Monday, March 9, 2009

Random iPod Track of the Week - Beenie Man "Who Am I"

Sim Simma
Who got de keys to my bimma
Who am I de girls dem sugar
How can I mek luv to ah fella in ah rush pass meh de keys to my truck
Who am I de girls dem lock
And I and I we make love to precious but...

That's that shit! This is such a classic Dancehall tune. I was in college when this came out and it was played at every party for about 3 straight years. All of the girls loved shaking their asses to this one. Even though most people couldn't understand what the hell Beenie Man was saying (we still don't!), they could always chant along with the "Sim Simma, Who got the keys to my Bimma"!!!

As with most hit Reggae and Dancehall tracks, "Who Am I" was released more than a year before it became a hit in the U.S. It first dropped in 1997 and was a UK Top 40 hit but it wasn't until 1998 that the U.S. finally caught on. If you were up on your Dancehall, you knew about this track for awhile but there weren't many people (especially white folk) that were into this style of music back then. Funny enough, it was a tiny little white girl that asked me if I had this track when I was DJ'n at the club one night. She went on and on about how much she loved the track and told me I just HAD TO GET IT.  I figured if she was this passionate about this song, I had to at least do a little research and give it a listen. 

It took me a couple of weeks to find the album because the single had not been released yet (at least in Boston). This was well before internet downloading and even before any real online purchasing so I literally had to go digging in the crates from store to store in various locations across Massachusetts.  I looked every freakin' where!  The Reggae section in most stores was either wack or just didn't exist but luckily Tower Records on Newbury St. had a humongous World music section so I was able to finally snag a copy.

I think that is one of the main reasons why I love this track so much.  I had to put in some major effort to find it but once I finally got my hands on it, all of that madness paid off. I fell in love with the track because it was dope as hell and every time I played it the crowd went nuts. The fact that I was one of the first local DJ's to know about or have this track made it that much crazier for me. There was a certain swagger that went along with having exclusive tracks back then. Now you can just download a track at any time and can even have it in your hands minutes after it's been released or even completed.  I love that instant gratification but the fun of the search for the " buried treasure" is no longer there. 

Due to the wonders of YouTube, I was able to find the ORIGINAL video for "Who Am I".   It doesn't get more ghetto than this.  Seriously. I mean WTF is this big ass dude doing in the beginning to that poor girl?  That must be the molestation dance the Jamaicans practice up in the clubs.  I've just never seen it in broad daylight!  Does he think that's sexy?  That shit is scary! 

If you've ever been to Jamaica (specifically Negril), this will give you some flashbacks which may not necessarilly be a good thing if you are a good looking lady (or even an ugly one!) or a dude that had your money stolen by a dude with a machette (true story). I was bugging out while I was watching this thinking back to all the madness that ensued on Spring Break in 1999.  Those dudes just didn't give a F$#k!  They would basically be dry humping the shit out of a girl on the dance floor like they were the only ones there.  It was wild!  Now that I am thinking about it, I made it on an episode of MTV's The Grind with Eric Neis! Ha Ha! Classic.

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