There’s nothing quite like being honored and recognized for your contribution to your native land, especially as an artist. Well-known dancehall deejay and philanthropist Agent Sasco recently got the chance to experience this as Sasco joins 35 other recipients of Jamaica’s Order of Distinction (OD) in the Rank of Office.
The honor was conferred on Agent Sasco yesterday, October 17, at the 2022 National Honours and Awards held at the King’s House.
The OD was presented to him because of his tireless efforts to help positively affect youth through his generosity and uplifting messages. For him, the honor is just a catalyst that will keep him motivated to do more for Jamaican society.
The highly regarded deejay told The Star that the honor also motivated him to be more deliberate in how he spends his time and where he puts his energies.
Agent Sasco is one of the few artists that has remained a household name beyond his transformation from a hard-hitting and gritty artist to a more positive and inspirational one.
The “Mama Prayed” artist, whose real name is Jeffrey Ethan Campbell, has always been a fiercely ambitious man. He grew up in Kintyre, St. Andrew, before relocating to Kingston. After that move, he started on his career path, and his journey would begin in 1999 when his lyrics were recorded by Spragga Benz as “Shotta.”
It wasn’t too long after that he began to record himself and would go on to release his first single in 2000. His unmistakable vocals and street lyrics would become very popular among dancehall fans.
With his rising fame, Agent Sasco got the opportunity to sign with VP Records. While there, the “Winning Right Now” deejay released two albums for the label before switching to Boardhouse Records, which he co-owns and started in 2008.
The limelight of the dancehall world would not be enough for his ambitions. So somewhere in the mid-2000s, he started an internet-based degree in Business Management from the University of Sunderland. This would be one of the reasons that he chose to change his stage name, as he found that the moniker Agent Sasco was more Google-friendly.
The name change would prove a game changer, and that was proven with his hit single “Talk How Mi Feel,” which reached number one on the Jamaica Countdown Chart in June 2011. Two years later, the “Stronger” artist would be featured on the song “I’m in It” by Kanye West on his 6th solo album, Yeezus.
Agent Sasco’s career continued to grow in leaps and bounds, and in February 2015, Sasco was featured on the song “The Blacker the Berry” by Grammy award winner Kendrick Lamar. That track was certified gold after selling over 500,000 copies.
The “Grateful” artist has continued to contribute to youth development on the island. In 2020, he donated JMD$50,000 towards the education of two juveniles under the supervision of the Department of Correctional Services (DCS).
Recently, he faced some criticism from die-hard dancehall fans who wanted him to carry on in the same vein of music as when he started. However, at the time of the criticism, Sasco explained that he had matured and was now seeking to provide inspiration and motivation instead of strictly street lyrics.
“I decided my work should reflect my values and beliefs. So if you expect me to produce material from a 19-year-old “Assassin-perspective,” good luck with that … Don’t expect me to release songs promoting murder nor anything to further societal decay either,” Sasco said at the time.
Congratulations are in order for Agent Sasco, who has used his own positive motivation to inspire others.