Dancehall DJ Vybz Kartel, real name Adijah Palmer is losing grasp of his empire. Da Vinci, one of his newest recruits has defected from the 'Gaza' to sign with Kartel's now former Business Manager Corey Todd.
Following in the footsteps of Black Ryno, Lisa Hype, 'Stephen', Not Nice, and Former Gaza affiliate Aidonia, leader of the J.O.P., Da Vinci has chosen to align himself with Corey Todd's new unnamed venture with most of Kartel's former camp in tow.
Corey Todd, an American businessman and silent parter and reported creator of Vybz Kartel's industrial endeavors 'Street Vybz Rum', 'Daggering Condoms' and 'The Building' (a nightclub in Kingston Jamaica), has decided to terminate his relationship with the Jamaican superstar amid his recent dramatic change of appearance and according to him, a change in attitude as well.
Mr. Palmer (Kartel) has dramatically lightened his skin tone in recent years with a process known in the island as 'bleaching' professing to use a form of blue cake soap which he has appropriated into a brand of his own.
Mr. Todd has been flummoxed with this radical change of appearance as Kartel was known for his darker complexion. The DJ artist has caught further flack for adding extensions to his hair to simulate years of hair growth.
Undoubtedly, things on the surface may not be so simple. This is not the first time Vybz Kartel has been at odds with close business or artistic partners, the rap-sheet of offenses spans more than a decade.
Introduced to the world by Dancehall great Rodney Price, more commonly known as 'Bounty Killer', Vybz Kartel was quickly embraced by Disc Jockeys and party goers for his daring sexually charged lyrics, clever wordplay, and catchy melodies.
Following in the 'War' tradition of the genre that Bounty Killer was a veteran of, engaging himself in various battles withMerciless, Mr. Lexus, and most famously Beenie Man, just to mention a few, Kartel took things to a new level when he broke factions with his mentor and delcared lyrical war on the Warlord himself.
Vybz Kartel was protege of many of Bounty Killer in a Dancehall family that went by the name the 'Alliance', and Mavado, another DJ of note more known for his singing style of DJing as opposed the more popular chanting style of the genre became Kartel's target du jour.
The two engaged in some classic tit for tats in the mid 00's, Mavado aligning himself with Bounter Killer and the Alliance and Kartel most closely rubbing shoulders with new upstart DJ Aidonia, Vybz Kartel built a name for himself amidst a climate of Disc Jockeys and Dancers like Matterhon and Ding Dong on top of the dancehall charts, and veterans like Bounty Killer and Beenie Man were still strong and prevalent presences on it.
Things have changed somewhat.
After many years at the top of his game and sitting on an uncontested Dancehall throne, it appears that the other DJ's have began to lick their chops.
In the last three years Kartel has seemed to be building a business empire of his own in Jamaica, with liquor product Street Vybz Rum and prophylactic product Daggering Condoms, however it has come to the light of many that there was a mysterious American Businessman silently working along with Vybz Kartel, helping him to accomplish all of this, Corey Todd.
It's no secret that Kartel has been doing well for himself despite his lack of a US Visa to do business in one of the biggest markets in the world for his main bread and butter, music.
According to Mr. Todd, it was his advice that put Kartel in such a position. Recently Corey Todd has gone on an interview spree granting interviews it seems to whoever would have him. He went on Entertainment Report, Jamaica's number one entertainment program to express his frustrations.
Here are some excepts from that interview.
Corey Todd: "Threats mad on my life...I have to let the public know."
"...Thing set in play. He said if I dis him, I'm a die."
Entertainment Report: "Do you think Vybz Kartel can do you physical harm?"
Corey Todd: "Him personally? No. Because he is a coward. But people around him? Yes."
Entertainment Report: "What do you think somebody could do...?"
Corey Todd: "Gunshot. Simple...At the end of the day, he wanted to get rid of me enuh. Because
of greed, envy."
Entertainment Report: "Do you think he is a Sinister Person?"
Corey Todd: "When I met him first? no. But he's changed. "
Entertainment Report: "What do you think changed him?"
Corey Todd: "His ego man...The S Class [Mercedes Benz]. Which is very strange, I don't know
a car changes a person, but it did...I did a lot for [that group]. He's holding back
those artist. I push Popcorn on him. Those artist are just his personal pets. You
understand. he don't let them get Visas. He don;t let them fly. He overcharges for
... The whole thing was when we started, I was supposed to manage artists. I was
supposed to make him an icon...
The reason I started Street Vybz Rum is because ...you need millions in the US to
buss songs. If you got money I can make any video play on MTV [and BET] you
...Him stop doing dub plates months ago you know. [I put him on iTunes long
before it buss at JA].
...I got Guards you know"
(He goes into further detail here about Japanese DJ's
and his own personal security detail. he then proceeds to give a little bit of history
"I am from America. America is not [nice] enuh. (At this point in the interview,
Corey Todd looks into the Camera and points a message directy aimed at Vybz
"I am not scared of you enuh. If you waan come for me yuh self, we would see
how that go you know...You know what you sayin to me, and you know how loyal
I been to you now. I'm not tryin' to damage yuh carreer, get back to yourself,
get some sun, take the hair out your hair...Mi treat yuh like a brotha yuh know,
You [supposed to be my daughter on the way's Godfather] you know...You will
get what's coming to you."
In an earlier interview with Outarod.com on May 23rd, Corey Todd also made the following statement,
"I am my own man. I have never worked for Vybz Kartel...I don't understand the creative direction he's moving in with regards to his image or music. I don't know this new Vybz Kartel, I haven't known him for quite a while. Enough is enough."
