Beenie Man, one of Jamaica’s most accomplished entertainers, is again being lauded for his musical effort. In a September 27 publication titled “The 250 Best Songs of the 1990s“, published by American online music magazine, Pitchfork, the dancehall icon has secured a spot on the most coveted list of performers.
Coming in at No.168 on the global artistes’ list, the publication details the dancehall doctor’s hit Who Am I (“Sim Simma”) among the must-have songs when curating a mixtape in the 1990s.
According to author Dylan Green, “Beenie Man understands the power of an eternal groove. The Playground riddim produced by veteran producer Jeremy Harding caught the Jamaican dancehall DJ’s ear, and he reportedly showed up at Harding’s studio with the song that would become “Who Am I” already in mind. “Who Am I” pulses like any good dancehall song, but at its heart is a man shook up about being left by his favourite lover, now forced to confront his own conniving ways with the help of love, shame, and some Luther Vandross interpolations. The track is foundational for modern dancehall and has been interpolated, sampled, and referenced countless times, but few follow-ups have captured the original’s intoxicating mix of love and lust.”
One of the greatest pleasures of listening to music in the 1990s was the ability to compile one’s own best-of lists. It was the decade of cassette mixtapes, which were highly personal, labour-intensive home recording projects that required patiently waiting for a song to play on the radio in order to tape it or rewinding and fast-forwarding to the exact moment in order to dub from one cassette to another.
Beenie Man is the only locally-based Jamaican entertainer that made the list.
Pitchfork (formerly Pitchfork Media) is an American online music publication (currently owned by Condé Nast) that was launched in 1995 by writer Ryan Schreiber as an independent music blog.