Mr. Loverman

Album: Rough & Ready Volume 1 (1992)
Charted: 3 40

Songfacts®:

  • Shabba Ranks cultivated an image of a smooth and thrilling ladies' man - something he called his "slackness" - which he embodies in "Mr. Loverman." He built such a legend that rappers a generation later used him as the blingy playboy archetype; on A$ap Ferg's 2013 track "Shabba," he rhymes about wearing eight gold rings like Shabba.
  • The hook and melody are based on the 1988 song "Champion Lover" by the British singer Deborahe Glasgow. Later that year, Shabba released the first version of "Mr. Loverman" with Glasgow doing the female vocals. This version was included on his 1990 album Rappin' With The Ladies.

    After landing a hit with his 1991 Maxi Priest collaboration "Housecall" in 1991, Shabba released a new version of "Mr. Loverman" the following year, this time with his fellow Jamaican Chevelle Franklyn on vocals. This version that hit #23 in the UK and #40 in the US in the summer of 1992 and the one heard in the video.

    But that wasn't the end of it... "Mr. Loverman" was released for the third time in the UK in 1993 as the dancehall sound picked up speed in that territory. This re-issue went to #3.
  • The "Shabba!" vocal that pops up throughout the song came from his song "Housecall," where Maxi Priest shouts out his name. This helped popularize "Shabba!" as a catchphrase that could be used for just about any purpose.
  • Shabba's dancehall style of reggae caught on in the early '90s - his albums As Raw As Ever (1991) and X-tra Naked (1992) both won the Grammy Awards for Best Reggae Album. Ranks paved the way for Shaggy, a Jamaican-American dancehall/reggae singer who had a #1 UK hit with "Oh Carolina" in 1993. Shaggy called himself "Mr. Lover," a clear homage to Shabba's "Mr. Loverman."
  • This was used in the 1992 Laurence Fishburne movie Deep Cover and featured on the soundtrack. The version on the soundtrack is a different mix of the song.
  • Shabba shares the writing credit on this song with Mikey Bennet and Hopeton Lindo, the composers of "Champion Lover."
  • The sketch comedy show In Living Color, which could be very cruel, parodied this song as "Mr. Ugly Man," with the female vocals transformed to:

    Champion lover, don't come home tonight
    Ugly brother if you do don't turn on the light


    Marlon Wayans, who plays ugly Shabba, has lines like:

    If you look up the word "ugly" in dictionary
    Right there you see a picture of me
    All dem say I look like an ugly Bobby Brown

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