Vybz Kartel says his incarceration has led to the downfall of Dancehall

Dancehall superstar, Vybz Kartel says he is not impressed with the current state of Dancehall, saying his incarceration has hurt the genre drastically

Dancehall superstar, Vybz Kartel says he is not impressed with the current state of Dancehall, saying his incarceration has hurt the genre drastically

by Jodee Brown

Since his incarceration on murder charges a little over two years ago, embattled Dancehall superstar, Vybz Kartel has not refused any opportunity possible to speak out against the system which currently holds him inHorizon Remand Centre, nor his true feelings regarding his former friends and protégés.

However, unlike past press releases, poems and handwritten notes where he voiced his typically polarizing opinion, Kartel gave a rare interview to United Kingdom news publication, The Voice Online, published Tuesday in its mother publication, the JamaicaGleaner.

In the interview, the self-professed ‘Worl’ Boss,’ gave an in-depth look into his daily prison routine and his thoughts on the ongoing case against him. He also assessed the ongoing state of Dancehall music, claiming that since his September 2011 arrest, the genre he helped build into a worldwide phenomenon has been in steady decline.

“Dancehall is in jail,” he told The Voice. “Although the fact remains that if I die tomorrow, dancehall will continue, it’s also a fact that the next artiste to bring the energy, panache, and ‘vybz’ to dancehall, isn’t here yet.”

He says he is unimpressed with todays’s crop of young deejays and says Reggae’s revival in recent times has been because music lovers are growing tired of hearing repetitive lyrics and styles throughout the genre.

“Look for yourself,” he said. “Since I’ve been in jail, reggae has taken over because it’s a refreshing alternative to dancehall for the young kids who realise the artistes of dancehall are just recycling Kartel lyrics and flow. It’s pathetic.”

Kartel says he remains strong as he awaits trial on his second murder charge in November. He says while it is not an ideal situation, he has found means to cope and adjust to life behind bars.

“I’m in the highest spirit, thank you. In here, everything is a repetition wake, bathe, lock down again. Eat, sleep, repeat. I feel like a robot,” he said. “But iin my cell, I have countless books to read and I also write, too. That’s how I pass my days, occasionally watching TV. I am always occupied, so that kinda keeps me focused.”

He also took another shot at the legal system in Jamaica, saying, “I have to thank my fans for being my fans and/or for supporting me, and let them know that this injustice system of Jamaica is the reason why I’ve been here so long without trial or bail.

“The police say I can’t get bail because I’m a flight risk. They say I’ll abscond. Wow! Where’s the Privy Council when you really need them?” he asked.

Despite being imprisoned, Kartel is promoting his new, 60-track album, Kartel Forever: Trilogy which features a combination of unreleased and classic material. He is also promoting the album version of his highly-regarded book, Voice of the Jamaica Ghetto: Incarcerated, But Not Silenced.

He hopes to be released from prison in time for Christmas, saying he intends to spend time with his family whenever he does get out.

“Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I put family over everything. Then after that, music!” he said.

Kartel’s cell searched as part of Patrick ‘Roach’ Samuels murder investigation

vybz kartel22by Jodee Brown

As an investigation into the tragic murder of popular Dancehall producer, Patrick ‘Roach’ Samuelscontinues, police say they have seized items from the jail cell of his former associate and embattled deejay, Vybz Kartel as they try to solve the case.

According to a report Wednesday from theConstabulary Communications Network (CCN),police took two cellular phones and three flash drives from Kartel’s cell during a search on Sunday at the Horizon Remand Centre in Spanish Town. However, they did not give what link, if any exists between the items seized from his cell and Samuels’ murder.

On Monday, police returned to Kartel’s cell, taking a DVD player and an Apple iPod. Additionally, a DVD player was taken from the jail cell of Kartel’s protégé, Shawn ‘Shawn Storm’ Campbell, who is co-accused in theClive ‘Lizard’ Williams murder case alongside Kartel.

