Art And Life

Diasporic dancehall reggae.

Four DJs currently rule the roost in dancehall reggae – [a]Capleton[/a], [a]Sizzla[/a], [a]Bounty Killer[/a] and the artist in question here.

Beenie Man, who has the given name of Anthony Moses David, is the sole member of the quartet who can truly lay claim to an international pop audience. And, ‘Art And Life’ could well be the watershed in his prolific career, a corporate LP aimed as much at the lucrative American market as it is at his core audience.

Ever since hip-hop proved compromise-free crossover was possible, the ground has been laid for a suite like this diasporic dancehall reggae, spruced up and polished around the edges, but essentially retaining the artist’s signature style.

From the bubbling ‘Haters And Fools’ inward, Beenie Man chats over a variety of hot musical styles and concepts (including a Latin-flavoured tune) supplied by the Shocking Vibes crew, Wyclef Jean, Rockwilder and others. And his socially aware lyrical approach takes in Rastafarianism on the title track, daily drudgery on ‘9 To 5’, and a distaste for freaky sexual practices on ‘Crazy Notion’.

In the main, though, Beenie Man just caters to his serious female fanbase with numerous odes, boasts, teases and come- ons. And why not? It’s his party, after all.