Tag: Vybz Kartel
Skillibeng has, no doubt, continued to aim high and make moves in the entertainment industry. But talks about the artiste’s declining song quality are once again popping up.
Veteran selector Boom Boom recently expressed that while he believes Skillibeng is the “big name in Jamaica right now,” the deejay should steer clear of the same flows he has been using repetitively on many of his songs.
The “Billboard Selector” made an appearance on TVJ’s Entertainment Report, which took place on Friday (April 30).
Boom Boom, whose real name is Marlon Wizard, also recommended that the “Crocodile Teeth” deejay also reduce the number of tracks he has been releasing progressively.
“Me caan hide him glory. A Skilli a the man right now,” Boom Boom said. But when E.R. host Anthony Miller asked if he believed all his songs were making sense, the selector responded, “Him have couple song weh him release, me see the people them start bash it, say a nursery rhyme, him need fi do better.”
The Alliance selector said he agreed with the criticisms but still could not deny that Skillibeng is “the man” at the moment, as the young deejay has been releasing songs that have hit international markets, specifically, his single “Crocodile Teeth.”
But, with the criticisms, Boom Boom was perhaps referring to Skillibeng’s recent single “Yo,” which had received a number of negative comments, critiques, and jeers upon its release.
Boom agreed with Miller that his “failed” songs were due to the fact that the artiste had been releasing too many songs at one point. Notably, other artists such as Vybz Kartel are known for his hurried song-releasing streak without being an epic fail. But, Boom Boom argued that Skillibeng should not be compared to an artiste like Vybz Kartel, who has been in the industry for a while and has established himself as one of Jamaica’s prolific artists.
“No. Kartel will always be Kartel. Kartel inna a class himself. A di teacher dat,” he declared.
The Esyde artiste has been under scrutiny for some time, as some fans had expressed concern that his new music releases were not as good as previous songs.
While it is well known that the 24-year-old deejay is immensely talented, some fans have been speculating that he may not be taking his music very seriously.
However, the “Coke” deejay has a bright future ahead, and fans are hoping that he will use his talent to the best of his ability to make the best of opportunities to come.
Vybz Kartel proclaims his love for Shorty in a new track dedicated to the mother of three of his children.
The dancehall hitmaker is showing love to the mother of his kids in a major way with the release of the official audio for his single “Love Ya Babymom.” The track was uploaded to his YouTube channel on April 29. The dedication to Tanesha is also a “Message to all real man,” as per the song’s lyrics.
Ironically, the song is produced by Short Boss Muzik, which is operated by the leading lady in question. In typical Vybz Kartel fashion, the song opens with him singing Tanesha’s name, he then goes into the chorus, which reflects on the couple’s time together.
Kartel sings, “Love Yah Baby Mom / Look how far me and Shorty coming from? / And I would do it all again with no regret.”
This is not the first time that the artist has dedicated a song to Shorty (Tanesha). In fact, he dedicated an entire album to her last year. The album “To Tanesha” was released on January 24, 2020, and peaked at #87 on the Billboard chart. It featured singles such as “Delusional” and “Fell Apart.”
Vybz Kartel and Tanesha have been together for approximately two decades and have three children together. Two of these children, Likkle Addi and Likkle Vybz, have also pursued music and have put out several singles of their own.
Despite several ups and downs, including the singer having several kids outside the relationship, Tanesha has stuck by his side. She has also held him down while he has been incarcerated. Kartel has already served more than 10 years in prison on a murder charge. His lawyers appealed the case in Jamaica’s Supreme Court but were unsuccessful. The entertainer is currently preparing to take his appeal to Jamaica’s highest court, which is the Privy Council in England.
Despite being incarcerated for the past decade, Kartel has produced several albums and dozens of singles. Melodically, “Love Ya Babymom” is a great production, even though it may not rank among some of Kartel’s best lyrical outputs.
The song has a great message as Teacha instructs men to cherish what they have while acknowledging that social media has painted a fake perception of what a relationship is truly like.
Vybz Kartel was crowned the current King of Dancehall overwhelming by fans in a new survey, beating out Alkaline and Popcaan.
For the past decade, The Worl’Boss has maintained that he is the King of Dancehall. Many have come and gone since that time trying to lay claim to the crown, but Vybz Kartel has always stood his ground. He has the backing of his fans for sure. This was made even more evident after Television Jamaica conducted a poll to find out what the fans thought. The result was an unassailable victory for Kartel, real name Adidja Palmer.
The poll by TVJ asked a simple question, “Who do you think is the current King of Dancehall.” The contenders for the title were Popcaan, Vybz Kartel, Dexta Daps, Masicka, and Alkaline. Vybz Kartel blew the competition away, winning 64.7 percent of the vote. The closest competitor was Alkaline with 14 percent of the vote, and Popcaan came in third with 13 percent. The “Popular” deejay was quick to thank his loyal Gaza fans for their faith.
“NUFF THANKS AND RESPECT TO THE #GAZANATION & THE DANCEHALL FANS WHO CONTINUE FI SUPPORT THE MOVEMENT! FROM 2000 TILL NOW! DONT EVER THINK MI TAKE UNUH RATINGS LIGHTLY OR FOR GRANTED!!! NO, ME EVER A WORK HARD FI PLEASE DANCEHALL AND ME PUT ME ALL INNA DIS. NUFF LOVE & RESPECT!!!!????? AND TO ALL WHO NUH VOTE FIMME, UNUH VOTE FI DANCEHALL SEDSPEED, MI GOOD WID DAT!!… #DANCEHALLCYAASTALL!!!!!!” he said on Instagram late around midnight on April 28.
His friends and fans were quick to celebrate with him. Busta Rhymes said: “UP UP UP MI G!!!”, while this fan chimed in, “this shouldn’t have been a question, this answer toooo easy,” and this one added: “Dem a pamphlet & want fi test di great encyclopedia.”
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Kartel is one of those people who seemed destined for a certain path and is one of the most influential names in the genre to date. He began writing at just 11-years-old and released his first single at just 17-years-old. That track was called “Love Fat Woman” and was released under the stage name Adi Banton some 24 years ago. He didn’t look back from there and soon became respected for his whimsical lyric generating. His unique play on words helped propel his career to the top of the pack, and he eventually claimed the title King of Dancehall.
He’s been able to accomplish quite a bit through his career, considering the fact that he was expelled from Calabar High School when he was 16. His career would probably not be the same without the “Champions in Action” stage show held in his hometown, Portmore. That’s where he was noticed by Bounty Killer, who would groom him for the big stage. The rest is history. Vybz Kartel kept delivering hits, and he released his debut album ‘Up 2 Di Time’ in 2003. He’s gone on to release 15 albums and has been featured on about 900 riddims. Kartel has probably become the most sought out artist for collaborations over the span of his career.
In 2011, his flight to ascendancy was cut short after he was arrested on September 29 for cannabis possession. He was eventually charged with the murder of Clive Williams. That case started on November 18, 2013, and on March 13, 2014, he was found guilty of the offense. He was sentenced to life imprisonment by Justice Lennox Campbell, who said he would be eligible for parole after serving 35 years.
His murder conviction was appealed last year, April 3, 2020, and his parole eligibility was reduced to 32 years and six months because of Justice Campbell’s failure to consider the time the singer had spent in jail while awaiting trial in 2014. Kartel is still hoping for freedom as his lawyers have taken the matter up with the Privy Council. Even from behind bars, he continues to dominate airwaves and has consistently produced music that remains loved by the masses.
Apple Music is now paying artists and labels at least twice that of other DSPs like Spotify.
Apple Music recently announced that artists will be paid equally and fairly as labels, and its rate is by far the highest in the industry so far. It’s a shift in how artists are treated in an era where the rights of creatives are taking the forefront, and those who previously capitalized on the earnings of artists- are being blocked from claiming income that rightfully belongs to the artist.
While there are changes, however, the Dancehall fraternity hangs in the shadows as the power players seek to hold onto the old ways of the business, and that means artists and their interests come last.
This latest announcement by Apple Music might also set a precedent for how artists relate to streaming companies, particularly now that the pandemic has shifted the incomes of artists from being diverse from tours and performances to now largely streaming and endorsements.
The switch to digital consumption is driven by technology as more users consume music readily on their phones, computers, tablets, and by various other technological means as physical copies of albums become less popular. This also means that the costs that artists charged per album, which can go for whatever they decide to share- anywhere from a few dollars to tens of dollars or more has greatly decreased with platforms like Amazon and Apple Music paying one dollar ($1) for a song.
