And the best place for new fans to start. This sumptuous collection, 20 songs strong, rounds up a set's worth of crucial hits, and includes a succinct bio within the sleeve notes. The album works roughly backwards chronologically, kicking off with Beenie Man's 1999 smash, "Bookshelf," then winding its way back through time to 1994's clutch of smash hits -- "World Dance," "Modelling," "Crazy Baldhead," "Slam," and its rhythm twin, "Certain Gal." "Murderer" is slightly out of sequence, and dates from the following year. That paired the DJ with the song's originator, Barrington Levy, while "Baldhead," a cover of the Bob Marley classic, had Beenie join forces with Luciano. Other crucial combos include the smoky "Healing" with Lady Saw and the ultimate bashment, "Dancehall Queen," with Chevelle Franklin. Of course, most of these numbers were bundled onto Beenie's own albums, so fans will be shelling out for just a few songs, or the chance to have all their favorites in one place. But there's little argument on the choices -- "Romie," "Oysters & Conch," the original "Girls Dem Sugar," the fabulous "Foundation," and the DJ's international chart-buster, "Who Am I," and the list goes on and on. Beenie did have hits before 1994, and obviously you won't find them here. However, Jet Star's Gold plugged that gap this same year; between the two sets, fans can have an excellent career-spanning collection.
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AllMusic Review by Jo-Ann Greene
feat: Chevelle Franklyn
feat: Lady Shaw
feat: Barrington Levy