There were a few things that A$AP Ferg wanted to accomplish with the video for his new single, “Shabba.” Of course the Harlem native wanted to continue to establish himself as a rap star, but he also wanted to spotlight his entire A$AP crew and finally pay homage to dancehall legend Shabba Ranks, who he named the song after.
Shabba’s 1990s reggae reign with songs like “Mr. Loverman,” “Trailer Load a Girls” and “Ting-a-Ling” may predate A$AP’s rise by nearly two decades, but Ferg was still able to bridge the generation gap and get the Jamaican-born star to appear in his vid.
“That’s actually the real Shabba Ranks, live in effect right here,” Ferg told MTV News on Thursday when he sat down and gave us a frame-by-frame breakdown of the video he premiered earlier this week.
The vid was shot by A$AP Rocky in a Yonkers, New York, mansion, and during one scene, Ferg and his Harlem crew are having a house party in what is supposed to be Shabba’s home, without his knowledge, so when Ranks returns, he is plenty surprised.
“We found him — it’s very rare, man. Our peoples reached out to his peoples and we finally got a hold of the legend,” Ferg said of how the whole thing came together.
The “Shabba” track will appear on Ferg’s debut album, Trap Lord, and is as rambunctious as his first single, “Work.” What sets this new song apart, however, is Ferg’s distinct Caribbean bounce. “Two shots to a bumbaclot mon/ Shabba Ranks, let it go in ya brain,” he raps in patois.
Then, of course, there is the song’s chorus: “Eight gold rings like I’m Sha-Shabba Ranks/ Four gold chains like I’m Sha-Shabba Ranks/ One gold tooth like I’m Sha-Shabba Ranks.”
Even if the dancehall veteran wasn’t aware of A$AP Mob before, they are definitely on his radar now. “His kids, in fact, love us,” Ferg said. “His kids kinda put him on game with the whole A$AP movement.”