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Beenie Man



Wednesday, Nov. 20
Lincoln Theatre

If you missed Beenie Man's show at the Lincoln on Nov. 20, you didn't miss much--you missed everything. The Dem Sugar daddy personally told me to let yawl suckas know who brought the fire at the show some of yawl slept on. So let's get started with our own local entertainment. The Triangle has many glorious sound systems that shouldn't be overlooked. Sly Fox Movement was the first to move the crowd (and there was a crowd!) Playing all kinds of classic and current jams, the sounds gave the mighty Lincoln a clash vibe. Next up on the decks was Chizel Kasion from Pyro Sound. The Pyros sparked fire. All along, Scorpion from Scorpion Movements hyped the ragamuffins in the house. And this is just the locals, not yokels, who are responsible for the well-attended, brilliant and vivid dancehall parties throughout the Triangle. Other sounds and dancehall comrades were present. Big ups to TNT Sound, Mitch, I Dread, Chela No.1, Smokee and Red Lion.

After the sounds shook ya, the Tropical Storm '02 began like any Fran, Hugo or Andrew. Smilez and SouthStar jumped off the party with a dancehall-ish hip-hop set. They informed us that we should "learn Braille, 'cuz we'll blind ya!"

Scorpion returned to the stage to introduce Beenie's band, the Ruff Cuts--the best dancehall band I have ever seen. Then dancehall artist Silver Cat blessed the stage. The slender Jamaican was incredibly entertaining. Almost comedic, he was mos def foreshadowing the main event. He was impressively political. He spoke of war and the reasons for it. "It's over oil, man, OIL!" (When he says "oil" its sounds more like "hooil.") He referenced Jamaica's greats and even honored some guy named Robert Marley. Silver's show was short but sweet, leaving bountiful time for the Been man.

As Scorpion was prepping us for Beenie Man, there was one thing that really stuck out. "Grammy award winning ... " That's right, the Bossman has a Grammy under his belt for his album Art+Life. How many Grammy award-wining artists come to the Lincoln? Well, at least one, which is dope because the venue is such an intimate setting. Those who came know how lucky they are. Even if there were no Grammy involved, viewers got to see one of the biggest dancehall artists ever.

Beenie is something of a child prodigy. The now almost 30 year old started his path at the tender age of 5. Known to many in Jamaica as the "10-year-old DJ wonder" (thanks to his release of a song by the same name) he has certainly kept us marveled through the years. This '94 DJ of the Year in Jamaica claims to have never lost a DJ contest and to have been a great football player. But after breaking his foot, music was his only way out of the Jamaican ghettos. So here he is in the States killing the charts, getting Grammys and working with some of the biggest producers and artists (The Neptunes and Janet Jackson).

But he is only here on a work visa and will have to return home when it runs out, which is a shame because his show proved that'd he make one fine U.S. president. Beenie was very vocal about his views on the war, George Bush, and the snipers. He delivered sensitive insight with hilarious commentary and style. That's what made his show sensational: a major recording artist speaking about politics while bridging each touchy subject with mystic tunes.

Of course, he sang his hits old and new from "Who Am I" to "Feel It Boy" and did many classic twists on other artists' songs. He was magical and seemed to enjoy every second of it. He involved the crowd so much that you had to wonder who was entertaining whom. He did this for nearly two hours straight, and I don't think I saw him sip a drop of water the whole time. The show was by far my favorite show for '02--yes, over many hip-hop shows ...

So the next time you see that the Bossman is in town--do yourself a favor and go. YO!

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