Who Am I: The Untold Story of Dancehall’s King Hits North America
by AirBourne / June 29th, 2009
…From living on the streets and sleeping in the neighborhood gutter, the boys seldom changed; their clothes would be filthy, their skin dirty, and their hair caked with grime. But out there they were free. No rules. No whippings. And the freedom to wander rom one community sound system to the next, singing and deejaying to small gatherings. Earlier, they had elicited rousing ovations from the small crowd gathered at the General Hi-Power spot on Sandy Lane. Among those bowled over were Reggie and Steve. The only thing the boys knew about Reggie and Steve were that they were visitors from Ewarton in rural St. Catherine, and soon after they met and had their first conversation with the two men, Beenie Man and Little Kirk vanished without a trace…
(Excerpt from WHO AM I: The Untold Story of Beenie Manby Milton Wray)
From his days wandering in and out of sound system sessions as a semi-homeless five-year old to his reign as the undisputed “King of the Dancehall,” the untold story of Moses Davis is the untold story of the bold cultural movement – Dancehall – that was spawned out of the economic depression and political tribalism of Jamaica’s inner-city. With WHO AM I-The Untold Story of Beenie Man, veteran entertainment journalist Milton Wray delves into the unimaginable world of Dancehall’s biggest, brightest, and most controversial figure, while also giving a very intimate look into the growing mainstream phenomenon known as Dancehall.
Originally released by Great House Books in the Caribbean in 2008, WHO AM I has finally made its way to North America. Currently available through U.S. Reggae powerhouse VP Records in New York, and worldwide through Amazon.com, WHO AM I digs into the real story behind the rumors: the 16-year rivalry with Dancehall’s ‘Warlord‘; the rise and fall of the Shocking Vibes family; and the very public deterioration of his relationships with two of Dancehall’s leading ladies.
“Milton Wray’sWHO AM Idoes for Beenie Man whatCatch A Firedid for Bob Marley,” states Rob Kenner, Editor-at-Large of Vibe Magazine. “The book presents a complex and compelling Jamaican superstar with the proper critical context and all due respect. Wray’s decisive advantage is that he grew up on the same Kingston Streets as his subject, infusing his biography with a richness and cultural authenticity that no amount of field research could ever equal…“
“Infectious and daring, like a wicked Dancehall ‘choon’ about to blow up the charts...” is how Klive Walker, author of
Dubwise: Reasoning from the Reggae Underground, describes Wray’s work.
Pat Meschino, contributing writer to Billboard Magazine states that WHO AM I is “essential reading for anyone who wants a greater understanding of Dancehall’s most dazzling performer…Milton Wray colorfully details Beenie Man’s life, professional triumphs and tragedies, his sheer determination and unrestrained talent…“
Great House Books’ WHO AM I: The Untold Story of Beenie Man by Milton Wray (ISBN: 978-976-95199-3-0) is currently available at VP Records stores and through A&B Distribution in New York. To purchase the book contact, VP Records at 718-425-1100 or visit Amazon.