NEW!! Audio: Controversy brewing over what should be the Official ‘Jamaica 50’ Theme Song?

by Natalie Monique

Jamaica 50 is fast approaching, and in addition to all the pending events and activities lined up to mark this commemorative date (August 6, 2012), Jamaica 50 organizers have released the Shaggy-produced ‘On A Mission’ Jamaica 50 track, believed to be the official theme song. Controversy has started to surface however, as questions are arising as to whether the Orville ‘Shaggy’ Burrell produced ‘On a Mission’ recently released or Mikie Bennett’s ‘Find The Flag’, released in 2011 should be the official Jamaica 50 song.

The Official Jamaica 50 Facebook page posted that, “It was agreed that while the Jamaica 50 Secretariat had produced On A Mission to support its new marketing campaign, it had no intention of identifying any one song as the Jamaica 50 song.” However, Observer sources say Grange is insisting that the Secretariat recognise ‘Find A Flag’ and examine ways of utilising it during the celebrations.”

Despite the organizers disclaimer and the fact that current Minister of Culture, Lisa Hanna and Opposition Minister Babsy Grange, still have not come to an agreement with the official song, Observer sources confirmed the Secretariat launched an official radio premiere for ‘On a Mission’ last Friday. They also have a contract with Kentucky Fried Chicken using the song as their official campaign song and customers can also get a free CD with their KFC meal purchase.

‘On a Mission’, was produced by International Grammy Award winning Orville Burrell aka. Shaggy, and features top local Jamaican artistes such as: Damian Marley, Assassin a.k.a Agent Sasco, Chevelle Franklin, Beres Hammond, Romain Virgo, Shaggy, Tarrus Riley, Wayne Marshall and Tessanne Chin.

‘Find A Flag’ was written and produced by Veteran Music Producer and songwriter, Mikie Bennett and released in December 2011, also featuring top Reggae artistes such as Freddie McGregor, Damian Marley, Capleton, Assassin a.k.a Agent Sasco, Tarrus Riley, Konshens, Natel, Bunny Rugs, Chevelle Franklin, Vegas, Ken Boothe, Dean Fraser, Admiral Bailey and Stitchie.

Sources say Bennett and the artistes involved are hurt over the issue, as much time and effort was put into the production. Bennett said the tag line, ‘Find the flag (in your heart and wave it)’ was developed through a friend who gave this advice to his son who just graduated from High School and was unsure about his future. He added that though he knows it is a political issue, he has no intention to divide the nation at this time and has already started making proposals to private entities who may want to use the song during the celebrations.

Shaggy spoke with the Gleaner (below):

Both songs involve very talented local artistes, many who were actually featured in both songs and bringing their own vibe. Listen below…which do you think should represent our 50th Jamaican celebration?

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