Not longer than a week after these interviews, Da Vinci, Gaza's newest artist in a telephone interview that he will be leaving Portmore Empire, Leaving Popcaan seemingly as the last man standing with Kartel at the moment in the now ever changing scene of dancehall factions.
Enter Vybz Kartels secret. Kartel hit up Riddimstream.com to release a lengthy statement addressing the recent developments, and reveal a secret that he has been writing a book and secretly plotting to change the landscape of dancehall again and all the hoopla over his appearance are mere distractions in his ultimate masterplan.
The full Statement reads below.
Many of you have heard or seen the recent accusations made by my former associates in the past few weeks. I don’t know why all of these individuals, think the most appropriate action to take after a philosophical difference occurs is to go to the press and attack me.
I can only say that I am reminded of Bob Marley’s admonishments when he said man is so unjust, you don’t know who to trust…your best friend can turn out to be your worst enemy…I shall say no more, other than who the cap fit, mek them wear it. I am issuing this statement because I think these accusations are due to a breach of confidentiality as certain individuals got wind of my upcoming projects and initiatives and they know they can’t stop me without resorting to underhanded tactics.
See Jamaica, Vybz Kartel has been carrying a secret for a very long time and I think it is time that I reveal it before persons try to derail the projects that I have put together by continuing to make false reports about me in their attempt to have me muzzled.two years ago, I had an epiphany whilst on stage. I saw thousands of people screaming for Kartel, jumping up and down, listening to ever word that I uttered on stage, it was like the people were eating out of the palm of my hands. At that moment, something strange came over me, as I heard the people screaming for more, I suddenly realized that my calling was to be more than a Deejay.
I realized that the people were not eating out my hands but they wanted to hear Kartel speak because finally somebody was telling their story in a profound no holds barred manner. Whether I was addressing sexuality,poverty, police brutality, injustice,the trials and tribulations of the ghetto I was finally giving ghetto people a voice – a big voice like society never heard before.
I know I am not the first that has ever attempted to do this. Because when I researched I saw that Marcus, Sam Sharpe, Paul Bogle all spoke directly to the powers that be on behalf of the people but were ostracized and in some cases killed. Later, Marley, Tosh, Jacob Miller did the same thing and all died young under unique somewhat mysterious circumstances. I have seen what they have done to ancient Rastamen, People’s Telecom, the Marcus Garvey Political Party and other entities that attacked Babylon head on.
I did not want the same fate to reach me at the time, I did not want them to muzzle me also, so I took a decision that I felt I had to, I had to trick Babylon. I realized if I kept doing outrageous and outlandish stuff, they would write me off as just an attention seeking artiste and not realize that since July 26, 2009 behind closed doors I have been writing my book and setting up my GEL (Gaza Education and Literacy) program. So they put the spotlight on me, not knowing that they were actually putting the spotlight on themselves because Vybz Kartel is not about braces, bleaching and hairstyles but I am about elevating the cause of Ghetto people.
Please understand Jamaica sometimes you have to trick Babylon with confusion. If I revealed my intentions two years ago, do you think the people that control the media would report everything I do? Babylon, you have been tricked. For 500 years, the system has been using reverse psychology to trick my people,I have now used reverse psychology to trick them Let’s see societal hypocrisy for what it is. Now that my book is going to be released, now that most of my songs will have a more cultural overtone as i have already taken the decision to stop deejaying gun lyrics, now that I am going to be providing educational opportunities for young people,will you be giving me the same attention?
In so far as business is concerned, I don’t agree that rum and a night club is an Empire. The Portmore Global Empire has been in the works for some time with proper infrastructure currently being put in place. I had anticipated certain moves and I have been in consultation with Attorneys in Pembroke Pines, Florida about proper branding, contracts, representation and protecting my legal rights globally. The team I have been working with are all degreed in the areas of Finance, Marketing, Mass Communications and have the expertise that I will need – it is funny when I hear “nobody can tell Kartel anything” when I have trained consultants who have aided me in planning my future projects. I have not finalized any decisions as yet but I have invested considerable resources to take my business endeavours to another level, so again, like Bob Marley said, half the story has never been told.
Now I know a lot of my fans are probably surprised but understand this,I feel called by a power greater than me. Black people have been suffering too long, we have been in poverty too long, we have been brutalized too long and Vybz Kartel is now advising the world that I will use the spotlight that you have put on me to highlight their cause. I am not naïve and I know based on recent interviews on TV that my life and freedom is more in danger than ever before because I have no intention of easing up on the system or their agents. However, I am at peace with this decision.The Gaza ladies, you are still my babies, so don’t worry, the black race must procreate so I will giving you more “Dumpa Truck” to drive in, you can still “Get Wild” and you will still ride your “10 speed bicycle” in “Slow Motion.” I will never stop deejaying for you. The “thugs,” you all built Kartel, so I will never alienate you but you may be getting some new messages from me.
It is unfortunate that I have been forced to prematurely make this statement as my book was slated to be launched on July 23, 2012 – His Imperial Majesty’s Earthstrong, my GEL program was for the September 2011-2012 academic year but the forces against me are rising on TV and in the newspaper so after consultation with the few trusted advisers I have left, I decided to make this release so that if they take my life or my freedom, the projects will continue. Keep in mind that the greatest black man that ever lived, Marcus Garvey, was betrayed by trusted individuals and endured continuous character assassination, so I guess I am in good company. We nah stop say Gaza4Life, we just upgrading the message.
ADIDJA PALMER – ADIDJAHIEM RECORDS
ADIDJA PALMER – ADIDJAHIEM RECORDS
Stay posted to Radio516.com and DonyV.Blogspot.com for developments.
written by: Keith Nation
credit: thehypelifemag.com, the sadeki, dancehallusa.com, entertainment report, urbanilandz.com,islandyute, urbanislands.com
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