The jail cell of another popular entertainer, Garfield ‘Zebra’ Vassell was also searched by law enforcement officials, with a SIM card being seized from the cell as well as a paper with a set of instructions.

All the items seized in these respective searches will be analyzed for evidential purposes by police as they continue to search for clues in relation to Samuels’ murder.

Samuels, 46, was shot and killed while in his vehicle after leaving a party in Kingston early Sunday morning. He is renowned for crafting hit rhythms such as the Siren Riddim in 2005, the Overproof Riddim in 2011 as well as the Overtime Riddim earlier this year.

He also served as Vybz Kartel’s former road manager for several years until the two fell out in 2010.

Vybz Kartel to release triple album later this month

vybz kartel3by Jodee Brown

Embattled Dancehall superstar, Vybz Kartel is set to release his ninth studio album later this month, despite remaining incarcerated on murder and conspiracy charges.

According to reports Tuesday, Kartel will unveil a new triple-disc, Kartel Forever: Trilogy on September 24, marking his second album release this year. The album features a whopping 60 tracks, including unreleased material and recent hit songs. His first single off the album, Schoolwhich was produced by his common-law wifeTanesha ‘Shorty’ Johnson was released in late August.

In a press release, Kartel spoke of his new project. “I want to thank all my supporters for your love and unfailing support throughout these trying times. Even though I am incarcerated, I am still up to the time. This album shows that I get stronger with each passing second. Tad’s plus Adidjaheim Records is a sick formula and the result is Kartel Forever: Trilogy. Worl’ Boss full stop.”

Other songs included on Kartel Forever: Trilogyinclude Business and Compass while producers such as UIM Records, Elvis ‘So Unique’ Redwood and many others are featured on the record.

Tad Dawkins, owner of the album’s local distributor,Tad’s Record said of the project, “Producing and affiliating ourselves with projects that showcase exquisite craftsmanship is something that, as a company, we at Tad’s Record take great pride in doing. Therefore, working with the World Boss, Mr. Palmer himself again, after the exceptional successes of our first project together Pon Di Gaza 2.0, was a no-brainer. “Sublime” is the one word that sums up the album, Kartel Forever: Trilogy.”

In July, Kartel released an album version of his bookVoice of the Jamaican Ghetto: Incarcerated But Not Silenced on iTunes.

The explicit version of Kartel Forever: Trilogy will be available in stores while both explicit and clean version will be available on iTunes and other digital music outlets.

Buju Banton set to release new album in 2014

buju banton12by Jodee Brown

Despite being incarcerated on federal drug charges until 2019, embattled Dancehall/Reggae singer, Buju Bantonis planning to drop a new studio album in the summer of 2014, according to reports Friday.

Tracii McGregor, a member of Buju’s management team revealed that most of the songs on the singjay’s album were recorded when he was out on bail in 2011, awaiting his trial on drug and gun charges. McGregor told theJamaica Observer, “Buju is very involved in the process, of course. He is just as focused and detail oriented as he ever was.”

Producers expected to feature on the album includeStephen Marley and Blacker Dread, with production from Buju himself also featuring on the compilation.

This new studio album would mark Buju’s 13th in his over two decades as a mainstream artist. His last album wasBefore The Dawn, released in 2010, which featured singles such as Innocent, Battered and Bruised as well as Do Good. The album won the self-professed ‘Gargamel’ his first Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in February 2011, just days prior to his conviction on three drug related charges in relation to a 2009 incident in Florida.

Several singles have been released since Buju’s incarceration, including Set Up The Mic, Lose Your Loveand Inna Half, the latter two singles produced by his song, Markus Myrie.

Buju is reportedly in transit at the Oklahoma City Federal Transfer Centrehaving been transferred from a federal prison in Florida, where he as served the majority of his sentence to date.

Vybz Kartel’s common-law wife, ‘Shorty’ debuts her own music label

vybz kartel20by Jodee Brown

Tanesha ‘Shorty‘ Johnson, the devoted common law wife of incarcerated dancehall superstar, Vybz Kartel is proudly debuting her own Short Boss Muzik label with the release of School.

