Beenie Man is celebrating his 50th birthday with the help of his peers and fans in dancehall. The Doc is perhaps the most legendary name in the history of dancehall and is widely acclaimed as the King of the genre. The “Girl Dem Sugar” deejay has four decades in music under his belt after getting his first taste of stardom as a child prodigy.
Beenie Man, whose real name is Moses Davis, celebrated his 50th birthday on August 22, 2023. Among the well-wishers includes his daughter Desha Davis, who wrote: “Happy birthday mi boss di best daddy in the world frfr knw my style nah do the long speech ting but I appreciate you and I knw im super blessed to call you dad never ever change my G I love you.”
The dancehall legend is getting ready to release his new album SIMMA later this month, and his birthday celebration is fueling the hype around the project. The Doc has been working on the album for the past few years, and after a few delays, it’s finally seeing the light of day.
In the meantime, here are five of Beenie Man’s biggest classics to listen to in celebration of his 50th birthday.
1. “Who Am I (Sim Simma)”
“Who Am I,” aka “Sim Simma,” is perhaps Beenie Man’s most iconic single to date, although he has songs that put up bigger sales and streaming numbers. This year the song grew exponentially in popularity thanks to the social media trend thanks to the iconic lines “Sim simma who got the keys to my bimma/Who am I the girls dem sugar.” We saw fans and celebrities, including Lala Anthony, Kim Kardashian, Ciara, Kelly Rowland, and more taking part in the viral challenge. The challenge has also helped the song to grow significantly in streaming on Spotify and Apple Music.
The song, which was released in 1998 on Beenie’s album Many Moods of Moses, is featured on the Playground Riddim, produced by Jeremy Harding. Last year, the song was also featured on the NBA 2K22 soundtrack.
On the charts, the song peaked at No. 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, No. 6 on the US Hot Rap Songs, and No. 15 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. It also went No. 10 on the UK Singles chart.
2. “Girls Dem Sugar” feat. Mya
Beenie Man and Mya really created a bop when they linked up for “Girls Dem Sugar,” which is one of the most notable collaborations in Beenie Man’s vast catalog. The song was produced by The Neptunes, comprising Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo. The song is a bit of a remix to Beenie Man’s “Who Am I,” with Mya delivering her signature vocals. The duo later filmed a music video for the track, which helped catapult it into the United States music market.
“Girls Dem Sugar” was released in 2000 on Beenie Man’s album, Art and Life. On the charts, the song peaked at No. 54 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 16 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and No. 38 on the US Rhythmic chart.
3. “Feel It Boy” feat. Janet Jackson
“Feel It Boy” is another of Beenie Man’s big collaborations with an international act. Janet Jackson is featured on the song with The Neptunes again handling the production. The dancehall star found the international collab formula in the early 2000s because the song went on to dominate the charts, peaking at No. 28 on the Hot 100 chart, No. 14 on the Hot Rap Songs chart, and No. 13 on the US Rhythmic chart. The track also hit charts in the UK, Belgium, France, Italy, Netherlands, Australia, and Canada.
Beenie Man shook things up in dancehall in 2004 when he hit the airwaves with “Dude” featuring Ms. Thing. The track was a big hit in Jamaica and was later remixed by rapper Shawnna. Dave Kelly of Madhouse Productions was the genius behind this Beenie Man hit song.
“Dude” remains Beenie’s highest-charting Billboard Hot 100 song to date, peaking at No. 26 on the chart in June of that year and later ranked at No. 84 on the Billboard Hot 100 Year-end chart. The song also peaked at No. 7 on the UK Singles chart and went to No. 5 in the Netherlands.
5. “King of the Dancehall”
There is no Beenie Man playlist without “King of the Dancehall.” The track was produced by Tony ‘CD’ Kelly and was released in 2004 on Beenie’s album, Back To Basics. The song saw critical acclaim when it helped cement Beenie Man’s place in dancehall as the King of the genre. The black-and-white music video for the track will forever live in our minds as an iconic moment in dancehall’s history.
“King of the Dancehall” went on to peak at No. 80 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, No. 26 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and No. 22 on the US Hot Rap Tracks chart. The single also hit the UK Singles Chart peaking at No. 14.