by Jodee Brown
Incarcerated Dancehall superstar, Vybz Kartelhas something to smile about today as one of his most recent compilations has been tipped for music’s highest honor.
Vybz Kartel’s Pon Di Gaza Mi Sey album, released in October 2011, is one of 50 projects on the provisional shortlist for theBest Reggae Album award at next year’s Grammys in Los Angeles. Pon Di Gaza Mi Sey, released a month after Kartel’s arrest on drug and subsequent murder charges, features many of Kartel’s hits dating back to 2008.
Some of the songs on Pon Di Gaza Mi Seyinclude Virginity (Versatility), Like a Movie, Get Wild, Life We Living and the controversial track, Romping Shop (featuring Spice).
Another embattled Dancehall megastar, Busy Signal has also been nominated for his album,Reggae Music Again, which features hits like Kingston Town, Come Over and the CD’s title track, Reggae Music Again. Busy, who also scored strong collaborations withDamian Marley (Kingston Town Remix)and Grammy-winning American rock band, No Doubt (Push and Shove) will be released from a Minnesota prison in less than two weeks after completing his six month sentence for absconding bail during a drug case.
Other notables on the Best Reggae Albumshortlist include Konshens, who has been torching the music scene this year with his debut album, Mental Maintenance, which features tracks like Do Sumn, Simple Song, Gal Dem a Talk and She’s Happy. Additionally, past Best Reggae Album winners such as Sean Paul (Tomahawk Technique), Toots Hibbert (Reggae Got Soul: Unplugged) and Jimmy Cliff (Rebirth) scored nominations while Mr. Vegas also appears on the shortlist for his successful double disc, Sweet Jamaica.
The 50 nominees for Best Reggae Album will be trimmed to five (or six) finalists when the full list of next year’s nominees are announced on December 5 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The 55th annual Grammy Awards will take place at the same venue on February 10, 2013.