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The latest import from Jamaica to heat up your chill blue winter comes in the form of a super-catchy ragamuffin named Shaggy, whose hit, “Lonely Lover”, has been burning up the charts…or at least is a favorite among my friends on Long Island who download it via Napster.


Meshing new jacked 808 beats with a toasting style similar to Shabba Ranks on helium, Shaggy drops ninth grade science all over the course of 14 tracks on Hotshot. Unlike contemporaries such as Beanie Man, Shaggy opts for a more R&B style as opposed to hip-hop; what emerges is music you’d want to play while having sex with a Muppet. The sound is dripping class and sex, yet Shaggy’s hi-froggy drawl negates any possible make-out points because of sheer hilarity…which is not to say that it’s bad in any way, in fact it’s really fun and incredibly catchy. The bizarre cover of “Angel of the Morning” is actually really good blending the original with Steve Miller’s “The Joker”, and some cheesy keyboard sound effects. The shiny yellow packaging also adds to the “ragga-lite” feel of Hotshot, yet there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be seeing this on TRL any day now. Give it up for Shaggy, kids, because he’s good.

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By J. Victoria Sanders
2 May 2002
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