Though some spectators tried to pit Wayne Marshall and Bounty Killer against each other in an online game of “who is more deserving of a national honour?”, Marshall doesn’t shy away from giving the ‘General’ his flowers.
In fact, the Me By Myself singer sometimes wonders where he’d be without Bounty’s stamp of approval.
“Mi happy fi the goodness of your heart right now cause trust me, sometimes mi haffi think to myself, if me never meet Killa and if Killa never have dah embrace deh, where would I be now?” Marshall asked during the latest episode of his show The Cut. “Who would I be now? Because you had such a great platform, you’re such a great cultural impact that when you go suh and lift up an artist to the world, dem gone enuh.”
Marshall was a founding member of Bounty’s Alliance crew, an affiliation he dreamed about throughout high school.
“Me a study Killa career over the years because I used to deejay as Bounty at Wolmer’s…” he shared. “What I never realise was that was my deejay practice; that was me in training fi the next couple of years, a deejay casually at school until we come end up get fi meet Killa.”
He made it count with Smoke Clears, their 2001 collab which Marshall wrote in Bounty’s lyrical and vocal style. Then came other collabs like Sufferer and Ladies Looking Fine with Richie Stephens.
Interestingly, Bounty revealed that he never set out to form any musical camp, and instead was showing his friends reciprocity. He started by helping to propel the career of the late Boom Dandimite who had always encouraged him to pursue music. Bounty went on to aid other Seaview Gardens friends Nitty Kutchie, Angel Doolas, and Harry Toddler. The emerging acts, alongside Elephant Man, would later form Scare Dem Crew.
Bounty’s mentorship continued with Cham, and then he met Bling Dawg, who became Alliance’s first member. The Aji Bounce deejay was a teenager living in Miami, Florida, when he met the ‘Warlord’ courtesy of friends/artists Dugsy Ranks and Beetle Bailey. They kept in touch and Bling Dawg returned to Jamaica to pursue music upon graduating school.
“Bling Dawg end up come live a Jamaica and me start hold a vibes with Bling Dawg and then we start use the word ‘alliance’… A nuh crew we seh we name Alliance, a just we have this speech: waah gwaan me allegiance? Waah gwaan mi alliance?, til the people start tek up the slang and start call we Alliance…”
They embraced the name, expanding with artists like Busy Signal, Vybz Kartel, Mavado, and Aidonia. The group grew defunct following in-house conflict and artists leaving to establish independent camps. In any case, Bounty said he never set out to be a mentor and remains satisfied to have helped others.
“That’s why me cya sign people cause me’s not a CEO,” the Anytime deejay said. “I’m not a label, I’m a developer. I help and I develop my community. I’m a builder. Everything good ‘round me supposed to become great, so that’s what I do. I see good things, I turn it into greatness, but mi nuh feel mi owed anything. Mi nuh deserve nothing more than just the glory. I did that and God see that.”
Last month, public figures like Mr. Vegas posited that Bounty was more deserving of a national honour over Marshall. The latter was conferred with the Order of Distinction for his contribution to entertainment, particularly reggae music.
Marshall has since denounced the comparisons between himself and his mentor, and is ignoring the criticisms for the sake of his mental health.