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Beenie Man vs. Bounty Killer in ‘Verzuz’ Battle of Dancehall Legends: See Billboard’s Scorecard and Winner For the Showdown

Why was this evening completely different from all different Verzuz battles? Streamed dwell from Kingston, Jamaica, the Memorial Day “Soundclash Edition” of Swizz Beatz and Timbaland’s flagship IG Reside collection was simply probably the most thrilling and entertaining but, in addition to the primary to delve into dancehall reggae.

Contemplating the truth that Jamaican sound methods pioneered the form of “beat battles” have made Verzuz a social media sensation properly over half a century in the past, the inventive resolution was greater than becoming. By pitting two icons of the style, Bounty Killer and Beenie Man, in head-to-head competitors, this Verzuz battle didn’t simply showcase two of its most revered lyricists ever to carry a microphone, it additionally tapped into an epic rivalry that stretches again greater than 1 / 4 of a century.

At the moment the youth born Moses Davis within the Waterhouse part of downtown Kingston was already on the second leg of his profession — having launched his first album a decade earlier on the age of ten. Younger Rodney Value, previously referred to as Bounty Hunter, had simply began to make noise below his new artist name Bounty Killer, recording hardcore hits for the legendary Waterhouse-based producer Lloyd “King Jammy” James.

Like all younger aspiring artists, Killer had seemed as much as Beenie as an inspirational determine — till he felt that the artist had borrowed his type. Beenie and Bounty’s face-to-face clashes, particularly their Boxing Day battles on the storied Jamaican stage present Sting in 1993 and 1995, are the stuff of dancehall legend. Regardless of no matter variations may have existed between them, each artists channeled all that power into nice information — lots of which had been performed within the warmth of the Verzuz battle.

Arguably probably the most thrilling and spontaneous version of Verzuz but, the Beenie and Bounty battle was not a “clash” within the conventional Jamaican sense, but it surely was hardly a traditional beat battle both. Predictions that the island’s WiFi may not have the ability to deal with the pressure had been quickly dismissed — consistent with Jamaica’s lengthy custom of elevating the bar in terms of utilizing expertise to create next-level musical leisure, this was the best-produced beat battle of all of them. Then again, this was additionally the primary time a Verzuz competitor has needed to take a break within the motion to barter with law enforcement officials.

This was absolutely additionally the primary Verzuz battle to be live-tweeted by a chief minister: PM Andrew Holness took to his official Twitter to declare “Jamaica’s culture is global” and share a screenshot of the motion. In step with the nationwide pleasure, the battle opened with a rousing rendition of the Jamaican Nationwide Anthem.

When Beenie and Bounty got here by way of VIBE’s IG Reside sooner or later earlier than efficiency, they each declared that they might not be making ready for the battle because the artwork of conflict must be spontaneous. This has had individuals on tender hooks as nobody actually is aware of what would occur on the evening. However in fact all celebrities had been out in full power for this extremely anticipated battle, as everybody from Diddy to Swizz to Rihanna got here by way of to catch the vibes. It was the one place to be if you happen to had been on IG, with greater than 400Ok individuals checking in on the occasion’s peak.

Right here’s Billboard‘s tune-for-tune breakdown from the highest to the final drop.

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

Beenie kicked issues off together with his first No. 1 hit (on the Jamaican charts) in honor of the late nice Bobby Digital, the legendary producer of this tune and numerous extra, who handed away Could 21. Bounty opted to open on a global be aware, main together with his first hip hop collaboration, a 1995 single by Brooklyn rapper Particular Ed that includes a visitor verse from younger Bounty.

WINNER: Beenie

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

Sticking with the hardcore dancehall, Beenie reached for considered one of his fan favorites, a mid-’90s banger on the “Hot Wax” riddim that was recorded throughout the top of his nice lyrical conflict with Bounty Killer (and sampled by Drake on the album model of “Controlla”). Killer responded in variety with a observe on the identical hard-hitting riddim, making this spherical really feel like a flashback mid-’90s dancehall session.

WINNER: Beenie

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

Shifting into one other 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 considered one of his hottest songs for the women, a collaboration with reggae vocalist par excellence Barrington Levy. Counteracting a traditional with one other traditional, this spherical was too near name.


ROUND 4: Beenie Man feat. Chevelle Franklin’s “Dancehall Queen” vs. Diana King feat. Bounty Killer’s “Summer Breezin’”

Maintaining the power excessive, Beenie unleashed this soundtrack minimize from the film Dancehall Queen (by which he additionally appeared). Bounty responded with a comparatively obscure visitor verse on a file by Jamaican pop hitmaker Diana King.

WINNER: Beenie

ROUND 5: Beenie Man feat. Lil Kim’s “Fresh From Yard” vs. Bounty Killer ft. Jeru the Damaja’s “Suicide or Murder”

For his first worldwide choice, Beenie selected a DJ Clue manufacturing that includes the Queen Bee in her finest Brooklyn Jamaican patois mode. Killer saved it BK with a dirty Jeru collab produced by New York’s personal Huge B productions.

