Is Vybz Kartel the king of Dancehall Reggae?

Vybz Kartel
Vybz Kartel

It has been over three years since the lyrical Vybz Kartel was arrested on murder charges. He as since been convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison and wont be eligible for parole until 35 years.

Despite this, Vybz Kartel as continued to be a major player on the dancehall scene.  In fact, before Gully Bop came on the scene recently, it is fair to say Vybz Kartel was the hottest item in dancehall reggae.  How does one managed to be the king of a genre of music even while behind bars?  That is the main question being asked by both fans and detractors of the controversial artist.

Did Vybz Kartel have a large catalog of unreleased gems before being convicted and sentenced for murder?  Is he being allowed to record behind bars like Jah Cure was while he was incarcerated?  Or is he been taken from prison to a studio to do his recording and then returned to prison.  While no one has given a definitive answer to these questions, one thing is for sure, Vybz Kartel continues to be prominent on the reggae dancehall charts.

The artist was recently nominated for five youth awards, more than any other dancehall artist.  Now people are asking whether or not a convicted murderer should be so important to young people.  Maybe it says something about the state of Jamaica and her values, at least that is what some people would say.  The fans of the artist, however, will say it is a reflection of how great the artist is.

Regardless of how we feel, we cannot deny the truth, Vybz Kartel, despite being locked up for over three years is still one of the hottest artists in dancehall.  Yelloman was crowned the king of dancehall by the people.  Beenie Man crowned himself the king of dancehall.  Now the question must be asked, has Vybz Kartel wrestled the crown away from whoever was previously the real king?

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