Philip Thomas February 12 1965, Clarendon Parish, Jamaica
In 1965, Thomas was born in Clarendon Parish, Jamaica, and grew up in the area. When he was only eleven years old, he started out as a reggae artist. This was after performing with local sound systems, then moving on to work with the Gemini sound system. This was before moving on to work with Tony Rebel’s Rebel Tone and Papa Roots, as well as working with Stereo Mars, Arrows and Metro Media. As a member of Killamanjaro, he recorded alongside Early B, Super Cat, Puddy Roots, and Little Twitch, and as a member of Sturmars, he performed alongside Josey Wales, Nicodemus, Super Cat, U Brown, and Yami Bolo, among others. His first job after leaving school was as a butcher.
Ranks was then signed to Winston Riley’s Techniques label in 1986, and his debut single was recorded for the Arrows sound system during the eighties. In addition to recording such tracks as “Out of Hand” and “Fishman Lyrics” with Riley, he worked in Miami with Super Cat and Nicodemus before working for Patrick Roberts’ Shocking Vibes label, releasing the single “The Bomber” in 1990. As a result of joining Donovan Germain’s Penthouse label in 1990, he enjoyed the success of “Pon Mi Nozzle” when he joined the label.
As a result of his involvement with London-based Fashion Records in 1991, Ranks published “The Stopper” and his debut album of the same name for Fashion Records. In the same year, Ranks issued the record Lethal Weapon for Penthouse, which featured singers such as Marcia Griffiths, Dennis Brown, Wayne Wonder, and Beres Hammond, as well as several others. In 1996, he released two follow-up albums called From Mi Heart and Six Million Ways to Die on Priority Records. Ranks’ song “A Who Seh Me Dun,” which had been voiced over a Bam Bam riddim in 1992, was included in Six Million Ways to Die as a hip hop remix. The album Back with a Vengeance, which was produced by King Jammy, was released in 2000. With the release of this album, Ranks ventured into other musical styles, including hip hop and dancehall.