The list of nominees for the 2017 Music Of Black Origin (MOBO) Awards for Best Reggae Act came out last week and all five nominees are local Jamaican artists. Popcaan, Alkaline, Aidonia, Chronixx, and Damian Marley are the five nominees this year. A lot of dancehall fans are again questioning why Vybz Kartel was snubbed despite having a massive year last year which continues into this year.
“The system trying to fight against the boss [Vybz Kartel] but they can’t stop him,” one fan wrote. “Kartel had a bigger year than Popcaan, Aidonia, and Alkaline and yet he was not nominated for a MOBO are you kidding me. This is utter nonsense and that’s why people can’t take these awards serious anymore.”
Fans echoed some similar sentiments last year when the deejay was not nominated. There is an underlining reason why Vybz Kartel may not get a MOBO nomination, at least as long as he is behind bars he may never get a nomination per the rules of the award show. Additionally, MOBO is based in the UK where most radio stations are barred from playing songs from convicted felons who are serving time behind bars like Vybz Kartel who is doing life for a murder case.
One fan criticized those fans who are angry at Kartel’s MOBO snub while drawing reference to his album sales numbers last year. “Don’t make music fool you prison is taking a hold on Vybz Kartel Now you cannot be in prison for murder and get the mobo award and apart from that he’s not doing any live performance 3249 in 15 weeks sales for the top dancehall artists of 2016 that’s a shame on dancehall and Vybz Kartel the great Shabba Ranks used to sell millions and Beenie Man gaza fans please don’t even brag about it on YouTube 3249 copies that’s a shame on Kartel?” Joel wrote.
Despite being incarcerated since 2011, he has remained in the top echelon of dancehall with a consistent supply of new music. Last year, he came under investigation under orders directly from the Ministry of National Security for allegations that he has been recording music in prison, something that would be illegal and could potentially send him into solitary confinement. Nevertheless, new music continues to pour out of Vybz Kartel coffers like hot bread and he is showing no signs of slowing down.