Dancehall Veteran Grindsman Reflects On Vybz Kartel Flipping 'Benz Punany'

Dancehall veteran Grindsman said he had experienced a career resurgence in 2010, when Vybz Kartel flipped his 1990 track Benz Punaney.

Kartel’s remake, titled Benz Punany, had interpolated the original’s lyrics and melody on producer NotNice’s S-Class riddim, amusing many with its provocative and playful message. It is often counted among the Worl’ Boss’ best songs.

“When Vybz Kartel revoiced my song, I could say it did some good to let people realize I sing one of the greatest girl songs out of Jamaica. Also letting my fans remember that I am still alive,” Grindsman told DancehallMag.

Grindsman’s Benz Punaney was produced by Leroy May.

Vybz Kartel

The veteran artist, 55, has often been mistakenly reported dead on social media, a confusion he attributes to his absence from the public eye and a name similarity with the late Dirtsman, a Dancehall artist known for the song Hot This Year, who was tragically killed in 1993.

“My biggest guess is out of sight, is really out of mind. Plus I think they are mixing my name with Dirtsman, Papa San’s brother who passed away years ago,” Grindsman said. “The similarity in name is the biggest reason I could see for why they keep mixing me up and say mi dead.”

Grindsman was one of the biggest dancehall stars back in the day.

Thursday, December 21, will mark the 30th anniversary of Dirtsman’s death.

Grindsman said he’s seeking to further advance his career through collaborations with the new generation of Dancehall artists. “My biggest aim is to collaborate with some known artists yard and overseas. All over the world, my fan base is huge. Even though I am out of the limelight for a while, I have been gaining young fans every day through Spotify and Apple Music and other streaming platforms,” said the artist, whose real name is Joseph Green.

His latest single is Rise, released on his own KingG Records label.

“The song will be included on a new compilation album featuring other artists. I have been writing and voicing on my label KingG Records from 2022 until now. My wish is to voice on some new beats for any current producers who are willing to voice me,” he said.

Additionally, Grindsman has released singles like Here With Me and Solid As a Rock and has been involved in production for other labels, including Clinical Records.

Grindsman developed a love for music at the age of 7, leading to his first single Boysie in 1985, and initial fame from the Fresh event in 1990.

“My three biggest hits are Benz Punany, Gunchat dubbed under the clock. And Action Pack,” he said.

GUN CHAT – GRINDSMAN

After a temporary retreat from music due to personal setbacks, including a severe foot injury and industry challenges, Grindsman relocated to the U.S. and rebuilt his life, though he never abandoned his musical aspirations.

“I was missing out the business for three years. I had met in an accident and mi foot bruk, and then the same left foot broke again a few months later. The doctors put a pin in his foot and I was in a wrath with Zebra, mi give gim two with the foot-stick (crutches) at Shy B studio in Mobay. mi lose mi balance and the pin bend inna mi left foot, and the foot bruk again and mi did a recuperate and get mi self to forward,” he explained.

At the time, during the years 2003-4, Grindsman said he signed to Tuff Gong through his links with Cedella Marley.

“Somebody carry ‘news’ to radio personalities that I said something which mi never did, and they banned me off the radio for years. After a while, nothing never did a gwaan, the ting get slow and mi migrate. Mi never did a put interest in America at first but I met a lady and we get the ting together, dem place ya expensive fi live, yu need two to make it. So mi cleave to mi Empress and we build a great life together, but mi never give up pon mi music.” he said.

In his heyday, Grindsman toured the world on the strength of his hits Benz Punany and Action Pack. “I went to the US five times, Europe three times and London three times, the last time in London was 1993,” he said.

Now, Grindsman is planning a Caribbean tour with a stop in Jamaica, aimed at “feeding the world with music” with the help of his new agent, Sandy Thompson of Events R Us promotion.

“Radio personalities can reach out for interviews. Promoters can link Events R Us for bookings, contact 9542326074,” he said.

He’s scheduled to perform at various international venues, including the Sylvania Festival in Europe and events in London, New York, Philadelphia, and California.

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