Beenie Man has affirmed that he not only masterminded the creation of Zim-Dancehall, Zimbabwe’s local adaptation of Jamaican Dancehall, but also invented the term, quashing claims made over the years that it was coined by UK-based disc jockey Slaggy Yout.
Beenie was speaking on Radio Jamaica about Jamaican musicians’ influence on the African continent and his various sojourns to the Motherland, when he pointed out his pioneering role in creating Zim-Dancehall.
He said that years ago, during a stint in Zimbabwe, he had met some budding artists from the African country who wanted to become Dancehall artists, but, according to him, they had no clue what to do.
“Zim-Dancehall, a me meck it enuh. A me meck it. A me name it too – Zim-Dancehall,” Beenie told host of Radio Jamaica’s Two Live Crew, Dahlia Harris and Christopher “Johnny” Daley during the programme on Friday afternoon.
“Caw mi buck up a whole heap a artiste over there an dem nuh know weh fi do. Suh wi jus seh ‘studio!’ An wi guh a di studio an wi start mek riddim an seh ‘play dis, play dat’; play dis; guh suh. Guh roun suh. Gimme da base yah; gimme dah keyboard yah’,” the Romie artiste added.
There has been much debate over the years amongst Zimbabweans as to who coined the term Zim-Dancehall, and much discourse on the genesis of the music form.
A January 2015 article published in Music in Africa, titled The Rise of Zim-Dancehall, noted that the sub-genre “owes its origins to Jamaican reggae music which was popularised in the country by Bob Marley’s memorable performance at independence in 1980”.