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Why Vybz Kartel is in my top 3 male artists of the 21st Century

The only man I'd say is chatting to him for definite is Kanye West. Apart from Mavado and Damian Marley, couple other man like Lil' Wayne and Drake are in the running. Apart from that, no one (I can think of right now) can chat to him.

Here's why:

When he burst onto the scene in 2003 on Don Corleon's riddims, his ascendance from unknown to one of the genres headlines based not only on quality big tunes but quantity is rivalled by few, ever (Mavado being one). He brought a refreshing style which combined hip hop rhyme schemes applied on dancehall riddims.

He's undefeated in clashes on wax. Spragga Benz & Mavado both put up incredible fights (more the latter than former), but neither could deal with Kartel's counter punch defensive style. Yeah, he ducked couple man but he paid the cost to be the world boss.

He left the Alliance, a foundation which built nuff artists to form his own successful Alliance who took away the shine from the Alliance. The Alliance were a formidable crew; Bounty Killer, Busy Signal, Wayne Marshall, Bling Dawg and Mavado were all hitting at that point. Yeah, none are really with the Alliance like they were before, but none were bold enough to move like Kartel did.

He lost ratings from me after the Ninja Man fight at Sting, then Mavado's rise to prominence, but rose like a true champion after incorporating some of Mavado's singjay style, clashing Mavado both on wax and on stage, then releasing the best victory clash song ever in "Last Man Standing"

I mean c'mon

This is gonna be an appreciation thread for my favourite Kartel period. 2009-2014 aka when Black Kartel mark 3 transformed into Brown Kartel. I'm just gonna list all the songs I remember off the top. There are loads more.

Ramping Shop set unprecedented levels. He hijacked a Grammy award winning song, Neyo "Miss Independent", and turned it invalid. At first it was a really good song, then Ramping Shop dropped and it became a good set up song to assume the position (find the girl you wanna dance with to Ramping Shop). They don't even play it now. Neyo's publishers had to file against the song to stop it rising up the Billboard charts.

Video + radio edit

And from here on out, Vybz Kartel became the biggest thing in dancehall. You had hip hop segment, bashment segment and the sub-genre of Kartel segment. While you could rely on Kartel to produce one bagga crap, unmixed songs, there was a bag of great songs that run dance. Pree the amount of hits I'm reeling off in a 5-year period. This is why he had his own sub-genre and artists trying to emulate him.

'09 = Bicycle, Love Dem, You Ah Mi Baby, Something Aguh Happen, Nah, Go Go Club, Virginity, Come Breed Me, Nah Let Go, Gal Ah Weh Mi Do, Life We Living…

2010 - Pon Di Floor, Clarks trilogy, Thank You Jah, Straight Jeans & Fitted, Dumpa Truck, Dancehall Hero, Turn & Whine, Cake Soap, Know Bout Me.

2011 - Benz Punany, Summertime, Love You Enuh, Freaky Gal part 1 & 2. Those two songs were the boldest songs in terms of breaking taboos in Jamaica.

2012 - while in jail. Party Mi Seh

2013 - Punany Ah My Best Friend, Stop Gwaan Like Yuh Tuff, Ever Blessed, Hi, Compass, Georgina, Weed Smokers, School, Business

Happy I got the chance to speak to him. Ask him about things I cared about regarding his career.

What made Kartel great to me is he represented for the garrison community (social songs and gun songs) and the sexually liberated females in the 21st century. He combined the elements of Beenie Man and Bounty Killer in one body. His fearless attitude courted controversy and fans in their droves. Plus, he had talent in abundance. Most of the above songs weren't written down, they were from his head into the mic.

And he could make a nice love song free of profanity if he wanted to. Like this one below

Shame it had to end this way for such an incredibly talented artist. An incredible waste of a career when I have trouble wondering how it even came to this. I know Adija Palmer's been done for a heinous crime, but I'm still judging Vybz Kartel by his music. And for that he's a great to me.

I think I'll do another post tomorrow for the earlier part of his hits.


  1. True talk Vybez actually took over the dancehall circuit or a while, so sad to hear he has been convicted in his murder trial.


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