The “Who Am I (Sim Simma)” artist is one of the most dominant artists in the dancehall genre who helped to spread Jamaican culture and influence abroad and has paved the way for many youngsters in the game. However, the artiste has taken stock of the lack of recognition he has received from the Jamaican government and says that he believes politics is at play.
Speaking on The Fix podcast, Beenie Man revealed that he received a Prime Minister’s Award under former PM PJ Patterson. However, he has not been honored with any higher award, and he deems it a big “disrespect.”
“I’ve never got an OD [Order of Distinction], or OJ [Order of Jamaica] or anything yet from Jamaica,” he said.
He mentioned that artists who buss after him, including Sizzla, Assasin, and others, have received awards while he is overlooked.
“Me know why but me nah tell unu,” he said, adding that “Ah politics.”
“25 years ago Sim Simma buss you know, dem ime me a toll and all these things and dem time deh me nah look for nothing but you see of this day and age in this world…dem have me a perform inna the national stadium while dem a celebrate Sizzla, me a perform while dem a celebrate Assassin, its full disrespect to me and my music and my career,” he said.
“Mi nuh say nothing, it nuh matter I’m a Jamaican I live in Jamaica and I love Jamaica and mi would happy if dem give me before anything happen to me,” he added laughing.
Beenie Man also said he feels the award befitting his accomplishments would be the Order of Jamaica, the highest national honor that the likes of former Minister Audley Shaw and legendary Jamaican singer Marcia Griffiths will receive this year.
“Mi nuh want no Order of Distinction, I am already the King of Dancehall, show me some respect, put some respect pan mi name,” he said.
“Yeah man mi need it,” he said, adding that it has come to a point where he has to request what he believes he rightly deserves.
Beenie Man rose to fame in the 1980s as a child prodigy in dancehall and has been active in the music ever since. The dancehall legend, who celebrated his 50th birthday this week, is as relevant today as he has been throughout his long and decorated career.
Beenie Man’s new album, SIMMA, is set for release on August 31st.