‘Verzuz’: It’s Bounty Killer vs. Beenie Man; Here’s What to Know About the Dancehall Legends

by Jeremy Spirogis
Beenie Man Bounty Killer

Verzuz has advanced into an exceptional on-line occasion that celebrates music, tradition, and varied eras. On May 23, the occasion welcomes two reggae-dancehall icons: Beenie Man and Bounty Killer.

It is the primary time two artists from this musical style are showing on Verzuz, and never solely is all of Jamaica excited, however so is the remainder of dancehall-loving world.

For the uninitiated, dancehall
artists
—referred to as deejays—primarily rap over riddims (beats) in patois about
any subject they select. Much like hip-hop, some songs are socially aware, and
some are about intercourse, religion, the streets, or taking out one’s enemies.

Back within the day, Bounty Killer and Beenie Man had a rivalry that
makes the vitality of Verzuz all of the extra worthwhile. If you don’t know who they
are or are unfamiliar with their observe information of hits, right here’s somewhat about
their backgrounds.

Beenie Man Bounty Killer
Beenie Man | JMEnternational/Redferns/Getty Images; Bounty Killer | Scott Gries/Getty Images

Bounty Killer is a dancehall king

As an up-and-coming deejay in his youth, Rodney “Bounty Killer” Price labored underneath the identify “Bounty Hunter” and did a few of his first songs with Jamaican sound methods comparable to Metromedia and Bodyguard.

He started recording singles round 1990 and on the similar time, constructed turned standard in Jamaica for the dubplates he made with the well-known sound methods.

By 1992, issues actually began to pop with the discharge of tracks “Coppershot,” “New Gun,” the eternally liked “Spy Fi Die,” and extra.

His debut album Jamaica’s Most Wanted (aka Roots Reality & Culture) was exhausting, and featured the aforementioned classics in addition to “Gun Thirsty,” “Girl Say Yes,” and “Dub Fi Dub.” Throughout the early ‘90s, his albums made him scorching in Jamaica, the US, and internationally.

Bounty Killer linked up with a few of hip-hop’s most interesting for his 1998 album, Next Millennium, which included songs with Mobb Deep, Smif-N-Wessun, and Killah Priest.

He’s dropped multiple dozen albums and collaborated with reggae (e.g. Richie Stephens, Dawn Penn, Junior Reid), dancehall, and hip-hop artists. He and “nemesis” Beenie Man even joined forces to make music.

From ’92 to 2005, he’s dropped a variety of classics with lyrics about avenue life, social points, and naturally, his competitors. And he’s nonetheless making music.

In 2002, he was nominated for a Grammy for Bounty Killer has a voice that’s unmistakable and magnificence that makes him one in all dancehall’s most recognizable stars.

Beenie Man can also be a legendary deejay

Beenie Man is a self-proclaimed king of dancehall, and although he hit the studio within the ‘80s, his profession actually blew up within the ‘90s. Born Moses Davis, he discovered success working with sound methods however after releasing a number of singles together with his brother, 1992 became a scorching 12 months for him.

That can also be when his beef with Bounty Killer was sparked. It all began with claims of style-jacking and who coined the phrase “People dead!”– one thing you’ll hear on each of their information.

They’ve squashed the meat since then, however their music and performances usually had folks selecting sides.

Beenie Man’s enormous discography contains the albums Many Moods of Moses, The Doctor, Guns Out (with Bounty Killer), Maestro, and the Grammy-winning Art and Life.

He’s collaborated with different stars in reggae and dancehall comparable to Dennis Brown, Wayne Wonder, and Barrington Levy. Over the years, he’s additionally made crossover songs with artists comparable to Mya, Janet Jackson, the Neptunes, and Lil Kim.

“Who Am I” and “Girls Dem Sugar” are large tunes that also
mild up a celebration.

Bounty Killer and Beenie Man have shared the stage many
instances

While their rivalry is as well-known as Batman and Joker’s, each Bounty Killer and Beenie Man weren’t averse to rocking the identical stage on the similar time. One of their most epic clashes was throughout Jamaica’s Sting in 1993.

If you weren’t there in particular person, you needed to catch the lyrical stage battle by watching the VHS tape. The vitality! That similar 12 months, they made peace.

In 1995, they hit the Sting stage once more and have shared the invoice for a number of exhibits since then, with their on and off rivalry manifesting itself right here and there.

The most up-to-date hit-for-hit present between Beenie Man and Bounty Killer was at Sumfest in 2019 and was all about their unity as musical brothers.

Their Verzuz battle has the identical vibes and followers can’t cease
speaking about it. Watch it on Instagram Live or catch the replay on YouTube.

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