New Gyptian album, ‘Sex, Love and Reggae’ tops Billboard chart

Dancehall/Reggae superstar, Gyptian has topped the Billboard Reggae chart with his new compilation, 'Sex, Love and Reggae'.

Dancehall/Reggae superstar, Gyptian has topped the Billboard Reggae chart with his new compilation, ‘Sex, Love and Reggae’.

by Jodee Brown

Reggae/Dancehall superstar, Gyptian has topped the U.S. Billboard Reggae Chart thanks to his new album,Sex, Love and Reggae, breaking a Jamaican drought on the charts in the process.

According to reports, Sex, Love and Reggae topped the chart with 1,290 copies sold in its opening week, becoming the first album by a Jamaican artist to top the chart since Beres Hammond’s One Life, One Love last October. The album more than doubles the output garnered for his last studio album, Hold Yuh, which sold just a touch over 500 copies and peaked in second spot on the Billboard Reggae Chart in 2010.

Gyptian has been doing a promotional tour for the album over the last month in the U.S. and U.K. respectively, performing mainly club venues throughout the tour.

Sex, Love and Reggae features several international names, including Melanie Fiona on One More Time,Estelle (Majestic Love) and Bunji Garlin, amongst several others.

His last album featured the award-winning, chart-topping single, Hold Yuh, which was certified gold in the United States with over 500,000 copies and silver in the United Kingdom, with over 200,000 units sold.

Mavado reportedly set to perform at STING 2013

Dancehall superstar, Mavado (left), who will soon be unveiling the video for his single, 'Give It All Me' featuring Nicki Minaj (right), is reportedly set to headline STING 2013

Dancehall superstar, Mavado (left), who will soon be unveiling the video for his single, ‘Give It All Me’ featuring Nicki Minaj (right), is reportedly set to headline STING 2013

by Jodee Brown

Organizers of Dancehall’s most popular and controversial event, STING are seemingly pulling out all the stops for their 30th anniversary show as Dancehall superstar,Mavado is reportedly leading the line to perform this December.

According to reports Saturday, the ‘Gully Gaad’ will be headlining STING 2013, a year after failing to perform at the show due to a monetary dispute with STINGpromoters, Isaiah Laing and Joe Bogdanovich, the CEO of Downsound Records.

A person with knowledge of the STING lineup told Urban Islandz, “I can confirm that Mavado the Gully God will be taking the stage at Jamworld.”

Mavado, who will soon release the official video for his remix of Give It All To Me (feat. Nicki Minaj), will be joined by Reggae legend, Sizzla Kalonji as well as popular Dancehall stars, Aidonia and Tommy Lee Sparta.

These reported confirmations come just over a week after Dancehall legend, Supercat, who made his name in his clash with Ninja Man at STING 91was confirmed for the show, marking his first performance in Jamaica since 2001.

American rap star, 2 Chainz has also been confirmed as the show’s overseas headliner.

STING’s 30th anniversary show will take place on Dec. 26 at Jamworld in Portmore, St. Catherine. Nikki Zhas been confirmed as the show’s host.

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.

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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Shabba Ranks working on new album

Shabba Ranks working on new album with TorontoDeejays.comby Jodee Brown

Scarcely in the spotlight since dominating charts worldwide in the 1990s, fans of Dancehall legend, Shabba Ranks, have waited since November 1998 to hear a new album from him. That wait looks set to end in near future.

The deejay has announced that he is working on a new album which he hopes to release in 2014. This would mark his first studio album since Get Up, Stand Up 15 years ago and his first compilation of any kind since his Shabba and Friends greatest hits album in 1999.

In an exclusive interview with the Jamaica Observer published Friday, Shabba is ready to drop his latest set once he and a top record label can come to an agreement.

“I am working on numerous ideas to create hit records,” he said. “A new album is always in the works, when a major record label is ready to do some business then we will see how it goes in terms of a release.”

Shabba is the only Dancehall artist and one of seven Jamaican acts to take home two Grammy awards for Best Reggae Album: As Raw As Ever (1992) and Xtra Naked (1993).

He returned to Jamaica last summer as he headlined International Night 1 at Reggae Sumfest in Montego Bay, his first appearance on the island in over a decade.

Shabba is set to perform at the Caribbean Fever Irie Jamboree Music Festival in Brooklyn, NY from August 30 – September 1.

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.

Mavado set for appearance at Reggae Sumfest?

Mavado, seen here performing at Reggae Sumfest 2011, is still hopeful that he will be a late addition to the Dancehall Night lineup at Reggae Sumfest this week, which takes place at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Complex in Montego Bay.

Mavado, seen here performing at Reggae Sumfest 2011, is still hopeful that he will be a late addition to the Dancehall Night lineup at Reggae Sumfest this week, which takes place at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Complex in Montego Bay.

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With the 21st edition of Reggae Sumfest having kicked off on Sunday, speculation is rife whether or not internationally-regarded Dancehall artist, Mavado will be a late edition to the lineup as confusion over his possible participation persists.

