Beenie Man will forever go down in history as one of the greatest dancehall artists to ever do it. 

Best known for his timeless smashes such as “Girls Dem Sugar” featuring Mya, “King of Dancehall,” and “Who Am I (Sim Simma),” the Jamaican recording artist and DJ continues to bless audiences all around the world with his feel-good music and energy.

Thanks to the power of social media, Beanie Man’s “Who Am I” released back in 1997 recently saw a resurgence, with big name celebrities all participating in the #SimSimmaChallenge. Most notably, La La Anthony FaceTimed all her friends including Kim Kardashian, Kelly Rowland, and Ciara — initiating the challenge by saying the first two words of the chorus, “Sim Simma,” and waiting for them to finish the rest of the lyrics: “who got the keys to my Bimmer!”

And now, after seven years since his last full-length album, Beanie Man blesses his fans with Simma. The highly-anticipated project sees Beenie Man reuniting with Mya on “Docta,” along with standout features from Giggs, Shenseea, Patoranking, and more.

The Source caught up with Beenie Man via Instagram Live, who had just gotten off a plane after performing in Costa Rica and Belize. Read below as we discuss the new project, reuniting with Mya, working with Giggs, “Who Am I” resurfacing, falling in love with Hip-Hop thanks to Slick Rick, working with Nicki Minaj, and more!

This is your first album in 7 years, why is now the right time?

Now is the right time because music needed me. Because where Dancehall is right now, it’s not in its best point. It’s not the strongest point right now, because dancehall has been reduced to other music and people are starting to do other things. Afrobeat popped off, Hip-Hop popped off, R&B popped off. Dancehall needs good music right now, so it’s the right time.

What inspired the album cover art? I love that the goat just walked into the shot.

[laughs] That’s wicked. This is greatness, it’s something that comes. Greatness is greatness. You cannot pay for greatness. I am here to taking a picture, and this goat is welcome. That’s greatness. 

You’re the “King of Dancehall.” Who’s the Queen of Dancehall?

Queen of Dancehall is Spice.

“Girls Dem Sugar” was such a timeless record. talk about reuniting with Mya on “Docta.” 

Mya, she’s kind of my nurse. When it comes to music, me and her get together to do music, it’s always a beautiful sound. Always one of them sounds we can listen to, write to, dance to. One of them sounds we can be ourselves with. This song “Docta” is wicked, I love it. When I sent it to her, I never expected that from her. But I expect everything because it’s greatness, and there’s nothing you can do about grades. 

I was watching the music video for “Girls Dem Sugar,” also iconic. Best memory from that moment?

Best memory was the idea of making the song in the first place, because we’re always in the studio with The Neptunes. I started to sing, then I came up with the idea that we need somebody to sing a hook. Pharrell decides that he can get Mya. I said okay, let’s see great you are. Mya popped off. The rest is history.

I love that you got Giggs on the record, I’m a huge fan. How did you guys end up collaborating?

You see, there are different artists. You have veterans, then you have young artists. You have artists that just come, or artists who have been there. Giggs is an artist that’s been there. I respect Giggs and he respects me the same way, we get in the studio and sound just makes. Two of us speak for ourselves. When we get together, we just make the music. 

Because Giggs was supposed to have 3 days to make his part of the record. I went to the studio to make my part of the record one time, so Giggs is not having that. He’s not walking out here with that sound without me in it. Just record one time. I really appreciate that. I like when artists put their creative thinking together. Know that yes, I can do this. Not tomorrow, not next week. I can do the studio right now. I really appreciate that with Giggs, he did that. He knocked it out one time.

How’d you link with Shenseea on “Fitness Instructor”?

I linked with Shenseea a long long long time ago, before she became the person that she is today. Long long long time. She was so young. She decides “okay, I’m gonna take on this music business.” She came to us first, then she went to Grammys. We’ve known Shenseea long time. We are friends long time.

How does it feel to have “Who Am I” revived on social media? Did you expect that?

It’s not what you’re expecting, it’s what’s happening. You don’t expect “Sim Simma” to come back after 25 years. You don’t expect that. Bam! Right back at you, right in your face. Right there. People are running the challenge and asking people walking past you: “Sim Simma!” And expect people to say “who got the keys to the Bimmer”? It’s a great thing. It’s a great feeling, because that’s why you make music that lasts forever. You don’t make music that lasts for 6 months.

Back when that song was released, we didn’t really have TikTok and all that. Are you active on these social media apps?

Me, I don’t have a phone. I don’t do phone because sometimes you’re up 3 in the morning and somebody calls you like “hello? Are you alright?” 3 or 4 in the morning: “how are you doing?” I can’t do that. 

How long have you not had a phone? 

I haven’t had a phone for years. A lot of years. For those who know me know. For those who don’t don’t. 

So how did they contact you?

Well, my girlfriend has a phone. My son has a phone, my daughter has a phone. My next kid has a phone. Everybody that’s around me has a phone. As long as they got that number, they got my number. 

I respect that because that means you’re living in the moment.

Yeah. I’m living in the time. [laughs]

Shout out to Waka Flocka, he called you the GOAT.

Ah, thank you. 

How did it feel to be on the airplane and everyone started singing the song?

Every plane I come on, people do that. It’s the first time I get captured. [laughs] People do that every time, every plane I’m on. You see, I fly first class. My band is in the back of the plane, but I don’t like to be in first class by myself sometimes when I’m trying to lounge. Coming from England, coming from Germany, I’ll be in the back of the plane. But that always happens to me, someone just caught it.

It’s a beautiful moment! 

It’s always a beautiful moment when the fans back you up and sing something of yours.

Hip-Hop celebrates 50 years this year. What was the moment you fell in love with Hip-Hop?

Seriously. My first Hip-Hop artist was Slick Rick. “Six minutes, six minutes, six minutes Doug E Fresh you’re on.” [raps “The Show”] “La-di-da-di, we like to party. We don’t cause trouble, we don’t bother nobody. We’re, just some men that’s on the mic, and when we rock upon the mic we rock the mic right.” [raps “La Di Da Di”] That’s when I first fell in love with it.

Top 5 favorite rappers?

Slick Rick and Doug E Fresh, first off. Big Daddy Kane. Biggie Smalls. Tupac. To put fun and jokes aside, Busta Rhymes is one of my rappers. Seriously. And Eminem and 50 Cent.

What’s your favorite Lauryn Hill song?

My favorite is the whole album: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Seriously, it’s my Bible. 

How was it seeing Nicki Minaj dance to your music recently?

Nicki Minaj always dancing to my music. [laughs] Any fan of mine is a Nicki Minaj fan too. 

What’s the story behind “Gun Shot”?

That’s a funny story. She did a song, then she wanted a badman verse. She said “come get a badman.” [laughs] “Fix it.” She actually loved it. That was funny. She wanted a badman verse and she said “come give it to me.”

Someone asked why Bounty Killer isn’t on the album.

Oh, because he’s making his own album. He’s putting out his own album, so it wasn’t the right time right now. He’s working, I’m working.

The post EXCLUSIVE: Beenie Man Says He Fell in Love with Hip-Hop Because of Slick Rick first appeared on The Source.

The post EXCLUSIVE: Beenie Man Says He Fell in Love with Hip-Hop Because of Slick Rick appeared first on The Source.

October 6, 2023

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