Vybz Kartel who is serving a life sentence for murder continues to run dancehall the way he did before he was incarcerated.
Kartel shot to fame in the early 2000’s as part of the Bounty Killer led Alliance. After leaving the Alliance and forming is own Gaza Empire, the artist gained a following unlike no other in Jamaica.
Even from behind the prison walls, Kartel has maintained his dominance in dancehall with producers constantly releasing new tracks that they say were recorded before his incarceration. However, there are persons who are upset about Kartel’s continued impact.
Member of Parliament, Oliver “Babsy” Grange, came to Vybz Kartel defense saying that his talent should be what we look at, not the negative things that he has done in the past.
“I think Vybz Kartel as an artiste is talented. I don’t feel like he should be excluded. Whatever may be the personal issue that he is involved in, he is serving his time. He is a talented artiste, and the talent should be recognised,” Grange said.
Kartel made a lot of things that were once frowned upon in dancehall culture, acc4pted and embraced. Before Kartel, Jamaican women would not admit to being freaks and taking part in oral sex. Vybz Kartel not only made it cool for ladies to admit to this practice but because of him other entertainers felt freely to sing about such behavior.
This behavior from Vybz Kartel has caused other great dancehall reggae artists like Sizzla Kalonji and Bounty Killer to criticize Kartel.
Grange believes that having Kartel nominated for Reggae Awards could have some negative influence on young people. However, she also believes that as an artiste he also has a positive impact.
“It could have some negative impact. I think that there are aspects of his creative expressions that have negative impact, but there are also aspects of his creative expressions that have a positive impact. I would hope that after this period of time in his life has passed that whatever creative expression comes from him would be positive, rather than a mixture of positive and negative,” she said.
What do you think? Should Vybz Kartel be nominated for reggae awards?