BY: JODEE BROWN
After months off local shelves, the Street Vybz Rum brand has been officially re-introduced to the Jamaican market following a truce struck between the product’s high profile creators.
Prominent American businessman, Corey Toddand embattled Dancehall superstar, Vybz Kartelrecently announced the restoration of theirbusiness partnership after a very public falling out that took place in May of last year. With their resolution came the announcement that Kartel and Todd would bring back to popularStreet Vybz Rum brand that initially debuted in 2009.
According to Todd, the overwhelming demand for Street Vybz Rum became too difficult to ignore, thus prompting he and Kartel to once again supply the liquor brand. Despite Street Vybz being off the market for several months, Todd believes that the product will once again find favor with customers while intimating that new flavors will be added to diversify the brand.
“Nothing needs to be different about Street Vybz rum. The fans of Vybz Kartel loved it just the way it was. It was the rum that changed the rum market in Jamaica for dancehall patrons. We made rum cool and no longer for rum heads. No one can take that accomplishment from us. The only thing is that we will now explore the export opportunities that were passed on because of the split, so Street Vybz will become an international brand shortly,”Todd told the Jamaica STAR.
“Right now all the major wholesales have placed their orders so fans can check every Chiney man.”
However, a stumbling block does exist regarding the marketing of Street Vybz Rum as Vybz Kartel remains incarcerated while awaiting trial in a pair of murder cases later this year. But, according to Todd, some of Kartel’s esteemed protégés will help to promote Street Vybz until its focal point cops freedom.
“The name of the rum is Street ‘Vybz’, so ‘Vybz’ Kartel will always be the face of the product. Other artistes in the Gaza will hold some of the weight until he returns. Tommy Lee is the hottest ‘un-incarcerated’ artiste right now so he’s a very appropriate representative for the product,” Todd said.
While Street Vybz Rum was shelved, Todd had been promoting Yaad Swag, a rum brand that he created while using artistes such as Beenie Man, Khago and Aidonia to market the product.
However, with Street Vybz returning, Todd stated that his Yaad Swag project has been discontinued.
“No Yaad Swag. The people say Street Vybz rum.”