Following in the footsteps of Kartel, Tanesha Johnson akaShorty is using music in order to cope and fill out the void of her husband’s absence. Surrounded by great team of producers, and a strong digital distribution company, ‘Shorty’ shares with Dancehall fans the essence of Vybz Kartel with School. Distributed by 21st Hapilos Digital, the single, School performed by Vybz Kartel will be available to the public via iTunes on August 27.

Contrary to various rumors, Shorty and Kartel’s relationship is stronger than ever, Vybz reminds the public and acknowledges his love and support via several media statements such as recently in regards to his best seller book “Voice of the Jamaican Ghetto” making its way into prestigious American universities “TO MY COMMON LAW WIFE TANESHA “SHORTY” JOHNSON FOR HER WELL NEEDED SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT. THANK YOU.”

Adidja Palmer, better known as Vybz Kartel was recently found not guilty of one of the murder charges but remains incarcerated on another pending murder charge. That trial is scheduled to get underway on November 18.

Click the TorontoDeejays.com Logo below to listen to Kartel’s latest single, “School”

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Vybz Kartel book endorsed by American universities

TorontoDeejays.comby Jodee Brown

Despite an apparent hesitance by some Jamaican bookstores and universities to facilitate it, Vybz Kartel’s debut book, Voice of the Jamaican Ghetto has now received strong endorsements from prestigious American universities, according to co-author, Michael Dawson.

According to reports this past weekend, Prominent Ivy League school, Princeton University as well as Duke University in North Carolina and Vanderbilt University in Tennessee now have Voice of The Jamaican Ghetto  in their respective libraries. This adds to attention Kartel’s book has received from major international media outlets such as HOT 97FM as well as sales in places such a Germany, Chile, Austria, Holland and many other countries.

While Dawson is pleased with the universal exposure Voice of the Jamaican Ghetto has received, he believes the book still has not received full appreciation from the Jamaican public.

“All major book stores – Sangster’s, Kingston Book Shop, LMH, both airports, I-Nation, Bookophilia and Bookland – have carried the book,” Dawson told the Jamaica Gleaner. “Uptown stores and religious book stores refused it out of ignorance, I believe, and we expected that,”

There has been much debate as to whether or not Jamaican schools will adopt Voice of the Jamaican Ghetto in their curriculum, with University of the West Indies (UWI) professor, Carolyn Cooper calling for the book to be introduced to Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) readings this past May.

Dawson believes the reason for the education system’s reluctance to circulate the book within its channels comes down its challenging of the historical data taught throughout schools for years.

“I think the main problem with the Jamaican education system is that they would have to find a way to rationalize the inaccuracies, distortions and omissions in the traditional history books that our book highlights,” Dawson told the Jamaica STAR. “The reality is that the book factually discredits some of our traditions – from Jonkonoo to the dominance of Euro-Christianity.”

He continued, “How will the education system handle a book that explains with facts and empirical data that much of what they have taught children is a lie? The book states that ‘Baa, Baa, Black Sheep’ is abusive to black children. So I think the book is, at a minimum, disruptive to the traditional education system. Add to that the fact that Vybz Kartel has the ear of the youth, I’m not sure if the education system can come to terms with that. No surprise there.”

Vybz Kartel remains incarcerated in a Spanish Town jail as he awaits the beginning of the Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams murder trial in November. He, along with five other men are charged with the August 2011 murder of Williams. Additionally, Kartel and two other co-accused face conspiracy charges in connection with the case.

Tommy Lee Sparta Responds To Vybz Kartel Diss

tommylee1by TheOne

Tommy Lee Sparta has broken his silence on a recent statement made by Vybz Kartel.

The self proclaim Worl’Boss released a statement from behind bars just days after being acquitted of a murder charge in the Home Circuit Court.

The statement made headline because of what Vybz Kartel said about Popcaan and Tommy Lee, who were two of his most loyal protege up until his arrest in 2011.