The shift to online streaming means physical sales are down, but streaming is usually the foundation for other revenue streams to make more money. These include merchandising, touring and licensing, and other avenues from which the artists can make a lucrative income.
Streaming, however, may or may not work for every artist. As seen from the streaming numbers of the likes of Drake and Taylor Swift and even Nicki Minaj and Beyonce, diehard fans will purchase the whole album while others might get to enjoy the albums for free in a sort of way as their streaming membership guarantees them access to most if not all music on a streaming platform.
Apple Music is estimated to have around 72 million monthly paid subscribers, and the monthly rate is approximately $9.99 with some variations in some countries. It offers subscribers access to over 60 million songs, while Spotify has approximately 155 million premium monthly users for a subscription fee of $9.99 per month. The platform has over 50 million songs in its catalog.
However, the difference between the two streaming services is stark as artists make less money per stream with Spotify than they do with Apple Music. The income of one play from Apple Music is now a penny per stream. The same song will need to be played three times on Spotify as the platform pays somewhere between $003 and $.005 per stream or a third of a penny/cent.
Spotify has been criticized for its business model as more artists clamor for transparency when it comes to deals the platform has with labels as the royalty payments do not meet the expectations of artists.
The difference in the business models of Apple Music versus Spotify could be seen in the way the companies operate. Spotify is more of a marriage between art and venture capital, so the investor’s interest will come first- to the detriment of artists. While Apple Music seems to be taking a stance that promotes the work of creatives as it says it believes in “the value of music and paying creators fairly for their work. As the discussion about streaming royalties continues, we believe it is important to share our values,” Apple said in its announcement to artists.
“We believe in paying every creator the same rate that a play has value, and that creators should never have to pay for featuring.”
The featuring reference by Apple Music is a direct hit at Spotify. The company, following complaints by artists, said their music could be promoted by the streaming service, but the artists will, in exchange, earn lower royalty payments.
However, according to Apple, it pays the same 52% of subscription revenue, or 52 cents of every dollar, to record labels, and it does not pay a lower rate in exchange for featuring artists.
The pain of streaming means that artists have to cumulatively earn streams to get sufficient income from Spotify. At present, Drake is the top earner for Spotify- making around $52.5 million in earnings generated from 21.5 billion streams.
How much money will Dancehall artists make on streaming services as they move into Jamaica?
So how do artists in the dancehall arena fare in competing on such a large platform? And which platform will they make the most money on?
Dancehall, though influential, is still minuscule to fans who are paid subscribers on Digital Streaming Platforms. The Caribbean itself has around 54 million internet users, of which around an estimated 22 million are on social media. However, it’s unclear how many of the users have digital streaming subscriptions as YouTube remains the popular option for free streaming of their favorite music content.
Nevertheless, if nothing else, YouTube is undoubtedly a marker for the potential that Dancehall artists have when it comes to streaming music. For 2020 alone, there were collective billions of views of the music people in the region and diaspora love.
Artists like Koffee with “Lockdown” having 48 million views since being released nine months ago to Teejay’s “Rag to Riches,” and Shenseea and Tarrus Riley’s “Lighter” with 47 million views all round off the top three most-streamed songs over the past year on that platform.
However, elsewhere, artists are racking up the numbers but are they making matching incomes? For 2020, Vybz Kartel, Sean Paul, and Popcaan showed that numbers don’t lie when it comes to proving demand and fan favorites on Spotify.
Sean Paul is by far the most popular Jamaican entertainer, and his numbers on Spotify proves it. For 2020, the Dutty Rock artist saw his music streams racking up 625.9 million streams from fans in 92 countries.
Popcaan recorded 148.7 million streams within 92 countries that Spotify is available in as well. This is particularly interesting for Popcaan as he has collaborated with a few big international artists, including Drake and PartyNextDoor. Vybz Kartel, on the other hand, was right behind Popcaan with 130.3 million streams.
Now with the revelation that Spotify is among the lowest-paying streaming services, it puts things into perspective. For an artist to earn significant income on Spotify, they need to play three times to match one time on Apple Music. And further, artists like Vybz Kartel, who is managed by his own Portmore Empire Label, means he is getting much more of his income than other artists.
Dancehall artists in the Caribbean are increasingly being encouraged to join streaming services as the idea of streaming income has glittered like gold to new and upcoming artists who believe that releasing a vast amount of work will return a large amount of income.
However, there could be disappointment in the road ahead as streaming while glittery isn’t gold. It will still take hard work and traditional ways to build a following and maintain a presence that fans will always want to stream your music.
Additionally, the music business in Jamaica is actually run differently, as noted by producer Ainsley ‘NotNice’ Morris, who has worked with the likes of Vybz Kartel and Popcaan. According to NotNice, what obtains in the U.S, for example, is different than what is in Jamaica as streaming income usually comes to the producer, not the artiste.
Conversely, that position, while beneficial to the producer, is one that is detrimental to the artiste. In reality, the artiste is receiving no remuneration for his talents while the producer and the label take the lion’s share of any income. Only in cases where the artiste has followed through with a properly negotiated contract will he see any proceeds of his hard work and creativity.
According to Contractor Music CEO Sean ‘Contractor’ Edwards, artists are failing to properly secure their economic interests via contracts to ensure they earn income from their songs.
“The contract that is signed between the label and the artists as to how much mechanical rights which is the sales and the streams how much they are willing to give to them [artistes], each artiste and a producer is supposed to sign a contract, it doesn’t happen much in Jamaica, but they are supposed to sign a contract that says of the sales and streams you are going to get 20% or 30% but that doesn’t happen.”
Edwards says labels tend to put out the music, and they recoup the sales and streams but will give the artiste some of the publishing. However, he says this is a dishonest way of operating.
“What happens a lot is because there is no contract; the labels don’t give the artiste dem anything. It’s wrong…they don’t do this anywhere else in the world.”
Edwards has worked with several big-name artists such as DaBaby, Ed Sheeran, Julian Marley, Shatta Wale, Morgan Heritage, and others. He also has four Billboard and Grammy awards under his belt for collaborative work.
As for his streaming accomplishments, Edwards says his best performing song is the recently released “Soy Una Estrella”, which has 2.2 million streams on Spotify. The song features Ed and Jethro Sheeran, who are cousins and Latin American artist Jah Fabio and Jamaican breakout artiste Cashan.
According to Edwards, for artists to make money from streaming, they would need to start with ensuring that their contracts are streamlined properly to ensure they have fair terms to earn income. However, according to him, this has been a great challenge as many artists are illiterate and unable to read and write. That issue can be remedied, however, by getting assistance from trained managers or getting a lawyer involved.
Making Music that will transcend time that fans will come back to
Once they have negotiated a fair share of the streaming income, artists will also need to promote their music, like building up their monthly listeners. Koffee is one such person on Spotify who has 2 million monthly listeners, which includes the likes of former President Barack Obama!
On the other hand, an artist can create a lot of music, but if fans don’t like it, they may not listen to it again. One of the tested and proven formulas for artists like Sean Paul, Popcaan, and Drake, and even the likes of Justin Bieber and Post Malone, are collaborating with other artists.
The latter is a perfect example of becoming the youngest to have three songs all Diamond certified by the Recording Industry of America (RIAA). However, of note, the songs accomplishing that feat are all collaborations with Swae Lee for “Sunflower,” “Congratulations” featuring Quavo, and “Rockstar” featuring 21 Savage.
As for making money on Apple Music, the streaming service launched in Jamaica in the middle of 2020 as the pandemic raged on, so it might be too soon to gauge how dancehall artists aside from the big names perform on Apple DSP.
Still, the opportunity for more Caribbean subscribers to join the platform means that everyone can get a piece of the streaming pie if they can cultivate a loyal following.
Some of the artists who always seem to come out on top are Vybz Kartel, Alkaline (who doesn’t collaborate much), Beenie Man and Bounty Killer, and newer faces like Masicka, Skillibeng, Spice, Jada Kingdom, and Shenseea.
Apple Music does not release how many streams artists get annually or otherwise, but if anything is to go by, the numbers would be similar to Spotify for those who are always among the most streamed artists. However, it would be interesting to see how younger artists carve out an income for themselves, but the problem is multifaceted, and no one solution alone can cure it.
As for how much Dancehall artists can make, the recent announcements by DJ Khaled, H.E.R, Rihanna, and others about their dancehall influenced albums to suggest that the opportunity to sell themselves exist but negotiating the proper terms is the first step to making money then collaborating to broaden their fans base.
As for how artists will do, that remains up to them, but the power bargaining is presently tipped unfairly towards producers and labels who know the game better than young artists who are less occupied with squabbling over streaming income and more interested in actually getting “a buss”, something the labels and producers know only too well and exploit accordingly.
