“Bel Mercy” by Jengi
As of the dropping of “Bel Mercy” on 2 December 2022, Jengi is a relatively unknown musician from the Netherlands. More specifically he is a behind-the-scenes’ man, i.e. a DJ/producer, and as such, though being the sole headliner of this song, is not its vocalist. Rather, the credit singers are Super Beagle and Reggie Stepper, both being reggae artists from Jamaica. However, to note, the actual vocalist throughout would be on their contemporaries, the late Fuzzy Jones.
More specifically, the vocals featured on “Bel Mercy” are sampled from two other songs. One is “Cuh Oonuh” (1993) by the aforenoted Reggie Stepper. The other is 1998 outing titled “Dust a Sound Boy” (1988) by Super Beagle. Though in both cases, the vocals that were actually sampled were rendered by Fuzzy Jones.
So Jengi is credited as the sole producer of “Bel Mercy” and is also one of its co-writers. The other official writers are:
- Super Beagle (aka Denzie Beagle)
- Reggie Stepper
- Winston Riley (1943-2012)
- Jackie Mittoo (1948-1990)
- Vin Gordon
It was Riley who produced both “Dust a Sound Boy” and “Cuh Oonuh”. But it is not clear as to why Mittoo and Gordon are also credited as having contributed to “Bel Mercy”.
This song also reportedly samples and was presumably inspired in title by a 2011 track titled “Bel Me” by Hydroboyz, an act which looks as if it may be a one-man show. But that noted, there does not appear to be any information readily available concerning who composed said track.
BREAKTHROUGH SUCCESS FOR JENGI?
Jengi is reportedly in his mid-to-late twenties as of this release and has been in the game since the late 2010s. As the story goes, he recently had his laptop, upon which he had all of his newer works stored, stolen in Germany. So he had to instantly come up with fresh material, with the result being, in his own words, composing “the most-naturally instinctive music (he) had ever made”.
And one of the products of that misfortune-turned-fortune was “Bel Mercy”, which achieved TikTok virality and looks as if it may be his breakthrough hit. And to note, as of this writing, Jengi boasts a relatively-meager, albeit notable Instagram following of over 14,000 accounts.
WHAT’S GOING ON IN “BEL MERCY”?
This is one of those European dance songs which, against an original instrumental if you will, takes a segment of vocals from another song(s) and basically loops them. And in this case, those other songs would be the aforementioned “Dust a Sound Boy” and “Cuh Oonuh”.
A sound boy, as far as Jamaican patois is concerned, is another way of saying DJ. So putting forth an expression like “dust a sound boy” means that your intent, as a DJ/musician yourself, is to show yourself superior to said rival. Or more accurately, let’s say that since that statement is more general, it would point to the vocalist touting his sound as being superior to all other rivals, in a manner of speaking.
And so it is with “Bel Mercy”, even though that particular phrase is not found in these lyrics. The “weeping and a moaning and a gnashing of teeth” is actually a phrase derived from the Bible pointing to, in its original context, suffering in hell.
But in the case of this song (and originally “Dust a Sound Boy” itself), what the vocalist would rather be referring to is the suffering of other DJs, i.e. causing them anguish if they were to compete against him. Or as plainly inferred in the lyrics, Jengi has “the champion sound”, i.e. being the best of them all.
And to reiterate, the headline artist is in fact a DJ from Europe which, as fate would have it, possesses perhaps the most notable and lucrative market for such musicians these days. So most simply interpreted, this would be Jengi’s way of letting the world know that he does have a lot of confidence in his musical skills, and let’s further say in this song specifically.
WHAT DOES “BEL MERCY” MEAN?
Translated from French, “bel mercy” would mean “beautiful mercy”. In Jengi’s native tongue of Dutch, it would rather be translated “call mercy”. And considering the nature of the lyrics, i.e. the whole ‘weeping and moaning’ bit, it may be that, through the title in a braggadocious way, Jengi is boasting something like his rivals should seek mercy before daring to compete with him.
WHO BACKED THE RELEASE OF “DEL MERCY”?
This track was put out through FFRR Records, a largely unknown yet long-standing label who used to have some classic hip-hop heads – such as Group Home, Salt n Pepa and even Jay-Z – under their employ. However, in more recent times, it seems they are largely dedicated to DJs, as besides for Jengi, David Guetta and Diplo are concurrently signed to this company. To note Diplo, one of the most-popular DJs in the industry, was also more personally involved in releasing and promoting this track.
As of January 2023, Jengi does not have his own Wikipedia page, and it is unlikely that “Bel Mercy”, as viral as it may be or has been, will prove enough to push him into the mainstream on its own. So it remains to be seen if he will come out with any additional noteworthy hits to push his brand to the next level.