King Of The Dancehall Beenie Man has taken umbrage to Dancehall music being repackaged under other titles and by other genres. In an interview on the Zeze Millz Show yesterday, the Who Am I deejay lamented the misuse of terms such as ‘ragga’ or ‘bashment’ when describing Dancehall, which he says is the source for many of the world’s contemporary sounds.
When asked whether he felt the genre as a whole gets its due recognition worldwide, the veteran responded, “No they’re not giving it but they know it, because every time you see one a dem, dem call you ‘sir’,or they call you ‘mister’, ‘Sir Beenie Man, how are you sir?’, that means they know where the music is coming from.”
He continued, “But if a man give you props, you’re taking away his streets credit. You as an artist supposed to know that if yuh learn from that man you’re supposed to give that man his honour whether you sing it in a song or you say it live or you say it anywhere.”
In his illustrious four-decade career, Beenie Man has seen the summit of global charts, with the likes of Akon, The Neptunes, Nicki Minaj, and Janet Jackson gracing his catalog. The lifelong advocate for Jamaican music also took offense to dancehall’s other labels, in particular the term ‘bashment’ used in the UK, which he says further undermines the extent of the genre’s influence.
“Bashment, a dat dem call Dancehall yuh see it, dem mash up the name of Dancehall and call it bashment. How can you have a music name basement?” he said. “Yuh know what is bashment? How you dress, how you put on your clothes, how you look inna your clothes. How can you style my music as bashment? That is disrespect to my culture enuh.”
“Yuh can’t style music as bashment,” Beenie added. “Dat mean yuh a call it ‘passa passa’ and ‘mix up’, you can’t do that, that is disrespect to my music. My music is Dancehall, it have one name and no other name, Dancehall.”
Giving examples, Beenie Man asserted that the music had been infiltrated to Dancehall’s detriment, and that those acts were already claiming the genre’s rewards.
“Dem thief the music, how we ago get di flowers if dem thief di music,” Beenie Man said. “Dem fuse and dem thief the music, dem refuse fi do justice and give us the rights, so you hear seh Big Mountain is the biggest reggae group from America and Lucky Dube is one of the biggest reggae artist in the world.”
Beenie also took offense to international publications who have labeled songs laid on Dancehall sounds, such as Rihanna’s Work and Justin Bieber’s Sorry and What Do You Mean, as “Caribbean or Tropical House-flavored beats”.
“You tek my music, yuh suppose to doh change the name,” he said. “Is Dancehall, cause yuh tek it off a Dancehall, original riddim. We do not get the respect that wi suppose to have, because dem wan steal the music.”
Dancehall’s Unruly Boss Popcaan is currently quarantined in England but is totally tuned in to the Doctor’s defensive remarks. The OVO signee and frequent hip hop collaborator wrote on his Instagram Story in response, “salute uncle moses, make them know!!!”