STAR of the Month: Respect your elders, says Beenie Man

February 15, 2018
Beenie Man salutes as he holds his Grammy Award for the album Art and Life.
Beenie Man


During the early 1980s, Beenie Man was in his boy wonder prime. Not only was he the winner of the Tastee Talent Competition, but he was well-known by the local sound system operators who would eventually help to establish his popularity.

By age 10, he had released his debut album, The Invincible Beenie Man: The Ten Year Old DJ Wonder. With the help of a few liquor crates, Beenie Man was tall enough to perform for the massive, and was sharing the microphone with dancehall heavyweights like Papa San, Henry 'Junjo' Lawes and Dillinger. Reminiscing on the era, Beenie Man told THE STAR that although he was the youngest and one of the most sought-after deejays, his ego did not get the best of him.

"Inna dem time deh, artistes used to respect artistes, so regardless even if a you a get the forward, you is a likkle youth and you have to know say you have to respect the elders," he said.

Between laughter, Beenie Man stated that although he was always eager to perform, he would patiently wait until the microphone was handed to him.

"If the elders dem nuh give you the mic, you know you nah get it, so nuh bother fight fi it. Nuh worry bout it cause when a your turn dem will call you in. Dem can't deejay whole night, enuh, and the people them not going nowhere because them want to hear me deejay," he said.

"Sometimes the crowd will get mad and say, 'leggo the youth', but a just so it go, me have to wait me turn," he added.

As a teenager, Beenie Man continued to hone his craft, and on weekends, he also performed in other competitions, which would result in him raking in at least $100 each weekend.

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