A squabble has erupted amongst some of Dancehall’s patriarchs after recent comments made by Beenie Man in the wake of Shabba Ranks’ return to Jamaica.
Shabba Ranks returned to the island following an 11 year absence and was arguably the most dominant performer when he graced the Reggae Sumfest stage in Montego Bay for the first time since 1994. Shabba received a warm welcome from fans and industry players on his arrival; from being swarmed at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston to hanging out on the town with fellow artistes such as Aidonia and Ishawna before finally receiving his due honors following an epic Sumfest performance.
But not everybody was go-hung about Shabba’s return as fellow Dancehall legend, Beenie Man made some intriguing comments about Dancehall’s ‘Emperor’ as well as his place amongst Dancehall folklore.
During an interview on Television Jamaica’s (TVJ) Entertainment Report, Beenie Man scoffed when asked if Shabba Ranks was the island’s best deejay ever, refusing to comment. Then when queried about Shabba’s reception from fans on his return to Jamaica, Beenie Man raised even more eyebrows.
“Mi can get dat (reception), anybody can get dat, yuh haffi jus’ pay fi it,” Beenie said, seemingly insinuating that Shabba Ranks paid for the motorcade which took him across Kingston.
These comments caught the ears of many within Dancehall’ circles, including iconic Dancehall superstar, Ninja Man, who accused Beenie Man of being disrespectful towards Shabba Ranks.
“A me buss Shabba, so from you dis Shabba, you dis me. Shabba do work weh nuff artiste never do yet. Him leave Jamaica and give di artiste dem space fi make money. Beenie Man a talk bout how a buy di man buy him motorcade when him come a Jamaica, Beenie Man you badmind Shabba. You too bad-mind,” Ninja Man told the Jamaica STAR.
According to Ninja Man, only certain Jamaican figures could earn such a motorcade and accompanying reception including himself, record-holding track superstar, Usain Bolt and Emperor Haile Selassie I.
“Shabba motorcade full airport. Shabba a me artiste, any man weh violate Shabba, violate me. Beenie Man tek weh the ‘King of the Dancehall’ title from Yellow Man and sound like him waan tek weh the ‘Dancehall Emperor’ title from Shabba Ranks,” he said.
In his defense, Beenie Man insisted that his comments were misconstrued regarding Shabba and his motorcade and that he would never disrespect the Dancehall ‘Emperor’.
“I was saying that to do a motorcade costs money because you have to pay for transportation to take persons to the location and back home. It takes money to organize that. I was not saying that people were paid to go see Shabba,” he told the Jamaica STAR.
“Me? Bad-mind Shabba? Bad-mind Shabba fi wha? Ninja Man has his own opinions. People with good mind and good thoughts would never think of me like that.”
Nevertheless, Ninja Man seems hungry for a lyrical clash with Beenie Man as he defends Shabba’s honor.
“Beenie Man don’t play wid Shabba. Him nuh drop him ting, anything him get him deserve. Give the man him glory. If you waan start the lyrical war, then start it. Me bad like 10 duppy, a long time mi nuh kill no artiste lyrically.”
In the meantime, Ninja Man will be performing at the Jamaica Gleaner sponsored Icons event in downtown Kingston this weekend and will be one of the headliners of the Rum Bar Heat Wave event slated to take place on Independence Day (August 6).
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