Vybz Kartel is a great lyricist, maybe he is even the best lyricist in the history of dancehall. The Gaza don might even have more big songs than the other greats of the genre but one thing Kartel is not, is the king of dancehall.
To call Kartel the king of Dancehall is actually disrespect to the genre and its rich history. The root of Dancehall is the sound systems and artists toasting the mic. So in order to be considered amongst dancehall’s greats of all time, you have to be able to perform.
The world boss is a great songwriter; however, he is not a stage boss. He himself as said it himself that he cannot perform live and he proved it every time he performed live prior to his incarceration.
Watch the video below and at the 1 minute and 30 seconds mark you will hear Vybz Kartel admitting that he is not a good performer.
If you want to forget about live performance and only consider songs in the crowing of dancehall’s king then that crown would have to go to Shaggy, Sean Paul or Shabba Ranks because they are the only dancehall artists who have sold millions of records.
When Yelloman was crowned the king, he deserved it because he is a great performer. Beenie Man’s kingship is self-proclaimed but it makes sense because he is a great performer.
So it is not impossible for Vybz Kartel to become the king of dancehall. If he wins his case at the Privy Council and embarks on a tour similar to Buju Banton’s Long Walk to Freedom tour; and his able to demonstrate that is live performance has improved greatly then he can be considered the king. Until that time, he is not even worth y of being in the conversation.