Dancehall artiste, Vybz Kartel, has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams.
Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, is to serve 35 years before he becomes eligible for parole.
He and the three other men convicted for Lizard’s murder were each given life sentences a short while ago by Justice Lennox Campbell.
Adidja Palmer – LIFE IN PRISON (35 years before eligible for parole)
Shawn ‘Shawn Storm’ Campbell – LIFE IN PRISON (25 years before eligible for parole)
Kahira Jones – LIFE IN PRISON (25 years before eligible for parole)
Andre St John – LIFE IN PRISON (30 years before eligible for parole)
According to a release from the vybzkartelbook.com Adidja Palmer has decided to give the green light to his co-author and business partner, Michael Dawson, to reveal to the public things about himself that he had previously chosen to keep private as he has always wanted to keep his personal and family life away from the intense public scrutiny that he has endured.
Going into the busy party season, there are quite a few summer songs that selectors and disc jocks believe are doing well.
Among the top songs for ZJ Ice are I-Octane's We Love The Vibes and Popcaan's Summer Wave. He says there are also nice songs from Bugle and Blak Ryno, while Cashflow Records' Sun Tan rhythm is also doing well.
Dancehall producer Elvis Redwood has refuted allegations that Vybz Kartel has been recording from behind bars.
Since the artiste's incarceration in October last year, numerous exclusive materials have been released by local producers, the most recent being a collaboration with Busta Rhymes and a single called Back To Life.
According to Redwood, who is responsible for the production of Popcaan's Billboard hit single, Only Man She Want, Vybz Kartel has a lot of unreleased music which will be released over time.
"The Busta Rhymes collaboration with Vybz Kartel was recorded in 2010 by Don Corleon. It was a live recording on Ustream so they can check that. When artistes record songs they have to choose the right time to release them and Vybz Kartel has a lot of unreleased songs," he said.
The allegations have grown since the release of Back To Life, which is a song which speaks about the disadvantages of being incarcerated.
"Listen yu cyah get ... a prison, Stay far from war dat a coppa and lead, yu cyah get ... when yu dead, when the cage lock yu haffi thug it up, dem place ya dutty like rubbish truck, mi just a pree back happy days memories, wey mi kids, wey mi wife," are some of the lines in the song that has triggered the controversy.
Redwood disclosed that the Back To Life song was recorded in 2010 under Vybz Kartel's Adidjahiem Record label.
"Back To Life was recorded in 2010 under the title 'We Wah Guh Home', but it was never released. We changed the name, fix up some little things and just call it Back To Life - it's a prison song about his experience in jail, it was just another jail song. He has a lot of jail songs but because of the current situation people are making assumptions ... but we just want to make it clear that Vybz Kartel has not recorded any material since his incarceration. There are some songs on his Adidjahiem label that we will put out and this is one of them. Some of his unreleased songs are incomplete and we are making those into collaborations so they can be released. Various producers have unreleased songs from Vybz Kartel and I have a hard drive with a lot of unreleased material as well," Redwood said.
Elvis Redwood is currently gearing up to release part two of his internationally successful Lost Angel rhythm, which he says will feature the same list of artistes plus a surprise addition
Amid Vybz Kartel's legal battles, there comes even more news from the 'Gaza' camp as the 2007-formed Portmore Empire has been disbanded. Shortly after his much-publicised fallout with Alliance head honcho Bounty Killer, and his exit from the group, Vybz Kartel looked to his hometown of Portmore, St Catherine, to raise his own musical force, which would later be aptly titled the Portmore Empire.
At the time of its origin, the group consisted of mainly young artistes like Blak Ryno (now Ryno), Craig Dennis (deceased), Omeil, Lisa Hype (now Lisa Hyper), Nuclear, Dosa Medicine, Shawn Storm, and Deva Bratt, who was touted to be Kartel's right hand and the one who was "leading out the Empire". A few fallouts and scandals later with artistes like Deva Bratt, Lisa Hyper, Gaza Kim (now Kym), Jah Vinchi, and Ryno, the size of the group has dwindled.
In recent days, the Empire came to boast acts like Popcaan, Gaza Slim, Sheba, Gaza Indu, Shawn Storm, and Tommy Lee. However, in a recent release sent to The STAR, Adidjahiem Records announced news of the disbanding with a statement from incarcerated boss, Adidja 'Vybz Kartel' Palmer.
