Two weeks ago, three New York-based reggae artistes and a number of entertainment music professionals pooled their resources to create a tribute song to celebrate the astonishing prowess and the accomplishments of Jamaican athletes worldwide. The song called Black, Gold & Green (To The World) is a catchy, addictive and patriotic gem that was written and performed by Sheila Hylton, formerly of Island Records along with Elvis D and Lushy Banton, both high-powered reggae artists in the New York tri-state region.
The song is also a salute to Team Jamaica Bickle (TJB), a US-based Jamaican organisation that has been at the forefront of the efforts to accommodate, feed and transport the thousands of Jamaican athletes who have come to the Penn Relays over the years.
Black, Gold & Green (To The World) began with the undeniable fact that Jamaicans have become the best track & field athletes in the world. This fact was highlighted repeatedly at the Olympic Games in Beijing and at the 12th IAAF World Championships in Berlin. The recently concluded Boys & Girls Championship in Kingston generated a fresh wave of amazement for our athletes, and with Penn Relays and the Adidas Grand Prix around the corner here in the United States, media marketers Dave Rodney and Anthony Turner decided that the time was right to create such a song.
They approached Sheila, Elvis D and Lushy about recording the song, and the response from the artistes was so profoundly passionate that in less than 24 hours, with the help of Ancil Cox who created the beat, the song was written and recorded. The following day it was mixed and mastered by New York music legend Phillip Smart.
As it turns out, both Elvis D and Lushy Banton had previously recorded Usain Bolt songs, so it was easy for them to jump into this project. Sheila Hylton who sat through the recordings of three Bob Marley albums as a youngster, blended right in with her melodic touch.
“The synergy among the three artists in studio was as remarkable as the Jamaican athletic speedometer, and when I heard the finished product, I knew we had to find a way to immediately shoot a video clip for the song,” Dave Rodney commented.
“We asked for the support of entertainment professionals to make this happen,” he continued, “and the outpouring of support from models, studio, cameramen, stylists, makeup artists, video editor, DJ, caterer, media and others was heartwarming.”
The executives at TJB are excited too with the outcome of the song, and this group that has taken care of our Jamaican athletes for the past sixteen years will use the song as an outreach for additional support as a greater number of athletes are expected for the 116th renewal of the Penn Relays, the leading Track & Field event for high schools, colleges and professional athletes.
“I feel truly grateful that professionals in New York and New Jersey have been able to pool their resources at a moment’s notice to produce a first-class song, and I urge Jamaicans to contribute as best as they can to the efforts,” Irwine Clare, CEO of Team Jamaica Bickle said.
The video clip for Black, Gold & Green premiered last Friday at a TJB press conference at Luntey Commons Room at the Long Island University Campus in Brooklyn, NY and the artists will perform the song at the VIP after-party for Penn Relays at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia on Saturday, April 24.