Why Shaggy Took a “Strategic” Step Back From the Spotlight


And while he’s not diminishing the likes of 1995’s Boombastic, which won a Grammy for Best Reggae Album, what came next were some “really credible records,” such as 2007’s “Church Heathen,” which was huge in the Caribbean. The same year he was awarded the Jamaican Order of Distinction as a commander, the higher of two possible honors.

“So people now start to look at you as an iconic figure, much like the one I’m wearing now,” Shaggy continued, lifting up his sweatshirt for the Zoom to show his T-shirt underneath boasting the image of reggae legend Peter Tosh. “You start to get that kind of look and we are now, this generation, new heroes based on the body of work we’ve done and how much these works have lived on.”

Meaning, Shaggy noted, he didn’t really step out of the spotlight so much as purposefully pivot.

“Everything for me is strategic,” he explained. “You go to your aunt’s house and she’s happy to see you. She’s making your bed, she’s cooking for you. You stay there for two weeks, [then] she’s like, ‘Alright, you’re cooking for yourself, you need to take out the garbage.’ You don’t want to overstay your welcome. That’s part of what’s known as longevity, and this is why I’m here.”

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