Is it Splitsville Between Beenie Man & Virgin?


By: Jigga/YardFlex Reporter

beenieman&VirginCarlingtonWilmot_Yardflex.jpgIn June, the penultimate album of Beenie Man's five-album deal with Virgin Records, is scheduled to hit stores worldwide. But it may well signal the beginning of the end of his association with the internationally recognized label.

Inside sources revealed to YardFlex that it will be a straight dancehall album which will be dubbed Undisputed. Current hotshot dancehall producer Don Corleone is reportedly handling much of the production work on the 18 tracks. There is also a track produced by R. Kelly and Beenie Man.

"The single Hum Hum is now being sent to radio stations overseas and from there, we are waiting to see if it is added to playlists, 500 spin a week mean dat yu up deh...1,000 spin mean dat yu a kick up...from there so to Billboard, from Billboard to Grammy," Beenie Man told YARDFLEX.

There are rumours of trouble between Beenie Man and the representatives of Virgin Records, especially after he was dogged by controversy regarding the content of his music and became one of several dancehall artistes targetted by gay rights groups two years ago. The record company also reportedly issued an apology on his behalf to the gay rights organizations, a move that irked Beenie Man's camp at that time, and incensed his fans.

In a recent interview with a reporter for the national newspaper, Beenie said of the Virgin deal, "me done wid dat. Virgin no know whe dem a do. Me sell more a Africa an' Europe an Brazil dan America. Virgin is not an American company.... When de deal is over, me a sign wid a urban company. Me a sign Mafia House to Sony/Epic".

Still, despite the controversy, Beenie Man has managed to remain on top of his game. Last November, after a one-year absence, he returned to the Billboard R&B Hip Hop Singles & Tracks chart with his collaboration with Trinidadian soca artiste KMC, titled 'Soul on Fire' debuting at number 84. This is the second single to chart on that listing which credits Beenie Man as featured artiste. Last year he was featured on rapper Guerilla Blacks' 'Compton' hit single.