King Of The Dancehall Beenie Man has again expressed discontent over being overlooked for the Order Of Jamaica or even the lower-level Order Of Distinction, which has been bestowed upon fellow musicians like Shabba Ranks, Shaggy, Sean Paul, and Yellowman.
“Dem nuh gi mi nuttn man. Awrite, mi get a Prime Minister Award from PJ Patterson. Only one. An a choo Patrick Roberts meck mi get it. But I never get a OD or a OJ or anything else from Jamaica,” Beenie complained on The Fix podcast a few days ago.
“All Assassin get; all Sizzla get. All di artist dem weh buss afta me get. Mi nuh get none…”
He cryptically added that he knew the reason for the oversight but declined to elaborate, only to later attribute it to “politics.”
According to the Girls Dem Sugar, he felt disrespected, particularly since he has often been the performer of choice at ceremonies where other artists are being honored.
“Dem have mi a perform inna di National Stadium while dem a celebrate Sizzla. Dem have mi a perform while dem a celebrate Assassin. Is full disrespect to me and my music and my career. Mi nuh seh nuttn bout it, because it nuh matta me, because I live in Jamaica and I love Jamaica. Mi woulda love dem give it to mi before anyting happen to mi still,” he said, chuckling.
Beenie Man—who has shown off his large collection of awards and accolades, including a 2001 Reggae Grammy Award—emphasized that he is not interested in the lower-level Order of Distinction, which is set to be given to Tarrus Riley and Wayne Marshall come National Heroes Day on October 16.
“If dem a gi mi suppm, gi mi OJ, Order of Jamaica. Mi nuh want no OD, Order of Distinction. I am already a Order of Distinction; I am di king fi Dancehall. Put some respect pon mi name,” he declared.
During the Reggae Month Salute to Dancehall concert earlier this year, Beenie had asked Entertainment and Culture Minister Olivia “Babsy” Grange to tell him when he would receive his national award. “Babsy, when yuh ready fi gimme mine? My awards mi a talk bout dis time… Mi nuh want no OD. A OJ yuh fi give mi. Order of Jamaica…,” he had said whilst addressing Grange.
Beenie told The Fix that he deliberately put Grange on the spot because he knows that he fully deserves it based on his musical accomplishments and for showing commitment to his country, by even refusing to live elsewhere.
“Yesh man. I need it. Yuh si anything weh mi deserve an yuh a hide it from mi,, mi wi come out an tell yuh seh yuh fi gi mi,” he stated.
“I am a Jamaican weh live a Jamaica; mi nuh live a farrin like Alkaline dem…,” he added.
However, despite Beenie’s five-month notice for his selection to be ratified, when the awardees were announced on Independence Day, August 6 as is customary, he was not on the list of either OD or OJ recipients.
The Order of Jamaica is bestowed on Jamaicans who have had “meaningful and significant impact on national life,” according to the guidelines set forth in The National Honours and Awards Act. It has been bestowed on the likes of sprint legends Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Minister Grange herself, Harry Belafonte, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, the late Cuban president Fidel Castro, journalist and playwright Barbara Gloudon, and banker Michael Lee Chin.
The award will also be presented to Queen of Reggae Marcia Griffiths come National Heroes Day.
Should Beenie Man’s aspirations be realized, he will also be in company with Dr Arthur Stanley Wint, Jamaica’s first Olympic Gold Medalist; cricketing legend Courtney Walsh; former President of the Court of Appeal Seymour Panton; the late General Colin Luther Powell Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States Department of Defence and Former Secretary of State; the late hotelier Gordon “Butch” Stewart; and Reverend Desmond Tutu.
According to the guidelines, the honour of the Order of Jamaica (OJ) may be conferred upon any Jamaican citizen of outstanding distinction who, by their service and contribution, have had a meaningful and significant impact on national life, or upon any distinguished citizen of a country other than Jamaica (honorary member).
The Jamaican Honours and Awards System The National Honours and Awards Act was promulgated on the 18th of July 1969 to recognize merit in terms of achievement and service. Its decorations and Awards recognize bravery, meritorious, long and/or valuable service, and/or good conduct.
Under the Act, the Governor-General is the Chancellor of The Order of National Hero, The Order of Excellence (OE), The Order of Merit (OM), The Order of Jamaica, The Order of Distinction, and the Chief Justice is the Chancellor of the Order of the Nation.
Additionally, Badges of Honour are also issued each year to Jamaicans for Gallantry, Meritorious Service and Long and Faithful Service, while Medals of Honour are given for Gallantry; Meritorious Service; Long & Faithful Service and Efficient Service.
The National Honours and Awards are set for National Heroes Day, which falls on October 16.