If one is to be wise, though, looking to the perfect example when it comes to making memorable music is a start for always making streaming income, not just launching songs. The likes of Tommy Lee Sparta with “Blessings,” Popcaan’s “Relevant,” and Jada Kingdom’s “Win,” to name a few, are all motivational anthems that will no doubt outlive the artists that created them as fans come back again and again to the songs.
Vybz Kartel and his sons are looking to preserve the legacy created by the senior Palmer, and they are doing so in fine style by holding the top 3 spots on YouTube’s local trending chart.
In an Instagram post made this morning, Vybz Kartel uploaded a screenshot of the Trending videos on YouTube in Jamaica, captioned #Trifecta. The screenshot shows the number 1 trending video going to Likkle Addi’s “Style,” which has gained more than 138,000 views in one day.
Second on the trending list is Likkle Vybz’s “Give Thanks,” which was also uploaded in the past 24 hours. His video has just over 129,000 views. Rounding out the top 3 is the music video for “Dark Ages” by Tommy Lee Sparta, which features Vybz Kartel. That video has 675,000 views and was posted a week ago.
Despite being incarcerated, Vybz Kartel has continued to produce top-notch music, collaborating with some of the biggest works in Dancehall in recent times. His sons Likkle Addi and Likkle Vybz have also followed the Gaza Boss’ footsteps and are making musical waves of their own.
They first ventured into music around 2014 when they released “Hero.” Having produced recent works such as “Hear Dem” and their EP “Skinny Jeans” together, the duo who call themselves Uptown Gaza (UTG) has steadily been gaining fame. They both also featured on their father’s latest project titled Dancehall Royalty.
In recent interviews with Winford Williams’ Onstage, both Likkle Addi and Likkle Vybz revealed that they would be taking over their father’s record label Adidjahiem Records.
Likkle Addi was recently the center of a media controversy when it was revealed that he welcomed a baby at 15. While his father commented on the issue, basically saying his grandchild would be well taken care of so the critics should hush, Likkle Addi has not publicly spoken about the child.
Kartel’s success on the charts has been welcomed and celebrated by fans and fellow artists alike. Commenting under Kartel’s Instagram post, singer Spice said, “Gaza run the world.” ZJ Chrome also commented, “1DON.”
Popcaan, Vybz Kartel, Bounty Killer, and Tarrus Riley are among Jamaican dancehall stars showing support for the people of St Vincent amid a devastating volcano eruption.
St. Vincent’s La Soufriere Volcano has been erupting since April 9 and has left the island and other neighboring islands covered in ash and stones from the eruption. Sections of the island have had to be evacuated even as the small island nation prepares for more fallout from the volcano that last had a major eruption some decades ago in April 1979.
Quite a few of their neighboring islands and countries have reached out to help in the evacuation measures and also to lend support to those still on the island. On Friday, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves got quite emotional in expressing his thanks to all the persons who have reached out.
Quite a few Jamaican entertainers who have been watching the situation unfold have also lent their voices to the nation’s cause. They have encouraged others to pray for the nation and have also shared posts instructing persons where they may drop off donations for the island nation.
Vybz Kartel took to Instagram and posted: “JAMAICA MEK WE SEND SOME LOVE AND SOME WELL WISHES TO THE STRONG PEOPLE OF ST VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES!!!! STAY SAFE MI PEOPLE. THIS TOO WILL PASS.”
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Unruly Boss, Popcaan also shared a post on his Instagram with the St Vincent Relief Drive, with instructions on where items may be dropped off. He posted, “We stand with our vincy family..prayers up.”
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Bounty Killer, too shared a post similar to Popcaan imploring others to help with the relief efforts. He captioned his post. “Helping hands needed.”
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Scientists have predicted that the eruptions could continue for days or even months. Barbados has also been severely affected by ash and falling stones as a result of volcanic eruptions. La Soufriere had been dormant for decades up to December 2020, when the volcano started to become active.
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Usain Bolt is releasing a new dancehall riddim featuring tracks from some top artists.
The Jamaican legend wears many hats from businessman to track star and footballer to music producer. Usain Bolt often invests in multiple ventures, and most recently, he has been setting his sights on making dancehall bangers. The Olympic champion announced his newest undertaking on social media this week, and fans were excited to see the artists that joined him for the project.
The “Clockwork Riddim,” which is slated to arrive this Friday (April 9), has a star-studded lineup. Bolt shared a preview of the funky dancehall beat on Instagram, revealing that it will have guest appearances from the likes of Teejay, Shaneil Muir, ZJ Liquid, and even dancehall mogul Vybz Kartel.
While Usain Bolt came under fire after his single release for his artist and friend NJ, which was criticized for being mediocre, the producer ignored the backlash, and the song went on to garner over half a million views. NJ was brought back for a track on the upcoming project, which will also feature Christopher Martin, Lia Caribe, gold and diamond-selling dancehall star Charly Black, and even more.
The “Clockwork Riddim” presented by Usain Bolt was produced by A-Team Lifestyle. Look out for new tracks from Vybz Kartel, Teejay, and more this Friday. Listen a preview below.
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Dancehall deejays Vybz Kartel and Sikka Rymes are motivating the public with their latest jam, “I can.”
In the song and video produced and directed by Dameon Gayle, the artists sing about strength and perseverance to achieve one’s goals despite the obstacles. At the beginning of the song, Sikka Rymes shares some of his own personal challenges and his achievements.
“2013 was one of the hardest stage of mi life u zimi. Diabetes mash me up wicked. See 2019… is another challenge weh mi guh through. End up get three shot, u zimi. Mi overcome still, and still deh yah a push on with the music till all mi song go Billboard. So yuh can be weh yuh wah e yuh zeet.”
Sikka Rymes, whose real name is Javian Chambers, was shot three times in December 2019 shortly after leaving a party. The dancehall deejay, who is also Vybz Kartel’s cousin was riding his motorcycle when he was pounced upon by armed men in a car near Sovereign Shopping Centre in Sandy Park, St. Andrew.
Vybz Kartel, who is currently facing life imprisonment, then comes through with the catchy chorus. “You can achieve anything you want to. Let nobody say you can’t when you can achieve anything you want. Don’t let nobody say can’t.”
The song and video is definitely one of the most positive and inspirational productions that the two dancehall deejays have ever done. Sikka Rymes and Vybz Kartel have collaborated a number of times with songs, including “Skate” (2020), “Champagne Campaign” (2020), and “Like I’m Superman” (2019).
Vybz Kartel’s January 2021 five-song album “Dancehall Royalty” debuted at number two on the US Reggae Albums chart after entering the streaming-driven Albums chart at number 36.
The album features collaborations between Vybz Kartel, his son, Likkle Vybz, Renee 630, and Sikka Rymes.
Vybz Kartel drops off his new visual, “Stress Out, Stress Out,” for a single that’s gaining traction.
Fans of Vybz Kartel were in for a treat late Friday night when the artist released his latest single, “Stress Out.” Produced by Short Boss Muzik/Vybz Kartel Muzik, the single is being distributed by Zojak World Wide. True to his raunchy and irreverent style, “Stress Out” is a song for the ladies, full of sexual innuendos and explicit lyrics.
With a catchy and fast-paced beat, the lyrics are well-matched to the rhythm. Vybz Kartel dials down on the usual punch and keen wordplay that the “Fever” singer is known for.
The opening lines of the song leave little to the imagination. In the intro, Vybz Kartel sings, “Tight yuh tight me gyal… Pat yuh good hole… Underneath yuh nah freeze, a nuh snow.” The remaining lyrics are just as sexual, with various descriptions of his bedroom shenanigans.
The video is the perfect complement to the words he delivers. It features several scenes of scantily clad females who make it their duty to shake what their mama provided. In one of the opening scenes, the dancer is captured in a one piece bikini gyrating on a bed while performing numerous acrobatic moves. Vybz Kartel remains incarcerated for murder, and as such, he does not appear in his music videos. However, that has not stopped him from giving his fans a show.
The video and song is a hit with fans, one of whom commented on YouTube that, “Vybz Kartel knows how to make women feel special.. No other artiste does that.” Another fan commented, “A weh u find da thickazz ya me g? No regret watching this video at all.”
Judging from the responses, “Stress Out, Stress Out” is already on its way to becoming a favorite for the Gaza Boss’ fans. Despite the artiste complaining that YouTube has been ‘freezing his views’ in his latest Instagram promotional video, the song’s video has already racked up more than 270,000 views in two days. You can check it out on his YouTube channel.
