Former Main Street Studio Dancehall artiste Hawkeye, says Beenie Man pirated his talk-deejaying style and rhyme schemes and used it to voice his song Reasoning, back in 2001.
Speaking on The Entertainment Report Podcast a few days ago, Hawkeye said Beenie Man’s act of piracy upset his own manager at the time so much, that he ordered the Tivoli Gardens native to immediately voice a song to reprimand Beenie for his actions and to point out that the Girl Dem Sugar was a pirate.
In recounting the saga during an interview with Muscle, host of the Toronto-based programme, Hawkeye said when he shied away from the lyrical confrontation, his manager threatened to sever all ties with him if he did not scold Beenie musically, and allowed him to get away with such a travesty. “A me come wid flow inna music business enuh. A me a di fus man come bout yah a talk pon pon riddim, literally. A my style,” Hawkeye explained.
While reminiscing on the role legendary music producer Danny Browne played in developing the potency of his songwriting skills, particularly the ability to play on words, Hawkeye said he had written a song using the now-pirated lyrical flow, with witty lyrics telling a story about a woman whom he liked, but who was pretending not to remember him.
The Arrest Mi Officer artiste said he had penned the song whilst on an overseas tour and was looking for an appropriate riddim on which to voice it, but inadvertently used the style in his delivery one night at the Cactus nightclub in Portmore, after being coerced by one of his fans, to join Beenie Man on stage for a cameo appearance.
Hawkeye who has a slew of hits including Go Rachel, Money-making Guy and Yuh Nuh Beg, explained further that he had gone to Cactus as a patron with no intention of performing, but rather staying amongst the patrons to supporting fellow artistes who were billed that night.
Beenie he said, told the audience that he was fresh off from a tour and would be singing all new songs. After ‘mashing up the place’ Beenie handed him the microphone, and he too said he would be giving the audience something new. That was when he unleashed the talking style of deejaying, which virtually brought down the house.
He said upon seeing the response, Beenie immediately grabbed the microphone and made up lyrics on the spot using the same flow, evoking cheers from the audience.
“After all a dat mi a leave di club an a man seh to mi seh: ‘deejay, yuh style gone enuh’. I wasn’t really taking it dat him a tell mi seh di man a guh teef mi style. I thought him just a tell mi seh, mi style bad, an it a guh bus. Seen,” he said.
“Two weeks afta dat mi hear di style pan radio: ‘Me caan teck dat boss, Balla drive and dead and crash…’ an mi a seh: what a man brave and bad! Mi a seh ‘mi caan believe a mi style di man have up suh inna mi face’. But honestly, the kind of person me was, I wasn’t going to attack it or say anyting. A mi manager call mi inna a meeting one day and gi mi a fine tracing and seh: ‘yuh a eediat? How yuh guh mek dem man deh, weh have big name already, an a clash an a meck how much money, a guh teck your style and throw you by di side. Answer him! Guh answer him. Answer him else mi nuh inna no management ting wid yuh!’” Hawkeye recounted.
Hawkeye said he went to Skatta Burrell’s studio, and after hearing the producer’s Double Jeopardy riddim, penned and voiced the counteraction song, which bore the lyrics of reprimand for Beenie Man. That song he said, was titled My Style and bore the lyrics:
“Hear dem seh dem a shock
But dem naw shock right
Seh dem have di business lock
But dem naw lock it right
All di style dem a chat, but dem naw chat it right
Crowd a people, some man need fi guh siddung and write
A wha dem a cook up inna pot, bwoy dem teef eeh man
Dah style deh mi hear yuh a chat, how yuh so speedy man
Acting suh greedy man”
“Suh me just defend my ting and from dat song drop, di radio hot. Dem play his song and den my song. They twinned the two song. Yuh know me nuh follow up tings inna music, Killa woulda deejay seh ‘bwoy him a pirate an him a dis an ray and tay’… I have heard, but because me experience it fi myself how me jus come wid a new song, talk it pon stage. Mi did tink you jus a borrow it pon stage at di time fi get a forward. Me neva know seh yuh did a guh run guh record it like yuh waan teck it ova seh a your own and a you create it,” Hawkeye said.
“Suh mid haffi address di matter. Mi glad mi management did talk to me at di time and seh address it, because I wasn’t really going to address it,” he explained.
Hawkeye said after he voiced My Style, Beenie Man confessed to him that the song made him feel extremely embarrassed, and that it was like a ‘dagger to his heart’.
“And that particular artiste came to me personally an seh: ‘boss, mi naw lie, da chune deh weh yuh duh stick mi hard, stick mi inna mi heart. Nuh care how yuh si mi an di odda man (Bounty Killer) deh a war an a clash an a duh wi ting, him nuh chat nuttn weh really stick mi like dat’”, Hawkeye said.
“The funniest ting was dat when I was doing di song for di producer (Skatta), his (Beenie) name was in it yuh nuh. An di producer beg mi fi teck out him name, because him also want di artiste fi come voice pon him riddim and if him hear mi call him name, especially in a vibe like dat, dah kinda song deh, him naw guh waa voice. Him a guh waa vex and go weh.
Because it (lyric) was; ‘A wha teck yuh Beenie Man, how yuh suh greedy man? But dem teck out di name suh mi seh ‘how yuh suh speedy man? Acting suh greedy man?” he said.
Hawkeye is not the first artiste to call out Beenie for piracy.
The legendary musical feud between Beenie Man and Bounty Killer which spanned more than two decades, also stemmed from the fact that Beenie had bootlegged the One General’s style on the 1990s classic Bad Man Wicked Man.
Some years ago during an interview with Reggae.fr, Bounty Killer had said that while his clashes are not very serious, and he had never have a personal issue about a person and turn it into music, Beenie was the exception.
“It was really a musical issue where Beenie Man come and pirate my style and acting like this is his and like he had a user permit, so I show him no you have no right to use it. So it wasn’t anything beyond music, it was just Beenie taking my style and I got to prove it was mine,” he had told the publication.