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.