Louie Rankin, the Jamaican actor and Grammy-winning dancehall reggae artist best known for playing “Ox” in the 1998 movie “Belly,” has died in a car crash on September 30, 2019, in Canada. Representatives for the music and movie star tweeted from Rankin’s account hours after his death to confirm the news. He was 55.
“It saddens us to have to announce that The “ORIGINAL DON DADA” “Trail Blazer” the legend – Louie Ox Rankin passed away this morning! May God keep his soul with his father, sister and (niece) in #heaven,” the tweet read.
Rankin was born Leonard Forbes in St. Thomas, Jamaica, and grew up in Rockfort, Warika Hill and East Kingston, according to his record label. Rankin is survived by his wife of more than 30 years and his seven children, according to Tallawah Magazine.
1. Rankin Was in a Crash With a Transport Truck in Ontario, TMZ Reports
Louie Rankin was killed in a car crash involving a transport truck in Ontario, Canada, according to TMZ. Few details of the crash that left Rankin dead have been released. His social media pages show that he had been living in Toronto before his death.
Police in Ontario did not immediately respond to a request from Heavy for details on the fatal crash that tragically claimed the Jamaican star’s life.
But friends say Rankin was killed in a crash that occurred the morning of Monday, September 30, in Melancthon Township, on Highway 89 near Shelburne. The Ontario Provincial Police tweeted that the fatal crash was under investigation.
According to Global News, the crash involved a passenger vehicle and a transport truck and occurred at 4th Line and County Road 12 on Highway 89.
“We got the call at 9:17 a.m. this morning. Both vehicles were single occupants – one person in each vehicle,” Dufferin Ontario Provincial Police Constable Shannon Gordanier told Global News. “We’re waiting for the traffic collision investigation team to attend the location and help us determine exactly what did happen. We’re not speculating at this time.”
Gordanier told Global News the man in the passenger vehicle, who friends say was Rankin, died at the scene. The driver of the transport truck was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries.
2. He Starred in ‘Belly’ as the Jamaican Gangster ‘Ox’ Alongside Nas & DMX
Rankin is best known for playing the role of Jamaican gangster Lennox, “Ox,” in the 1998 movie “Belly,” which also starred rappers Nas and DMX.
Rankin also appeared in 2002’s “Shotta” as Teddy Bruckshut, and in “We Run the Streets” in 2014 as Choppa. According to his Instagram page, Rankin was on set in Toronto filming a new movie a day before his death.
He told Tallawah Magazine in 2014, “My life was changed when I did ‘Belly’ because it became one of the biggest ever blockbusters in gangster movie history. It was like a version of ‘Scarface.’ So it had a major impact and did a lot for me as an actor. So I’ve come a long way, done a lot. The older folks know me as Louie Rankin, but the younger generation call me Teddy Bruckshot.”
Rankin reunited with his “Belly” co-star Nas in 2016 for a role in the music video for DJ Khaled’s song, “Nas Album Done.”
3. Rankin Called Himself ‘Original Don Dada in His Music Career & He Recently Finished a New Album
In his music career, Rankin often referred to himself as “Original Don Dada.” Rankin released several albums, with his most popular single being 1992’s “Typewriter.” The song featured fellow artist Red Hot Lover Tone and won a Grammy Award.
Rankin posted on social media that he had recently completed a new album, writing, #AlbumDone” and “#ReturnOfTheDonDaDa.” He posted on Instagram two days before his death, “That album bout to drop!!! Can you smell what the Ox is cooking?!”
4. He Grew Up in Jamaica & Performed Around the World, Before Settling in Toronto
Rankin grew up in Jamaica and attended Trinitvyille Secondary School before getting into the entertainment business. He performed in the United States, Canada and around the world during his music career.
Rankin has lived in Toronto for several years and had become a huge Toronto Raptors fan, often posting about the team on social media, especially this past season, as the Raptors won the NBA title. Fans paid tribute to Rankin after his death on the team’s Reddit board, sharing his “epic rant” he posted before the NBA Finals.
He talked to Hype Off Life earlier in 2019 about his love for the Raptors, his upbringing in Jamaica and his hit single “Typewriter.” The interview can be found here.
In 2014, he talked about his wife in an interview with Tallawah Magazine.
“My wife is good, man, that’s why I’ve been with her all this time. She is a Jamaican, and she knows where I’m coming from. She saw me go through the grind and the struggle. She’s always there; she accepts it. A lot of times when I go out, women go crazy over me, but she doesn’t mind that. She already knows she’s The One. She knows her place. So I love her,” he said.
Rankin added, “I’m successful, so I give God thanks for that. I can’t complain. I’m living good. And none of my family is hungry. Beenie Man says his money pile up; mine is like uncountable right now. So I wouldn’t complain.”
5. Tributes to Rankin, Calling Him a ‘Legend,’ Have Poured in on Social Media
Fellow dancehall artist Popcaan wrote on Instagram after Rankin’s death, “Legends don’t die!!!! It is very unfortunate what happen to you fam … but god knows best.. rest up fada Louie your memories are forever..!!! @louie_rankin.”
Rankin’s Facebook profile is filled with tributes to the musician and actor.
“The legend himself Louie OX Rankin Back in the days in Brooklyn even then your were a star . R.i. P Brenton,” Skipper Vibes wrote, sharing a video of Rankin performing in 1990.
Cayenne King wrote on Facebook, “Bless up our Jamaican elder Louie OX Rankin aka Teddy Bruckshut Da Original Don Dada from Belly and Shottas ?????? #RIP #SALUTE ??”
Mikah Kemet Lambz wrote, “So shocked to Learn this news ? It was a blissing to have reasoned and chilled with the Original Don Dadda Louie OX Rankin!! Truly a Star!! You will be truly missed! You will always be the Original!! Forever RISE in Power!!”
Jordan Detlor said, “Rest In Paradise Louie OX Rankin… I never met a man with such a Huge Heart and So much Genuine Respect for His Family / Friends and anyone he met. Everyone that knows OX aka Teddy Bruckshot aka The General aka The Original Don Dada…. KNOWS…. He was a REAL ONE and will be Greatly Missed.. He Blessed EVERYONE he encountered with his positive energy and Realness. Grateful to of been able to experience his humbling presence first hand.”
Chris Larceny wrote, “You Will Truly Forever Be Missed My Brother @ Louie OX Rankin, I’m really Hurt By this News! ..I was selfishly Complaining how things aren’t where I want them to be & then my inner voice screamed Things could be worse! I pray for your Beautiful Family @ Julie Sykes & regret that we didn’t get to work but Greatful that you were a Blessing & True friend RIP to You My Brother!?????????”
Don Mark Mahadeo said on Facebook, “Louie OX Rankin Sad to hear of your passing, thank you for your music n movies you starred in you leave a great legacy behind!! ??”