Vybz Kartel (born Adidja Azim Palmer January 7, 1976 in Kingston) is a Jamaican DJ, singer-songwriter,and businessman. He is commonly known in Jamaica as both the Teacher and Gaza.
Adidja attended Calabar High School in Kingston but was expelled. Determined to continue his education, he completed his studies at Tutorial College, a private school in Kingston, Jamaica and graduated with English, History, Geography, and Literature at CXC levels. The young Adidja was exposed to a wide variety of music from a tender age by two uncles who were aspiring musicians themselves. Every weekend he would be treated to new musical offerings on his uncle's old component set, ranging from Sam Cooke to country and western ballads to Ninja Man, who became one of his musical foes. At the age of 10 his favorite artists included Papa San, Charlie Chaplin, Will Smith and KRS-1, all of whose lyrics he would write down and memorise, performing them later for the entertainment of friends.
Adidja decided to hone his skills and concentrate on winning over his own community of Waterford until he was ready for bigger things. With that goal in mind, on weekends he would practice his art on neighbourhood sound systems Soul Signal and Electric Force. In 1993, Adidja, now in his mid teens, recorded his first single Love Fat Woman for Alvin Reid's One Heart Label under the name Adi Banton. A name he chose in tribute to Buju Banton who was one his role models. He recorded several more tracks for local producers until 1996 when he and two friends, Mr Lee and a singer called Escobar, decided to form a group. One night, after watching a movie about Pablo Escobar and his infamous cartel, Adidja came up with a name for his trio: Vibes Cartel. Unfortunately some time after, the group broke up due to internal frictions leaving Adidja again to continue alone. Adidja chose to keep the name of the group changing the C to K in Kartel and adopting the moniker VYBZ KARTEL.
In 1998, Kartel made an appearance at the Champions in Action stage show, held in his hometown of Portmore. His performance was highly praised, and he was soon offered a way into the music industry. Fellow artist Bounty Killer described him as having a lot of potential, and hired Kartel to write songs for him; these included "High Grade Forever", "Warlord Rule The World" and "Gal Clown".
Vybz Kartel?s new role as Killer?s prot?g? caught the attention of the public and led to a meteoric career rise. Starting as a ghost-writer for Bounty, Elephant Man and other members of the Scare Dem Crew he then progressed to collaborations with Bounty Killer such as Gal Clown and Girls Like Mine (Liquid Riddim). He then came into his own with early hits such as Gun Clown, Guns Like Mine (Trafalga Riddim), Badman (Panty Raid Riddim), Bus Mi Gun Like Nuttn, Most High (Mexican Riddim) and War Organizer (Clappas Riddim). He also had a string of successful collaborations with Wayne Marshall, such as New Millennium (Mad Antz Riddim), Why (Krazy Riddim) and Why Again (Good To Go Riddim). This unprecedented and impressive debut led to Vybz Kartel being crowned Deejay Of The Year at Stone Love?s 30th Anniversary, 2002, a feat unmatched by any new artist in dancehall?s history.
Kartel has already had several collaborations with international hip-hop and pop stars. In terms of singles sold, he has had the second-best year on the reggae charts for 2003 (outsold only by Elephant Man) and has released 2 albums for UK/US based label Greensleeves Records Ltd. He was also featured twice on the Def Jamaica project, and nominated for Source, VIBE and UK MOBO awards (although his MOBO nominations, along with those of Beenie Man, Elephant Man and Sizzla were withdrawn over concerns of homophobia, a common issue with dancehall reggae in general).
Vybz Kartel has won an award at the CUMA (Caribbean Urban Music Awards) in 2008. He also won three EmE awards in 2009 for song of the year(Ramping Shop ft. Spice), Lyricist/Songwriter of the Year, and Male DJ of the Year.
