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Cutty Ranks

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Cutty Ranks, born Philip Thomas in Jamaica in 1965, is a reggae and dancehall artist. His stage name stems from his sometime employment as a butcher.

At the age of 14, he began his career as a reggae artist on sound systems such as Gemini, Rebel Tone, and Papa Roots. Early on in his dee jaying career he was influenced by Josey Wales. He joined Killamanjaro where he worked alongside Early B, Super Cat, Puddy Roots, and Little Twitch. His prominence on sound systems evolved in the mid-to-late 1980s on SturMars and Metromedia, alongside famed selectors Danny Dread and Skyjuice.

During the 80s, Cutty Ranks’ debut single “Gunman Lyrics” was recorded for Winston Riley’s Techniques label. He also recorded such tracks as “Out Of Hand” and “Fishman Lyrics” with Riley and in 1990 he joined Donovan Germain’s Penthouse label.

In 1991, he released his first album entitled The Stopper, following this up with album Lethal Weapon in the same year, featuring singers such as Marcia Griffiths, Dennis Brown, Wayne Wonder, and Beres Hammond. His follow up album releases were From Mi Heart, and Six Million Ways to Die which was put out on Priority Records in 1996. Six Million Ways to Die included a hip hop remix of Ranks’ song “A Who Seh Me Dun” which was voiced earlier over the Bam Bam riddim in 1992. In 2000, he released the album Back With A Vengeance produced by King Jammy. This album saw Ranks venture into other musical styles, including hip hop and dancehall.

Cutty Ranks has been influential outside the world of dancehall, particularly in the field of drum ‘n’ bass. His vocals have been frequently sampled and his songs remixed by artists such as Goldie and DJ Skratch Bastid with Scratch of The Roots.

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