Yellowman, one of Jamaica’s dancehall luminaries and living legends, is not pleased with the release of Beenie Man’s remake of his iconic song, Zungguzungguguzungguzeng.
Yellow Man has expressed his discontent with the remake, which he says he hasn’t heard, proclaiming that he wished if it were anyone else but Beenie Man. The deejay even says he would have preferred Shaggy or Sean Paul.
Zungguzungguguzungguzeng is regarded as a Dancehall classic and helped to launch Yellowman’s popularity in the 1980s.
Beenie Man and Jeremy Harding, the original producer of Beenie’s global hit song Who Am I, collaborated for an update of Yellowman’s classic. Beenie Man’s version of the song was released on Friday, July 3, 2020, and he acknowledges Yellowman in the track as the original singer and ‘King.’
Over the years, there has been much debate as to whether who is the King of Dancehall and who is most deserving of the coveted title. Both artistes have anchored themselves on to the throne, resulting in a never-ending feud among veterans.
They both have been a great source of entertainment and lyrical genius over the years, uplifting dancehall as one of the most potent Jamaican products in the world.
Speaking with the Jamaica Star in an interview, Yellowman shared that he would have welcomed the remake if it was done by someone else.
“I wish somebody else did do Zungguzungguguzungguzeng, maybe Shaggy or Sean Paul….Me nuh even hear it. Is a friend from England text me and tell me about it. Me have a saying, yuh always have a common mango trying to be an East Indian,” he said.
Yellowman stated that he and Beenie still share a strained relationship, and added that they don’t even acknowledge each other when they appear on the same shows.
“Me nuh deal wid him. It look like dem did want to start a rivalry with me, but I am not into those things to stain my career,” the deejay said.
When the Star contacted Beenie’s manager Rohan Smith for a comment on the matter, he stated that Beenie Man was approached by Jeremy Harding for them to record the song, which he agreed to.
“He (Beenie Man) was asked, and him never hesitate to do it. Is not like him don’t respect Yellow, but maybe Yellow feel otherwise,” Smith remarked.
The song, Zungguzungguguzungguzeng, was originally produced by Henry’ Junjo’ Lawes and released on VP’s Reggae Sound label in 1982, and Greensleeves Records later released an LP of the same name.
Both musicians are synonymous to brand Jamaica with their unmistakable voices, but they’ve been at odds in the past. In 2006, Beenie compared Bounty Killer and Yellowman’s appearance during an interview with German-based Riddim Magazine, saying “Bounty Killer is a great artiste and he’s ugly, too. He’s got a rough thing about him, Jamaicans like that from the Shabba Rankin’ days and the King Stitt days and the Yellowman days.”
Yellowman responded to the comments saying, “Him can diss me all him like, but him caan diss the Jamaican public. What kinda ting that him say inna Riddim magazine? If me ugly, him pretty, me know say me wear shirt, him wear blouse, me wear pants, him wear skirt.”
Yellowman was born with albinism. In 1986, his face was left disfigured after he underwent surgery to remove a tumor caused by cancer which had spread to his jaw.
Although Beenie was crowned King of Dancehall in 2009 at the biggest reggae show on earth, Reggae Sumfest, Yellowman remains a formidable lyrical opponent like none seen before and is regarded as the people’s King.
On Instagram, Dancehall fans were divided in their opinions of the remake and the two legends.
Many took Yellowman’s side, saying Beenie Man tried to “overthrow Yellowman, then turned around and sampled his favorite song.”
“Isn’t it ironic that the same way Beenie Man treated Yellowman for his crown back then is the same way Vybz Kartel treating Beenie Man now? Moral of the story is treat ppl with respect and treat ppl the way u would want them to treat you,” said one fan.
Defenders of Beenie Man dismissed Yellowman’s comments. “Relax Yellow. Easy! Bout Sean Paul and Shaggy,” said one, while another added, “But dis nuh meck sense cause Sean Paul an Shaggy is not a Zungguzungguguzungguzeng Singer kmt Yellow memba Beenie still relevant, hes the one suitable for the remake so the younger ones know yu.”