Real Name: Anthony Moses Davis
Born: August 22nd, 1973
Place of Birth: Waterhouse, Jamaica
Official website: www.beenieman.net
Davis started his musical career toasting at the age of five. His uncle Sydney Wolf was a musician playing drums for Jimmy Cliff, and encouraged his nephew. After winning the Teeny Talent show at eight years old, radio DJ Barry G introduced him to King Jammy's, Volcano and other sound systems, where he soon established notoriety. His popularity inspired Bunny Lee to invite him into the studio, resulting in the release of The Ten Year Old DJ Wonder. An early example of his style can be heard on the live session set Junjo Presents Two Big Sound, alongside Dillinger, U. Brown, Toyan and Early B, among others. He also enjoyed a hit single produced by Winston "Niney" Holness, "Too Fancy"/"Over The Sea", which was followed by a lengthy silence.
In the 90s Beenie Man returned with a number of singles, beginning with "Wicked Man'. After this, the hits kept coming, with Beenie Man holding the top chart positions in Jamaica. As is often the case when a DJ becomes popular, an obligatory clash with an equally popular DJ - in his case, Bounty Killer - was arranged, with the event taking place at Sting "93.
Following the clash, the release of Guns Out featured both DJs, further fuelling support for the individual toasters. Working with Sly And Robbie, Beenie Man covered two of Bob Marley's hits, "No Mama (Sic) No Cry" and "Crazy Baldhead", the latter in a combination with Luciano. His version of "No Woman No Cry" represented a condemnation of the ghetto violence that had claimed the lives of some of the island's top performers. He toured the UK in 1994 and featured a celebrated cameo appearance from Shabba Ranks at one of the shows. While in the UK, Beenie Man recorded a jungle tune, and also his earlier ragga hit with Barrington Levy was remixed as "Under Mi Sensi X Project Jungle Spliff", which reached the lower end of the UK chart. Still courting controversy, Beenie Man released "Slam", the lyrics of which suggested that downtown girls were better lovers than those who lived uptown. His success led many to believe that Beenie Man had taken the crown from Buju Banton as the top Jamaican DJ.
In 1995, Beenie Man was romantically linked with Carlene (The Dancehall Queen), and the photogenic couple became Jamaica's equivalent to royalty. He also formed a pact with Bounty Killer through the arbitrating skills of Jamaican radio disc jockey Richard Burgess.
In 1996, the DJ embarked on a highly acclaimed international tour with the Shocking Vibes crew. Many Moods Of Moses was another acclaimed set, with the single "Who Am I" breaking the singer into the UK Top 10 in March 1998 without major label backing or strong radio support. It also established him in America, earning two Grammy nominations and the biggest chart success of his career. He continued to build on this breakthrough with a number of major label releases, including the Grammy Award winning Art And Life and Tropical Storm. The latter included the mainstream hit single "Feel It Boy', featuring a guest vocal from Janet Jackson. 2004"s Back To Basics marked a return to straightforward dancehall. Prior to the release of the album, the DJ was forced to apologise in the UK press for some of the more luridly anti-homosexual lyrics in his catalogue.
Encyclopedia of Popular Music
Copyright Muze UK Ltd. 1989 - 2005
Source - BBC Music Profiles