“Belly” Actor & Dancehall Artist Louie “OX” Rankin Has Passed Away
Details are emerging surrounding the death of actor and musician Louis Rankin. Often known as “Ox,” that nickname was also the role for Rankin (born Leonard Ford) in Hype Williams’ 1998 film, Belly, starring opposite DMX, Nas, and others. According to TMZ, the Jamaican-born artist died Monday (September 30) in an automobile accident in Ontario, Canada.
Remembered for portraying a Jamaican kingpin in Williams’ film, Rankin’s real-life persona was similar. In interviews and clips, he was insistent on being authentic and giving back to the poor communities, including Rockfort and East Kingston, areas where he grew up. On and off-screen, he referred to himself as “The Original Don Dada.” In 2016, he revived the “Ox” role for a part in DJ Khaled and Nas’ music video for “Nas Album Done.” Rankin also appeared in films including Shottas and We Run The Streets.
More than five years before Belly, Rankin released two DanceHall albums: 1992’s Showtime, and Lethal Weapon one year later. 1992’s “Typewriter,” produced by The Trackmasters, garnered acclaim. The music video version, embedded below, featured a verse from Red Hot Lover Tone of the hit-making production collective. Sometimes credited as “Louie Ranking,” he previously recorded an album, Tidal Wave, in the early ’80s, which featured some early Rap and Reggae fusions.
Ambrosia For Heads extends condolences to the family, friends, and fans of Louie Rankin.
#BonusBeat: Louie Rankin’s “Typewriter,” featuring Red Hot Lover Tone: