Heat between two of dancehall’s most revered legends has apparently resurfaced as the King of Dancehall, Beenie Man was reportedly barred from performing a show in Trinidad and Tobago after the Dancehall Emperor, Shabba Ranks reportedly objected to him being on the bill.
Beenie was called upon by promoters for the show, Unplugged to replace Barrington Levy, who was forced to withdraw due to his ongoing bout with dengue fever and accepted. However, after hearing of Beenie’s inclusion on the show, which also included Tanya Stephens, Maxi Priest as well as Chakka Demus and Pliers, among others, Shabba reportedly threw a tantrum, demanding that he be removed from the show, a request organizers yielded to.
Neither entertainer has commented on the situation.
Though no specific reason has been given for this snub, all initial signs point back to an issue between the two artists in 2012 when Shabba returned to Jamaica to a heroes welcome ahead of his much-anticipated performance at Reggae Sumfest that summer. Beenie, commenting to Television Jamaica’s Entertainment Report about the large crowd that received Shabba both at the Norman Manley International Airport and his home community of Olympic Gardens said, “Anybody can get that, you haffi just pay for it.”
Despite backtracking from his comments shortly thereafter, Beenie was widely criticized as being jealous of Shabba’s reception, with Ninja Man in particular calling him to the carpet, saying in an interview, “A me buss Shabba, so from you dis Shabba, you dis me. Shabba do work whe nuff artiste never do yet. Him leave Jamaica and give di artiste dem space fi make money. Beenie Man a talk bout how a buy di man buy him motorcade when him come a Jamaica, Beenie Man you badmind Shabba. You too bad-mind.”