Vybz Kartel book is reaching way beyond dancehall music, probably in places the jailed deejay would least expect.
Recently 18 Karat Reggae had the honor of talking to Dr. Dion Peoples and he informed us that he uses Vybz Kartel’s book to lecture to Buddhist Monks in Southeast Asia.
“I used it (Vybz Kartel’s book) to show life in another country. Most Southeast
Asians only know their local conditions and what is shown in American movies. I used his first chapter “Thank you Jah”, which places Jamaica in a socio-religious context and actually sets a positive tone, one that makes us think he wants to reconcile his past…” Dr. Peoples said.
“I chose Kartel’s book because I was amazed he would write one. I hear only negative press about Kartel. What kind of badman would write a book? What a rare-thing! I have the feeling it would be good. Something even traditionalists could value. Of course, as a life-long reggae fan, I was more into the book than my students who don’t even know Vybz Kartel at all,” the Dr. continued.
Dr. Peoples says even though the book paints a dark picture of the streets, it is a book of hope and transformations. He says the chapter “Every Ghetto Youth is a Star” is real deep and resonates across cultures. He went on to say that book shows that Kartel cares for Jamaica regardless of some of his destructive lyrics.
“He wants people to be uncomfortable, to know things are wrong with Jamaica and speaks on what needs fixed. Nothing can be swept under the rug. Has politics in Jamaica changed since Kartel? Has he made a social impact since his incarceration? Has the musical direction of Jamaica shifted since his being jailed? I believe so. Chronixx, Kabaka Pyramid, Tarrus Riley, Protoge,Eetc., seem to be highly promoted now. Kartel has awakened Jamaica, to some extent,” Dr. Peoples concluded.