BORN : 1968
DIED : 29JULY 2012
Born in the Rae Town district of East Kingston, Ranks relocated to Brooklyn in 1981. In 1984 he began recording for the Brooklyn-based Jah Life label and worked with local sound systems such as Mini Mart Hi Power, King Custom Sound and African Love. He became known for his ‘cultural’ lyrics, which contrasted with the prevailing ‘slack’ lyrics of dancehall. In 1988 he worked with producer Whitfield “Witty” Henry on the single “95% Black, 5% White”, a commentary on the state of the US prison system. He went on to record several albums in the 1980s and 1990s, including the Prince Jammy-produced Ghetto Youth Bust in 1994, released on Profile Records.His single “Sodom & Gomorrah”, recorded on the “Tempo” rhythm, dealt with the confrontation between Super Cat and Nitty Gritty at Count Shelly’s record shop that led to Nitty Gritty’s death. In 1997 he contributed to the Easy Star album Easy Star Volume I, and in 2003 to the Easy Star All Stars’ Dub Side of the Moon.
He died on 29 July 2012 as a result of injuries sustained in a car crash in the Stony Hill area of Kingston, aged 44.