Despite being locked up since 2011, Vybz Kartel has still managed to maintain more relevance in dancehall music more so than some other entertainers.
In 2013 Kartel won the award for Youth View Awards’ (YVA) Male artist of the year and received special honours at the Music Industry Achievers (MIA) awards ceremony. In 2014, he won the award for YVA Male artist of the year and Dancehall DJ of the year. In 2015, he again won the YVA Male artist of the year.
He also won Star Awards Deejay of the Year and Song of the year for his hit single “Mi nuh trust people”.
It is without a doubt that Kartel still manages to dominate and rule his kingdom as he has most of the songs that are rotating the airwaves since his 2011 arrest for the murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams. Mavado, who was one of his most serious rivals, has admitted that the deejay is talented and has even spoken of a collab for his song “Aint going back broke”. Grung Gad, Bounty Killer, has also ranked Vybz Kartel beside him as one of the baddest and referred to him as a ‘son’.
Vybz Kartel is currently serving a life sentence with 35 years before he is eligible for parole. He was charged, along with Shawn Storm, for the murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams. However, his lawyers have been hinting at the possibility for a retrial of his case.
It is evident that even though Vybz Kartel has been in prison for the last 4 years, his voice was not locked up with him.
In 2011, Addi was on such high demand, as he was scheduled to perform at the Best of the Best concert that is he’d annually in Florida. However he did not have a US Visa at the time and had to performed via satellite. He delivered a great performance, and the crowd responded as such.He still holds the record for the only dancehall artist to perform via live satellite at an international show.
Earlier this year, the legendary Mick Jagger named Vybz Kartel as one of his favourite rappers, the other being Jay Z. He explained that even though it takes a while for him to understand what he is saying, his flow and lyrics have been a game changer for the dancehall industry.
It is no secret that Hip Hop islander is a lover of dancehall music and Kartel is one of her favourites. Rihanna posted a video of her dancing to Kartel’s hit single “Bike Back”.
It is known that when one is doing well these achievements must be recognised. It is no secret that Vybz Kartel is the king and dancehall music and its people are a part of his musical Kingdom.
Since his breakthrough, the deejay has released nothing but hit songs. In 2009, his collaboration with Spice “Ramping Shop” took the all areas of the music industry by storm, as it made it way to debuting on the Billboard Charts. It was even being said that international star, Neyo, who had the original song on the beat, was threatening to take legal actions. Making him deserving of the name “World Boss”.
In 2010, his song ‘Clarks’ which featured Popcaan was dominating the streets. This song had so much influenced as it even attributed to the rise in the sale of Clark’s shoes in stores and on the streets. One pair of Clark’s was being sold for as much as $18,000.
The now incarcerated deejay came to prominence in 2003 when his hard-hitting flow and lyrics became recognised in his song “Love fat woman”. Since then, there has been no turning back for the deejay.
Vybz Kartel’s aura in dancehall has led many to crown him as the “king of the dancehall”, a title which, for many years, has been associated with fellow artist, Beenie Man. While dominating a music genre seems to be a tedious task, Addi makes it look easy while at the same time being a father, common law husband and business man. Kartel was a part of the Bounty Killer lead group, Alliance, but differences caused them to go separate ways. The separation led to a feud developing between Kartel and Mavado, who was then a member of the Alliance as well. The 2009 Gully/Gaza feud was one of the most influential events as it led to the segregation of the entire country.
Kartel also ventured into his own line of businesses. In 2008 he released his Street Vybz Rum of his very own Vybz Distillers Ltd, and also released his own condom line, Daggaring Condoms. He then revealed plans to host his own reality TV show in Jamaica and in 2011 this was indeed a reality. Teacher’s Pet was the first and only reality TV show hosted by a Dancehall artist and feature women from all over the world. He also released his very own shoe line, Addis, in 2011.
Vybz Kartel, given name Adidja Azim Palmer, is undoubtedly one of the most talented, controversial, influential, and loved artist to ever walk through the streets of Dancehall music.