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Cutty Ranks

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Cutty Ranks

Real Name: Philip Thomas
D.O.B: February 12th, 1965
Place of Birth: Kingston, Jamaica

Thomas began his working life as a butcher, and it is tempting to suggest that he continued his DJing career as if he was still working with his cleaver - cutting through rhythms and rivals like slices of meat. Cutty is a friendly and personable character, but his style is strictly no-holds-barred, and his career during the 90s has progressed from strength to strength as a result of his uncompromising musical stance. He first took up the microphone for local sound system Feathertone, and moved on to Stereo Mars, Arrows and Metro Media. He began his recording career for Winston Riley of Techniques Records and then moved to Miami with Skeng Don, learning his craft from Supercat and Nicodemus. He then moved on to Patrick Roberts at Shocking Vibes where he recorded his first - and highly influential - hit, "The Bomber". His next move, to Donovan Germain's Penthouse, further consolidated his popularity, and he hit again with "Pon Me Nozzle". His "rock-stone" ranting attracted the attention of London-based Fashion Records, and his 1990 recording, "The Stopper", became a huge international reggae hit both in the original and hip-hop remix versions.

The album of the same name became a bestseller, while its catchphrases and hooklines have been endlessly sampled and reworked. Cutty has since established himself as one of the foremost exponents of the 90s DJing style. He was even able to deal with a decline in his popularity on record in 1992 with "A Who Seh Me Dun", where he dismissed rivals with his customary blend of venom and humour and emerged victorious. He has only ever worked with the best producers in the business, such as Sly And Robbie, Roof International and the aforementioned Germain, Fashion and Shocking Vibes, and has always resisted the temptation to "voice out" too many tunes for too many producers. "Limb By Limb", a massive hit in the USA in 1993, suggested he would cross over in the same way as fellow travellers Buju Banton and Shabba Ranks.

Encyclopedia of Popular Music
Copyright Muze UK Ltd. 1989 - 2005
Source - BBC Music Profiles

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