Reggae’s most famous rhythm section is suddenly looking like pop’s production team of the moment. Jamaican drum-and-bass duo Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare — known as Sly and Robbie — have recorded with everyone from Bob Dylan to Serge Gainsbourg over their 30-year career, but it’s their latest project, producing No Doubt’s irresistible single ”Hey Baby,” that’s propelling them into the top 40 orbit of producers like the Neptunes.
”Sly and Robbie helped define reggae,” says No Doubt bassist Tony Kanal, ”so it was an honor to create music with such legends.” What’s next? ”We are open for anything challenging,” says Shakespeare. For now, Sly and Robbie are focusing on the follow-up to their Grammy-winning 1998 album, ”Friends,” but Shakespeare won’t spill the beans about future production gigs: ”We like to work in secret. We don’t like announcing stuff before it comes out.” No doubt.