Shaggy Not Worried About Keeping Streak Alive

Reggae singer says he's used to doubters who say he won't last.

With two recent #1 hits to his name, Shaggy has a lot to live up to with his latest single, the lusty “Freaky Girl.”
The hip-hop-flavored song, which showcases sweet-voiced R&B singer the Kraft on its chorus, has yet to match the impact of “It Wasn’t Me” and “Angel.” Though it hit radio in April, many stations are still spinning “Angel” instead of the new single.

But Shaggy — who will join the Backstreet Boys on tour beginning Friday — says he’s not freaking out.

“It is overwhelming as far as ‘It Wasn’t Me’ and ‘Angel’ are concerned — big, big records,” he said backstage Friday night before his headlining performance at New York’s Z100 Zootopia 2001 concert. “I’m not worried about whether or not I [can] follow it up because I was faced with this [before].”
After each of his previous hits — “Oh Carolina,” “Boombastic” — Shaggy saw his chart success dismissed as a temporary fluke.

“Oh that’s it, he’s over. That’s another reggae artist, they come they go, fly by day, fly by night,” he said, doing his best impression of an uptight industry executive.

Returning to his own speech patterns, Shaggy continued: “You don’t survive this game for 10 years doing this reggae thing if you don’t know what the hell you’re doing. I’m telling you now, I know what the hell I’m doing. You’re gonna get tired of me.”
Shaggy recently shot a video for “Freaky Girl” that the label expects will boost the single’s progress, as should the Backstreet Boys tour, according to his publicist. His Hotshot album jumps from #21 to #11 on next week’s Billboard 200 albums chart, according to SoundScan sales figures released Wednesday (see “Their Cycle Unbroken, Staind To Again Top Albums Chart” ).

The video includes a high-tech twist on the song’s theme. “I go on the computer and start creating my own chicks, my own images and whatnot, and that’s what the video’s all about — I create my own freaky girl,” Shaggy explained.

The pop-reggae survivor will tour with the Backstreet Boys throughout June, July and August (see “Backstreet Boys Announce Venues For Summer Tour” ).