Much has been said about singer-turned-influencer Wayne Marshall receiving the national honour of Order of Distinction last month, but he’s choosing to embrace the positives.
The Overcome artist was inducted in the rank of officer for his contribution to entertainment, in particular reggae music. However, entertainment figures like Mr. Vegas, MC Nuffy and Oral Tracey have scrutinized the conferment, highlighting others like Bounty Killer and Beenie Man, who they believe were more deserving.
Marshall has opted to avoid the criticisms to protect his mental health.
“Me stay away from the whole of the noise…” Marshall told Twin of Twins in the latest episode of his show The Cut. “Me deven waan hear bout it, ah swear, because it might have an impact pon my day when me hear certain things, which, mi nuh know if mi willing fi go down dah rabbit hole deh, just for the sake of my sanity.”
He added that it is “hurtful” to know that people are trying to discredit his contributions to Jamaican music.
“I mean, advocate fi who yuh waan advocate fah because a whole heap a people out deh weh me feel like does deserve (it), but a my time now, a my time fi celebrate my accomplishments and it’s not me decide. They decided that it was fit for me to get a OD, so, I am just basking in that glory.”
The general public is invited to nominate candidates in that category for the annual National Civil Honours and Awards. Recipients are then determined by the Chancery of the Orders of the Societies of Honour, in the Office of the Prime Minister.
The conversation started after Twin of Twins’ Curly Loxx shared that they’ve not recorded new music because they won’t conform to “what’s hot” in the industry today. Marshall related to the statement in more ways than one.
“It’s part of the reason why dem a beat mi out deh enuh, because true mi nuh have a song weh hit and hot now,” Marshall said. “Dem forget because dem a live fi this moment now. Dem forget the contribution and the blood, sweat and tears.”
Tu-Lox interjected, “Dah OD something deh is about song though, really?”
“No, it is obviously not about songs,” Marshall answered, before being questioned about the eligibility criteria for the honour.
“I wouldn’t know because mi nuh deh pon the board fi select who get OD from who nuh get OD,” the Glory singer said. “But at the end of the day, I can say that I have put my all into the music.”
Both Marshall and Twin of Twins were part of Bounty Killer’s Alliance clique, so it was inevitable that the ‘General’ was thrown into the conversation. Marshall deems the comparison of their careers unfair, though Bounty took a playful jab at the matter last month.
“What is unfair is people comparing me to other people and trying to discredit the contribution that I have made.”
Curly Loxx supported Marshall’s position of feeling worthy due to his efforts, but offered the perspective of veterans who have paved the way.
“This is how dem look at the OD thing. There are these other people who did muss inna the line before you. Dem look pon it like Western Union: you go to the cashier and skip bout 50 people. This is how dem look pon it…”
Marshall countered that he doesn’t believe the feat is awarded for tenure or several hits, and redirected all queries to Entertainment and Culture Minister Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange.
“There’s people who you can discuss it (with). You see the Minister Grange, you can pick her brain pon dem type a behind-the-process (things). I am not privy to that… I’ve said what I said.”
Other Jamaican artists to have received the OD include Shaggy (2007) and Sean Paul (2019) in Commander Class, and Shabba Ranks (2016), Yellowman (2018), Lt. Stitchie (2021), Agent Sasco (2022) and Tarrus Riley (2023) in Officer Class.