Reggae vocalist Shaggy was rocketing up the Billboard pop chart with his rap- tinged hit “Boombastic” this week in 1995. U.S. success was the final frontier for Shaggy, who topped the charts in Canada and Europe in 1993 with the song “Oh Carolina.” Born in Jamaica, Shaggy relocated to Brooklyn, New York, as a teenager, earning his nickname in junior high for the wild hair he had then. After high school he enlisted in the Marines because it was the one job from which he could not get fired, he said.
“A lot of people look at combat as this real rough and tough thing,” Shaggy said about his time spent on active duty in the Gulf War. “I mean, there were scary moments and there were fun moments. Most of the time it was just relax. The military is like hurry up and wait. For the whole five months that I was [in the Gulf] we only fought three days of war. The rest was just moving from point A to point B.”
While he served in the Gulf, the music Shaggy had recorded prior to enlisting was making an impact in New York City dance halls and eventually reached armed forces radio.
“I heard one of my songs over there,” Shaggy said. “I’m giving it to the guys, like, ‘Hey, listen to this, this is my song, man.’ They were like, ‘humna-humna-humna crap again.’ They always teased me. They called me the ‘humna-humna kid’ ’cause they couldn’t understand anything I was saying. I guess they never thought I’d be at the top of the chart one day, but hey, neither did I.”
Brandy joined up with Wanya Morris of Boyz II Men back in ’95 for a duet version of “Brokenhearted,” a song from her self-titled debut album.
“I went on tour with Boyz II Men, and we always talked about doing a duet,” Brandy said.
“I was on the airplane on the way to another city and Brandy was there,” Wanya Morris said. “I was listening to her album on the plane and I was like, ‘Yo, we should do a duet of ‘Brokenhearted.’ ”
MTV News went behind the scenes on the set of the video, where we found that a dreamy look can require a lot of unglamorous work. The clip was based on a daydream, and the setting was still a bit beyond reality for 16-year-old Brandy.
“It’s basically a dream, because of course this is not reality,” Brandy said. “I can’t afford a mansion right now, so it’s like I fall asleep and I dream about doing a duet with Wanya and I’m in this big mansion wearing these grown clothes, big beautiful Whitney Houston-type clothes.
“What people do not know about making a video is [that it can make you] very, very stressed out,” she continued. “I’m very tired right now. You can’t really tell because I’m 16 and I have a lot of energy, but it’s stress. It’s hard work. I mean, you have to do stuff over and over and over and over again.”
Brandy had also just taped the pilot for her TV show “Moesha,” where she played a teenager who’s father had just remarried.
Mariah Carey had recently finished her first stab at video directing, on her own clip for “Fantasy,” from her album Daydream. The video was shot at Rye Playland in New York, the vintage art deco amusement park where the Tom Hanks movie “Big” was also filmed. Carey, who roller-bladed and rode a roller coaster in the clip, was joined in it by Wu-Tang Clan rapper Ol’ Dirty Bastard, who rapped on a hip-hop remix of the song.
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