Vybz Kartel is praising his former mentor Bounty Killer for his charitable endeavors as he assisted three senior members of the Porus village in Manchester with cash and kind donations to assist their everyday life.
Vybz Kartel posted a clip of one of the recipients who appeared to be blind and said that in spite of his loud and boisterous personality, Bounty has a soft side that cares about people. “He said a longtime the general kind and helping people!!!!! Don’t mek the #warord persona trick yuh @ggrunggaadzilla is di original & only #poorpeoplegovernor,” Kartel began.
“Nuff millionaire yuh create bout yah mi don…mi love yuh as a fada,” Kartel said.
The two men have become closer over the last few years, and it was Bounty Killer who introduced Vybz Kartel to the world when he brought him on stage in 2002 during one of his own performances, something veteran artists did back in the day. Kartel was part of the Alliance group founded by Bounty Killer that has undoubtedly coached and released more talent than any other figure known in Dancehall history.
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Vybz Kartel and Mavado were both proteges of the veteran artiste. However, their relationship became rocky around 2006 when Kartel collaborated with D’Angel in the heights of the Bounty and Beenie Man feud.
At the turn of the decade in 2010, as Vybz Kartel reinvented his look- going from black Kartel to bleached Kartel- Bounty Killer had many critical things to say about the practices which became widely influential to Kartel’s vast cult-like base. However, in recent times, the two have accepted the olive branches as they celebrate each other.
Meanwhile, the charitable endeavor by Bounty Killer by his Bounty Foundation said that the group traveled to Porus, Manchester, to handover three wheelchairs and $50k each to three disabled persons. Bounty Killer posting on his page said, “…it was all smiles and joy today it pleased my heart to see the splendor of sharing. Thanks for granting me this wonderful opportunity almighty god,” he posted on Instagram.
Since the beginning of his career, Bounty Killer has lived up to his self-proclaimed moniker, ‘Poor People Governor,’ as he lyrically advocated the plight of those underprivileged in society. His advocacy has moved from just lyrics to donations and other such gestures as he helps the poor and needy.
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Tommy Lee Sparta joins a handful of incarcerated dancehall stars in prison, including Vybz Kartel and Ninjaman.
Tommy Lee Sparta‘s day of reckoning is finally here, and as the law would have it, the “Blessings” deejay has been hit with a 3-year sentence behind bars. The seriousness of the situation, which will see the deejay not being able to spend time with his family, has seemingly been lost on Jamaican Twitter, who have been pumping out clever memes to address how they feel about the situation the Sparta Boss and other local entertainers have found themselves in.
One Twitter user joked that the proclaimed King Of The Dancehall Vybz Kartel had called Court. As such, the likes of Laden, past members of Portmore Empire Tommy Lee Sparta and Shawn Storm, and one-time sparring partner Ninjaman, have all found themselves in the big house(prison).
“Kartel file fi everybody,” came the hilarious tweet. “Sting can keep a prison this Christmas,” came another clever suggestion.
Kartel file fi everybody
— Yan (@OVOChynn) March 24, 2021
Sting, which is considered the Greatest One Night Show On Earth, built its reputation on the back of high-profile clashes against the hottest acts in Jamaica.
Ninjaman has dominated the Sting stage for many years, leaving lesser opponents gasping for air and lyrics. A Vybz Kartel vs Ninjaman battle would definitely turn heads, and with both men more mature, the fist thumping of 2004 Sting should be a thing of the past. Vybz Kartel is also pretty famous for his Sting 2008 battle against Mavado. With the Gully Gad spending much time in the States, it would be left to his son Dante Brooks to relive the legacy, especially with a life sentencing to consider.
Kartel was the first to be incarcerated for the murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams. His trial of 65 days is said to have been the longest in Jamaica’s history. In 2014, the popular and beloved artiste was sentenced to life in prison.
Vybz Kartel is still making music to this day, releasing albums such as To Tanesha, Dancehall Royalty, X-rated, Of Dons & Divas, as well as a slew of singles and music videos. Since his incarceration in 2011, Kartel has shown no signs of slowing down and is still perhaps the most consistent dancehall artiste when it comes to releasing new music.
Not only did he released several albums, but also hundreds of singles, both solo and collaborative efforts with a plethora of local and overseas artists. Let’s not forget that he also released a book.
Shawn Campbell, famously known as Shawn Storm, is considered Vybz Kartel’s right hand. He was sentenced in the same murder trial to 25 years which was later reduced to 22 years and 6 months.
Shawn Storm is known for his songs such as “My Life” and “Loyalty,” which would definitely be sing alongs if he was to grace to Live From Prison version of Sting.
The great Desmond Ballentine, famously known as Ninja Man, followed suit in 2017. He was found guilty of the murder of Ricardo Johnson and was sentenced to life in prison, with the possibility of parole after 25 years.
Dancehall artiste Laden was sentenced to four years in prison for illegal possession of a firearm and 18 months for illegal possession of ammunition. The sentences will run concurrently. His popular tracks include “Time to Shine,” “Me Same One,” and “Really Like You.”
Tommy Lee Sparta
Tommy Lee Sparta has been in and out of police custody a number of times. He recently pleaded guilty to the offenses of illegal possession of firearm and ammunition, for which he was sentenced. He was found with a firearm along Holborn Road, New Kingston, last December and was subsequently arrested and charged.
The Montego Bay deejay was sentenced to 3 years in prison after pleading guilty to possession of an illegal firearm. His attorney Donahue Martin says his sentence was drastically reduced because he pled guilty and had no prior conviction.
Rytikal – case pending.
Rytikal, another promising entertainer, appeared before the gun court to answer charges of illegal possession of firearm and ammunition. His place on this hypothetical version of Sting still hangs in the balance. Yesterday he was offered a 1 million dollar bail and will go to trial on April 28.
“Prison Splash line up is looking outstanding,” concluded another fan on Twitter.
Vybz Kartel and his fans are today on a high after the dancehall artiste got a shout-out from rapper Young M.A. in her latest release. The song “Ooouuuvie (Whoopty Freestyle)” was released yesterday and is already trending at number 5 on YouTube.
The Gaza boss captioned the post saying, “BigUp @Youngma (fist pump emojis) #RealRecReal… 1 Don #GazaBadness.” Vybz Kartel’s fans were excited about the big up from the international performer who has Jamaican heritage by way of her mother. One comment under the World Boss’ post said, “Big up Young M.A (clapping emojis)… She knows the Vibes!”
Another Instagram user said, “She a real one,” “See it deh! Gaza international”, while several left some fire emojis to show their approval.
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Not everyone was here for Vybz Kartel’s repost. One user commented, “I remember a time when fire use too bun pan some people. Everybody cool now ehh.” Another disgruntled fan commented, “How unuh against homosexuals but still big dem up… fraud! Gudly a fish unda style to how mi seet.”
The comments were in reference to Young M.A’s sexuality and the fact that she identifies as a part of the LGBTQ community. Such persons are generally met with disdain from those in the Dancehall arena.
Despite the negative comments from a few fans, Jamaicans love the homage to the island and the Gaza in Young M.A’s new freestyle. Many showed out in the comment section of Young M.A’s promotional post, commenting with Jamaican flags and fire emojis.
Some users highlighted that the rapper has always shown love to Jamaica, having visited the island several times and even performing there. Her last visit was in 2017, when she performed at the popular Brit Jam concert.
The rapper has also featured patois in her musical lineup, including on her 2020 song “Tunn Up.” The song features lines such as “Bad gal turn up (Wah gwaan)… Spliff mi ah burn up, pull her skirt up… Toes, dem a kill out… Mi fr**ky, make them girls wet like Fiji.”
A look at the best dancehall songs in 2021, so far.
From Yaksta’s “acres over Mark X” to Skillibeng’s “Di plane just crash wid e coke,” it’s safe to say that Jamaica’s musical engine has been pumping out the hits since the start of the new year. The industry giants such as Vybz Kartel continue to provide quality in quantity. However, not on the level that he did in 2020 when he had the airwaves buzzing with tracks from his album, To Tanesha. Nonetheless, 2021 promises to be a very musical year, with numerous entertainers either queuing to release an album, a mixtape, or an EP. Vershon dropped his 6-track EP title Only One a few days ago, while Sean Paul released his feature-laden project Live N Livin, which is one of two albums the superstar will be providing to his fans this year. The wealth of music brewing over the past three months has made us feel super privileged to be able to compile a list of the hottest dancehall/reggae singles we have received so far.
