Dancehall Hero Vybz Kartel recently did an interview with Marvin Sparks of MTV UK, where he spoke on a number of topics including writing songs for his former mentor Bounty Killer.
Vybz was ask by Marvin Sparks about him starting out writing lyrics for the Alliance leader and who as an artist influence his music.
“I wrote about 30-odd songs in total. ‘Gal Clown’ and a lot of those war lyrics were by me,” Vybz Kartel said.
“My influences were universal: Lt. (Lieutenant) Stitchie, Ninjaman, Papa San, Will Smith (back from Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince), KRS-One and Slick Rick. My musical influences were universal and multi-national,” Vybz added.
Vybz Kartel said outside of Portmore Empire the only artist he rate is reggae star I-Wayne.
“To be honest, Vybz Kartel doesn’t really say, ‘I rate this artist’ or ‘I rate that artist.’ I-Wayne is my artist that I listen to a lot. Otherwise, I just listen to Vybz Kartel music and try to better myself.”
Vybz Kartel were a group comprised of three artists, including Adijah Palmer, then known as Addi Banton. The group split due to differences in vision, but Addi Banton kept the name Vybz Kartel, joined Bounty Killer’s crew, Alliance, and the rest, as they say, is history. Initially coming to prominence flexing his lyrical skills in 2002, Kartel became one of the genre’s leading artists shortly thereafter, which included featuring on the Def Jam’s US and Jamaica collaboration album, ‘Def Jamaica’, working with Missy Elliott and fans including Nicki Minaj and Jay-Z.
Controversy has never been far; from clashing Ninjaman, which lead to a fight on stage, leaving the Alliance then performing at his former mentor’s biggest rival Beenie Man’s wedding to Bounty Killer’s ex-girlfriend, 2 years on-and-off fued with Mavado, to being sued for creating the explicit 2009 hit ‘Ramping Shop’ from Ne-Yo’s ‘Miss Independent’.
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