Anthony Moses Davis (born August 22, 1973), better known by his stage name Beenie Man, is a Jamaican reggae entertainer and a well established dancehall artist.
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 Kingdom, United States, and Canada.
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.
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 States. 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, M?a. 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.
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, Marco Dean, born in November 2006. Their relationship, however, was shortlived. 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.
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 Airport 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:
Jamaica is not against gay people. Gay means consented sex. What we have in Jamaica is not what it is in England where two men live together. That's not it in Jamaica and these people fail to understand that. In Jamaica, gay is rape. It's a big man with their money going into the ghetto and picking these little youth who ain't got nothing. And then give them money and then involving them. There were 550 youths who got raped inna Jamaica you know? And nobody seems to speak of that. Nobody sees the youth get raped, and throat cut because the man who raped him, he knows him, and he doesn't want him to go back and say he did it. And these things still happening.
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."
All Beenie Man lyrics
- Ain�t Gonna Figure It Yet
- Any Mr. Man
- Back Against The Wall
- Bad Girl
- Bad Man
- Bad Man Nuh Flee
- Bad Mind Is Active
- Bad Mind Is Active (My Perogative)
- Battery Dolly
- Be My Lady
- Better Learn
- Bitter Mi Blood
- Boogie Down
- Crazy Notion
- Dancehall Queen
- Dr. Know (feat. Jimmy Cheeztrix)
- Feel It Boy
- Fresh From Yard
- Fresh From Yard (feat. Lil' Kim)
- Gangsta Life
- Ganja Farm
- Girls Dem Sugar
- Girls Way
- Good Woe
- Gospel Time
- Grindacologist (feat. Kymberli)
- Haters And Fools
- Haters & Fools
- Heights Of Great Men
- In The Middle Of The Night
- King Of The Dancehall
- Let Him Go
- Man Royal
- Miss L. A. P.
All lyrics are property of their respective owners and are strictly for non-commercial use only.