A few years ago when a UK publication revealed that Vybz Kartel along with Bob Marley and Tupac Shakur, were among the most requested artistes on prisoners’ playlists, Dancehall haters said it was no big deal. Based on reports from a related trial and whispers in legal circles, we now know that the jury put in place for his case had some relatives, jobs and party plans that would make it almost impossible for them to be totally impartial. When that jury ignored the argument of questionable and missing evidence put forward by the Defense, detractors laughed, celebrating the fact that they were sure that the career and notoriety of the Worlboss was now certainly dead. However, fast forward to today, when perhaps the most respected Magazine on the planet, Time Magazine; named Vybz Kartel the most Googled name in Jamaica and Guyana, it seems the joke about Kartel’s career ending is now on the Kartel haters.
This has left the “system” in a state of confusion as they thought that a curiously assembled jury could do what the Broadcast Commission, Night Noise rules and raids on his nightclub and studio couldn’t accomplish – silence the Worlboss. They usually dismiss news about Kartel’s infamy as propaganda by Gaza fans as they claim no one else cares but one wonders if they are going to call Google and Time Magazine liars too. Here is the scary truth for persons who love to hate Kartel, his voice has gotten louder and louder since his incarceration.
How loud? Check out these facts. His recent album Vybz is King, is the most successful purely dancehall album on the global Itunes charts in recent years, which suggests that it is not only fans in Portmore that are buying Kartel’s music. His book was the Top Rated in its category on Amazon Kindle for more than a year and it can now be found in prestigious Universities such as Princeton, Yale and Cambridge; the critically acclaimed book is now available in the US Library of Congress, the British Public Library system and libraries in non -English speaking cities like Berlin, Germany. Using Kartel music in professionally choreographed dances is the new trend in Russia and when dance teams from Poland and The Netherlands went head to head in a dance off, it was Kartel’s music that they danced to. Even our own politicians can’t help themselves, one got in trouble for quoting Kartel’s lyrics at a political meeting and a Senior Member of the Opposition tweeted a line from Kartel’s megahit “Clarks” on a twitter account said to be owned by him.
According to sources close to Kartel, 2016 will be even bigger. There are promos for more of his previously recorded music set to hit the digital stores, rumours that a major clothing deal is signed for a Valentine’s launch and his business partner and co-author confirmed that negotiations with a film maker who won the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, about doing a film based on his book, are far advanced. It is easy to understand why the system hates him, whilst the mainstream media never exposed the “dead babies” scandal in Jamaica until 2015, Kartel wrote extensively about Jamaica’s terrible infant mortality rate in his book from 2011!! Yet another reason why he is the Voice of the Ghetto that the system thought they could get rid of.
Love him or hate him, one thing is for sure, Adidja Azim Palmer, may be incarcerated but certainly never silenced; because reputable companies like Time Magazine and Google and the Itunes and Amazon stats will expose the truth. His enemies can twist and turn the facts about him as they did in the case but the numbers don’t lie, as we say in Jamaica– Worlboss still run d place. We wish him all the best for another year and we are sure Gaza fans hope that this year his appeal will come through so that “Everyday will be Christmas.”