Reggae music lovers have been waiting on this moment since Swizz Beatz and Timbaland introduced the Verzuz battle series to Instagram at the height of this pesky pandemic. A face-off between two of the most celebrated artists in dancehall: Beenie Man vs. Bounty Killer. Or better yet, The Girls Dem Sugar vs.The Poor People’s Governor.
A Beenie and Bounty clash is long overdue. I wouldn’t be surprised if tonight’s Verzuz performance, the most highly anticipated yet—the initial announcement cultivated 10,677 comments—crushes the internet. Here’s what we can expect from the virtual bashment.
CELEBRATION NOT RIVALRY
It’s no secret Beenie (née Anthony Davis) and Bounty (née Rodney Price) had beef back in the days. In 1993, the young deejays clashed on stage at Sting in Kingston, Jamaica, but then reconciled two years later on that same stage, with a firm handshake and a clear message to the crowd, “Bounty Killer and Beenie Man together, on stage, deejaying to one another, it’s like two brother.”
Saturday’s clash will represent the evolution of this brotherhood. Beenie and Bounty have ‘nuff respect for one another, and have spent their careers creating music that moves the culture forward. What beef? It’s all love.
A HIGHLY ENGAGED AUDIENCE
If you know anything about Jamaican dancehall culture, patrons of the dancehall take sound clashes seriously. From brushing up on dance moves just in case you get caught by the “video light” to planning elaborate looks (remember Marcia and Olivine in Dancehall Queen?).
These champion sounds going tune-for-tune is no small thing. And if you don’t know, or are new to the scene, welcome! Tonight’s showdown is the perfect opportunity to participate and learn. Verzuz virtual battle platform is an homage to the traditional reggae sound clash. And although we’ll be dubbing in quarantine, trust we’ll still be dubbing. See y’all there.