Bounty Killer has broken his silence amidst calls for him to receive the Order of Distinction (OD), Jamaica’s sixth-highest honor, for his contribution to the development of Dancehall music.
The debate arose after his Alliance protégé, Wayne Marshall, received the honor on Monday, October 16, National Heroes Day, prompting some to argue that Dancehall veterans like Bounty and Beenie Man should have been recognized first.
However, on Friday, Bounty shared a video clip of himself and Shaggy on stage, where he had declared in his usual bold fashion that: “Let me tell oonu. They can’t give me no OD. I am a OG.”
“What’s a OD to a OG/One General that’s meeeee????????????,” he captioned the post.
OG, which is an abbreviation for “Original Gangster,” has evolved over time to describe a highly respected or highly regarded person who is authentic and extremely talented in what they do and is considered “the original” or “an originator.”
The Order of Distinction, on the other hand, is awarded to Jamaican citizens who render outstanding and important services to the country, and upon any distinguished citizen of a country other than Jamaica (an honorary member).
In February this year, Beenie Man expressed his desire for a higher honor, the Order of Jamaica (OJ), rather than the OD, which has been awarded to other Dancehall artists like Shaggy, Sean Paul, Agent Sasco, Shabba Ranks, and Yellowman.
He had directly addressed Jamaica’s Entertainment and Culture Minister Olivia “Babsy” Grange, stating “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, a me run di country. King of di Dancehall…”
The OJ has been bestowed on the likes of sprint legend Usain Bolt, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, and the late Cuban president Fidel Castro.
On Friday, Bounty Killer was cheered along by his Dancehall compatriots, among them Bling Dawg, whom Bounty declared among his ‘pure four’ long ago.
“A man fi get what he deserve one …. your contribution to the music is unmatched. Hate it or love it facts. Nuff youths you help… ???????????????????? I appreciate bro,” Bling Dawg noted, while Kiprich added: “OG one general !!!!!!”.
Earlier this year, Shaggy, during a tour of Irish and Chin’s art room, said that Bounty ought to be vested with The Order of Distinction, for his altruism in Dancehall, where he kickstarted the careers of many elite artists, brought them to national attention and moulded their careers.
Shaggy, who had been viewing murals of Dancehall artists who emerged in the 1980s and 1990s, had hailed Bounty as a five “star general” who ought to be vested with the honour, the motto for which is “Distinction Through Service”.
“Mi a fight fi him get a Order of Distinction or suppm, due to the fact that this guy has started a whole heap a people career, Mavado, Kartel, Wayne Marshall, you name it, dem man yah. Him nuh ramp fi bring people pan stage,” Shaggy had said.
Just over a week ago, Professor of Culture, Gender and Society at the University of the West Indies Professor Donna P. Hope, joined her music producer Patrick Roberts, in calling for both Bounty Killer and Beenie to be bestowed with the Order of Distinction.
“Bounty Killer, with his pedigree and the many artistes he has brought forward, I think he is long deserving of an award. Him and Beenie Man. I think they brought dancehall to the forefront and they still continue to do so,” Hope, also known as the Dancehall Doctor, said in an interview with the Star.
On National Heroes Day, Marshall and Reggae/Dancehall singer Tarrus, along with Queen of Reggae Marcia Griffiths, were among 125 Jamaicans who were presented with National Honours at Kings House on National Heroes Day.
Griffiths was presented with the Order of Jamaica for her significant contribution to the Reggae industry locally and internationally. Her O.J. came almost ten years after she was bestowed with the Order of Distinction (Commander class) back in 2014.
Marshall was presented with the accolades for his contribution to Reggae Music, while Tarrus Riley received his OD for his “contribution to Reggae Music entertainment locally and internationally”.