Moses Davis, better known by his stage moniker Beenie Man was born in the tough Waterhouse district of Kingston, Jamaica on August 22, 1973. He is noted as one of Jamaica’s most innovative artist, whose recording career dates back to 1981. At the age of eight, he took first prize at the national Tastee Talent contest which would lead to TV/radio appearances and recording contracts.
His career gained momentum after a performance at the Reggae Sunsplash festival in 1992, and a rivalry with Bounty Killer began the following year after Beenie Man was accused of stealing Bounty Killer’s style and catch phrases. The rivalry was captured on the 1994 album Guns Out, with the two artists settling the feud during a soundclash.
Beenie Man had his first number one single in Jamaica in 1993 with “Matie”, and won the DJ of the Year Award the same year, the first of eight consecutive awards. In 1994, he was signed by Island Records and released the critically acclaimed album Blessed, which was his fifth studio album and featured an array of hits, including the dancehall smash “Slam.” “Slam” peaked at number 33 on the Billboard Hot Rap Singles chart. This album was the first to receive an international release and was responsible for establishing his reputation internationally.
The year 1995 found Beenie Man working with Jamaica’s top producers, recording a slew of singles and securing several collaborations with the likes of Dennis Brown, Tristan Palmer, Lady Saw, Sanchez, Mad Cobra and Lieutenant Stitchie. Beenie Man’s career took another turn in 1996 when he released his seventh studio album Maestro, produced by Patrick Roberts. Maestro peaked at number 3 on the U.S Billboard Top Reggae Albums chart.
The following year proved to be his break out year in both Britain and the United States, when his and Chevelle Franklin’s “Dance Hall Queen” bounced up the British charts while its follow-up, “Who Am I”, gave way for his first international hit.
“Who Am I” quickly went Gold and peaked at number 15 on the Billboard’s R&B chart in 1998. It opened the doors for the world to see a new reggae star in the pages of Newsweek and other major media outlets. The same year, Beenie Man topped the Jamaican singles chart with seven different singles.
The autobiographical, Grammy-nominated Many Moods of Moses album features a number of these smashes, including “Oysters & Conch” and “Foundation.” The album peaked at number 1 on the Billboard 200 Top Reggae Albums chart. Beenie Man could now do no wrong.
Music video by Beenie Man featuring Mya performing Girls Dem Sugar (Video) (Feat. Mya).
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