'King' Beenie Man reigns at Live at The Devon

November 18, 2017
Stephanie Lyew Beenie Man shows the crowd his dancing skills during his live performance at the Reggae Mill Bar, Devon House.
Stephanie Lyew These patrons secured their space early in front of the stage and danced all night to Beenie Man's tracks.
Stephanie Lyew All smiles from Beenie Man (left) and Ruff Kut Band's bass player, Donovan 'Benji' Belnavis.

After his recent spat with Spice regarding the title of king of dancehall, Beenie Man reminded fans why he's considered the reigning monarch.

The promoters of 'Live At The Devon' could not have found a better entertainer to kick-start the series as Beenie Man, reminiscing on his early beginnings, shared reasons for claiming the title of 'king of dancehall'.

These included the fact he has introduced new artistes to the scene without wanting to take away the spotlight from them, and his vast repertoire which includes over 150 chart topping dancehall tracks and crossovers.

Backed by The Ruff Kutt Band, Beenie Man went into typical performing antics. The chemistry between the dancehall legend and the band, particularly bass player, Donovan 'Benji' Belnavis and drummer Ricardo Davis, was flawless, making it easier to deliver a remix of dancehall tracks like 'Wickedest Slam', 'New Suzuki' and 'Tear Off Mi Garment/Big Up and Trust'.

The performance also rivalled the thinking that live instruments cannot accompany dancehall beats outside the one-drop style.


Further cementing his royalty, Beenie Man had material to perform non-stop for three hours and had the audience deejaying along with him.

Patrons had began entering the venue, the Reggae Mill Bar at Devon House, from as early as 8 p.m. to secure a spot as close as possible to the stage.

Minutes after 11 p.m. Beenie Man's voice gathered the attention as he briefly bellowed "Father in Zion" from backstage as a tribute to Buju Banton.

And as the artiste, who captured the attention of music fans in the 1990s entered stage right, more persons moved further away from the bars to get closer.

Notably, the attendance was primarily female.

Reggae/dancehall artistes such as Bugle, Ce'Cile and Devin Di Dakta, who were a part of the audience, gave shouts of support and put hands together for Beenie Man.

"Beenie Man is definitely a role model to artiste like me. It's one thing persons always say is that his performances are always good and I watch him and learn from him. Every single time mi watch him, mi learn something new, especially tonight," Devin said.

Live At The Devon continues on November 30.

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