In recent years, dancehall has seen several new generation acts who refrain from listing local stars among their inspirations. Atlanta-based singjay Demarco is spearheading a change in his recent release, Homage, an ego-less ode to dancehall giants Beenie Man and Bounty Killer.
Released three days after their epic Labour Day appearance on ‘Verzuz‘, Homage starts off with Demarco giving a definition of the word, then adding that many people will be disgruntled with his decision to publicly highlight Beenie Man and Bounty Killer as pivotal figures in his decision to do music.
Sampling Notorious B.I.G’s Juicy intro, the artiste reflects on being starstruck by the talent, impact and success of the dancehallers in his youth.
It was all a dream
Mi grow see Bounty-Beenie locking the scheme
Mi tell mi self mi haffi go fi di cream
Crown the king Beenie the best performer weh di block ever seen
Set out fi be an unstoppable being…
On top of the word, a deh so mi fi deh
And to the dreamkiller dem di whole a unno fi gweh
Dem seh mi nah reach far well a Africa mi deh
Yeah ni**a look at me now, a weh dem deh did a seh?
Mi memba Killer wid di red Honda
Now mi grow fi drive di bimmas and di Benz bout yah
Not even dat dog, mi own a couple endz bout yah
And mi never sell out, mi never bend over
Big up di king Beenie, warlord Bounty
Haffi pay homage a unno grow come see
Mi never beg nutten, mi strive fi doe hungry
Fi fight fi mi space, mi nuh fumble, don’t clumsy
Mi haffi pay homage, homage (x3)
Unno put nuff good inna ghetto youth stomach, stomach
What makes this tune more sentimental is its production team. Homage is produced by Attomatic Records and Hemton Music, two labels responsible for some of the biggest trap dancehall records. Both Beenie and Bounty have voiced their opinion on the genre over the years, with Bounty being particularly vocal about his disapproval of trap music having any association with authentic dancehall. The producers, sticking to their genre-bending style, churn out a fitting sonic to complement Demarco’s gratitude to the deejays. Both Beenie and Bounty have since reposted the song to their Instagram accounts.
Check out Homage below.