WINNER: Beenie

ROUND 6: T.I. feat. Beenie Man’s “I’m Serious” vs. Bounty Killer ft. Mobb Deep’s “Deadly Zone”

Sticking with the hip hop collabs, Beenie dropped T.I.’s first main label single that includes a hard-as-nails Neptunes beat and a street-certified Beenie Man hook. However he ought to have identified that badman enterprise is the Killer’s wheelhouse. Bounty clapped again with a dirty Mobb Deep collab off his My Xperience album, and took the spherical.

WINNER: Bounty

ROUND 7: Guerilla Black feat. Beenie Man’s “Compton” vs. Bounty Killer feat. The Fugees’ “Hip-Hopera”

Beenie dropped his third straight hip hop crossover observe, this one a visitor verse for Biggie soundalike Guerilla Black over a bouncy Stalag Riddim. Bounty introduced out the large weapons, returning fireplace with a Fugees collab. Because the Warlord would say, “People dead!”

WINNER: Bounty

ROUND 8: Beenie Man’s “Romie” vs. Bounty Killer’s “Worthless Bwoy”

Returning to straight-up dancehall, Beenie served up considered one of his worldwide membership classics, a tune a few woman named “Romie” set to Surprising Vibes’s hard-driving model of the Punany Riddim. Killer replied with a Dave Kelly banger burning out the blokes who lack the stamina to fulfill their vital others.

WINNER: Beenie

ROUND 9: Beenie Man “Old Dog” vs. Bounty Killer “Stucky”

Beenie Man has loads of traditional dancehall joints, and this Dave Kelly positive shot is without doubt one of the most ubiquitous. “Old Dog” recounts his exploits with the other intercourse, shouting out feminine dancehall stars Patra and Woman Noticed alongside the way in which. Bounty replied in variety together with his personal sort of “gyal tune,” extra tough than candy, simply the way in which Killer likes it.

WINNER: Beenie

ROUND 10: Beenie Man feat. Mya “Girls Them Sugar” vs. Bounty Killer ft. Nona Hendryx & Cocoa Brovaz “It’s a Party”

Beenie closed out the primary half of the battle on a robust be aware with considered one of his most stunning information, a Neptunes remake of considered one of his immortal dancehall classics adorned with a candy hook sung by Mya. Bounty’s response was sturdy, however the Wyclef-produced get together joint (with a hook by the previous member of Labelle and bars from Boot Camp MCs) fell simply in need of Beenie’s choice.

WINNER: Beenie

ROUND 11: Beenie Man feat. Wyclef Jean’s “Love Me Now” vs. Bounty Killer feat. Swizz Beatz’ “Guilty”

Flipping catchy lyrics over Naughty By Nature’s traditional “O.P.P.” beat, Beenie sounded sturdy on this Wyclef collab, however Bounty countered with a hard-hitting Swizz Beatz observe that includes a blazing visitor verse from the Killer.

WINNER: Bounty

ROUND 12: Beenie Man feat. Barrington Levy’s “Murderation” vs. Bounty Killer’s “Look”

The vibes had been candy proper up till the second when officers of the Jamaican Constabulary Drive interrupted the motion. Beenie took care of the state of affairs, informing the police that there have been lots of of 1000’s of individuals watching internationally. He then requested his DJ to run one of many hardest tracks in his catalog, a tune about abuse of authority within the ghetto streets. It was such an ideal segue the entire thing nearly appeared deliberate. Killer had no alternative however to counter with probably the most highly effective songs in his catalogue, one other Dave Kelly masterpiece, simply barely successful what was arguably the strongest spherical of your complete battle.

WINNER: Bounty

ROUND 13: Beenie Man’s [Showtime Juggling] vs. Bounty Killer’s “Fed Up”

Nonetheless charged up by the sudden go to from the police, Beenie felt a vibe and determined to carry out his subsequent tune dwell. Beginning out with “Hypocrite,” a blistering broadside towards haters on Dave Kelly’s “Showtime” riddim, Beenie’s efficiency impressed Bounty to hitch in for what grew to become a multi-song medley that included snippets of Killer’s “Eagle & The Hawk” and “Bullet Proof Skin” in addition to Beenie Man’s “Done Have We Things,” “Badman Medley,” “Bury Yuh Dead,” and “Fire Burn.”

After they wrapped up their explosive tag-team efficiency, Beenie calmly acknowledged “My song dat,” indicating that he needed the entire prolonged set to rely as one tune. Bounty retaliated with “Fed Up,” considered one of his signature actuality tunes that cemented his fame as Jamaica’s “Poor People Governor.” One other shut spherical, and extremely unorthodox. Benefit Killa.

