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Anthony Moses Davis (born August 22, 1973), better known by his stage name Beenie Man, is a Jamaicanmarker reggae artist.

Biography

Davis was born in the Waterhouse district of Kingston in 1973. He was involved in the music industry from a young age, starting toasting at the age of five, and was encouraged by his uncle Sydney Wolf, who played drums for Jimmy Cliff. He won the Tastee Talent contest in 1981, and Radio DJ Barry G introduced him to local sound system operators, who helped to establish the popularity of the young deejay, who became known as Beenie Man. He recorded his debut single, "Too Fancy", with record producer Henry "Junjo" Lawes in 1981, with Lawes also including him on the 1983 album Junjo Presents Two Big Sounds alongside established stars such as Dillinger, Fathead, and Ringo. His debut album, The Invincible Beenie Man: The Ten Year Old DJ Wonder was produced by Bunny Lee and released in 1983, his first hit single following the same year with the Winston Holness-produced "Over the Sea". In 1984 Beenie Man recorded some material with Barrington Levy (released ten years later), but his music career was put on hold while he finished school, and spent time travelling to the United Kingdommarker, United Statesmarker, and Canadamarker.

1990s return

Beenie Man continued performing and honed his craft beside the then dominant dancehall figures including Ninjaman, Admiral Bailey and Shabba Ranks. He found his artistic home at the Shocking Vibes studio where he continued to record singles with only moderate success in the early 1990s. His career gained momentum after a performance at the Reggae Sunsplash festival in 1992, and a rivalry with Bounty Killer began the following year after Beenie Man's "people dead" catchphrase was appropriated by the other deejay. The rivalry was captured on the 1994 album Guns Out, with the two artists settling the feud with a soundclash. Beenie Man had his first number one single in Jamaica in 1993 with "Matie", and he won the DJ of the Year Award the same year, the first of eight consecutive awards.

Beenie Man's career suffered a setback when his performance at a show welcoming Nelson Mandela to Jamaica included a song widely condemned as being totally inappropriate, and he was booed offstage, the controversy leading to him leaving Jamaica for a year.

International stardom

Partially as a result of prodding from his producers, Sly and Robbie, with whom he recorded cover versions of Bob Marley's "Crazy Baldheads" and "No Woman No Cry" in 1994, the latter a Jamaican chart-topper, Beenie Man converted to the Rastafari movement, as did several of his contemporaries at the time, although in 2005 he stated "I have not converted. I was baptised an Ethiopian Orthodox and at the age of 10 I became a Judah Coptic." In 1994, he was signed by Island Records and released the critically acclaimed album Blessed, which established his reputation internationally. In 1995 he toured the UK and joined up again with Barrington Levy to record an updated jungle version of Levy's "Under Mi Sensi".

In 1995, Beenie Man collaborated with Dennis Brown and Triston Palmer to release Three Against War and Mad Cobra and Lieutenant Stitchie on Mad Cobra Meets Lt. Stitchie & Beenie Man. He also collaborated with Lady Saw on "Healing", Sanchez on "Refugee", and Michael Prophet on "Gun 'n' Bass", further establishing his reputation. He took another step up the ladder in 1996, releasing the seminal Maestro, produced by Patrick Roberts and shot him to UK fame. During the period from the mid to late 1990s, Beenie Man dominated the Jamaican charts to the extent that he perhaps had a good claim to the crown of "Dancehall King", a title only bestowed previously on Yellowman in the early 1980s.Beenie Man's first real break into the United States came in 1997. He heard an instrumental rhythm by an unknown producer named Jeremy Harding, and demanded to add his voice to the rhythm. So this was the birth of his first international hit; he recorded "Who Am I" and the single quickly went Gold. It opened the doors for the world to see a new reggae star in the pages of Newsweek and other major media outlets. The same year, Beenie Man topped the Jamaican singles chart with seven different singles.

In 1998, Beenie Man headlined Reggae Sunsplash and signed to Virgin Records to release albums in the United Statesmarker. His first American offering was The Doctor (1998). During the late 1990s, Beenie Man began his conquest of America with the hits, "Romie", "Who Am I", and "Girls Dem Sugar", which featured American R&B singer, Mýa. During this time he received an impressive number of international music awards including a MOBO Award for Best International Reggae Act in 1998, while remaining at the top of the local charts. In 2000, Beenie Man released Art & Life, which featured Arturo Sandoval and Wyclef Jean (The Fugees), for which received a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album. In the same year he co-produced (with Wyclef Jean) the debut album by actor Steven Seagal. Beenie Man, like many dancehall artists is outspoken on a number of social issues, as exemplified by songs such as "Steve Biko" and "Murderer".

