Sometimes dancehall fans comment on the state of dancehall without putting things into context. That is exactly what is being done whenever the discussion comes up between Vybz Kartel and Alkaline.
Some people, especially Gaza fans, will say that Vybz Kartel is better than Alkaline. The truth is, however, for his young age, Alkaline is miles ahead of Vybz Kartel when it comes to dancehall music.
Vybz Kartel is 42 years old; he is actually old enough to be Alkaline’s father. Alkaline is only 24 years old, 18 years younger than Vybz Kartel. This means that when Alkaline was born, Vybz Kartel was considered a man in every country in the world.
At 24 years old, how many hits did Vybz Kartel have playing in every dancehall club, street dance or reggae parties round the world? The answer is probably not even one. Yet here Alkaline is, only 24, but with already too many hits to count. Champion boy, Formula, City, After all, Company, Fleek; you could actually full this page with Alkaline’s hit songs and he is not even 25 years old yet.
So while Kartel was the first on the scene and probably have more hit songs than Alkaline right now, we cannot ignore the age difference.
If Alkaline should continue on his current pace, by the time he reaches 40, he will have ten times more hits than Vybz Kartel. Of course when we talk about quantity of hits, we are talking about what dancehall fans love and make into hits. Because let’s face it, when it comes to meaning and quality songs neither Kartel nor Alkaline cannot stand close to giants like Sizzla, Capleton and Buju Banton.
So Gaza and Empire fans, no need to argue anymore. Both artists are great. As is it today, Kartel has more hits than Alkaline, however, when you consider the huge age difference, Alkaline is the real hit machine.
While we give credit to both Kartel and Alkaline, we still have to keep it in context, on the real; neither Kartel nor Alkaline can even tie the shoelace of Sizzla and Capleton.