Beenie Man and Bounty Killer have both been signed for this year’s instalment of Reggae Sumfest and will perform onstage together in what is gearing up to be an epic ‘tune-fi-tune’ ‘90s recall segment. Sumfest made the big announcement rather quietly via their website on Thursday, shortly after which, Bounty Killer uploaded the flier to his personal social-media pages, and the secret was officially out. The fan reaction has been overwhelmingly positive as this represents the first time that these two long-time rivals have ever been billed to showcase all the songs which made them popular, including their ‘clash’ tunes, on a stage designed to elicit peaceful vibes.
“They are both very excited about this,” Reggae Sumfest head honcho Josef ‘Joe’ Bogdanovich told The Gleaner. “I think the time is right for this show of unity in the dancehall, and it will be great. People are going to love it.”
According to Bogdanovich, the decision to have these two artistes – whose rivalry within the dancehall is as legendary as their artistry – perform together in a show of unity of this magnitude was born out of a simple “idea that popped into (his) head”.
“This will be a big lesson to teach to all the new acts in the business about what it takes to be a legend,” an enthusiastic Bogdanovich, who was just returning from the successful New York launch of the festival, said. “Many of these younger acts have the tool of social media to help to make them become extremely popular in a very short time. But it takes time to learn the ropes and to get that added edge of staying power, or else it will be nothing more than hype, which will just burn out like a shooting star,” the Downsound Entertainment CEO said, adding, “They (Beenie and Bounty) are both legends, and they didn’t become legends overnight.”
Fans of both artistes had suspected that something was in the making when, prior to the announcement, the two had been posting ‘throwback’ pictures of both of them together on social media. Bounty Killer upped the ante by paying a lengthy, heartfelt, tribute to Beenie Man.
“Many people might be speculating about why Killer posting so much pic with @kingbeenieman well a little enlightenment… 2003 Its A Party at Polo Club I told Ennis and the securities not to let Beenie in my party. Beenie cuss off the security dem and returned with a Polo Club Membership Card get into the party and ended up on stage.. deejaying the morning too. What a heart! When my father died 09 he was at the nine night and funeral too. In this pic here, it was 2012 March 4th my mom nine night, the worst days of my entire life, he was there and at the funeral also ….as a rival he supported me way more than half of the ppl I gave the platform (sic),” Bounty Killer said in the Instagram post.
He concluded, “He may be not be my closest bredrin since I don’t know his phone number or where he lives but he is truly a friend indeed when truly in need Salute Greatness Kabooom full transition (sic).”