WINNER: Bounty

ROUND 14: Beenie Man’s “World Dance” vs. Bounty Killer’s “Gal” 

Beenie Man took it again with considered one of his largest early hits, a “buss the dance” choice on Surprising Vibes’ Cordy Roy Riddim. Killer’s response was one other hardcore tune for the ladies, explosively energetic and lyrically intricate.

WINNER: Beenie

ROUND 15: Beenie Man’s “Modeling” vs. Bounty Killer’s “Model”

Taking it again to the early days of his profession, Beenie served up a tune designed to encourage all of the “bashment girls” within the dance to indicate off their freshest outfits and dance strikes. Killer responded in variety with an identical kind of tune, each bit as lyrically exact as Beenie’s was melodic, making this spherical a lifeless warmth.


ROUND 16: Beenie Man’s “Oyster & Conch” vs. Bounty Killer’s “Benz & Bimma”

Sticking with the “gyal” section, dancehall’s “Doctor” prescribed a musical aphrodisiac, stressing the significance of seafood in your weight loss plan. Killer responded with a dancehall smash likening his appreciation of the feminine physique to his fondness for costly European cars.

WINNER: Bounty

ROUND 17: Beenie Man’s “Dude” vs. Bounty Killer’s “Greatest”

Beenie delivered yet one more Dave Kelly sureshot, this time on the festive Fiesta Riddim. Killer responded with a little-known 2003 observe on the “Hydro” radio, principally conceding this spherical.

WINNER: Beenie

ROUND 18: Beenie Man’s “Mm-Hmm” vs. Bounty Killer feat. Cham’s “Another Level”

Because the battle neared its last rounds, Beenie performed this hard-hitting Tony Kelly manufacturing and grabbed the mic to speak his lyrics dwell and direct, displaying that dancehall artists of a sure age are nonetheless in high kind lyrically. Bounty replied with a musical killshot on Dave Kelly’s Clone Riddim, becoming a member of forces with Cham to take issues to “Another Level.” Feeling the spirit, Beenie grabbed the mic and spit a verse over Bounty’s file.

WINNER: Bounty

ROUND 19: Beenie Man “Nuff Gal” vs. Bounty Killer “Cry For Die For”

Beenie modified up the tempo with a jazzy tune for the women that includes a swinging horn part. This 1996 Jamaican single might have been a much bigger hit for Beenie if it had the precise promotion, and nonetheless sounds nice all these years later. Bounty Killer responded in equally eclectic mode with a jaunty observe on a Riddim primarily based on The Champs’ 1950s rock chart-topper “Tequila.”

WINNER: Beenie

ROUND 20: Beenie Man’s “I’m Drinkin’ (Rum and Red Bull)” vs. Bounty Killer’s “Smoke the Herb”

Beenie closed out his regulation 20 rounds with considered one of his largest crossover hits, a collaboration with Fambo that any individual at Purple Bull ought to in all probability join an endorsement deal. Bounty Killer  responded with maybe his biggest ganja anthems. This one was too near name. Decide your poison.



After operating a few unique dubplate specials — “War Uno Want” by Bounty Killer and a Buju Banton and Beenie Man collab on the M.P.L.A Riddim — Beenie and Bounty served one last tune. ”Why Beenie saved considered one of his signature songs, 2004’s “King of the Dancehall,” for the 21st spherical is anyone’s guess. Bounty’s response  (“Nuh Fren Fish”) was one thing for the hardcore followers solely.

Winner: Beenie


Wider Catalogue: Beenie Man

Whereas each artists did an excellent job displaying the breadth of their respective repertoires, mixing hardcore dancehall hits with worldwide collaborations, Beenie Man confirmed off his versatility with a combination of previous and new dancehall hits in addition to mixing moods and tempos.

Greatest Snub: Beenie Man (Level to Bounty Killer)

Beenie Man opted to not play “Who Am I” (aka “Sim Simma,”) maybe his finest identified worldwide hit. To not be outdone, Bounty Killer additionally uncared for to play “Hey Baby,” his high-profile collaboration with No Doubt from their Grammy-winning 2001 album Rock Regular. Nonetheless Beenie’s oversight was the extra inexplicable of the 2.

Greatest Banter: Beenie Man

When police stopped by in the course of the session and Beenie Man someway saved his cool telling them “Officer, the whole world is watching… do we have to do this right now? Do you really wanna be that guy?”

Greatest KO: Bounty Killer

Not lengthy after the police stopped by, Beenie and Bounty joined in on an eight tune freestyle, venting their frustration on the police. However Bounty’s response, “Poor People Fed Up,” trumped an prolonged dwell efficiency, demonstrating simply how a lot of a punch that tune nonetheless packs.

Individuals’s Champ: Bounty Killer

Whereas Beenie proved the extra strategic selector, Bounty Killer’s off-the-cuff adlibs an manic power — particularly when he observed Rihanna within the IG viewers — saved the temper up. Even when he performed sudden picks, the Warlord’s respect ranges had been on 11.

FINAL SCORE: 13-10-3, Beenie Man

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