Dancehall music joined the big stage once more when the BET Awards highlighted some of its icons last night. DJ Cassidy’s Pass The Mic, which aired right after the BET Awards 2021, was a star-studded affair, featuring Hip Hop stars like Nelly, Kelis, Jadakiss, Ray J, Ashanti and Akon.
Dancehall stars Beenie Man, Sean Paul, and Wayne Wonder brightened the proceedings with sounds of some of the biggest early 2000’s hits from Jamaica with DJ Cassidy adding flair to the set as DJ/Hypeman.
Beenie Man was first up when Cassidy passed the mic to Jamaica and as usual, he gave a high-energy rendition of Girls Dem Sugar with Mya. Beenie Man showed us once that when he is coupled with the evergreen Mya and her soothing voice they create waves and we were reminded of that last night.
The King of the Dancehall not only impressed with his delivery but also with his fashion sense. The checkered suit he donned, which was styled by @RebLRocR, was a masterstroke.
Wayne Wonder was featured right after, performing his big Diwali riddim hit No Letting Go. The short cameo from the melody man was enough to send you right back to 2002 the year it was released. “Got somebody she’s a beauty, very special really and truly, take good care of me, like it’s her duty “, sang Wonder as we sang along.
Last, but not least was Jamaica’s most successful early 2000’s artist Sean Paul performing Get Busy. Released in 2002, the song peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 replacing 50 Cent’s In Da Club for the top spot back then. Last night’s rendition by SP, done at Dutty Rock studios, had DJ Cassidy dancing energetically as the vibe peaked on screen.
Paul told the Observer that it would be a “very quick performance, but he’s kinda shining light on different vibes in music and our vibes (Jamaica) come around. It was just awesome to be able to represent. Big up to DJ Cassidy and the whole team.”
As Shaggy said recently, the impact of 90’s/early 2000’s Dancehall music is still being felt today. In 2013, the BET Awards also featured throwback dancehall with the likes of Chaka Demus and Pliers, Beenie Man, and Elephant Man reminding mainstream America of dancehall’s magic.
More recently, BET featured Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, Koffee, Shenseea, Skip Marley and ZJ Liquid at the 2020 iteration of its Hip Hop Awards show last October.