha gwaan, no matter how mi travel the world, nuh matter wha mi do inna the world, mi age paper mark Sturge Town, St Ann,” Shabba told the Jamaica Gleaner.
Shabba Ranks’ highly regarded mother, Mama Christiewas elated to finally see her son again.
“I feel great, wonderful and I am thankful that God has spared my life after 11 years to see my son Shabba Ranks back in Jamaica to give his people what they deserve,” she said.
Shabba Ranks will perform on Friday night at International Night 1 alongside Tarrus Riley, Tessanne Chin, Sophia Brown and Award-winning American R&B superstar, Trey Songz.
On a separate note, a fellow Dancehall megastar will not be able to return home in time forReggae Sumfest as prominent singjay, Mavado has ruled out any availability for the ongoing stage show. According to Mavado’s manager, Julian Jones-Griffith, Mavado was approached by Sumfest organizers to perform at the show but declined the invitation due to scheduling issues.
Currently, Mavado is in the United States where he’s reportedly recording material for a new mixtape as well as his third studio album.