“Can someone tell Popcaan and Tommy Lee stop big me up pon stage saying they’re GAZA when they’re not even near to my recently acquired PLAZA,” Vybz Kartel said. “They have no shame and could only be compared to undignified morons. They and I know that they are just a couple of traitors grabbing at the proverbial straw to save their downward spiralling careers.”

Tommy Lee has responded through his publicist Keona Williams.

This is what Williams said:

“It has reached our attention, however, we cannot confirm its authenticity. Tommy has explained he is clueless to how this statement came about … As far as we know there is no conflict that exists between Tommy Lee Sparta and the Worl’Boss … He (Tommy Lee) is on good terms with the Gaza which he has always been loyal to.”

“Tommy Lee Sparta constantly declares his devotion to the unit that brought him to forefront … At present, Tommy Lee Sparta is sincerely hopeful that Kartel’s legal woes will be resolved swiftly.”

Popcaan has remained silent since Vybz Kartel released the statement last weekend.

Vybz Kartel blasts Popcaan and Tommy Lee, calls them ‘undignified morons’

Dancehall superstar, Vybz Kartel continues to lambaste his former prodigies, Tommy Lee Sparta and Popcaan after recently being acquitted of murder and gun-related charges in one of his murder case.

Dancehall superstar, Vybz Kartel continues to lambaste his former prodigies, Tommy Lee Sparta and Popcaan after recently being acquitted of murder and gun-related charges in one of his murder case.

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After being acquitted of a murder charge in the shooting death of a St. Catherine businessman last week, embattled Dancehall superstar, Vybz Kartel is holding nothing back as he has given the clearest indication yet of where his allegiances lie.

This past weekend, the self-professed ‘Worl’ Boss’ issued a statement addressing last week’s not guilty verdict in the Barrington ‘Bossie’ Burton murder case while thanking his family, fans and legal team for their support throughout his incarceration.

“First of all I would like to thank my legal team,Finson and Associates for proving and maintaining my innocence,” he said. “I would also want to thank all my fans for being there with me and for their continued support musically, making me forever relevant to dancehall. Last but not least I want to thank my family, in particular my baby mother SHORTYGAZA who is and has always been the tower of strength in my life. Taking care of our three sons and handling my financial affairs plus being so focused amidst a sea of ‘crosses’ and tribulations. Just want the fans to know they should remain confident that Vybz Kartel will soon ‘Duh Road’ and that I am physically and spiritually great.”

“On a different note, a lot of people are speculating that I am internet capable but nothing could be further from the truth. Apart from my twitter page ‘iamthekartel’ which is being run by Michael Dawson for the time being, everyone else is an imposter,” he continued.

However, the standout section of Kartel’s statement came when he blasted protégés, Tommy Lee Sparta andPopcaan for what he calls a lack of loyalty. With reports surfacing in recent months regarding a possible rift between Kartel and his former prodigies, Kartel admonished the pair for their alleged actions.

“Can someone tell Popcaan and Tommy Lee stop big me up pon stage saying they’re GAZA when they’re not even near to my recently acquired PLAZA,” he said “They have no shame and could only be compared to undignified morons. They and I know that they are just a couple of traitors grabbing at the proverbial straw to save their downward spiraling careers.”

Kartel then signed out by paying homage to those who he believes have stayed true to the ‘Gaza’ cause, saying “Yea the forever controversial worl’boss,” “BIGUP ME BREDDA SHAWN STORM. BIGUP GAZA SLIM AND BIGUP GAGE. I’m out…WORL’BOSS.”

Despite last Wednesday’s not guilty ruling, Vybz Kartel remains in custody at the Horizon Remand Centre as he awaits a November trial date in the Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams murder case. Kartel, Shawn Storm and four others men are accused in participating in the August 2011 killing of Williams at a Havendale residence.

Kartel, Vanessa ‘Gaza Slim’ Saddler and Andre ‘Pim Pim’ Henry are accused of conspiracy in connection to the Williams case.

