Sting and Shaggy have made an album together. It's called 44/876, and it's out on 4/20. The first single from the album, "Don't Make Me Wait," is at the top of this page. It sounds the way a sunburned person feels when they read the words "BOTTOMLESS PIÑA COLADAS—$3!" It's a reggae-tinged pop song that only breaks out of its mellow when Shaggy sings, straightforwardly, in the first verse, "This is more to me than just gettin' it." It sounds like a collaboration that was always meant to be, in its own strange way: Sting, who fronted The Police and used reggae rhythms to bring the band to superstardom; Shaggy, who, at his peak, made some of the biggest reggae-pop crossover songs of all time.
Rolling Stone ran a feature on the album’s creation this morning. Here’s a section that I’ve read and reread a few times while letting the single loop in my headphones:
If they seem like an unlikely pair, it's hard to imagine two people more delighted by each other's company. Shaggy grabs a bottle of Ting—Jamaican grapefruit soda—out of the fridge: "Remember when I told you about Ting? We gotta get something to mix this with." Sting holds the bottle up next to his face, cracking Shaggy up with the Sting-Ting connection, and asks, "Did you see the lyrics I sent you this morning?"
And, a little later:
A bottle of Jamaican white rum appears, and Shaggy sets to mixing up drinks for the crew. The engineer cues up "Don’t Make Me Wait" and the dancehall star cheerfully sings along. He gives his assessment as the tune ends: "Doesn’t that just sound like something that hundreds of women would get pregnant to?"
This album will taste like Ting and white rum; it will feel like the ocean breeze; it will transport you, momentarily, to a half-decent resort somewhere. This album will, in all likelihood, slap.
Plus, if Shaggy is right—and I'm inclined to trust him—hundreds of very chill babies will be born nine months from today.
Alex Robert Ross is on Twitter.