Jamaican Dancehall legend Beenie Man has reached a monumental milestone in his career. His hit song “Who Am I”, commonly recognized by its chorus “Sim Simma”, has been certified Gold in the United States. This achievement comes over two decades after its initial release in 1997, as confirmed by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
“Who Am I” was a pivotal track in Beenie Man’s journey to becoming a Grammy Award-winning artist. Featured on his album “Many Moods Of Moses”, this song not only showcased his talent but also significantly influenced other artists. American rappers like Redman and Nelly have incorporated elements of “Who Am I” in their own music, demonstrating its wide-reaching impact.
For Beenie Man and producer Jeremy Harding, this Gold certification is a significant career highlight. Harding reflected on the song’s groundbreaking nature and its role in defining Beenie Man as the “King of Dancehall”. He emphasized the song’s testament to the enduring appeal of quality Dancehall music and its ability to resonate with audiences globally, including today’s youth.
The creation of “Who Am I” involved a blend of influences and a bit of controversy. Beenie Man’s decision to keep certain provocative lyrics in the song was driven by a belief in the power of controversy to sell music. This decision was a part of his larger strategy to make a mark on the popular Playground Riddim, produced by Harding.
The track’s global success is undeniable. It peaked impressively on various international music charts, including the US Billboard Hot 100, the UK Singles Charts, and the Canadian Singles Chart. This success opened doors for Beenie Man, leading to significant achievements like headlining Reggae Sunsplash in 1998 and signing with Virgin Records.
Under Virgin Records, Beenie Man released “Art & Life”, which won him a Grammy Award in 2000. The album included a hit track featuring American artist Mya, produced by The Neptunes.
Celebrating the 25th anniversary of “Who Am I”, Beenie Man released his nineteenth studio album titled “Simma”, further cementing his legacy in the world of Dancehall. This album has been nominated for Best Reggae Album at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards, showcasing Beenie Man’s enduring influence and relevance in the music industry.