World, Latin, Reggae, & Reggaetón

Beenie Man

When: Thu., Oct. 1, 9 p.m. 2009

Kingston-born dancehall artist Beenie Man is best known for such groove-driven, ballad-ish hits as "Girls Dem Sugar" (a duet with popular R&B singer Mya) and "Feel It Boy" (featuring Janet Jackson), but his other cuts hit a lot harder. In "Back It Up," he raps about women's bodies in a half-sung incantation; in "Hmmm Hmmm," he skates around a programmed snare and heavy, throbbing synth chords. His catchiest song, "King of Dancehall," combines heavily syncopated rhyming with a busy club beat that rivals anything by Timbaland. The key to Beenie Man's success is his elegance. His flows are aggressive, heavily detailed, and rhythmically complex, but he always manages to keep time and stay with the beat. Granted, it helps to have a good rapport with Mya and Janet Jackson. Beenie Man makes a rare appearance on Thursday, Oct. 1, at Berkeley's Shattuck Down Low (2284 Shattuck Ave.), along with Red Flame Sound and special guests. 10 p.m., $20. ShattuckDownLow.com


Rachel Swan

Price: $20

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