To select the songs for this list, we look at the numbers across DSPs and real world impact to see which singles are playing in dancehall sessions, parties, clubs, and on radio stations locally and overseas. The list also comprised of only songs that are released in 2021, so yes there are music from last year still in heavy rotation now, but so are music from three decades ago.
So which dancehall songs are the top tracks so far this year?
Chronixx – “Safe N Sound”
Ironically, no form of oppression was safe and sound after Chronixx dropped his latest nearly a week ago. The visuals portray a warzone-like atmosphere where smoked skulls and travesty indicate the order of the day. The lyrical stepper acts as the lone vigilante in the warzone, using his words, sounds, and power to hit back at the government, among other controlling subsets. How ironic that just a few months ago, Prime Minister Andrew Holness hailed Chronixx’s catalog as the face of what Jamaica’s music should look like, based on his profanity-less lyrics. Chronixx recently offered a surprise when he chanted a classic Jamaican expletive over the odd but infectious dancehall beat. The “Behind Curtains” singer has been delivering his vocals over beats of this nature for the past couple of years, with many of these cuts reportedly making it to his upcoming album. Excitement galore if you ask us!
Alkaline “Top Prize”
Whether you love him or hate him, it’s pretty hard to deny the fact that Alkaline is one of the world’s hottest entertainers with a Jamaican passport. While fans are still trying to figure out just how the entertainer got his name, they now have other questions, such as when will his new album be hitting shelves. The deejay announced both the release of what will be his sophomore album and its lead single back in February. The lanky figure who is known for flashing his bright smile on national television while participating in Jamaica’s Junior Schools Challenge Quiz has come of age and is promising fans a more mature dose of Alkaline on the new project. The title track was everything his Vendetta fans needed to quench their overactive musical appetite while getting their daily dose of motivation. The smooth cut is best listened to while wiping that mist from your bathroom mirror while getting ready to tackle the day ahead.
Popcaan – “Win”
Basketball is one of the most demanding sporting disciplines in the world, period. While the United States is seen as the Mecca when it comes to hooping, other countries also boast a pretty solid basketball program. Jamaica is slowly upping its ranks as far as b-ball is concerned, and with the help of the Unruly Boss, Popcaan, at least one fictitious team was balling after coming out victors against a Neville Bell coached offensive. The music video shines some light on basketball legend Kobe Bryant, who perished in a helicopter crash last year. Whether purposely or coincidentally, Popcaan dropped the visuals only a few days after the 1 year anniversary of the sportsman’s death. Popcaan’s most comfortable spots are his kitchen, the river, on stage, and next to his mom Miss Rhona. However, in the most ironic of fashions, he seemed pretty comfortable on the sidelines of the court in “Win.”
Popcaan – “Relevant”
Popcaan picks up a double on our list when he teamed up with Droptop Records and kicked started the year with the soulful and inspirational ballad, which is still very much ‘relevant’ three(3) months down the road. The power of the track is compacted in simple but powerful lines which aim to stimulate even the youngest listener.
“Ghetto yutes go fi di goal, wi been ah win (Mhmm)
Failure nuh inna?my?ting,?no (Weh! Weh!?Ting, no)
If yuh?live inna board house, yuh still ah queen
Yuh still ah king (Yeah)
Failure nuh inna my ting, no”
Is failure a part of your daily mantra? We hope not. As for Popcaan, his positive winning streak continues.
Beenie Man Feat. Popcaan, Dre Island – “Fun In The Sun”
Fact check/History lesson: 2006 was the year we lost loved ‘Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin to a stingray. It was also during this year that 12 miners died during the Sago Mine disaster in West Virginia. It was also the year when Google acquired YouTube for US$1.65 billion. Who could forget the Whale who decided to venture into the River Thames? As for music, 2006 saw Daniel Porter ruling Billboard Hot 100 with “Bad Day,” and Sean Paul coming in just behind him with “Temperature.” Another Jamaican who had the place in a frenzy in 2006 was Beenie Man when he released two albums, Concept of Life and Undisputed. The latter was Beenie’s last album in almost 20 years. The dancehall artiste should definitely have the word legendary etched somewhere on his body for his ability to stay relevant all these years without a body of work.
Beenie Man and his one-time enemy Bounty Killer revived beliefs in good entertainment last year when they performed side by side on Verzuz. The two men did the next best thing shortly after they announced they would be releasing albums. After much delay, it seems 2021 is the year fans will be getting both projects. The Zagga Zow pioneer recently had some ‘Fun In The Sun” as he and co-writers and performers Dre Island and Popcaan sent their prayers up to the lord from the grounds of Hope Garden. The song has a special place in the heart of Beenie Man, who expressed that he wrote the song while sitting by the grave of his mom, who passed away in 2020.
“That’s why we must, yeah, yeah
We must live as one (yeah)
Divided we fall
Together we’re strong.”
Masicka, Tarrus Riley, Dunw3ll – “CORNER”
From one triple threat to another! Genasyde, Singy Singy, and Dunw3ll find friendship around the “Corner.” The Masicka, Tarrus Riley, and Dunw3ll collab provides a wonderful brace to everyone who is facing tough times, a commodity that is seemingly in never-ending surplus these days. From Covid-19 to exorbitant food prices and a crime monster that is on the loose, everyone needs a bit of positivity in their corner of the ring. Crank up the music, lace up your boxing gloves and let’s get ready to rumble.
TeeJay, Tommy Lee Sparta – “Power Struggle”
Known for its white sandy beaches, resorts, and once active nightlife, Montego Bay is a haven for many of Jamaica’s visitors. In recent years, the parish of St. James has proved that its musical talents are not only reserved for the walls of fancy resorts. The likes of Teejay, Tommy Lee Sparta, Rygin King, Squash, Daddy1, and a host of other newcomers have kicked the notion that good musical vibrations are only felt in the East of the island.
The Damage Musiq-produced song “Power Struggle” is just one such example of this. The track saw Teejay and Tommy Lee Sparta team up for the first time, causing quite a rumble in the dancehall jungle and since its release in January, bringing over 3,000,000 Youtube views. Free Tommy Lee Sparta is the general chant from adoring fans below the Youtube upload. Lee remains in lockup following an incident in which he was held with an illegal firearm during a police operation during the latter part of last year. “Power Struggle” captures the pain the deejay has faced at the hands of law enforcement.
TeeJay, Vybz Kartel – “Pressure”
Vybz Kartel addressed the hardships being faced by the common man in Jamaican approximately five years ago when he released his track “Pressure.” On the new track, also titled “Pressure,” the deejay is still questioning the constant uphill battle being faced by the people of the land. This time around, he brings Teejay, a man with whom he has found amazing musical chemistry, to tag along for a story that is all too real. Poverty, ruthless murders, and the deaths of the innocent are all topics discussed by both Kartel and Teejay. It’s a familiar topic covers by musicians from the genre known for speaking on the struggles and plights of the people.
Yaksta (Bush Lawd) – “Ambition”
Do you remember that bet you made about not being able to find any sound financial advice in today’s music? Think again, as newcomer Yaksta shows just how it’s done. The deejay is quickly emerging as the one to watch for the title of breakout artiste of the year, and his new track “Ambition” seems set to make that a reality. Bush Lawd is asking those questions that many are simply scare to ask, firmly standing on the pyramid of what’s right and not what’s hype.
“Why own a Farrari (Why why)
With no where to park it? (Wooiie)
Why shop at Louise V when there is a Target?
Now me hype and me feisty (Feisty)
True mines me a save it (Save it)
Dem guh fendy fi Trendy (Trend wah?)
Bank account cyah empty (Bruck!)”
The official video that was released nearly a month ago is nearing 1 million views, making it the entertainer’s biggest song to date.
Check it out and let us know if you caught all of the financial gems he offloaded.
Shaneil Muir, Daddy1 – “Toxic”
“Love a nuh something wha we practice but the two a we together too toxic…” Sings Shaneil Muir. The singer had a phenomenon in 2020, picking up speed in the early part of the year through her track “3D,” before finding her monster breakout hit “Yamabella.” Since then, Muir has worked with Vybz Kartel, among others, blessings tracks with her magnificent vocal range, raw power, and female prowess. No wonder she overpowered her dad when he tried to turn her away from her “Custom” singer boyfriend Daddy1. Daddy1 runs his usual game on Muir and his fans with a pretty familiar flow that is worth a minute or two of your attention. Check it out.
