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Beenie Man Rocks Detroit!

Beenie Man was in town June 19th for 105.9 Summer Jamz, a free concert at Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit. He hyped up the crowd at the over-packed amphitheatre. He had everyone doing the thunder clap and putting one finger in the air for the #1 NBA Champion Detroit Pistons.
It was a pleasure to see him on his feet and performing as well as ever. It was only a few months ago when he shocked the world when he wrecked his Hummer in a major car accident in Jamaica that required him to have two surgeries. He assured us that he is ?all healed 100%? as he looked at a photo of the smashed vehicle, smiled and said, ?I walked away from that.?
Beenie Man is not taking anything for granted as he is back touring and promoting his new album Back to Basics which will hit the stores on July 13th. This album will not disappoint the true dancehall lovers as he says this album is strictly hardcore dancehall and nothing commercialized.
Beenie?s career started when he was 8 years old and he is one of the most prominent pioneers of dancehall music. When asked how would he describe dancehall today and the direction in which it is going he said that,
?It is all business now. At one time it was just an artist needing to be heard, like on the radio. Right now it?s all business and contracted. The music in Jamaica has not changed. Everywhere else in the world is all business.?
With the mainstream attention that reggae artists are receiving now he said that, ?Dancehall is the pop music of the future.?
He feels that because he still lives in Jamaica and has not taken residence in the states like some reggae artists have, is the reason why he has managed to stay so true to hardcore dancehall while at the same time being in the mainstream.
It is known that some dancehall songs contain derogatory names and suggest violent acts towards homosexuals. Beenie Man and other dancehall artists like Bounty Killer and Elephant Man have been receiving a lot of criticism about their homophobic lyrics. When asked about the negative remarks that he has received, Beenie replied,
?A man cannot force a man to believe what he believes in. Just like how people cuss the government and say the government does wrong things. Just like how people cuss people who deal the wrong way. As a straight man I believe it is wrong, because the bible says that if a man lie with a man as he lies with a woman shall be put to death. That?s what the bible says. We know that some men are born with more female feelings than man feelings become gay. It?s no fault of theirs. Therefore, me, I cannot tell a man how to stay. I tell a man how to live. I really don?t like a man telling me what to sing because music is freedom of speech. ?
On June 23rd, Beenie traveled to Britain for his Scotland/ UK tour. Upon arriving at Heathrow Airport in London, he was stopped and questioned by the police about his anti-gay lyrics in response to complaints from a gay civil rights group called Outrage! The same organization had called for the arrest of Bounty Killer in 2003 as soon as he arrived in Britain for a tour for the same reasons. Bounty Killer cancelled two shows after the incident.
The venue where Beenie Man was to perform the following night cancelled the show ?due to concerns for public safety and following discussions with the Metropolitan Police.?
Peter Thatchell of Outrage! said, ?We hope that this victory will result in other homophobic singers having their concerts cancelled. Once they start losing money, they?ll soon drop their anit-gay lyrics.?
Beenie will be bringing his tour through Detroit in October 2004. As of now, Ms. Thing (featured on the smash hit ?Dude?) will not be joining him because she is currently pregnant and expecting a baby.
Before he left Beenie Man wanted everyone to go out and pick up his new album on July 13th, and to all his fans he said, ?If you love me, I love you more.?

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