Vybz Kartel thanks fans, lawyers after being freed of murder charge

Vybz Kartel has thanked his fans, lawyers, family and other well-wishers following his acquittal in his murder trial on Tuesday.

Vybz Kartel has thanked his fans, lawyers, family and other well-wishers following his acquittal in his murder trial on Tuesday.

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Internationally-acclaimed Jamaican entertainer, Vybz Kartel has expressed gratitude to his family, friends and lawyers less than 24 hours after being freed of murder and gun-related charges in theBarrington ‘Bossie’ Burton trial Wednesday morning.

A 12-member jury returned a not guilty verdict in favor of Kartel, under the directive of Supreme Court judge, Bryan Sykes during a hear inside the Home Circuit Court. The Dancehall superstar, whose real name isAdidja Palmer, was freed along with two co-accused Lenburgh McDonald and Nigel Thompson after Judge Sykes after the prosecution dropped its case against the men. This took place a day after the Crown had their application to allow the entry of witness statements into evidence denied as the judge ruled that they did not take enough steps to ensure the location of witnesses who were expected to testify in the trial.

On Wednesday afternoon, Kartel extended his gratitude to those who supported him over the duration of the case by issuing a handwritten note, via IRIE FM to them. It read, “I had the utmost confidence from the outset as I knew I was being a scapegoat as usual because of my image and content of some of my music….I want to thank all my attorneys,Tom and Christian Tavares-Finson, my family, my baby mother ‘Shorty,’ and my fans for their continued support in these trying times.”

Meanwhile, Christian Tavares Finson hinted that a bail application could soon be made on behalf of Kartel in the Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams murder case.

“One of the reasons why we felt the prosecution was really pushing this is because every time we go to court and raise the issue of bail, they say ‘Well, he (Kartel) has another murder charge.’ So here it is, that is no more,” he told IRIE FM. “I’m sure that he’s in good spirits here now and may very well instruct us to make another application on his behalf, which is a real possibility.”

Kartel, along with five other men are accused of participating in the August 2011 murder of Williams at a St. Andrew residence after an alleged argument over the disappearance of illegal guns. The self-proclaimed ‘Worl’ Boss’, along with Vanessa ‘Gaza Slim’ Saddler and Andre ‘Pim Pim’ Henry are facing conspiracy charges in relation to the matter.

Vybz Kartel found not guilty in murder trial after prosecution drops case

Vybz Kartel, who has been incarcerated since September 2011, has been cleared of murder charges in the Barrington 'Bossie' Burton murder trial.

Vybz Kartel, who has been incarcerated since September 2011, has been cleared of murder charges in the Barrington ‘Bossie’ Burton murder trial.

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Embattled Dancehall superstar, Adidja Palmer, more popularly known as Vybz Kartel is now one step closer to full freedom after he was officially freed of a murder charge in the Barrington ‘Bossie’ Burton trial Wednesday morning.

A 12-member jury inside the Home Circuit Court was instructed by Supreme Court judge, Bryan Sykes to return a not guilty verdict in favor of the popular entertainer after the Crown offered no further evidence to continue its case. This news comes a day after Judge Sykes denied the entry of two witness statements into evidence by the prosecution after determining that the Crown did not take enough steps to locate missing witnesses who were due to testify in the trial.

The self-professed ‘Worl’ Boss’ stood accused of murder, conspiracy to murder and illegal possession of a firearm in the July 2011 shooting of Burton, a St. Catherine-based businessman and promoter. Kartel’s co-accused, Lenburgh McDonald and Nigel Thompson were also freed of murder charges and are free to go.

However, Kartel will remain in police custody as he awaits a November trial date in the Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams case as he has yet to receive bail in the matter. Kartel and five other men are accused of participating in the death of Williams in August 2011 at a Havendale property in St. Andrew.

Kartel, his long-time protégé, Vanessa ‘Gaza Slim’ Saddler and studio engineer, Andre ‘Pim Pim’ Henry are accused of conspiracy in relation to the Williams matter.