In an episode of Onstage, Beenie Man gives an exclusive update about his new single, gives an update on his career, and reveals his position on the return of Sting.
He kicks off the interview by giving an account of the countries to which he travelled during the pandemic. He spoke about Africa and also Ghana where he performed with Stoneboy (Ghanaian Afropop, dancehall, and reggae musician) and his team, which was described as “a wicked performance”.
Beenie Man stated that dancehall is the foundation of Afrobeat, but that the dancehall that is now recognized worldwide, is not what it used to be. He said that it is now referred to as “choppa music” or “ragga”. The King of the Dancehall hitmaker observed that with the new generation of artistes, connections have fallen through, and the true essence of the music faded, however, he is still booking shows worldwide with them on the roster.
The Girls Dem Sugar entertainer claims that overseas fans also inquire about where dancehall music is in the industry, and relayed that dancehall still is being kept relevant via Spice as newly crowned Queen, and Bounty Killer as veterans in the business. He stated, “we affi just gwaan wul it/if wi nuh wul it wi agguh lose it and if we lose it, it nuh make nuh sense”
“There is no authentic dancehall music making anymore,” he said when asked about the standing of new coming dancehall blood. The entertainer states that in this social media age, artistes buy followings instead of building themselves and want to be show closers when they lack the portfolio of songs to pull it off.
Speaking about new music, the performer explained when asked about his upcoming music video for Black And Yellow that it was produced by Crazy Russian and Reign Records. He described it by saying “a murder man.” He also apologized to fans for missing a show in St. Croix because of immigration issues that he could not control. He voiced, “sorry for all..for the disappointment but it was beyond my control boss, mi cya swim cross the water. Affi wait fi the people dem gi wi it.”
The recording artiste also made mention of Summa Sizzle (a music festival held to commemorate his music career) which is slated to return in July 2023. “And mi nah wait til August this time, mi a keep it July,” he voiced.
This leads to the discussion about the return of Sting. “Well, dem say it. It nuh back yet til it come back,” he expressed. Continuing, he said, “dem can keep a show name Sting but it nah go be di same sting, it affi be Sting.” Expounding, Beenie Man declares that it will not be the same show because the artistes who will perform, will not be willing to clash, which is what Sting is all about. He reminisced that back in the day if an artiste disrespects another, he knows that he should come fully prepared to battle it out on stage on December 26 (the date for Sting).
He posed the question to Winford Williams (host of Onstage) “who yuh think would a clash a Sting, like, outta all a di deejay dem weh a war now?” to which Williams said he does not know for sure, but a clash is still possible because “nobody is really saying no right out.” Beenie Man stated that you can’t be willing to clash on record, but during a stage show refuse to share a stage because “me and dem annuh fren. you and him annuh fren, that’s why you and him a clash!”
When the suggestion was made to show the younger generation how to clash peacefully, Beenie Man said, “we come of age now. We can’t come pan stage a tell a man bout him madda again, dat nuh make nuh sense.” He reckons that if there are more clashes, it will allow artistes to get rid of their aggression on stage and in turn, limit violence. The clash between Lady Saw (now Minister Marion Hall) and Macka Diamond was used as a reference.
William inquired if the Verzuz clash (like the one between him and Bounty Killer) would work in Jamaica. Beenie said it could work anywhere but asking who would be willing to clash remains the question.
Watch the full interview below: