As New Album Drops, Kartel Speaks On Music, War, and Life Pon Di Gaza
Adidja Palmer is a study in contradictions. According to a recent survey commissioned by the University of the West Indies, the DJ known as Vybz Kartel is dancehall’s most popular artist. On the other hand, his one-time mentor Bounty Killer recently said the biggest regret of his career was helping to “buss” the young lyricial prodigy from Portmore. “Kartel is the worst thing to happen to dancehall music,” Killer said of the artist who inspired his recent tune “Ungrateful Hell Bwoy” (a response to his former protege’s scathing “Bownty’s Killer”). After Kartel and Mavado’s epic confrontation at Sting 2008, anticipation is building for this year’s lyrical contest between di Teacha and the Warlord. But Kartel’s complexities don’t stop there. When we spoke last week by telelphone, the man behind controversial tunes like “Rampin’ Shop” and “Virginity” had just completed a back-to-school book giveaway, and was organizing a new juggling called the Schoolyard riddim, encouraging students to stay in school and out of trouble. Yet even as the Gaza vs Gully rivalry continues to simmer in the streets, the prolific, provocative lyricist insists on absolute artistic freedom, no matter the consequences. So who is the real Vybz Kartel? And what is di Teacha really teaching? Tune in and decide for yourself…
After Triumphing At Champions In Action, The Killer Lays Kartel To Rest
“Blessed is the man who walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the seat of the scornful.” Word to the wise: Once the Warlord starts quoting scripture on you, you’re in serious trouble. Read more »
A Hip Hop Legend says “Caribbean Music Can Be A Monster,” However…
I got a chance to reason with a Hip Hop Legend last Friday, the one and only Mr. Cee. Depending on the depth of your knowledge of hip hop culture, you may know Cee as Big Daddy Kane’s DJ, or as the man who recorded the demo tape that got Biggie Smalls his deal with Puff Daddy. Or you may just know him as the influential radio personality at New York’s #1 radio station, Hot 97 FM. Besides playing great hip hop and R&B, Cee has been influential in helping break many dancehall records on the international market. Hot 97 plays more reggae than most of the urban format stations in America. So I had to ask him the $64,000 question:
You were involved in hip hop before it was a major major money industry. Do you feel like reggae can ever reach that same level of prosperity internationally? It seems like it always stays in the grassroots and in the underground moreso than rap.
AND THIS IS WHAT HE SAID. “I know that reggae probably can be just as lucrative or just as successful as hip hop is, or maybe even beyond. I know that it could. But the one thing that’s the biggest downfall for reggae right now…
Busy, Kartel, and Mavado put forward a dancehall stimulus package.
Even when the Alliance and the Empire can’t seem to get along, there’s at least one thing they can all agree on: Cash Rules. As we struggle with a global recession, it only makes sense to pree their proposals. Run the tracks… Read more »