The always-smiling Beenie Man was beaming especially broadly on Wednesday night at Pure Plush, New Kingston, as he launched his August 22 Sizzle at a brief ceremony hosted by Dr Kingsley ‘Ragashanti’ Stewart.
The concert, which marks Beenie Man’s 30 years in music, takes place inside the National Stadium and features a staggering line-up of performers, including Shaggy, Sizzla, Funkmaster Flex, John Holt, D’Angel, Etana, Fanton Mojah, Maya, Vybz Kartel and the Portmore Empire, Tony Matterhorn, DaVille, Cameal Davis, Jah Cure, Lady Saw, Queen Ifrica, Destra, Bunjie Galin, Junior Reid, Andrew and Wada Blood.
Sizzle will be organised in segments including oldies and soca.
In addition, Beenie Man said, “I’m trying to lock down Janet Jackson for August 22.”
In announcing the line-up, Beenie Man, to cheers from the audience, said there will be a Gaza segment and added that there would also be a Big Ship segment. Someone in the audience shouted “waapen to appliance?”
“Alliance are invited. I can’t do nothing else,” Beenie Man said. “If them no forward, that mean them no involve inna my career at all. Me need Bounty Killer pon me show.”
“Bounty Killer go pon Sumfest an’ say a peace him a deal wid. Him perform good, him no get no boo,” Beenie Man said, to laughter.
Mixing the invitation with jibes, Beenie Man said, “Bounty Killer a me deejay. A 30 year me inna it an a 16 year me an him a fight. If yu bex me married to Angel, me sorry. If yu bex Marco Dean born, me sorry. But candle still a light,” he said, referring to an earlier comment he had made when Ragashanti asked if he and D’Angel were still burning calories.
The gates open at 6 p.m. and the concert starts at 8 p.m.
The name of the event is different from ‘Summer Sizzle’, as it was known when held previously at the Jamalco Sports Club in Halse Hall, Clarendon. A grinning Beenie Man said, “We called it Summer Sizzle when I was with Shocking Vibes. I don’t know if Shocking Vibes register the name.”
There was laughter from the audience in the nightclub. “I nah run no risk, two man jus walk in an sey our show,” Beenie Man said.
He said that originally he wanted to hold a free concert but then the costs hit home. He gave thanks to main sponsors LIME (The Gleaner and THESTAR are also sponsors) for coming on board and “making it even better, make I do what I want to do.”
“Is for the people come enjoy a Jamaican artiste who want my standard known before I’m a dead man,” Beenie Man said.
And LIME’s Stephen Miller made the connection between the telecommunications provider and Beenie Man, saying “like LIME, Beenie Man has reinvented himself over the years, allowing himself to remain relevant.”
“Given the similarities, while we try to reintroduce our brand to the young and young at heart, we think the partnership with Beenie Man’s Sizzle is a natural fit,” he said.
Senator Warren Newby, speaking on behalf of Minister Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, congratulated Beenie Man, as a dancehall pioneer, noting that he is a trendsetter. There was emphasis on the need to structure the dancehall sector more for it to realise its potential.
Damian Crawford spoke about Beenie Man’s longevity as an example to young people, recalling his early days at Kingston College when Beenie Man was already known as King of the Dancehall. Speaking not in his PNPYO capacity but, “as a young person who enjoys music, I endorse Beenie Man’s Sizzle as the place to be for the summer,” Crawford said.
Although Sizzle will not be free, Beenie Man said he would still be giving away 5,000 tickets.