Krista Henry, Staff Reporter, the Jamaica Star online
Fans of the self-proclaimed King of the Dancehall Moses 'Beenie Man' Davis will get the chance to read his life story in the forthcoming biography Who Am I? The Untold Story of Beenie Man.
Written by Jamaican journalist Milton Wray, the sensational biography is scheduled for release in Jamaica in July, just in time for Reggae Sumfest. Wray spent 11 years documenting and researching the scandals and untold past of the popular figure in the more than 400-page biography. When Wray spoke with the STAR he described the work as non-stop drama, action and revelations.
"Beenie Man has a very fascinating story. His entire life is filled with drama from before he was born to recent times. He has not led an ordinary life. Everything he does is extraordinary ... I knew his story would be action-packed and entertaining. People love him, he's appealing and endearing, there is a fierce public interest in his life," Wray said.
Birth to stardom
Written in a story format, the work begins when Beenie Man's mother met his father, continues with his birth, chronicles his childhood, rise to stardom, his career, the public breakup with D'Angel and his recent tax woes.
Having met the artists on numerous occasions Wray contacted Beenie Man in 1994 about the novel. According to Wray, Beenie Man was very receptive to the work, doing extensive interviews and providing never before seen pictures. Wray took a sabbatical from Jamaican journalism to live and do research in New York City for more than a year.
While in the United States, he conducted interviews and collected vast amounts of information on Beenie Man and his international impact on the music business. While writing the book in Jamaica, Wray conducted interviews with relatives, friends, associates, music business personnel, rivals and the girlfriends of the artiste.
For Wray, the biography held a journalistic appeal for him and he says that Beenie Man's story can inspire ghetto youth. The writer promises an unvarnished view of the Doctor, as while Beenie Man did cooperate for the novel, he did not approve the manuscript and has not seen a page of the work.
"The intention was not to put out a public relations piece for the artiste. The facts are presented as they occurred, whether or not Beenie Man likes those facts. He has led a very controversial life, and he acknowledges that, he recently told me as much. I believe he is prepared for whatever revelations may come from this book," Wray said.
According to Wray, readers can expect a biography they will find hard to put down with never-before revealed details about Beenie Man.
He said, "Beenie Man is so candid, no airs, there's no pretense about him, what you see is what you get. He's such a consistent performer. People have fallen in love with him and nothing can stop them from loving him."
Who Am I? The Untold Story of Beenie Man will be distributed in North America, the European Union, the CARICOM region and Japan before the end of the year. For its Asian release the work will be translated into Japanese.