It read: "Dancehall fans worldwide, it is with great regret that I, Adidja Palmer, have decided to disband the Portmore Empire. These artistes have been under the Adidjahiem leadership for years, where they have honed their craft and made their mark, and as such, are well on their way to becoming major forces in dancehall." It continued: "They have reached a level where they are more capable of taking on their careers by themselves, and it would be unfair to them, based on the limited resources of Adidjahiem Records, and the current legal woes of the Adidjahiem CEO, and team members. I wish them the best, and I am confident that they will live up to my expectations. In the future, Adidjahiem will continue to bring out new acts and groom them for stardom. Thank you."
It also stated that members of the Portmore Empire, Vanessa 'Gaza Slim' Saddler and Leroy 'Tommy Lee' Russell are moving on with their careers under a newly formed label, PG 13. "PG 13 is the new name right now. a just deh so di ting deh, and that's all mi haffi say," When pressed as to how she felt since the group has now been dissolved, Gaza Slim said she had no comments and would only be focusing her attention on the new PG 13 label. In similar manner, Tommy Lee said PG 13 was where he would now be based. "A PG 13 me say straight. A dat me a say," Both artistes have been part of the Portmore Empire since 2010. The 'gaza prefect', Popcaan, who rose to the heights of fame under the guidance of Palmer, has been doing well for himself. Efforts to contact him, however, since Kartel's incarceration proved futile.
The other standing member, Shawn Storm, was whisked away by the authorities as he is said to be implicated in the legal woes with Kartel.
With news forthcoming that the 'World Boss' has disbanded the Portmore Empire, artiste Sheba says she is in shock since she was not informed about the decision.
"I was not personally informed about this. Mi just wake up and see a broadcast message about it and a wonder if a true, but since THE STAR a call me, it look like a true, den," Sheba said.
Sheba went on to say that she had not heard Kartel's side of the story, so she was not in a position to speak about the group being disbanded."Him nuh send no message wid him lawyer fi say nutten bout it, but a still music, me say. I want to thank him for a great run - it's been three years. To be honest, this news kinda shock me - is a sudden surprise. it's not something that was discussed with me," she said.
Sheba, whose given name is Tasheba Campbell, says she joined the Portmore Empire in 2009. "Mi go up a di studio one day and tell him say me can deejay and him say, "mek mi hear a song den", and mi deejay fi him, and him say him like it, and that was it," She is most famous for her collabs with Kartel, including You and Him Deh, Like Christmas, and Do Me Dat (A Whe Me Do You).
The STAR also spoke with a few of the original members to hear their views on the disbanding of the Portmore Empire. "I was there from the beginning, and I got the chance to learn a lot of things while in the Portmore Empire that could help me out with my career today. From they remanded him, some of the others should have been trying to work on their craft so even if he doesn't come back very soon, they can still manage on their own. "Empire taught me to fight fi what yuh believe in and him is a man weh him like fi see yuh a do things. So as a female, yuh haffi think like a man but act like a woman," said Lisa Hyper.
Another artiste, Dosa Medicine, said, "I understand what Vybz Kartel is saying. he is away and can't really push their careers the way he could have if he was out. Vybz Kartel is a man like this ... when it becomes too much for him, he will just let it go. I figure more or less that is what is happening. But still, to be one of the original members, it's good to know that the whole world was saying gaza, something I help to build."
Business man Cory Todd and jailed dancehall deejay Vybz Kartel are to be reunited for a business deal.
Music News understands that the two who severed ties last year following a sour and public spilt, are to join forces for the continuation their business partnership. Todd’s publicist, Claude Mills confirms that the two have come to a business agreement to put out their products including the rum. Karel who has been in jail since last year have been in dialogue with Corey Todd via letters for the past few months.
Over four years, the Vybz Kartel, Corey Todd business partnership has seen the purchase of The Building, the birth of Street Vybz Rum and Daggering Condoms. After the business partnership ended, Todd took up entertainers Beenie Man, Aidonia, Khago, Jah Vinci and producer Notnice but those business involvments were shortlived.