Shaggy is finally opening up about the Rihanna album fiasco after members of the Pop singers camp approached him to audition for her upcoming album, which is said to be a Reggae/Dancehall project. He said he didn’t snub the pop star after they approached him to be on the album but rather blames tabloids for sensationalizing the incident.
Fans were outraged at the presumptuousness of the Bajan born singer who they felt disrespected Shaggy by asking him to audition for Rihanna’s pending reggae album, according to news broke by various overseas media. Shaggy is one the most streamed artistes but also the only dancehall artiste to have an album sell over 10 million copies.
He has also won two (2) Grammys –for Best Reggae Album with Boombastic in 1996 and 44/876 with Sting in 2019, and nominated seven (7) times.
According to him, when news broke of Rihanna’s reggae album production, her team reached out to many Jamaican reggae artistes. Shaggy said that when Rihanna’s team reached out to him, he was fine with working with her, but he was taken aback after he was asked to send in music for review.
“My argument is I can and will do it, no problem. But then dem a seh make some songs and send in…,” Shaggy said
Shaggy said the word audition that was used was the wrong word, which is what caused fans to get upset that Rihanna was disrespecting Shaggy. However, he said what happened was that he preferred to meet in the studio with the artiste he is working with, which is how he normally operates.
“That was my fault, mi probably choose the wrong word…but the point I was trying to make is me busy, she is busy, and the magic happen when we in a room together and we can vibe. So dem a say mek some tune and sen go in and if she like dem she do it, and I said ehhh anuh really mi dat.”
Shaggy says he has seen Rihanna on many occasions and has a very pleasant relationship with her. He recalled a Grammy occasion that he was nominated, and Rihanna approached him from behind as she playfully covered his eyes. “Me and her always good, me and her ended up at the Roc Nation party and we end up a chat fi a while so there is no animosity or vibes.”
He added that he is a huge Rihanna supporter. “Mi root fi her more than anything just because she is a Caribbean girl foremost and mi glad say she a come back in a reggae where she start out and it could would give an incredible boost to the genre if she does it.”
Rihanna’s upcoming reggae album would be the first time she would be making reggae music since 2005 when she released Music Of The Sun. Among some of her greatest hits are Cheers from her Loud Album, Break if off feat Sean Paul from her A Girl Like Me album released in 2006. That song peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2007 and remains one of the most memorable songs of that year. She also recorded success with Pon de Replay, and Give me a try remix with Sizzla in 2006. Her Caribbean/ Jamaican influence shines through many of her songs as she uses Patois in her lyrics.
Shaggy, on the other hand, dispelled claims that Rihanna was a culture vulture. “How can you be a culture vulture when you are from the Caribbean?” Shaggy asks. “You can’t take that from her from she talk,” he says- referring to the way Rihanna proudly displays her ‘Caribbean-ness’ including her language and slang, something that has made her stand out as an artiste but also beloved by her millions of fans from around the world who support her for not changing her identity to fit in but rather embraces it and shares her culture with the world.
Meanwhile, Shaggy says the press is to be blamed for the headlines saying he snubbed Rihanna.