If you’re a recording artiste who has been struggling to pen a song for days and weeks, you may want to reconsider the instrumental. According to veteran dancehall deejay Beenie Man, it only takes 10 minutes to write a hit song. If it takes longer than that, he said the beat is the problem.
“It takes five minutes to build a hit song,” he started. “It takes five minutes to find that hit melody. When you find that hit melody the only thing left for you to do is word it the right way. So when you use the right words and put it in the right way with the right melody and the right beat, 10 minutes. Best song.”
This was the case for his 2004 hit King of the Dancehall which appeared on his Back to Basics album.
“When you find that hit melody the only thing left for you to do is word it the right way.”– Beenie Man
“The album is coming out and I was tryna go different so I link up back with the old producer weh mek Bookshelf, Mr Tony Kelly. He got some different beats so when him drop the beat it was like ‘Whoa, this is what I’m looking for’. So mi go outside, it tek mi like 10 minutes fi find the song.”
The single peaked at number 26 on Billboard’s Hot RnB/Hip Hop Songs chart.
Beenie Man was speaking about the making of some of his biggest records with Zimbabwe’s ZiFM Stereo. The year 2004 also yielded his hit Dude, which also appeared on the Back to Basics album. The steel pan-infected number featured Miss Thing, and Beenie Man shared that the song’s iconic intro was inspired by selector Richie Feelings.
“I was at the studio and there was no entry… The song was already written… Miss Thing already sing already and I was there like this is gonna be boring cause she’s gonna start ‘I wanna dude with the wickedest slam. I need a one, two, three hour man’ and that’s how the song started. I said, ‘I don’t like how it start’, so we go inna di studio and we deh deh… Richie Feelings have a ting where him seh, ‘Gyal if yuh waan bed, call mi. Yuh waan dresser? Call mi’ and this is how we get the entry weh seh, ‘Yuh want a proper fix? Call mi. Yuh wanna get your kicks? Call mi. Yuh waan di cheese trix? Call mi’…”
Dude peaked at number 26 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
As for his 1997 banger Who Am I, Beenie Man said it was inspired by a real experience.
“I came to Jamaica, have a brand new BMW and mi hear a rhythm weh mi like so mi start sing bout mi car and then things start go different,” he said. “The problem is I couldn’t find the key in the morning. My brother’s name is Simma, ‘Sim Simma, who’s got the keys to my Bimma?’… Dem couldn’t find it so mi drive the truck, ‘In a rush, pass mi di keys to my truck’.”
The Jeremy Harding-produced record attracted a deal from Virgin Records and appeared on the Many Moods of Moses album. It peaked at number six on Billboard’s Hot Rap Songs chart.