Wayne Marshall has some words for Mr. Vegas after the latter questioned his recent Order of Distinction conferment and suggested that other Dancehall artists, like Beenie Man and Bounty Killer, were more deserving of the National Honour.
On Saturday, Marshall clapped back via his creative home for the last three years — social media. “Who God bless, no man curse 🙏🏾😆,” he captioned a hilarious skit, alluding to a 2018 incident where Mr. Vegas was unceremoniously booted from a church debate.
“When you are in church giving thanks and praises for your award, until such man walks in,” the video caption read. “Usher him out!”
Dancehall enthusiasts will recall that Pastor Gino Jennings invited Vegas to a religious debate at a church service in Jamaica in 2018. Instead of a balanced exchange, the I Am Blessed entertainer was “ushered out” of the service, a moment that pop culture ensured would never die.
“Like a demon, Mr Vegas was cast out of a packed congregation at the YMCA in St Andrew last evening, as a debate with controversial pastor Gino Jennings erupted into a disturbance,” the Gleaner reported at the time.
Vegas later told Loop News: “He [Pastor Jennings] tried to get into a back and forth with me because that is his style, but I didn’t do that. I had studied him and I knew his tactics, and knew that once you started to talk, he would jump in and cut you off. Eventually, he ordered the organisers to shut off my mic and ordered the security personnel to usher me out and dem drag me by mi neck.”
Fans of Marshall and his ‘Meet the Mitchell’ family fanbase have put Marshall’s response in the clapback hall of fame.
“Ah weak, best clapback everrrrrr 😂😂😂😂,” one user wrote.
“😂😂From you hear fi usher him out, unuh must know who such man is,” another person said.
“U can’t bad mind Wayne. The only artist that turn blogger n it make sense. Fire for the haters. Usher dem out wid dem chatty mouth.”
Another chimed, “Wayne you did not give yourself an award. Let them take it up with relevant authority and leave you and your family alone.”
There were also comments instructing Mr. Vegas to “tek weh yuhself”, a reference to his 2007 hit song. Laughter also came from Marshall’s peers, including Kemar Highcon, Alaine, I-Octane, Aisha Davis and Jodian Pantry.
Last week, Mr. Vegas questioned Marshall’s eligibility for the honor, which is conferred to any Jamaican citizen who renders outstanding and important services to Jamaica. Marshall was inducted in the rank of Officer for his “contribution to entertainment” at the official ceremony at King’s House in Kingston on Monday.
“When we talk bout this yah industry yah, Beenie Man and Bounty Killer fi get OD longtime,” Mr. Vegas said during an Instagram Live. “If Beenie and Bounty nuh get OD, it’s like the government or the people dem weh inna authority a tell we seh Beenie and Bounty inna something why dem cya get OD… How Wayne Marshall fi get OD over the man weh run Alliance, if unno nuh have something pan the man?”
His beginning sentiment is similar to that of dancehall stalwarts Professor Donna Hope and Patrick Roberts, with the former encouraging Jamaicans to participate in the yearly nomination process for the National Civil Honours and Awards. The Chancery of the Orders of the Societies of Honour (in the Office of the Prime Minister) determines the recipients.
Marshall, whose given name is Wayne Mitchell, was a regular at King Jammy’s recording studio in the 90s, but started his recording career later that decade with Ward 21. He stood out with his ability to sing and deejay, and became a go-to for catchy, melodious choruses depicted on tracks like Sufferer with Bounty Killer and New Millennium with Vybz Kartel.
His solos have impressed across dancehall and reggae, from his 2002 back-to-back stunners Check Yourself, Overcome and Party Time, and his continued strides the following year with Hot in the Club and Marshall Town. Other notables in Marshall’s catalogue are Astronaut (2006), Me By Myself (2008), Good Love (2009), My Heart (2010) and Swaggin’ WTF (2011) with Tifa and Fambo. He released the Tru Colours EP in 2013 while working with the Marley’s Ghetto Youths International label.
Five years ago, Marshall experienced a revitalised presence on the music scene thanks to his gospel record Glory. He even altered his appearance by shearing his dreadlocks. His current visibility and popularity are arguably attributed to his metamorphosis to content creating, joining his wife Tami Chin as YouTubers in 2020, and expanding into a family brand that corporate Jamaica eats up. Their Meet the Mitchells channel has a subscription count of 245,000.
The singjay now has his own show, The Cut, which broadcasts on national TV. Unfolding in a barbershop setting, the show packs profile interviews injected with current affairs, with guests like politicians and musicians.