54-46 That's My Number
|"54-46 That's My Number"|
|Single by Toots & the Maytals|
|Genre||Ska, Rocksteady, Reggae|
|Label||Beverly's in Jamaica, Pyramid and Trojan in UK|
"54-46 (That's My Number)" is a song by Fred "Toots" Hibbert, recorded by Toots & the Maytals and originally released on the Beverly's label in Jamaica and the Pyramid label in the UK. A follow-up version released a year later (as "54-46 Was My Number") was one of the first ska songs to receive widespread popularity outside Jamaica and is seen as being one of the defining songs of the reggae genre. It has been anthologized repeatedly and the titles of several reggae anthologies include "54-46" in their title.
The lyrics describe Toots' time in prison for an arrest for possession of marijuana. The song features a similar riddim as "Train to Skaville" by Toots & the Maytals' contemporaries The Ethiopians.
The song was covered and released as a single in 1983 by British reggae band Aswad. This single also featured on their 1984 album Rebel Souls. The song was also covered by dancehall star Yellowman. It was later covered on Long Beach, CA-based 1990s ska-punk band Sublime's 1992 album 40 Oz. to Freedom, entitled "5446 That's My Number/Ball and Chain", as well as Buju Banton on his album Inna Heights and Fermín Muguruza in his album Brigadistak Sound System. The ska legend Byron Lee & the Dragonaires covered the song on their 2002 album Shanty Town. An instrumental version of the song can also be found on the album Below the Bassline by Ernest Ranglin.
The introduction of the song was sampled on Afro-Trinidadian American female hip-hop artist, Foxy Brown's single, "Oh Yeah". "Oh Yeah" is a single on Foxy Brown's third album, "Broken Silence".
The bass line to the song forms the basis of the 1989 hit "Street Tuff" by Rebel MC & Double Trouble, and "The Bridge is Over" by KRS-One and " Dub Be Good To Me" by Beats International vs Lindy Layton.
Part of the song was used on the soundtrack to the 2006 film This Is England.
The song was covered and recorded by Fighting Gravity, a band with ska roots from Richmond, Virginia. It was also covered by Earl Stevenson, a contestant on Canadian Idol Season 6, on his first solo release Ghost in 2010.
It was also covered by Vanilla Ice on his 2011 album "WTF".