Incarcerated Vybz Kartel continues to be the toast of Jamaican youths. Locked up behind bars, the DJ still manage to be running the music scene in Jamaica. He has won more awards than any other artists since being convicted for murder, even beating out roots singer Chronixx.
The fact that a convicted murderer is the youths’ favorite entertainer signifies the superb talent of Vybz Kartel. The fact that there are constant chants of Free World Boss proves that there is something severely wrong with Jamaica. Is it that young Jamaican youths just lack civil values? Or is it their distrust for the Jamaican justice system and they truly believe that Vybz Kartel is innocent? Whichever one it is, something needs to change on the beautiful little island.
The next question is, how is it that Vybz Kartel is releasing a new song every week? It is almost like he is locked up in a studio instead of a prison. Look at Buju Banton, he is in prison for a less serious offense yet he is not able to release songs from behind bars. Maybe if Buju Banton was in a Jamaican prison instead of a U.S. federal prison, he too would be releasing music.
18 Karat Reggae once ran a poll asking, “If you could free either Buju Banton or Vybz Kartel, which would it be and why?” A young man gave a very interesting answer. He said he would free Vybz Kartel because Buju Banton is a hypocrite. According to him, Buju Banton sing songs glorifying marijuana and vilifying cocaine, yet he was caught on video tasting cocaine. On the other hand, Vybz Kartel songs glorify the murdering of people and he was convicted for murder. So in his mind, Vybz Kartel practiced what he preached while Buju Banton did not and for that realness, he would free Vybz Kartel if he could.
So maybe it is that realness why a convicted killer could be on top of dancehall reggae. Whatever this says, let’s hope it says nothing about the future of Jamaica. Given a choice between Chronixx and Vybz Kartel, most youths would choose Vybz Kartel today.