Departure from the Alliance
In 2006 Vybz and Bounty Killer had a falling out after Vybz performed a song with D'Angel, Bounty Killer's former girl. The song is titled ?Yuh Know Yuh Baby father?. This lead to Kartel permanently departing from the Alliance, it also lead to Aidonia later leaving because he took Vybz side and also had a falling out with Alliance member Busy Signal and made the song ?Adi A Mi Daddy ?. A foolishness that..ALliance a di boss.. And a gully mi say
Feud with Mavado
Towards the end of 2006, Vybz Kartel left the Alliance. Tensions arose following Kartel's continued association with Bounty Killer's longtime enemy, Beenie Man, including Kartel attending Beenie Man's wedding to Bounty Killer's ex-girlfriend, D'Angel. Vybz Kartel cited his departure as being due to his desire to be a more independent artist. It was reported that Vybz and Bounty Killer performed together ahead of the annual Sting show. Due to Kartel's defection from the alliance and his 'parring' with the enemy 'the doctor' Beenie Man, a series of songs and counteraction songs ensued - the main proponents being Kartel and Mavado.
A very public feud between Vybz Kartel and former collaborator Mavado arose towards the end of 2006, stemming from Vybz' much publicized departure from the dancehall conglomerate group, The Alliance. The feud resulted in numerous diss-tracks released, in which each artist dissed the other and their associates over popular dancehall rhythms. Some of these tracks include:
"Song Writer" - (Power Cut Riddim)
"Top Shotta Nuh Miss" - (Power Cut Riddim)
"Chat Too Much" - (After Dark Riddim)
"Warn Dem" - (After Dark riddim)
"Mr. Palmer" - (Drumline Riddim)
"Song Writer" - (Power Cut Riddim)
"Start War & Dead" - (Power Cut Riddim)
"Criminal War" - (After Dark Riddim)
"Come Defen It" - (After Dark Riddim)
"Warn Dem Counteraction" - (After Dark Riddim)
"Mofraudo" - (Drumline Riddim)
The feud threatened to escalate beyond lyrics, however, in the following months with shoot outs at the popular hangouts of the artists, and on-stage scuffles between members of each camp. This intensification prompted a police-overseen press conference in which both Mavado and Vybz publicly announced an end to hostilities and apologized to fans There was some speculation from local media that the entire feud was staged as a means to increase both artists popularity.
In August 2008 the feud erupted again, with a new round of diss-tracks. Some of the new tracks include:
"Nuh Bleach With Cream" - (Day Break Riddim)
"Dem A Fag" - (Self Defense Riddim)
"Real Killa (No Chorus)" - (Empire Diss)(Day Rave Riddim)
"Dem A Pree" - (Silent River Riddim)
"Battyman Kartel" - (Self Defense Riddim)
"Gangster Nuh Play" - (Beast Riddim)
"Caan Bad Mi Up" - (Magazine Riddim)
"Money" - (Advocate Riddim)
"Gun Down" - (Frequency Riddim)
"Talk" - (Eclipse Riddim)
"Walk Wid Dem Casket (Don't Run Counteraction - Not certain because the producer claimed it was done before Don't Run was produced)"
"Broad Daylight" - (Day Break Riddim)
"Send A Hell" - (Self Defense Riddim)
"Weh Dat Fah" - (Self Defense Riddim)
"Weh Dem A Go" - (Day Rave Riddim)
"Rise Di K" - (Silent River Riddim)
"Seh Weh You Feel Fi Seh" - (Cool Shade Riddim)
"Kill Dem All And Done" - (Beast Riddim)
"Dem A Nuh Gangster" - (Godfather Riddim)
"Send Fi Di Magazine" - (Magazine Riddim)
"Talk With Gunshot" - (Colly Monster Riddim)
"Nuh Fraid" - (Advocate Riddim)
"Last Man Standing (Don't Run)" - (Diss to Mavado after sting 08)
"Somebody Haffi Bawl" - (Fight Fi War Riddim) - (Diss to Mavado after sting 08)
"Deh Pon Di Gaza" - (Mavado Diss) - (Diss to Mavado after sting 08)
"When Since" - (Alliance Diss) - (Life or Death Riddim)
The feud came to a lyrical head with a deejay clash between Mavado and Vybz Kartel at Sting 2008. However since Sting is a Clash between two DJ's showing their lyrical skills; naturally Vybz Kartel came out victorious. Mainly because Mavado a.k.a "The Gully God" is a singer and not an actual Dj.