In 2002, he had a sizeable hit with a duet with Janet Jackson called "Feel It Boy", but his biggest break in America came in early 2004 with the release of a remix of "Dude", featuring guest vocals by fellow Jamaican Ms. Thing, as well as rhymes by Shawnna. He thus cemented his fan base on both sides of the Atlantic.

He had hits in the UK in 1998 with "Who am I" (#10), in 2003 with "Street Life" (#13) and "Feel It Boy" (UK #9), a duet with Janet Jackson, and in 2004 with "Dude" (#7) and "King of the Dancehall" (#14).

He was also a judge for the 6th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers.

In April 2008 it was announced that Beenie Man was to co-write and star in the film Kingston.

In September 2008 Beenie Man was cleared of charges of tax evasion.

In April 2009, Beenie Man signed with Brookland Entertainment, a new record label formed by Eric Nicks and The Trackmasters, in preparation to release his new album, "The Legend Returns". The music video for the release of his new single “Gimme Gimme” will be shot in Canada on April 18, 2009.

Personal life

Beenie Man married Michelle Downer also known as D'Angel on 22 August 2006 in a lavish ceremony in Jamaica. The pair set up the MAFIA House Production Company together. They have a son together, Marco Dean, born in November 2006. Their relationship, however, was short-lived. In June 2007, Beenie Man separated from his wife; they remain estranged though are still married. In 2007, Beenie Man stated on Jamaican television that they would be getting divorced.

Controversy

The lyrics to some of his songs have been criticized for inciting the murder of homosexuals, with lyrics such as, "I'm dreaming of a new Jamaica, come to execute all the gays". In "Mi Nah Wallah", he says he would like to cut the throats of all gay men. In "Bad Man Chi Chi Man" the lyric instructs listeners to kill gay deejays, and in "Han Up Deh", the lyric suggests hanging lesbians with a long piece of rope. MTV had plans to include Beenie Man in their roster of performers at the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards but after protests MTV decided to exclude him. In 2004, with a concert in England being cancelled due to his lyrics after he was stopped by police at Heathrow Airportmarker when entering the country, and amid fears of further cancellations, Beenie Man issued an apology through his record company: "While my lyrics are very personal, I do not write them with the intent of purposefully hurting or maligning others, and I offer my sincerest apologies to those who might have been offended, threatened or hurt by my songs." The apology was dismissed as a stunt by gay rights campaigners. In 2005, however, gay rights group OutRage! suspended their opposition to Beenie Man after he agreed not to play songs featuring homophobic lyrics, and he performed in London that year. In 2006, he claimed that he was not homophobic, and claimed that his lyrics had been misconstrued, and that his references to homosexuals refer to the rape of boys by child molesters:

In 2007, it was reported that Beenie Man had signed the Reggae Compassionate Act, a petition organized by the Stop Murder Music campaign, agreeing to renounce homophobia and desist from writing and performing lyrics promoting violence against gay people. He later denied that he had signed the act, stating "We don't need to kill dem. We just need fi tell the people dem the right ting because I not supporting a gay lifestyle because it's not wholesome to me."

His apparent ambivalence has been interpreted as opportunism or duplicity within some quarters of the LGBT community, who cite the above statement as evidence that he has not resiled from his antigay lyrics. There were protests from gay rights groups in New Zealand when Beenie Man was initially announced as part of the lineup for the Big Day Out music festival in Auckland to be held in January 2010. GayNZ.com and other LGBT groups and individuals called on Big Day Out organisers to rescind the invitation to Beenie Man to perform at the event, and over 850 people joined a Facebook group protesting his appearance.

On 15 November 2009, Big Day Out organisers announced they were dropping Beenie Man from the line up, saying "the depth of feeling and hurt amongst these groups has convinced us that for us to proceed with his Big Day Out appearances was, and would continue to be, divisive amongst our audience members and would mar the enjoyment of the event for many."

