Here are a few things I didn’t know about Shaggy, the chart-topping Jamaican reggae-ish singer behind hits like “It Wasn’t Me,” “Angel,” and “Boombastic,” prior to prepping for our interview: He served in the Marines, achieving the rank of lance corporal, and fought in the Persian Gulf; he honed his singing voice during his Jarhead years; he is not named after the stoner Scooby-Doo character; and he’s a happily married man with three daughters.

He’s also very, very funny—although that part I was aware of, having been subjected to his smash tune “It Wasn’t Me” (and butchering it at karaoke) on a number of occasions. Which brings us to the occasion of our chat: the 20th anniversary of the so-called cheating anthem, released on July 8, 2000.

You’re probably aware of the premise. Rikrok, in a last-ditch effort, phones Shaggy for advice on what to do after his girlfriend caught him “butt-naked bangin’ on the bathroom floor” with another woman. Shaggy’s advice? Say those three little words: “It wasn’t me.”

The song’s since become a pop-comedy classic, selling close to 2 million copies, featuring in a number of TV shows, and even birthing what is known as “the Shaggy defense.”  

In an amusing interview, the 51-year-old singer opened up about the history of the song, its cultural impact, and why it’s the perfect song for these confined times.

How are you doing amid the coronavirus pandemic?

I’m stuck in New York. I was coming off a tour in the U.K. and got out the day before they closed the U.K., and I was heading to Jamaica, but because the first cases of the corona were from tourists coming to Jamaica from the U.K., they locked out all flights coming from the U.K. I could have gotten in, because I know some people, but I was on tour performing to 20,000 people a night and doing meet-and-greets, so I didn’t know if I had anything either. And by the time I’d stayed here a week or so to see if I was good, they had closed the airports in Jamaica. My wife and kids and family are there, but unfortunately I’m stuck in my home in New York.

I’m here too. It’s pretty crazy in New York right now.

My uncle drives a bus in New York City, and he says people are just congregating in the back of the bus, bringing babies on board. People are just stupid. I think the country needs a national shutdown and strict martial law to make this work, because people are just not complying.

I read that you were in the Marines, even serving in the Persian Gulf, and that’s where you honed your singing voice?

Source Article