Beenie Man says he is the King of the Dancehall, and his student, Vybz Kartel, can’t replace him as the King, as some fans have posited. The Doc also seems to take credit for Kartel’s meteoric rise to the top of dancehall.
The topic is contentious as generations of artists mull over who deserves the coveted title. Beenie Man, however, shares that he is neither here nor there but justifies reasons he is still the King and even dishes on some information some may not know- he helped to guide Kartel’s earlier career.
Beenie Man was speaking on the Let’s Be Honest podcast when he was asked about his view on such comparisons, and the veteran artist shared that there is only one King, and that King is still on the throne.
He shared that he wasn’t fazed by dancehall fans questioning whether he is still ‘King of the Dancehall’ and that Vybz Kartel has replaced him as he remains a free agent and can travel the world, and he remains one of the most booked artists across the reggae/ dancehall spectrum that’s in high demand.
Beenie Man was bestowed with the coveted title in the 1990s due to his fierce clashing and lyrical abilities, and he has held firm over the years with too many hits to count. The artist has been in the business since he was seven (7) years old and has seen generations of artists come and go while he remains relevant.
However, there has been a faction of the Gaza fans who have posited the idea that Beenie Man’s time is over and that Kartel has taken that title by default.
However, Beenie man isn’t relinquishing the title as he offers a rationale for why he remains the true King.
“That is stupid,” Beenie Man responded. “Yeah but me still a tour the world. Weh Teacha (Vybz Kartel) deh?”
“Which part Teacha deh? My Lord, King of the Dancehall mean you have to deh out in the world, you know. Ah preserve the music and deh deh, yuh can’t preserve yourself and nuh preserve the music,” he added.
Beenie Man was quick to clarify that he was not shading Vybz Kartel, who has not made any such public pronouncements, although his 2016 album, King of the Dancehall album seemed to stir up his fans.
“[Vybz] Kartel ah mi deejay and mi love him to death and mi just want you fi know and that will never change but you can’t lock up dancehall in prison, bredren. Mi still a go Canada, American visa come back,” he added.
“That me a try fi tell the people, me not here to boast and brag and be what I am. I am that I am, God make me fi be one person- dancehall artist, whether them crown me King, or then crown me Prince or them crown me the Duke…” he added.
“But yuh can’t do 50% and want 100%,” the artist said.
Beenie Man also shared that it was he who helped Vybz Kartel reached his full potential in dancehall and rise to the forefront of the genre.
“But hear the problem now, who bring him to the front? Ah me sing ‘Picture Dis’ and produce it to him. Ah me put him a Billboard, ah me put him right which part him deh. Ah me tell him seh yuh cant make Wayne Marshall dem sing the whole ah yuh punchline, learn fi sing and put him right there. Which part the respect deh fi dat?” Beenie man asked.
Beenie Man also joked that he didn’t just deserve “flowers” for helping a young artist launch his career internationally; he deserves “the whole bush.”
“Whole land, a dat me ah try fi tell a man cause me not in no argument. Kartel ah mi deejay mi love him to death,” he said but noted that Kartel was “bad bad bad” but “him nuh bad more than me and Bounty Killer.”
“We bring yuh inna this business yah. We make you know say see music deh, see it deh live,” Beenie said.
Vybz Kartel has not reacted to Beenie Man’s statements, and it would be interesting to see his fan’s take on Beenie’s view. Nevertheless, Bounty Killer is the one who gave Kartel his big break and the two has had a mutual friendship over the years despite their brief falling out in the mid-2000s.