Okay so, straight up I want to say I’m a huge Shaggy fan. You might not know it to look at me, but ever since seeing him serenade a lucky fan on stage at Rumba (a festival which also featured Bon Jovi, Pink and Abs from 5ive, hello!) with Angel, it’s always been a fantasy of mine. This said, his latest track featuring Mohombi, Faydee and Costi, entitled Habibi (I Need Your Love), really doesn’t do it for me.
Lets start with the good stuff. If nothing else, this is a somewhat meeting of the cultures. We have the Jamaican-born American reggae singer/deejay Shaggy, the singer of Swedish and Congolese origins Mohombi, the Australian singer/songwriter of Lebanese descent in Faydee and the Romanian singer/songwriter Costi. The upbeat dance track is sure to set the dance floor alight and get hips a’swinging, and Shaggy brings his trademark flavour that had me Spotifying (is that a thing yet?) Mr. Bombastic and It Wasn’t Me. Habibi (I Need Your Love) though, left me cold in comparison to Shaggy’s hits of old.
Like the list of represented cultures in the song’s make up, there is a lot going on here. Too much. There’s the reggae vibe from Shaggy, the arabic tones from Faydee and a Spanish essence coming through from Costi. While this sounds cool for the most part, it doesn’t quite work. Habibi (I Need Your Love) has all the ingredients for a ground breaking, interesting track, but there is nothing original here. I’m sure my opinion is unlikely to be a popular one as I can see the song blazing across dance floors the world over and it’s catchy enough to still be stuck in my head, but if that’s the only scale to judge by Pitbull would be the (not only self proclaimed) king of the world. A thought that makes me a little bit sick.