The year 2000 felt like a fresh new time for music and plenty of it was being released, especially in hip-hop, which was all but the voice of young America and dominating radio and video playlists. While Shaggy's vocals are more akin to reggae at face value, his style and aura is very much hip-hop. The Jamaica-born, Brooklyn, N.Y.-raised artist build a huge fan base off his stellar 1995 debut, Boombastic, which introduced a large segment of rap enthusiasts to his sound.
Boombastic would catapult Shaggy to stardom, but his following album, Midnite Lover, failed to make an impact upon its release in 1997, leaving his career in limbo and with a foggy future. But that setback set the stage for a big comeback, which is exactly what Shaggy achieved when he popped back on the scene with his fifth LP, Hot Shot.
Released on Aug. 8, 2000, Hot Shot would become the second highest charting album of that year with over 10 million copies sold worldwide.
To commemorate the album's 15-year anniversary, we picked the five songs from Hot Shot that still moves the crowd and defines the album as a classic.
Did your favorite song make the cut? Check it out below.
Shaggy gifts listeners with an inspirational song with "Keep'n It Real." Co-produced by Shaggy, Shaun "Sting" Pizzonia, and Gordon Dukes, the track is powered by light drums, keys, and handclaps and effectively showcases Shaggy's infectious vocal tone. "When I was young, I used to dream of being rich / Have a lot of houses and cars, couldn't know which one was which / And finding me a chick and getting hitched / Living the fairy-tale life, perfect without a glitch," he recalls. Overall, Shaggy reflects on a time when he thought financial gain was what life was about, only to find out that the simplest things in life generate the most happiness in your life and tough times don't last but tough people do.
"Luv Me, Luv Me" Featuring Samantha Cole
The story behind "Luv Me, Luv Me" is an interesting one. Originally recorded as a collaboration between Shaggy and Janet Jackson for the soundtrack to the 1998 film, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Shaggy requested the song for his album but Jackson's record label, Virgin, refused. This forced Shaggy to re-record a whole new version with dance-pop singer songwriter Samantha Cole in place of Jackson's vocals. While Shaggy called working with Ms. Jackson and her team "the worst experience of his musical career," the revamped version was a success internationally and further boosting Hot Shot's impressive sales.
The album's title track is a reggae-dipped banger that is sure to induce a whine from the most prude rude gal. Shaggy delivers oodles of slick talk all over the beat. "They call me Mr. (Hot Shot), baby, can I do my thing / (Don't Stop) girl, I like the vibe you bring / (Mama) open up and let me in / We can do most anything, tell me do you like to swing," he raps on the hook. The song may not have gotten the fanfare of other tunes on the album, but will get any party started right.
Shaggy had experienced platinum success before with his 1995 LP, Boombastic, but his career would reach heights few could've predicted with the release of his fifth studio album, Hot Shot. Mr. Lover garnered a hit with the fan-favorite, "Angel." Featuring longtime collaborator Rayvon on the guest vocals, the two entertainers make magic and crafted a perfect ballad. The song reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, giving Shaggy another chart-topper to add to his name and a classic song for the listeners to enjoy.
"It Wasn't Me"Featuring Ricardo "RikRok" Ducent
Shaggy's philandering single, "It Wasn't Me," produced by Shaun "Sting" Pizzonia, was one of the more plush efforts on Hot Shot and employed live instrumentation, including guitars, keys and violins. Featuring vocals from RikRok, whom also helped write the track alongside Shaggy, Braun Thompson and Pizzonia, he turned in an unforgettable performance on the hook and the bridge. "It Wasn't Me" was a monster hit domestically and internationally, making Shaggy was one of the biggest winners of 2000.