The artist’s camp is hopeful that the ‘Gully Gaad’ will join the Dancehall Night lineup Thursday night, despite Sumfest organizers’ claims the singjay recently informed them of his unavailability for the show. According toRobert Russell, a member of Sumfest’s organizing committee, attempts were made to book Mavado for the show, but talks disintegrated due to the entertainer’s contractual obligations to other events.

“We were told that he would not be available for Sumfest, and that is why we did not book him,” Russell told the Jamaica STAR. “There is no grouse between the organizers and the artiste because we try our best to get a complete line-up as much as possible each year.”

However, Mavado’s manager, Julian Jones-Griffiths insists there was an agreement in place for his client to perform at Sumfest.

“I have an email where we agreed to their offer over a month ago,” Griffiths told the STAR. “Mavado has a show in L.A., the day after Sumfest’s Dancehall night, and I was delaying booking the flights to L.A. because we weren’t sure if he was flying from Jamaica or not. We thought he was going to appear at Sumfest but it wasn’t confirmed as yet. That delay ended up costing the LA promoter more money because the flight cost went up.”

Griffiths believes organizers should be blamed for this breakdown in communication while insisting Mavado’s absence from the Sumfest lineup has hurt his following.

“They (the organizers) playing games. I maintain what I am saying is fact,” he said. “Perhaps, Mr Russell isn’t aware of what happened. A lot of his (Mavado’s) fans are asking how comes he’s not on Sumfest, and they should know it’s no fault of ours. A lot of Mavado’s fans have been communicating via social media, especially to his Twitter account. They are sharing their displeasure at him not being on this year’s Sumfest.”

Russell, however, intimated that there is still time to add Mavado to the show’s bill, but would have to adjust time slots on short notice, given favorable terms are agreed between the artist and organizers.

Griffiths also says Mavado is willing to perform at Sumfest, but would have to make changes to his travelling schedule to accommodate the move.

Reggae Sumfest kicked off proceedings with a beach party on Sunday and will resume on Thursday with Dancehall Night, which features Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, Lady Saw, I-Octane, Popcaan, Aidonia, Spice, Macka Diamond and many more.

Vybz Kartel trial postponed twice in two days, peers claim conspiracy

Vybz Kartel will have to wait until Wednesday to stand trial in the Barrington 'Bossie' Burton murder case after facing two postponements in as many days.

Vybz Kartel will have to wait until Wednesday to stand trial in the Barrington ‘Bossie’ Burton murder case after facing two postponements in as many days.

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With delays mounting in the ongoing legal situation involving embattled Dancehall superstar, Vybz Kartel, some of his friends are crying foul, insisting postponements in the deejay’s murder case are part of a conspiracy to keep him in jail.

On Monday, Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer was expected to stand trial in theBarrington ‘Bossie’ Levy case inside theHome Circuit Court. However, the matter was put off until Tuesday after prosecutors claimed a case file was missing, causing a halt to proceedings.

On Tuesday morning, the trial was set to kick off after prosecutors located the file, insisting it was misplaced. However, the trial was again postponed until Wednesday considering that other cases were being mentioned before it.

Monday’s postponement in particular raised eyebrows, particularly amongst some of Kartel’s peers, who say the missing file is just the latest in an ongoing ploy to keep the ‘Worl’ Boss’ incarcerated.

The most vocal of his peers, Elvis Redwoodsays he believes these delays are excuses being used to extend the legal process for as long as possible.

The veteran producer and So Unique Records head told the Jamaica STAR“They are just trying to delay the process and I hope the judge sees through this ploy. This is being drawn out for too long, look how much man trial start and finish already. It’s strange that they can’t find a document of that nature, and I think this is just a move to delay the entire process.”

Similarly, Kartel’s protégé, Vanessa ‘Gaza Slim’ Saddler also believes there is a conspiracy, but hopes the entertainer will soon be freed.

“To be honest, I don’t have much to say but I know my prayers are not going in vain, and who God bless no man curse,” she told the STAR. “I can’t wait for this thing to be over, so that he can come a road and these delays are out of spite to keep him locked up.”

Kartel is also awaiting the commencement of the Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams murder case, which will begin within the window of Nov. 18-Dec. 6. He, along with Gaza Slim face conspiracy charges which are tied to the case. Gaza Slim says these legal issues are hurting her earning potential and preventing her from travelling overseas.

“This thing is preventing me from travelling so I want it to be over with because it is stopping my income and I have bills to pay,” she said. “But in God I put my trust and I know it must be over one day.”

Kartel faces charges of murder, conspiracy to murder and illegal possession of a firearm in the Burton case. The deejay along with two other men, Lenburgh McDonald and Nigel Thompsonare accused of participating in the shooting death of Burton was he was walking along Gregory Park in St. Catherine in July 2011.

Kartel has been incarcerated since September 2011.