Controversy usually don’t falls shy of Vybz Kartel, from Cake Soap to bleaching to hair extension and explicit lyrics, the dancehall star done it all.
Vybz Kartel, widely known as Di Teacha, recently did an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, where he discussed a number of topics including his upcoming mixtape, his roll in dancehall, his new book and skin bleaching.
Vybz Kartel was asked, if you had to compare yourself to someone in hip-hop, who would it be?
Kartel response was,
Jay-Z, because I am a lyrical prodigy and I am also an astute businessman. I have done things business-wise that no other dancehall deejay has even tried to do.
I started Street Vybz Rum, and I have a club in Kingston, The Building. For the future, I am working on a new tonic wine, which will hit the streets by Autumn. Vybz Wear is my clothing line and it will launch for the summer: belt buckles, limited edition t-shirts, sneakers called “Addis,” dogtags – but we prefer to call them “Gaza tags.” And I also have my cake soap brand – a face soap that lightens the skin and removes blemishes.
On His new book
It’s almost finished. It’s social commentary on ghetto life as seen through the eyes of Vybz Kartel. Trust me, this is going to be very detrimental to Vybz Kartel’s freedom because it’s a no-holds barred book, looking into taboo topics like political corruption, abortion, extrajudicial killings, how religion is used to keep ghetto youth under mental bondage. It’s called Voice of the Jamaican Ghetto (Or Gaza, If You Prefer). Each chapter is named for a social commentary track that I recorded – and it will remind people of how many so-called conscious tunes I do.
On being a Scapegoat in dancehall
Let me break it down for you. I live in [the wealthy Kingston neighborhood] Norbrook. The kids in Norbrook listen to the same Vybz Kartel lyrics that the ghetto youth listen to, so why aren’t the kids in Norbrook behaving like the ghetto youth in Tivoli or Jungle? It has to do with social upbringing – it’s society. And it starts with the family, which is why I always say “family first.” My kids listen to my lyrics and I don’t see them running rampant. It’s the fault of society, of postcolonialism, of politicians – and then people want to blame artists. I refuse to take that blame.
Vybz Kartel involvement in the businesses Street Vybz Rum and the Building Night Club was recently exposed after a bitter fallout with former business partner.