Beenie Man Earns His First ... | Hapilos
Beenie Man‘s Who Am I, produced by Jeremy Harding on the Playground riddim, is now certified Gold in the United States, over 26 years after its release. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Who Am I was certified Gold on Wednesday (November 15) after it reached the sales and streaming equivalent of 500,000 units sold in the US.
Better known by its catchy chorus “Sim Simma,” the song essentially launched Beenie on his prolific, Grammy Award-winning trajectory when it was released in 1997. It appeared on his Many Moods Of Moses album, released that year under VP Records.
Chris Chin, the president of VP, lauded Who Am I‘s enduring influence in Dancehall and pop culture, including the star-studded celebrity #SimmaChallenge, which went viral on Beenie’s 51st birthday this year.
“The song has taken on a life of its own over the years,” Chin told DancehallMag on Friday. “It’s a defining record in dancehall and pop culture, and Beenie Man’s genius shines through every time the song is sampled and interpolated. We’re very pleased with this latest achievement for him and Jeremy Harding.”
The song’s widespread impact is evident in its influence on other artists. American rapper Redman sampled Who Am I’s first line on his 1998 single I’ll Bee Dat: “Sim Simma, who got the keys to my Beemer?” while rapper Nelly also alluded to the earworm chorus on his 2000 single Country Grammar: “Keys to my Beemer, man, holla at Beenie Man.” According to Whosampled, Who Am I and its underlying riddim have been sampled in over 30 other tunes, including recent releases like Joyner Lucas’ Zim Zimma and Mahalia and Burna Boy’s Simmer.
“Good Dancehall Music”
For Beenie Man and Harding, the certification marks a significant milestone in their careers, as it is their first song to achieve Gold status in the US.
Harding reflected on the song’s groundbreaking nature, its role in Beenie Man’s ascent to “King of the Dancehall,” and its testament to the enduring power of quality Dancehall music.
“When Who Am I was originally released, it was a groundbreaking record which launched my career as a record producer and furthered Beenie Man’s career and took him to the heights of being the King of Dancehall. And eventually, landing him his major label record deal,” Harding told DancehallMag. “To have it now certified Gold, it really stands to the testament of the power of this record and the power of good Dancehall music.”
He continued: “It’s a milestone achievement for which I celebrate heartily and I welcome and I’m sure Beenie Man does the same. On behalf of all the Dancehall community, and everybody in Jamaica who’s making music, I really hope it will help to shine as a beacon of success to show what is possible with hardcore, original Jamaican Dancehall music. No matter how long it takes.”
The producer also touched upon the song’s timeless nature. “The fact that this song is still relevant to today’s youth market as well is also something which is quite fascinating, because we always hope to make timeless music as artists and as creators. This record just proves that it’s possible to make timeless Jamaican music. I hope it continues to impact the world.”