Vybz Kartel, a.k.a. Adidja Palmer, has made seven albums filled with dancehall rhythms paired with dizzying double-time raps. The music made by the heavily-tattooed DJ, rapper and businessman (he owns his own Vybz rum and condom lines) covers the traditional dancehall subject matters of money, mayhem and sexual prowess. But Vybz Kartel’s raspy voice, rapid-fire delivery and irresistible beats keep the sound fresh, which has helped him stay at the top of the dancehall heap and make moderate inroads into the international markets: his single “Ramping Shop” debuted on the Billboard Top 100 Singles charts. His rough and tumble lyrics aren’t just for show, though. Vybz Kartel has been incarcerated for nearly a year, awaiting trial on murder and conspiracy to murder charges.
Listen: “Summertime” [mildly NSFW]
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