Beenie Man, one of the biggest voices in the reggae/dancehall community, shared his stance on the recent Grammy controversy.
Beenie Man shared a neutral stance in the ongoing debate on American reggae band SOJA winning Best Reggae Album at the 64th Grammys last Sunday. Many artists have come out in support of SOJA after fans vocalized their disagreement that the Virginia-based group did not deserve to win the award as there were other stronger entries from Jamaican reggae artists who could have taken home the award.
Some have even taken issue with the reggae group being white as they share fears of the homegrown Jamaican genre being taken over by foreigners and “whitewashed” into a more palatable product for foreign listeners.
While some have shared those views, other artists have shared support and congratulations for the group, including Chronixx and Beenie Man.
The King of the Dancehall, who has taken to referring to himself as Defender of Dancehall, however, took a neutral stance on the issue.
“1. Reggae and Dancehall Music is for everyone. If you love it, are talented, and putting in the work to make the genre greater and or reach places it has never been. Big up!” he said in a Twitter post.
He added, “Stop carry belly fi a next man wehh a put in the work yuh Na put in.”
His latest post is inconsistent with how he deals with his fellow artists in comparison to his international counterparts.
Just last week, the deejay went off on a tirade at local DJs Harry Hype and Boom Boom, whom he accused of only promoting local artists and trap dancehall, which was destroying the music scene.
“Don’t blame we, blame yourself. Ah wam to oonu man. When man bring dancehall song to oonu, oonu don’t play it, Ah wam to you Harry Hype? Unu play the trap dancehall. Oonu play the man weh nah come to the party, and we weh deh ya oonu nah play we,” Beenie Man says to the agreement of those around him.
He continued, “the man weh nuh deh ya oonu play them, one hour, two hour and three hour. Ah dem a f**K up the music. Mi just want you know still. The man weh a talk ‘yow me have a gal weh [unintelligible word: lblblblbblllbbl] a dem only ya play bredren.”
Beenie Man’s present stance is in stark comparison to his remarks where he particularly singled out reggae music being “mas up” as a genre by young artistes and disc jockeys playing trap dancehall, a so-called subgenre of dancehall.
“Oonu nuh play it! Nuh tell mi nuh f_kery! Oonu mash up Reggae music. Hey bwoy, oonu nuh ramp wid mi enuh! Billboard selector, oonu nuh ramp wid mi music! Oonu a ramp wid mi life! Mi a di king a dis! Yuh jus play di music! Boom Boom, weh di b-mboclaat do oonu man?” he said.
Many music industry insiders, including the likes of Heavy D and The University of the West Indies, Mona professor Dr. Donna Hope, have added interesting perspectives to the development of reggae from just a Jamaican genre to now a global genre of music.
The conversation about reggae music from Jamaica being in trouble has been ongoing. On Wednesday, fellow dancehall artiste Mr. Vegas shared a news headline from 2011 which said he had started a petition to save reggae music.
On Instagram, he addressed those who incorrectly blame young artists for destroying reggae music.
“NOW THEY WANT TO SAVE REGGAE! GTFOOH! OVER 10 YEARS NOW MI A WARN UNU! THERE WERE NO JASHI, SKILLIBENG, SKENG THEN! STOP BLAME THE YOUTH DEM AND BLAME UNUSELF!” he said without further elaborating.