by Jodee Brown
Embattled Dancehall superstar, Adidja Palmer, more popularly known as Vybz Kartel continues to declare his innocence and has released excerpts from his most recent project to back his claims.
Kartel, who faces multiple murder and obstruction of justice related charges, issued a letter to University of the West Indies (UWI) professor and long-time friend, Carolyn Cooper regarding his current legal situation. In the letter, Kartel blamed law enforcement and the media for perpetuating a demonizing image of him while conceding that he may never get a fair trial in relation to his cases given that, in his mind, the public has already convicted him for his alleged actions before being allowed to prove his innocence. Additionally, the self-professed ‘Worl Boss’ aimed to separate his egocentric onstage persona from his more humble and sociable off-stage persona that he insists the public has confused several times.
Now the controversial Portmore Empire deejay has taken his protests a step further by releasing fresh excerpts from his debut book, Voice of the Jamaican Ghetto, which was originally due for release last summer. After several delays and missed publishing dates due to his legal situation, publishers of Voice of the Jamaican Ghetto, after receiving permission from Kartel,decided to unveil excerpts of said book as a measure of relaying messages to family members, friends and fans who have been strongly affected by his months in exile. These excerpts were written just prior to Kartel’s incarceration last September.
Chapter 1: Thank You Jah
“Let your Jah be your guide – each day when you wake up anywhere in Jamaica or in the world say – Thank You Jah, me wake up this morning.”
“I keep saying that I “vision” better days coming. Now, here is part of the reason why I encourage my people to read Proverbs. There are so many lessons to be learnt from the book, especially in Proverbs 29 when Solomon jus roll out de teaching one after de odda. In Proverbs 29: 18, Solomon tells us that without vision the people perish. There are different types of visions. There is the out of body experience that the great Garnet Silk described in his song “Zion in a Vision.” Then there is the vision that King Solomon is talking about. We have a word for it in the ghettoes of Jamaica – it is called “preeing.” Preeing literally means looking at something and thoroughly analyzing it before proceeding to make a decision. This is what I am referring to when I say “I vision better days coming.” It is not an idle thought.”
Chapter 3: Mama
“If I wrote 9 albums dedicated to her I could not sufficiently express my gratitude, love, respect and admiration for Theresa Wilson Palmer or mommy as I call her. To her, this book is dedicated and to her I owe all my success. Mommy me love YOU! “Mi swear from mi heart” that Theresa Wilson Palmer is my queen”.
“Why do you think I handle the haters so well? What’s my secret you ask? Mama, mama, mama, my mother. Yes, it is Theresa Wilson Palmer’s training. That’s why I keep saying to the media, keep talking. My mother’s opinion is the only one that matters when it comes to criticizing Vybz Kartel. I want to say to her that I know it is not always easy. There is hardly a day that goes by without her son’s name in the paper being tarnished, ridiculed or criticized. Somehow, I went from being her adorable little son to everybody’s role model; expected to be who they think I should be and not who I am. I can only imagine how she feels when I am called derogatory names or blamed for things I know nothing about.”
Chapter 9: Struggle
“I cannot emphasize enough the role of family in the ghetto. As we fight poverty, having family support could be the difference between a prosperous life and a life full of strife. Anyone who knows Vybz Kartel personally will know that the most constant message on my BlackBerry Status is Family First. I’m not saying that my family life is perfect or that I am a perfect father but I strive to be. Yes, families will have differences, all families do. Some malice, fight like cats and dogs; but blood is thicker than water. In my song, I spend the entire first verse talking about family because make no mistake about it people, we are going to turn things around in the ghetto and we are going to start with family.”