Born Anthony Moss Davis in Kingston, Jamaica in 1973, Beenie Man is now regarded as the Island's foremost Dancehall DJ... He has more than 60 (!) Number 1 singles at home and achieved his big UK break with 'Who Am I' in 1998 - Street Life was his latest British Top 15 success in January 2003I remember 'Who Am I' as a big song at school - which is odd, because I'd actually left school by the time it was a hit in 1998. Perhaps it just seemed like the sort of song that would be a big hit with school kids, with the raucous "Sim-Simma, who got the keys to my Bimma?" chorus. You still see that as a sticker on cars, not all of them actually BMWs. Five years on 'Street Life' is more of a crossover proposition, a mellower track that seems to be portraying itself as a heartfelt ballad about how "sometimes you've got to apologise to a woman". How sensitive he is in real life is hard to guess, although he did get into a big feud with fellow singer Yellowman over the title "King Of The Dancehall". Few would describe his views on sexuality as enlightened though.
I didn't much care for this at the time, and I wasn't particularly inclined to like it this time either, but I have to admit it's well constructed by the usual Scandinavian artisans and it is catchy enough to distract from the very cynical intent.
Also appearing on: Now 53 [with Janet Jackson], 57 [with Ms Thing]
Available on: Tropical Storm