BEENIE MAN: Two decades later
AFTER a low-key 2012, Beenie Man is looking forward to a return to the charts with a bang this year. Though he had a strong seller last year with Dweet Again, the hits did not flow for the self-proclaimed King of the Dancehall, who has been a chart-rider since the early 1990s.
On Christmas Day, he got a hostile reaction for a lacklustre performance at the GT Taylor Extravaganza in St Elizabeth.
In an interview with Splash, an upbeat Beenie Man was philosophical. He said it is impossible for any artiste to be on top forever.
"I realise that one cannot be the man of the moment forever. It's just not going to happen," he said. "Look at Usher and Chris Brown, where can they walk into Michael Jackson's shoes? That shows that music has a cycle, and you cannot be the man of the moment for 21 years, but you can be The Man for life. Simple," he added with a laugh.
Dweet Again, produced by Rohan 'Snowcone' Fuller, did well locally. Another single, Gunshot, a combination with hip hop star Nicki Minaj, generated over two million hits on YouTube.
Dweet Again is also the title of Beenie Man's next album, due for release in March by Universal Records. Among the producers working on the album are Stephen McGregor and Sean 'Seanizzle' Reid Away from the dancehall, Beenie Man attemped to enter this year's Power Soca and Groovy Soca Monarch competitions in Trinidad and Tobago, one of the biggest shows at TT Carnival, but his submissions were late.
"The problem is that we have been touring hard overseas and I tried to get both songs done in time for the contests but I just couldn't," he said.
Along with arch-rival Bounty Killer, Beenie Man has dominated dancehall for nearly two decades.
He has countless hit songs, won a Grammy Award (for Best Reggae Album with Art and Life) and collaborated with big names like Janet Jackson.
But while Bounty Killer has endeared himself to the new wave of dancehall kingpins, Beenie Man has gradually drifted out of the limelight.
He has high expectations for Dweet Again which features songs by various producers, most notably Fuller, the man behind Sean Paul's massive hit, Temperature.
"Right now, I have the same plan I had in 2012 and in 2011, and that is to just go hard and done," he said.