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Beenie Man vs. Bounty Killer in 'Verzuz' Battle of Dancehall Legends

Posted by Admin on May 25, 2020 at 8:15 AM


Why was this night different from all other Verzuz battles? Streamed live from Kingston, Jamaica, the Memorial Day “Soundclash Edition” of Swizz Beatz and Timbaland’s flagship IG Live series was easily the most exciting and entertaining yet, as well as the first to delve into dancehall reggae.


Considering the fact that Jamaican sound systems pioneered the sort of “beat battles” have made Verzuz a social media sensation well over half a century ago, the creative decision was more than fitting. By pitting two icons of the genre, Bounty Killer and Beenie Man, in head-to-head competition, this Verzuz battle did not just showcase two of its most respected lyricists ever to hold a microphone, it also tapped into an epic rivalry that stretches back more than a quarter of a century.

 

 

Arguably the most exciting and spontaneous edition of Verzuz yet, the Beenie and Bounty battle was not a “clash” in the traditional Jamaican sense, but it was hardly a conventional beat battle either. Predictions that the island’s WiFi might not be able to handle the strain were soon dismissed -- in keeping with Jamaica’s long tradition of raising the bar when it comes to using technology to create next-level musical entertainment, this was the best-produced beat battle of them all. 

 

Here’s a tune-for-tune breakdown according to Billboard:

 

ROUND 1: Beenie Man's “Matie” vs. Special Ed feat. Bounty Killer's “Just a Killa”

 

Beenie kicked things off with his first No. 1 hit (on the Jamaican charts) in honor of the late great Bobby Digital, the legendary producer of this song and countless more, who passed away May 21. Bounty opted to open on an international note, leading with his first hip hop collaboration, a 1995 single by Brooklyn rapper Special Ed featuring a guest verse from young Bounty.

 

WINNER: Beenie

 

ROUND 2: Beenie Man's “Memories” vs. Bounty Killer's “Suspense”

 

Sticking with the hardcore dancehall, Beenie reached for one of his fan favorites, a mid-’90s banger on the “Hot Wax” riddim that was recorded during the height of his great lyrical war with Bounty Killer (and sampled by Drake on the album version of “Controlla”. Killer responded in kind with a track on the same hard-hitting riddim, making this round feel like a flashback mid-'90s dancehall session.

 

WINNER: Beenie

 

 

ROUND 3: Beenie Man's “Slam” vs. Bounty Killer's “Living Dangerously”

 

Shifting into another gear, Beenie drew for his first Billboard hit, a tribute to the sexual prowess of “ghetto girls” recorded on Dave Kelly’s irresistible “Arab Attack” riddim. Bounty responded with one of his most popular songs for the ladies, a collaboration with reggae vocalist par excellence Barrington Levy. Counteracting a classic with another classic, this round was too close to call.

 

WINNER: Tie

Read More at Billboard 

www.billboard.com/articles/columns/hip-hop/9389721/beenie-man-bounty-killer-verzuz-battle-scorecard

Photo credit www.instagram.com/p/CAlMXtxnqin/

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