Discography

Albums

Studio albums

  • 1983: The Invincible Beenie Man: The Incredible Ten Year Old DJ Wonder - Bunny Lee
  • 1992: Cool Cool Rider
  • 1994: Dis Unu Fi Hear - High Tone
  • 1994: Defend It VP
  • 1994: Guns Out with Bounty Killer - Greensleeves
  • 1995: Blessed - Island
  • 1995: Maestro = Greensleeves
  • 1995: Mad Cobra Meets Lt. Stitchie & Beenie Man - VP
  • 1997: Many Moods Of Moses - Greensleeves
  • 1999: Y2K - Artists Only
  • 1999: Ruff N Tuff
  • 1999: The Doctor - VP
  • 2000: Art and Life - Virgin
  • 2001: Black Liberty
  • 2001: Youth Quake
  • 2002: Tropical Storm
  • 2004: Back To Basics
  • 2006: Concept Of Life
  • 2006: Hundred Dollar Bag
  • 2006: Undisputed
  • 2007: Monsters of Dancehall
  • 2009: The Legend Returns


Compilations



Live albums

  • 2004: Live In San Francisco


Mixtapes and unofficial releases

  • 2000: Trendsetter
  • 2004: Cool Cool Rider - The Roots Of A Dancehall Don
  • 2006: Its Ah! Beenie (riddim mixtape)
  • 2007: Monsters of Dancehall


Singles



Featured singles

  • 1996: "Hands In the Air" (Doug E. Fresh featuring Beenie Man)
  • 1999: "Outa Space (UFOs)" (Machel Montano featuring Beenie Man); album Any Minute Now
  • 2000: "Money" (Jamelia featuring Beenie Man)
  • 2001: "I'm Serious" (T.I. featuring Beenie Man)
  • 2004: "Compton" (Guerilla Black featuring Beenie Man)
  • 2005: "Soul on Fire" (KMC featuring Beenie Man)
  • 2006: "Zingy" (Ak'Sent featuring Beenie Man)
  • 2006: "Flow Natural" (Tito El Bambino featuring Deevani and Beenie Man)
  • 2006: "Heaven Baby" (Brooke Hogan featuring Beenie Man)
  • 2006: "Dreaming of You" (featuring Alaine)
  • 2007: "Back It Up"
  • 2008: "Better than Dem" (Natasja featuring Beenie Man)
  • 2008: "Scorpion" Nisha B. featuring Beenie Man
  • 2008: "Burnin' Burnin" (Ms.Triniti featuring Beenie Man)
  • 2009: "Get It On" (Rasun ft. Beenie Man)
  • 2009: "Giggle" (Busta Rhymes ft. Beenie Man)
  • 2009: "Woman"
  • 2009: "International" (Chali 2na ft. Beenie Man)


Notes

  1. Roper, Rasheen (2005) " One-0n-One with Beenie Man - Pursue whatever you desire", Jamaica Observer, 18 January 2005
  2. Jackson, Kevin (2003) " 25 years of top class music from Beenie Man", Jamaica Observer, 22 August 2003
  3. Rodgers, Jennifer (1998) " Music: Toasting the many moods of Beenie Man", The Independent, 6 February 1998
  4. Beenie Man Plays NYC - News Story | Music, Celebrity, Artist News | MTV News
  5. "Beenie Man blames government for problems". October 31, 2007.
  6. "Beenie Man Apologies To JLP Government", Hardbeatnews. New York, NY, Thurs. Nov. 1, 2007.
  7. Beenie Man, ChartStats
  8. Independent Music Awards - 6th Annual Judges
  9. Peru, Yasmine (2008) " Beenie Man to co-write, star in movie", Jamaica Observer, 25 April 2008
  10. Reggae artist Beenie Man faces arrest in tax case | Entertainment | Reuters
  11. " Beenie Man cleared of tax evasion", BBC, 1 October 2008
  12. Henry, Roland & Edwards, Debra (2007) " Beenie Man and D'Angel in furniture fight", Jamaica Observer, 15 August 2007
  13. "Battybwoys affi dead:" Action against homophobia in Jamaica
  14. Clennell, Andrew (2004) " Beenie Man offers apology for his homophobic lyrics", The Independent, 4 August 2004
  15. (August 26, 2004). MTV bars Beenie Man as gays plan protest USA Today. Accessed June 22, 2008.
  16. Branigan, Tania (2004) " Beenie Man concert axed over homophobia fears", The Guardian, 25 June 2004
  17. " Beenie Man gets London reprieve ", BBC, 18 March 2005
  18. Swash, Rosie (2007) " Beenie Man, Sizzla and Capleton renounce homophobia", The Guardian, 14 June 2007
  19. Wright, Keril (2007) " Beenie Man denies signing deal with gay group", Jamaica Observer, 22 July 2007
  20. Goh, Esther (2009) " Controversial anti-gay rapper to perform at Big Day Out", The New Zealand Herald, November 12 2009
  21. http://www.gaynz.com/articles/publish/2/article_8164.php


References



Further reading

  • Wray, Milton: Who Am I?: The Untold Story of Beenie Man, 2008, Great House/Omnimedia, Kingston, Jamaica, ISBN 978-9769519930


External links




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