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Beenie Man and Bounty Killer and the 'gay' accusations Featured

Entertainment News Written by  Jigga Mattic Tuesday, 21 September 2010 02:06 font size decrease font size increase font size 0
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Since the early 90s, dancehall superstar Beenie Man’s on-again, off-again feud with Bounty Killer which began with Killer’s blunt accusations of plagiarism. Since then, the two have gone after each other onstage and on record, most famously in a 1993 "clash" at the annual Sting dancehall festival, and most disastrously as Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest in 2004.


There has been a lot of intrigue between the two, great soundbites, short-lived reconciliations, all of which combines to provide awfully good theatre to even non-dancehall fans.

One of the most amusing aspects of the feud centres around accusations of homosexuality – which is illegal in Jamaica , and the ultimate swipe at a man’s machismo.

Bounty Killer had already laid down the challenge when he said: ‘yu batty man boss send yu, ah heng me fi heng yu’, thereby triggering whisperings about the sexual leanings of the Shocking Vibes camp and driving home the point that ‘b-boys’ should be murdered forthwith. In the hit, ‘Suspense’, Killer deejays ‘leave the world inna suspense/dem say dem a ride horse and dem a talk with experience’, where the word ‘horse’ which is phonetically similar to ‘arse’ and implies that the subject of Killer’s jibes has had prior homosexual experience.

When "Who Am I" became a huge hit for Beenie Man, Bounty Killer raised a stink about the song's lyrics, seemingly just wordplay about a BMW: "Zim zimma, who got the keys to my bimma / Who am I, the girls dem sugar /How can I make love to a fella/ In a rush, pass mi da keys to my truck." The ambiguity of the tantalizing line, "How can I make love to a fella" generated debates at water coolers and dancehalls all across the country, especially when the song began to vault up the Billboard charts.

Was it a matter of faulty punctuation? Did "in a rush" modify "make love to a fella" or was it merely about the request for the keys? Was it a Freudian slip? Was Beenie really gay? Or was Beenie just openly courting controversy to sell hit records?

In an interview, Beenie responded that the rumour was started by ‘haters’.

"How can I make love to a fella in a rush? I don't make love to fellas, whether in a rush or take time or outside or nuttin'. You know, I'm 'de girls dem sugar,' that's what I do."

Several years later, after years of abuse, it was Beenie Man's turn to have a laugh when Bounty Killer appeared on No Doubt's "Hey Baby." During the song's video, drummer Adrian Young appears naked, swinging around on gymnastic rings and showing his butt cheeks and God knows what else for the video camera. Americans thought nothing of it but for Jamaicans, it was the ultimate slap in the face for the warlord because while Bounty sang ‘Hey Baby, Hey Baby’ in his gruff voice, the drummer did a ‘full monty’ for the whole world to see. The whole experience rubbed Bounty Killer the wrong way, and Beenie Man went in for a 'low blow', and used the opportunity to remind Jamaica during each stage show he performed that there was indeed a ‘naked white man in Bounty Killer's video’.

Jamaican dancehall fans had a good laugh about the whole episode while Bounty Killer fans simmered and stewed about the turnaround in fortunes. But (no pun intended) the question on everyone’s lips was: “How could the hard-core bad boy Bounty Killer have a naked man in his video?” Even now, five years later, dancehall fans have a good chuckle about it.

Say what you want about these two deejays, they have certainly entertained us over the years, and God knows with the country has progressed inexorably into chaos, we needed it. Thanks for the yuks, Bounty and Beenie.

Read 4516 times Last modified on Monday, 27 September 2010 01:22

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