WATCH THIS: Shabba Ranks Rules On Da Reggae Tip 2014

Beenie, Shaggy, Sanchez, and Spice Help the Hot 97 Crew Kick off Labor Day Weekend 2014

This past Friday, just like every other Friday before a Labor Day Weekend in recent memory, a galaxy of reggae and dancehall stars descended on Hot 97’s annual showcase On Da Reggae Tip. Just as in years past, the event was hosted by Bobby Konders and Jabba, whose Sunday-night reggae show has been a fixture on New York’s No. 1 hip-hop station since 1992. And as like in year’s past, there were a few surprise guests from the worlds of R&B, hip-hop, and classic dancehall waiting in the wings. But some things this year were very different, starting with the venue. Instead of the ornate but overcrowded Hammerstein Ballroom, where the perennially sold-out show has always been held, ODRT2014 took place at a much larger outdoor venue, JBL Live at Pier 97 on the edge of Manhattan’s Hudson River. As the sun set on a perfect late-summer evening, the show kicked off with blossoming pop stars like teenage sensation Samantha J, and Tessanne Chin, the Jamaican-born crooner who won the last season of NBC’s The Voice, as well as dancehall acts like Tifa, currently riding high off her single “Bak It Up” and Kranium, the Brooklyn-based DJ whose keep-it-on-the-downlow single “Nobody Has To Know” has made him a name to know. < Full Review And Videos After the Jump…

(Via Mass Appeal)

These were followed by the first couple of soca, Bunji Garlin and his fierce wife Fay Ann Lyons, who got the crowd jumpng and waving their Caribbean flags in preparation for Shaggy to roll through and try to top his performance last year, when he brought surprise guest Super Cat along and blew the whole dancehall universe’s mind. This year Shagsman was joined by Sanchez, the legendary and somewhat elusive dancehall singer, as well as by Ne-Yo, the multi-Grammy-winning R&B star. Both sang their own songs as well as their latest duets with Shaggy, and set the pace for an evening of surprises. Shaggy was also joined by Treach of the New Jersey rap trio Naughty by Nature, but it would have been nice to hear Treach get more into the reggae vibe of the evening rather than performing “O.P.P.” and “Hip-Hop Hooray” (at a reggae show!) and then bouncing. Next up was Spice, who gave a single-handed rendition of “Rampin Shop,” he hit duet with Vybz Kartel. When the blue-wigged dancehall diva launched into the equally X-rated “So Mi Like It”, Hot 97 personalities Ebro Darden and Rosenberg battled over who would get to wine on her, but in the spirit of cross-cultural Spice graciously accomodated them both. The stage was set for Beenie Man who rolled with some R&B firepower of his own, inviting up the former first lady of Murder Inc, Ashanti. Beenie was also joined by Future Fambo to perform their smash hit “Drinking Rum and Red Bull.” Fambo was so caught up in the moment that the “drunken master” of dancehall went crashing right off the side of the stage at one point, leaving the audience wondering whether Fambo’s holiday celebrations might have begun a touch too early? But in any case, he recovered soon enough and played his part in supporting the King of the Dancehall as he turned in yet another successful set. But no sooner had Beenie exited the stage than the Dancehall Emperor stepped on. Wearing black Louis Vuitton boots with gold buckles and black jeans cut off at the ankles, Shabba was in some next level rude-boy mode. Starting with his first song, right until he left the stage to the sounds of A%AP Ferg’s “Shabba (Remix),” the Ranks was in rare form. There is a reason he’s considered a superstar, and just in case anybody on the pier had forgotten, he had the lyrics, the energy, and the moves to make it clear. Although his set itself was a bit rough around the edges—at one point the DJ cued up the “Far East” riddim for Shabba to perform his conscious tune “Just Reality” but he scolded the selector, “Nah man, ‘Wicked Inna Bed'” and the crowd roared its approval. From the smoothed-out sounds of “Housecall” featuring dreadlocked UK crooner Maxi Priest all the way to the digital ragga of “Ting A Ling,” it was Shabba’s sheer, unbridled energy that elevated him beyond every other artist who touched that stage. When Shabba departed the night was still young, but there was nothing left to say or do except to ask, “Where’s that after party?”
Shaggy & Sanchez


Shaggy & Ne-Yo

Ne-Yo / Spice Mashup

Beeenie Man & Ashanti

Beenie Man & Fambo

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