Shenseea – “Upset”
Chimney Record’s Style A Style Riddim forms the base for this bit of gold from Shenseea, which arrived weeks after the official release of the “juggling compilation.” As the saying goes, it’s never too late for some good lyrics hitting out at anyone looking to bring across any bad energy. Interestingly, the track was released around the same time that Spice and Shenseea were allegedly contesting the “Queen of Dancehall” status. Shenseea has been making her presence felts on the international circuit for some time now. She seemingly got a boost in ratings earlier this year as she made numerous appearances on the walls of the popular urban blog, The Shade Room. There have been talks of an album arriving sometime soon, fingers and toes crossed that it works out.
Prince Swanny – “Tell Me”
Did someone say Trinibad? If you are still unsure about one of the fastest rising sub-genres of dancehall, stay tuned. One of the frontrunners for the movement, which was born in Jamaica, shipped to Trinidad, and is now being redistributed around the world, is Prince Swanny. The deejay has managed to amass a huge following on social media, including Youtube, where you can find the music video for “Tell Me.” There were no mistakes in the naming of this track as Swanny shares the intimate details of what he loves to do, which include caressing his ladies and his firearms. Slow and steady wins the race for “Tell Me” as Swanny effortlessly flows over the beat.
“Tell mi if they really want it we mek di
Money when we outside we strap up
With di 45 dawg none a dem nuh bad
Like we yeee yeah an every fat p*ssy
Gyal dem waah we dem waah fi sit”
Vybz Kartel, Likkle Addi – “Popular”
The master tactician Vybz Kartel is already planning his exit from music, leaving the business in the hands of his three boys, Likkle Addi, Likkle Vybz, and Aikodon. Both Likkle Addi and Vybz have conducted interviews with Winford Williams, where they spoke of focusing on the business aspect of music and all that it entails. They have no plans to step from outside of the booth, though, and “Popular” by Vybz Kartel featuring Likkle Addi is proof that the youngsters have a lot to offer musically. The official music video is inching closer to the 2 million views mark on Youtube. Many would desire to take away the stalker element expressed in the following line. However, there is a strange feeling that it’s one that actually contributes to the mystique of the track.
“I wanna meet you so much it hurts”
Sean Paul, Intence – “Real Steel”
Dutty Paul and Dutty Yeng have enough steel to frame a skyscraper but rest assured that every inch will be going to the female(s) they both desire. “Real Steel” is possibly one of the “duttiest” tracks fans have heard from Sean Paul in a while. The rudeboy persona is on full display, something the ladies simply cannot resist. Sexual favors are plenty, with both Intence and Paul sharing the same girl. Wild! The song is from Paul’s brand new album Live N’ Living, which is packed with many other collaborations, fulfilling Paul’s mission to spread dancehall talents far and wide. The track’s Youtube numbers have been a bit stagnant, but the song is picking up heavy rotation on international radio stations such as Hot 97.
Intence – “Pickachu”
“Pickachu” is a solid track from Intence, which is delivered with clarity and at a moderate pace, making it one which his fans should be able to jam to. Yet, the 1,000,000 and more views on Youtube may actually be a result of a clever but out-of-the-box move from the director of the video. “Ashtray Browning” makes a 3 seconds cameo and steals the spotlight from Intence in the visuals. The clip starts out with the deejay beginning his descent down a flight of stairs but stops to ash his cigarette into the properly placed mouth of a browning, who’s sitting close by. The incident caused quite a stir on social media, with pundits giving their approval or disapproval of the move.
Skillibeng – “Coke”
Skillibeng became the plug for hits in 2020, and that followed in 2021 when he released “Coke.” The track proves that the St. Thomas-based deejay is not only able to craft clever bars but is also able to spot an opportunity. His decision to write his track and shoot his video in and around the mysterious plane landing on the South Coast of Jamaica has proved bountiful. Seven million views since its release on February 02 is pretty astounding, even for SKillibeng. “Brik Pon Brik” was released in December 2019 and is also lingering at the 7 million mark on Youtube. “Crocodile Teeth,” is leading the charge with 15 million views and is set to go even further as a result of cosigns from the likes of Drake and Burna Boy. Still, it’s pretty hard not to love the audio extracted from one of Jamaica’s biggest movies, as well as Skilli’s opening lines, “Di plane just crash wid e coke.”
Mavado – “Not Perfect”
Dancehall artiste Mavado is finding 2021 to be one of his worst years yet, after the conviction and subsequent life sentence handed down to his son Dante Brooks and the recent death of his mother, Elizabeth ‘Ms Pinny’ Gordon. Before it all went downhill, Mavado delivered this track that explained his overwhelming feeling, as he called on his son to stay strong during his trial. Mavado’s words may offer you a bit of solace during your difficult time. You can check the track below.
Lila Iké, Skillibeng – “Thy Will”
Skillibeng gets another entry on our list through the positive collaboration with one of reggae’s hottest acts, Lila Ike’. It’s the remix to “Thy Will,” which was released as a part of her debut EP early last year. The video incorporates religion, protest, among other ways, to fight back at the system and stick it to the man.
Urban Islandz honorable mentions.
1. Popcaan, Beres Hammond – “God Is Love”
2. Spice – “Watch My Life”
3. Intence, Govana – “Public Enemy No. 1”
4. Sean Paul, Busy Signal – “Boom”
5. Jahmiel – “Unbroken”
6. Vershon – “Stick By Me”
7. Christopher Martin – “Rent Free”
Intence has seemingly responds to Vybz Kartel previously calling him out for alleged fake views.
Fans have built up a convincing case against Intence after much speculation that the deejay is buying views. While the evidence is compelling, the controversial dancehall deejay does not appear to have any intention of quitting while ahead. In recent times, incarcerated dancehall mogul Vybz Kartel has admonished the practice of manufacturing artificial viewership. It is believed that his multiple subliminal posts on social media are aimed at Intence, who has answered the accusation in the past.
Though the “Go Hard” deejay previously claimed that he neither buys nor considers buying views, he often stands accused both by fans as well as other artists. Intence has historically done numbers that are simply not proportionate to his far more famous counterparts or indicative of a reasonable gap between them.
YouTube prohibits the act of buying views in their community guidelines, so it’s certain that it is possible. According to their Fake Engagement Policy, the platform doesn’t allow “anything that artificially increases the number of views, likes, comments, or other metric either through the use of automatic systems or by serving up videos to unsuspecting viewers.” The penalty for violating this community guideline is usually a strike to the user’s channel, and it’s a given that the video will be removed.
With that in mind, it is even more suspicious that Intence’s music video for his song “Aids Test” was recently removed from the deejay’s YouTube channel after accumulating over 8 million views. Since it’s been re-uploaded to the producer’s music channel (Country Hype), it has not managed well over five figures. The disparity is one that cannot be ignored, and fans have taken to social media to scrutinize the alleged evidence against Intence.
Twitter erupted with speculation about Intence’s streaming performance after one dancehall fan shared a contrasting view of the deejay’s YouTube analytics and that of other dancehall artists. According to the location insights, some of dancehall’s top artists like Alkaline, Vybz Kartel, Skillibeng, and more attract most of their views from familiar territories for dancehall music i.e. the U.K., the U.S., Jamaica, and other Caribbean islands. Meanwhile, Intence’s largest audience somehow comes from India, and other than a few commonalities like Jamaica and the United States, he has theoretically been garnering views from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Egypt, etc.
“Numbers don’t lie neither does location, look at Vybz Kartel, Alkaline and Skillibeng… then look at Intence smh faaakest dancehall artist,” one detective fan wrote on Twitter. While some fans are convinced that the evidence points to Intence himself buying views, it is understood that anyone can pay to have these illegitimate views manufactured through illicit merchants in India and Russia. Therefore, anyone from managers and producers to the artist themselves or even you could buy views for any video.
Others accused Shaneil Muir of employing a similar method to attain her 7-figure view counts. “Idk if it’s the Artists themselves or Management but stop buying views, it doesn’t pay it will only cause damage,” wrote one fan. “Latest Artist who has views being bought ‘Shaneil Muir’ India is number 2 with over 970K views and Indonesia and Vietnam are there as well in the top 10 countries.”
Amidst the growing speculation and onslaught of accusations and backlash, Intence has chosen to ignore the scrutiny and talk about his Spotify numbers instead. The streaming platform recently launched in 85 more territories, including Jamaica granting access to a potential audience of 1 billion people. Intence has since shared that he is averaging almost a quarter-million monthly listeners, and his most popular songs on the platform are “Yeng,” which has over 800K streams, and “Real Steel,” which has just under half a million streams.
Intence’s latest music video for “Aids Test Ep2” has amassed over 1 million views since it arrived around three weeks ago. With everyone now watching his channel so closely, there may be a slight shift in the engagement volume, especially after the first part of the sequel was removed. Intence is slated to drop his debut album aptly titled Public Enemy No. 1 this week. Do you think the end justifies the means for this dancehall Tekashi 6ix9ine?
