Beenie Man is why you go to über-hip bars on the Lower East Side and listen to early ‘90s metallicized dancehall raggae spun by some coked-up mustachioed scenester. Beenie Man is why you house and grind your partner on the dancefloor, sweat gleaming off your brow as you look into her eyes and think to yourself, “put another dime in the jukebox baby cause it’s gonna be a long night.” Beenie Man is boomin’ bass and rastafari rhythms cut razor sharp to the tune of Jamaican Funk. If you want the party of your life, get your mates together, throw this slab of wax on the turntable and just try and stop yourself from getting’ down.
Art and Life is a rousing 17-song collection of party faves that rock beef patty style. Ever the skilled lyricist, Beenie Man’s raps blow Buju Banton away and pale only in comparison to that dark horse of dancehall, Daddy Freddy, who’s 1990 hit, “Daddy Freddy’s in Town,” proved that reggae could rock as well as, er, rap. And while he could easily pull off the album by himself, Beenie is the consummate mensch, allowing guests Redman, Wyclef, and Steve Perry (of the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies—giving Art and Life one of its best songs, and perhaps being the best work he’s done ever, although it might have made things interesting if it were the Steve Perry of Journey fame getting in the mix) ample time to strut their vocal prowess.
To top it all off, we get Beenie’s dancehall rendition of Naughty By Nature’s classic, “OPP,” beefed up “Jamaican Style.” So come on kids, head on down to your local Virgin Megastore and ask the man behind the counter for Beenie Man’s latest, Art and Life, available now on Virgin Records.
// Notes from the Road
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