Adidja Azim Palmer
Vybz Kartel is one of dancehall’s most successful artists and a cultural icon in Jamaica, where he is widely referred to by various nicknames including “Worl’ Boss“. Kartel has been recognized as one of dancehall’s most prolific and skilled lyricists and has also been credited with further popularizing the dancehall genre. Many of his singles have achieved cultural ubiquity across the Caribbean, including “Ramping Shop” (2009), “Summer Time” and “Dancehall Hero” (2013).
Vybz Kartel has collaborated with a number of prominent artists, such as Major Lazer, Rihanna and Jay Z. He has also been credited as an inspiration for the dancehall-infused work of a number of Western artists, including Drake, who has cited Kartel as being one of his one of his “biggest inspirations”.
In 2014, at the age of 38, Vybz Kartel was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of his associate Clive “Lizard” Williams. He will not be eligible for parole until 2049, once he has served 35 years in jail. Despite being imprisoned, Kartel continues to release new music prolifically, releasing over 50 new songs in 2016 alone.
In 2016, while in prison, Kartel released his most internationally successful album, King Of The Dancehall which peaked at number 2 on the US Billboard Reggae Charts. The album included the single “Fever” which topped various local music charts and became his most successful on streaming websites