BEENIE MAN Tropical Storm (Virgin) Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Beenie Man returns with the follow-up to his semi-autobiographical Art And Life disc, and from Tropical Storm's first beat it's clear that he's ready for the global pop charts. Plying his familiar ragga vocals to hiphop and UK garage collaborations, the dancehall dynamo makes a serious bid for global superstardom. Much of the eclectic quality of his previous work is sacrificed for a hotter sound. The first single, Feel It Boy, features Janet Jackson's cooing voice over a Neptunes bounce. Lil' Kim shows up on the suitably raunchy Fresh From Yard, on which Beenie Man reveals his desire to "fuck the world" over DJ Clue's banging beats. Bossman, featuring Sean Paul and Lady Saw trading barbs over the Neptunes' electronic beeps, may be the purest dancehall track on the entire record. But solid as Tropical Storm is, less calculation might've made it hit harder.