Long live Louie Rankin!


Long live Louie Rankin!

Observer senior writer

Friday, October 04, 2019

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In his tribute to deejay/actor Louie Rankin this week, rapper Nas posted on Instagram : “Louie Rankin. Great working with this man. A legend. In Belly, you stole the show”.

Looking at a scene from Belly in which Buns, the character played by rapper DMX, visits Ox (played by Louie Rankin), it is clear why the American star held the Jamaican in high esteem.

Louie Rankin's delivery is authentic. Right up there with other urban drama figures like Ivan (from The Harder They Come), Priest (in Super Fly) and John Shaft in Shaft.

“Yuh come inna my house, don't you ever bring scare business to me,” Ox snarled. “Yuh looking at di toughest r…cloth Jamaican in the United States of America. I run sh..t, I kill for nothing!”

Louie Rankin died in Ontario, Canada on Monday evening in a motor accident. He died instantly when the vehicle he was driving collided with a transport truck along Highway 89.

Born Leonard Ford in St Thomas, Rankin was 66 years old. He had lived in Toronto for several years.

He earned fame in Belly, the 1998 low-budget movie directed by Hype Williams, who shot to fame during the 1990s as the go-to director for extravagant music videos by Will Smith, TLC and Busta Rhymez.

Prior to his role in Belly, Louie Rankin had measured success as a deejay, scoring a 1992 hit song with Typewriter.

Belly was panned by critics in the United States, but brought in over US$9 million at the box office, earning a tidy profit on its US$3- million budget.

Its cast was hip hop elite. In addition to Nas, it starred DMX, T-Boz of TLC and Method Man, as well as Sean Paul.

As Ivan and Priest did for Jimmy Cliff and Ron O'Neal, Belly made Louie Rankin a revered cult figure. Four years later, he appeared in Shottas, another urban drama with a cast that included Spragga Benz and Ky-Mani Marley.

Also in that movie was DJ Khaled, who is now one of the biggest names in pop music.

He also paid tribute to his fallen friend via Instagram.

“Bless up my @brother_louierankin

Friends over 20 years friendship

from shottas and forever.

Love and prayers for your family

Long live Louie Rankin!”

Louie Rankin appeared alongside Nas and DJ Khaled in the latter's 2016 video for the song, Nas Album Done.

Billboard Magazine reported that Sidiki Morrison, who is reportedly Louie Rankin's manager, said he was filming a movie in Toronto at the time of his death. That project was being funded by iHouse Records, Morrison's company.

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