Teejay and Vybz Kartel drops off their new collaboration, “Pressure,” and so far, the reviews have been good.
Like so many of his recent collaborations, Teejay never disappoints with this one and never gets overshadowed, given he is on the same track with one of the biggest artists in dancehall currently, Vybz Kartel. The Top Braff Music-produced single saw the two hitmakers trading punchline about the hardships ghetto youths face daily.
“Need help, So much pressure to bear, Jah Jah wash away everything, Wash away my fears,” Teejay and Kartel sing over the catchy hook.
The accompanying music video perfectly chronicles life of poverty, poor health, and violence in the ghetto. The Lagikz Supreme-directed cut saw a young boy tending to his sick grandmother by ensuring she gets her medication. After giving her the last pill, he promised to go and buy some refills, but while hanging out with his friends on the street corner, a lone gunman walked up to the group and started firing, hitting him. The teenager ended up passing away from his injuries.
“Thank you Jah, It’s a miracle me still here, Me go through so much in my life, Bare trial and tribulation, Gh?tto youth like we been through so much, Peopl? have a hopeless life, Suicide ‘pon them mind, do you blame them,” Kartel deejay.
Despite being incarcerated for a decade, Vybz Kartel still maintains a firm grip on the dancehall throne. The former Portmore Empire leader’s work ethic has never wavered, considering he cannot record music in prison legally.
Teejay is a dancehall superstar in his own right after steadily building out a solid catalog for himself over the past few years.
Vybz Kartel scores a top ten debut on the US Reggae Album Chart with his new project, Dancehall Royalty.
It seems nothing can keep the Worl’Boss down. Even from behind bars, the veteran dancehall artiste continues to dominate the genre. His latest work, Dancehall Royalty, which features a five-song set that was released on January 8, has debuted at number two on the sales-driven US Current Reggae Albums chart.
Vybz Kartel’s latest work, which features his son Likkle Vybz, Renee 630, and Sikka Rymes, also entered the streaming-driven Billboard Reggae Albums chart at number 36. The US Current Reggae Albums chart is used to assess the top-selling albums based on data from Nielsen Music/MRC Data. According to the current ranking on the chart, Stick Figure’s World on Fire is the top album.
According to the chart, Dancehall Royalty sold 161 copies in its opening week. This is another chart that Vybz Kartel’s music does well on, as this is his second album to make it. In July 2020, his album Of Of Dons and Divas earned the top place on the charts. He was hoping for a Grammy nomination for that one.
Other notable movements on the chart include Higher Place by Skip Marley, which moved down to the number three position, while Afrikan Blood the album released by various reggae artistes moved up three places to number four on the chart. Buju Banton’s Upside Down 2020 was removed from number three to number five, and another various artistes collaboration, When Jah Shall Come, released by London-based Pressure Sounds Records, claimed the sixth spot.
Coastin by Iration is at number seven while Tropical House Cruises to Jamaica: Reggae Collector’s Edition is at eight. While in the other notable chart, the Billboard Reggae Albums chart, Bob Marley and the Wailers record an impressive 54th week in the number one spot with Legend. Shaggy’s Boombastic Collection: The Best of Shaggy by Shaggy comes in second while World on Fire by Stick Figure claimed the third spot.
Aidonia dropped his new song “Dat Eazy” amid eviction rumors.
Dancehall fans and critics have been verbally pummeling Aidonia since rumors surfaced that the deejay and his family were being evicted from their home. Though it took a while, Donia seemingly denied the claims on Instagram in a post previewing his new song “Dat Eazy.” “Me live inna dem brain RENT FREE!!!! #DatEasy” he wrote asking fans, “UNU READY?”
The new release has now arrived with accompanying visuals, and it was worth the hype. In the new Chimney Records Production, Aidonia taps into his flow master facet and delivers trap dancehall rhyme schemes and flows all up and down the track.
In the music video, Didi likens his lyrical prowess to a basketball star putting up shots and slam dunks. “Jordan ask mi fi shoot mi seh dat easy / Dawg dem a fool dem a fool / Nah no clue to the flow wah mi use / Yeah mi flow gi dem flu / I’m fly yeah mi flew / Dem watch wid dem yiy / Weh mi fly weh mi flew / Pon a island weh cool wid a nice likkle boo / Wid a smile wah so cute / And a vibe by the pool / And she tight and she cute / And mi like how she ride when she ride pon di tool,” Didi deejays on the track.
“Dat Eazy” sees the deejay speaking on his constant scrutiny in the media while he remains low-key. Recently, Vybz Kartel accused Aidonia of being “hype n still a pay rent,” which many believe is the post he was addressing with his “rent free” subliminal. The deejay does not address the scandal directly in the new track, but he does talk about his relevance and how “easy” it is for him to make a banger.
Prior to the release of “Dat Eazy,” Aidonia took to Instagram to prep fans for a midday drop. Alongside a photo of the artwork for the song, he wrote, “All who never know ah Today unu aguh see seh it #DatEasy fi didi ! #BOMBSAWAYYY !!! How midday sound?”
Listen to Aidonia’s new track for yourself and decide if it really is “Dat Eazy” for the dancehall star.
Ninjaman is weighing his options to appeal but seems its heavily dependent on the outcome of Vybz Kartel appeal.
The dancehall icon is two months into his life sentence and already he is considering filing an appeal for a new trial. Sources told Urban Islandz that Ninjaman felt like he was never given a fair trial and the prosecution used a witness who he feels wasn’t credible. Additionally, he thinks that his murder conviction was the authority’s way of sending a message amidst the rapid rise in crime rate across the island.
“They set an example out of him purely because he is a famous entertainer, it was almost like they used his old sins against him,” a rep for Ninjaman told us. “Was that fair for him, of course not. It’s like getting convicted even before the trial started.”
Now that Ninjaman and his attorney are weighing his appeal options, one of the things that they discussed is Vybz Kartel upcoming appeal trial which is set for July this year after being pushed by from February. Ninja’s lawyer, Valerie Neita-Robertson is also one of the lawyers on Vybz Kartel’s case.
“Being that they are two high profile artists, the system will want to keep them locked up to send a message,” sources said. “Although both cases are totally different, the fact that they’re two big-name entertainers, the system will treat them different, they will have a tougher trial because of the added press around their cases. The government will not want to look bad on the world stage. Remember these two cases made headlines around the world, so think about how bad they will look if both of them walk free on appeal.”
Vybz Kartel’s attorneys were the ones who asked the appeal court judge for more time to prepare for the case. We’re told that Ninjaman trial also played a role in that decision, the lawyers felt like that case was too close to the appeal trial and would be too fresh in the judges minds.
The lawyers know that they will have to present a near-perfect case and even then, they still have an uphill battle to prove Vybz Kartel’s innocence. “Kartel is at a disadvantage any way you look at it but yet still he has a stronger case than Ninjaman so it makes perfect sense that he would want to wait on the outcome of that case to make his next move,” his rep added. “The worst case scenario is they both spend the rest of their lives in prison.”
Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, was sentenced to prison for life for murdering his friend Clive “Lizard” Williams. His protege Shawn Storm, and friends Kahira Jones and Andre St John were also convicted and sent to prison for life. The aced dancehall star will have to serve 35 years before being eligible for parole. In contract, Ninjaman, real name Desmond Ballentine, will have to serve 25 years before getting a parole hearing. By then both artists will be in their 70s.
Beenie Man says he is one of the hardest working deejays in dancehall even after so many years.
The dancehall legend also made it clear that he has nothing against Spice despite their running last year. During a sit down on Nightly Fix, Beenie Man opened up about a number of topics including his legacy and current status in dancehall. The deejay insisted that he is still the king of dancehall because he isn’t baptized.
One of the criticisms of Beenie Man and other older deejays in the business is that they still feel the need to compete with the younger generation of artists. When asked about that top, Beenie strongly pushed back against the assumption saying he doesn’t compete with any other artists in the business but still work hard because that is naturally who he is.
“The problem is I cannot go a week without making five songs, I will be a mad man,” the Doc said. “Listen, music just come by the beat, you hear the beat and lyrics start build, so every beat that plays in the studio you build a different song for it. It’s not competing, this is my job, this is what I do, I make music, so without me making music then me at my yard sit down a watch TV or a play game and I don’t do that.”
On whether or not he is taking away attention from younger artists, Beenie Man said, “This is the problem with dancehall music, why one man have to get all the glory, why everybody cannot get them own glory?”
