Words by DJ Autograph—
Jamaicans are music lovers. We listen to pretty much any and every genre of music imaginable. While growing up, one of my favorite days for listening to the radio was Sundays. You’d hear a lot of classical, jazz, R&B, soul and gospel music (let’s not forget the mandatory Air Supply, Celine Dion and Rupert Holmes songs heard EVERY Sunday). The diversity in music also lead producers and artist to experiment more resulting in riddims like Heavy Metal, which is based on rock guitar riffs and songs like “Skettel Concerto,” a straight opera-style song that references a Jamaican term for unsavory women.
Beenie Man was amongst the first dancehall artists to jump into the experimental pool with his 1996 hit. Nuff Gal. (Side note: Both “Ole Dog” and “Nuff Gal” caused controversy when they were released, with the former being banned from the radio).
“Nuff Gal” features The Doctor bragging and boasting about how he has ‘nuff gal and gal in a bungle,’ over a jazz instrumental featuring the legendary Dean Fraser on saxophone. The video starts with Beenie in bed with one of many females seen throughout the video, then cuts to Fraser playing the sax with an accompanying dancing female.
A couple scenes stand out: one being him surrounded by an actual netball team, as he boasts about one man having an entire netball team; and a 70s-style scene in a dance studio. The latter is notable for the appearance of Beenie’s then girlfriend, dancehall queen Carlene Smith. Beenie goes through several wardrobe changes during the video, the most ‘out of character’ being the 70s styled bell-bottom pants, platform heels and afro wig (If you’ve ever seen his costumes during Sting through the years, you’d know why I say it was out of character).
The video closes out in true Beenie Man fashion with a plus-sized woman chasing another female out of Beenie’s bed, so she can have him all to herself. The ’90s were definitely an interesting time for dancehall and this song and video are a perfect example of why.