Big Yard mix

I get sick of all the purism exhibited by people who know a little about reggae and are desperate to defend their cred. In their clamour to appear hip, they make a completely false distinction between “real” reggae and artists such as Sean Paul, Maxi Priest and especially Shaggy.

At the bottom line this approach fails to understand that most reggae is (and has always been) pop music. It also misses the point that each of these artists is versatile and cannot just be dismissed as a top 40 crossover act.

Shaggy is perhaps the best example of someone who is able to produce the odd top 40 hit but whose output is mostly tunes which are released on seven inch, on riddims which also feature versions by his less pop JA contemporaries. His Big Yard label has also released a stack of great tunes by other people.

Last year I did a little mix of this stuff for my own amusement and then promptly forgot about it.

I was reminded of this all recently when yet another thread appeared on an internet discussion forum slagging off Shaggy and decided to unearth said mix. It’s about half an hour long and is quite rough and ready. It was done before the release of Big Yard’s wicked take on 007/Shanty Town so that is not included. It also misses off the bonkers acid-ragga tunes which appear as the last few tunes of my Bounce Me Back To 98 mix for blogariddims.


  1. I dunno. Hes got skills obviously, but hes more of a pop artist that occasionally puts out a good 7″. Offhand I can only think of about 5 or 6 decent tunes he’s put out since the mid 90s.

    Isn’t there also a distinction to be made between reggae artists who crossover by diluting their sound (shaggy, sean paul (?), Bounty etc…), and artists who’ve had hits without compromising (Beenie, Vegas, Cham).

    If you watch MTV base on Friday nights they have a ‘DJ takeover’ section where they play dancehall and reggae for a couple of hours, and the difference between the two approaches is clear as night and day.

  2. nothing wrong with Shaggy – still love all the early hits like pum pum shorts. i still can’t believe he got away with those lyrics on the Disney channel – i think he changed a couple of words around when he opened for backstreet boys. a lot of the crossover has to do with the label/a&r folks involvement

  3. He did a tune called ‘Pum Pum shorts’? I know the Joseph Stepper and Red dragon tunes of the same name, but haven’t heard that one.

  4. thanks! as someone who knows eff all about reggae, relatively speaking, i like shaggy and sean paul a lot. i’m probably a reggae purist’s worst nightmare actually, i even have a ukg chipmunked remix of ‘it wasn’t me’ somewhere haha.

    now, draw for the reggae pop cover versions mix! 🙂

    btw i spent most of my recent holiday in spain listening to yours and paul’s lyric maker blogariddims.

  5. i have a shaggy rayvon tune on 12″ as pum pum shorts – i think it’s on “pure pleasure” as well, but called something different – must be “nice and lovely” but not sure

  6. Shaggy has done plenty good, both in getting the dancehall sound out to a wider audioence, as well as putting out several cracking tunes. The flatbush remix by Bobby Konders of “Oh Carolina” is awesome hiphop reggae. Last summer the tune Church Heathen, + riddim really tore it, and his voice on that riddem is the best I have heard of it.

  7. Shaggy’s been smacking it in the past few years (Wild 2 Nite, Stand Up & Fight, VIP riddim, Dancehall Rock riddim, Limbo riddim etc). And yeah some of his 90s stuff (Mampie, Big Up, Oh Carolina, Showtime riddim) is wicked too. Big Yard productions are almost always great too, versatile as well, looking fwd to hearing the mix.

    I dunno about the diluted/not diluted dichotomy droid presents though – Beenie and Cham have done some of the lamest and worst attempts at crossover in the past (Cham & Jentina? Beenie & Janet?), and sean paul’s style has been pretty consistent since the late 90s and his first album i think.

    certainly it’s true that shaggy’s output at the turn of the century was pretty horrible, though it wasn’t me is a big tune.

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