“Alkaline have him own fans, Vybz Kartel have him own fans, Popcaan have him own fans, everybody have them own fans, so everybody is getting them own glory,” he continues. “Why is it that I am a threat to everybody? Because you is that man fan and you want that man to be where I am? Two entity can’t hold the same space one of us is going to blow up. Each and every individual in music have their own space, have them own respect and have them own time.”
Tony Matterhorn won’t be playing any Alkaline music this year or perhaps ever.
The beneficiary of this feud of course is Vybz Kartel and maybe a few other artists whose songs will get more airplay on Matterhorn’s platforms. DancehallHipHop reported in December that Alkaline disrespected the veteran sound system selective in front of his face and thousands of fans at Club Euro in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Footage of the exchange went viral online sparking a debate about the deteriorating relationship between dancehall artists and disc jockeys.
Seems Tony Matterhorn had enough of the shenanigan and decided to take a stand. While hosting a party last weekend, the “Dutty Wine” deejay had some harsh words for the young dancehall hitmaker. “Don’t unnu see everybody play? Me say me a give Alkaline one year bom***** ban, who no like it s*** your mother,” an angry Matterhorn said. “Don’t forget say me could’ve shoot up unnu blood**** and I said hold it. So when unnu hear me say one year ban Alkaline s*** your mother.”
Right after making that bold statement, Tony Matterhorm drop Vybz Kartel and Masicka single “InfraRed.” So clearly, Kartel is the biggest winner in this ongoing beef between the disc jockey and Alkaline. Sources told DancehallHipHop that this has been eating away at Matterhorn for the past few weeks and it was only a matter of time before he snapped.
“Alka really disrespected the man and you could tell it was something that was bothering him for a while,” sources said. “He waited to see if he will get an apology or something but nothing, just more disrespect from the other side camp so this is no surprise and he (Alkaline) shouldn’t be surprised either.”
Let’s hope that these two very important figures in dancehall can make peace sometime soon for the good of the music.
XXXTentacion and Vybz Kartel on the same track should be fire.
The South Florida rapper, who previously claimed he has some Jamaican roots, announced on Instagram last night that he has a collaboration coming out with the incarcerated dancehall star. Rappers wanting to collaborate with Vybz Kartel is nothing new and in fact, over the last few months, we’ve heard rumors of artists like Drake and Cardi B wanting to get the World Boss on a track. The difference here is that this announcement is coming directly from the artist and not some unnamed source tipping off the media.
“Vybz Kartel featuring XXXTentacion, coming soon, lol only the Jamaicans and Hispanics know what i’m talking about!” X wrote on IG stories. XXXTentacion worked with Sizzla Kalonji on his “My Girl” single last year, but if this new single materialized, it will be the first time the “Look At Me” rapper and Vybz Kartel are working together.
Last year XXXTentacion blast Drake for tapping into dancehall for his last two albums saying that he is way more Jamaican than Drake claims to be because his family is mostly from Kingston. There could be some truth to the story since X is from Lauderhill in South Florida where there is a strong Jamaican contingent.
Vybz Kartel is currently serving a life sentence for murder but is still putting out a ton of new music from behind bars. XXXTentacion currently has a mountain of legal troubles and is currently under house arrest while he awaiting trial for kidnapping and assaulting a pregnant woman. In December, he was slapped with 15 new charges for tampering with a witness when he defied court orders and contacted his ex-girlfriend who is the victim in his case. Like Vybz Kartel, X is facing some serious time behind bars if he is found guilty of the charges.
Vybz Kartel thinks that the recent snub from the YVA awards is further proof that the system is trying to silence his music.
The “Mhm Hm” deejay did not receive a single nomination at this year’s Your View Awards, former Youth View, because of some rules changes. The YVA says they will not nominate any artist who can’t perform at the event which automatically disqualifies Kartel because of his incarceration. A rep for the deejay told Dancehall HipHop that he is not angry but still sees it as another attempt to silence his voice.
“It’s not our show so we can’t vex if they don’t nominate us (Vybz Kartel), but this is more clear evidence of a plot to silence Worl’Boss and stifle his music,” his rep said. “Thankfully we are living in an age where the fans can go online and get the music directly from artists so we don’t have to go through radio stations or major labels. The fans know that Kartel is the biggest and baddest artist in the history of dancehall. Him in a league by himself and no other artist even come close to his level. So what is dancehall award show without Vybz Kartel?”
Kartel’s biggest rival, Alkaline, leads the list of nominees this year with seven nods. This further fuel the beef between the two deejays with Kartel’s rep accusing the YVA of being bought out by the Vendetta deejay. “You can’t have an award show where artists can buy them way into and how can that be better than artist paying disc jockeys to play their music,” his rep told us.
Last year the YVA was dominated by Vybz Kartel despite him getting fewer nominations than his counterpart Alkaline. Vendetta fans were highly critical of the award show calling it a Gaza show. So perhaps this is the YVA’s attempt to appease those fans.
Vershon have something for bad mind people who sits on his name, “Wul’ Di Grung.”
The dancehall singjay links up with Simple Youths Productions for his new anti hating single. “Them say yo hype when time yo buy yo things, nasty n**** them want fi yo dead when time yo win, ghetto youths just hold the fort and spread yo wings, and no listen dirty n**** wicked people come a tell yo things,” Vershon sings.
Last week Vershon released a new single, “One More Day,” where he lead a tribute to incarcerated artists like Buju Banton, Vybz Kartel, and Ninjaman. The track received a warm reception from dancehall fans for its positive message and the singjay look to go back to his roots of making positive and uplifting music. The single comes on the heels of his new music video “No Worries” which is another feel good single released on the Cotton Swab Riddim. Listen to Vershon new single “Wul’ Di Grung” below.
Vybz Kartel gets a major snub from this year’s Your View Awards (YVA).
Naturally, Gazanation fans are in an uproar over the snub but Kartel will continue to get snub as long as he is behind bars, according to the eligibility rule changes. The annual Jamaican awards show has rebranded for this year from Youth View Award to Your View Award. With the rebranding comes new rules which is at the center of contentions between the YVA and Vybz Kartel’s fans.
To be eligible for nominations, artists must be able to perform at the event ceremony set for February 24. Alkaline leads the 2018 YVA nomination with six nods including Hottest Summer Song (Red Eye), Favorite Local Male Artist, Favorite International Local Artist, Favorite Dancehall Artist, Favorite Chart Topper, Favorite Video Concept (Afterall), and Favorite Collaboration (“Gyalis Pro” featuring Sean Paul).
Popcaan and Aidonia trail Alkaline with four nominations each. But one of the hottest deejays in dancehall over the past year, Vybz Kartel, did not get any nominations solely because of his incarcerations. Dancehall fans have mixed reactions to the snub with some believes that the YVA took the right step, while others are saying its a move to silence the incarcerated deejay.
“So they have to ban Vybz Kartel so that other artists like Alkaline can win such a shame on the YVA, what is an award show without the Worl’Boss, in a Addi voice,” one fan said. Another fan commented saying, “We all know that the YVA is a Gazanation award show because every year Kartel dominates even when other artists out a road a put in the work. So I guess them a try remove the bias now.” Kartel was the biggest winner at last year’s YVA awards.
We will be publishing the full list of nominees soon, so stay tuned to Dancehallhiphop.com for more details on the 2018 YVA awards show.
Ding Dong is thankful for a major endorsement from Usain Bolt on the global stage.
The fastest man in history, Usain Bolt, was at CES 2018 this week when he did an interview with CNET. Among the many things he spoke about was music where he listed a few of the local dancehall artists that he has been listening to. Bolt, who is a longtime fan of Vybz Kartel, says Ding Dong is one of his current favorite deejays because he likes to dance and have fun.
“For me as a DJ, as a guy who listens to music on the regular, I try to stick to every genre of music, you know what I mean, but am much more into dancehall music, I love to dance so one of my favorite artist is Ding Dong,” Usain Bolt said. The sprint legend also spoke about some recent news about trying out for German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund.
Ding Dong says that the endorsement is a big deal for him because it exposes him to a new audience who never know about his music. “this is a good look’ because me know him deep wid Vybz Kartel music and thing because him always a big up Vybz Kartel,” he said. “For him to acknowledge me like dat and den him say artiste, him never say dancer, dat fi show yuh say him consider me pan da level deh.”
Earlier this week, Usain Bolt posted a video on Instagram of himself and professional footballer Leon Bailey dancehall to one of Ding Dong songs. The Ravers deejay also currently has one of the hottest dance songs out right now “Fling Yuh Shoulda.”