Even Vybz Kartel gets a taste of the tough Jamaican live music audience.
Vybz Kartel has often been viewed as one of Jamaica’s most prolific and talented songwriters. For years, he has been able to consistently release chart-topping singles, many of which have made their way onto various Billboard charts. Despite the fact that he has been imprisoned since 2011, the artiste known as the “Worl’Boss” continues to outperform his competitors.
On Friday, March 19, Kartel gave his fans a treat when he released a mini-album titled X-Rated. The new album was released under the Short Boss Muzik and Vybz Kartel Muzik labels and features nine tracks, which is an assortment of music and interludes from the dancehall artist.
Vybz Kartel has long regarded himself as the holder of an “alien brain,” solely based on his musical abilities. He has now revealed the specific time and place he was possessed with his celestial abilities on “Solid Boo,” a track from the new album. As the title states, the interlude speaks of a time the deejay’s courage and persistence was put to the test when he was ridiculed while on stage. The “booing” incident took place in the early 1990s when what many now define as one of the best eras of the dancehall was starting to take root.
At the time, a teenage Vybz Kartel, who went by the name Addi Banton, resided in the hot and tormented community of Waterford, Portmore. As Kartel explains in his signature baritone voice mixed with a slight taste of mischief, he and a friend had snuck out of their homes to attend a stage show. Being confident in his deejaying skills, the young Kartel took to the stage and deejayed, “Di gyal bruk out like ah big dutty sore, lawd! She f*** down di whole a Portmore.”
Sadly, the biting lyrics were not well received as he had hoped, and what followed next was a resounding “Boooooooooo.” Vybz Kartel further explained that the MC made matters worse when he implied that he and his lyrical partner had not only made a mockery of himself but the craft on a whole. “Jah know star dem yute yah make the deejay ting look haad.”
It’s not often that one hears about the great Vybz Kartel not owning any stage that he steps onto. This is due to the fact that the man now regarded as Di Teacha became a student of criticism that very night. The argument he got into with his dad upon his return from the event at 4 o’clock in the morning was not enough to deter him from writing ten songs that very same day. Hereby marks the beginning of the Vybz Kartel millions around the world have now come to love, fear, admire, and most of all, respect. The story also brings across a very profound message to a project titled X-Rated.
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Vybz Kartel still had a host of hurdles to skip over before he was able to be regarded as the King of Dancehall. His connections with Bounty Killer, one of Jamaica’s greatest musical products, provided Kartel with an outlet for his creativity before his name was known by the masses.
Penning songs for Bounty Killer and other members of the “Warlord” led Alliance was a common practice for the “Unstoppable” singer. In turn, Killer brought that much-coveted spotlight to Vybz Kartel and the other acts under his wing. The relationship between Killer and Kartel would later go sideways, leading the latter to form his own musical outfit, Portmore Empire.
Kartel would go on to also spearhead much of the writing in the camp during the group’s heyday, which resulted in Empire becoming one of the hottest collections of artists in dancehall. The likes of Jah Vinci, Popcaan, NotNice, Lisa Hyper, Rvssian, Spice, and numerous other entertainers and producers have all benefitted from Vybz Kartel’s pen game, and they continue to heap praises onto him to this day.