Bobby Digital, the reggae producer who helped create the ubiquitous Shabba Ranks hit “Dem Bow,” died May 21, the New York Times reports. He was 59 years old and died due to kidney disease, his son said. Born Robert Dixon in Kingston, Jamaica, he was present as dancehall music went electronic in the mid-1980s. Digital learned from digital dancehall innovator King Jammy and eventually started his own label and studio, both called Digital B. He began working with Shabba Ranks in the late ’80s, soon after creating the hit “Dem Bow,” now a prominent sample in pop music worldwide through its creation of the dembow riddim. His early ’90s work with Shabba Ranks led the group to two Grammy Awards for their albums As Raw As Ever and X-Tra Naked. Digital later worked with musicians including Sanchez, Garnett Silk, Morgan Heritage, and Sizzla, while his music has been sampled by musicians as prominent as Jay-Z and 50 Cent. Recently, VP Records issued a two-volume collection of Digital’s music, X-Tra Wicked and Serious Times.
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