In 2008, Kartel launched Vybz rum and the Daggerin' line of condoms. ?Vybz Rum? will be Kartel?s first major endorsement with a beverage company. The rum is yet to be officially distributed, but is planned to be done by Vybz Distillers Limited, a subsidiary of the company that created Pimp Juice.
Vybz Kartel's rum has hit the shelves in Jamaica, also we see another liquor known as Street Vybz.
Vybz Kartel, who is well known for his hard hitting ghetto lyrics and rival showdowns with popular Artist Mavado, has been leaning towards more positive messages in his songs, with emphasis on respecting Women and Mothers and hints of Rasta-fari teachings. His recent condom campaigns for saving lives have also been well received. Vybz Kartel?s recent release ?Mama? has taken the charts by storm, and the Artist will be doing several performances in the Caribbean, to include neighboring Trinidad and Tobago.
Discography and filmography
Up 2 Di Time (Greensleeves; 2003)
Up 2 Di Time (More Up 2 Di Time Edition) (Greensleeves; 2004)
Timeless (Greensleeves; 2004)
JMT (Greensleeves; 2006)
The Teacher's Back (late 2008)
Pon Di Gaza(Adijahiem/Notnice Records) Coming September 22 on ITunes.
Vybz Kartel 45-Mix (Cash Money; 2002)
Time Minister (Cassette Jones)
www.up2ditime.com (Cassette Jones)
Seven Wise Virgins (Cassette Jones)
From Time To Time (Federation; 2003)
Just A Matter Of Time (Cassette Jones)
Time Nevertheless (Cassette Jones)
Timeless (Federation; 2004)
Dancehall Mix 2K4 (Swamp King; 2004)
Time Served (Federation; 2004)
Return Of The Crime Minister; 2005)
The Peoples Champ" (Dancehallusa.com; 2009)
Girls Like Mine (Best Of Vybz) (2002)
Toe 2 Toe Vol. 6 w/ Elephant Man (Jet Star; 2003)
"Been Around The World" w/ Zena (Virgin; 2004)
"Dangerous" w/ Cormega & Unda P (Koch; 2004)
"Diplo Rhythm" w/ Diplo (Big Dada; 2004)
"Frontin'" (Dancehall Remix) w/ Jay-Z, Pharrell & Wayne Marshall (Def Jam; 2004)
"Kartel & Kardinal" w/ Kardinal Offishall (Greensleeves; 2004)
"Move Your Body" w/ Nina Sky ft. Jabba (Universal; 2004)
"Straight Off The Top" w/ Juelz Santana, Jim Jones (rapper) & Wayne Marshall (Def Jam; 2004)
"E.G.G. (Everybody Gone Gangsta)" w/ Kardinal Offishall (EMI; 2005)
"Bad Man" w/ Missy Elliott, M.I.A. (Atlantic Records; 2005)
"Hold Your Head'" (Hot 97 Remix) w/ The Notorious B.I.G, Bob Marley
"You Don't Love Me (No, No, No)" w/ Rihanna (Def Jam; 2005)
"Buss It Up" w/ Kano
"Descarada (Dance)" w/ Pitbull
"Bad Man" w/ Ghostface Killah & Elephant Man
"Colors" (Remix) w/ Sean Kingston & Kardinal Offishall
"How Many Ways" w/ Heather Headley
"Like This" (Remix) w/ MIMS, Sean Kingston & Mr. Vegas
"Soul Survivor"(Remix) w/Akon ft Shabba Ranks, Sizzla
"Hold You Tonight" w/ Machel Montano (Album Book of Angels, 2007)
"Balle Shava" Tigerstyle ft Mangi Mahal,Vybz Kartel & Nikita (2008)
"Prison Life" (Vybz Kartel feat. Akon)
"I'm Sprung" (Remix) w/ T-Pain
"Romping Shop" w/ Spice
"Bad Boys" Elly Ess ft Jim Jones, Vybz Kartel (2009)
"Virginity" Vybz Kartel ft Indu
"Breed fi mi" Vybz Kartel ft Lisa Hype
"How me do it like dat" Vybz Kartel ft Lisa hype (Badazz Riddim)
"Careful" Vybz Kartel ft Stephen Mcgregor
Thug Life (2001)