Drake Joins ‘Free Vybz Kartel’ Movement Following Appeal Win

Drake showed Vybz Kartel love

Drake Vybz Kartel
Drake, Vybz Kartel

Drake joins in on the “Free Vybz Kartel” movement, showing his support for the incarcerated dancehall legend who scored a big legal win last month when the UK Privy Council ruled to squash his murder conviction.

If you’ve been following Drake’s decorated career over the past decade or more, you would know that he is a big fan of Vybz Kartel, and a big part of that has to do with his friendship with Popcaan. On several occasions, the Toronto rapper uttered the words “free Vybz Kartel” and even referenced the dancehall star in songs.

On Tuesday (April 2), Drake shared a photo in the studio with a T-shirt repping the dancehall star while paying homage to Kartel’s landmark album, Up 2 Di Time, released on November 18, 2003. The project birthed some of Kartel’s early hits that have since become classics, including “New Millennium,” “Sweet To The Belly,” “Why You Doing It,” “Start Well,” and “Buss It Off.”

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The white T-shirt also has the words “Free Kartel” above a photo of a painting of the artist sitting in the cloud with a female attending to him. The painting previously went viral online and received mixed reactions, with some folks saying it painted an image of Vybz Kartel as God.

Drake wasn’t always a Gazanation fan, as he was previously friends with Gullyside singer Mavado. However, the two had a falling out in the mid-2010s, reportedly over money that the rapper gave the dancehall singer to build a library in his native Cassava Piece. The library construction didn’t go as planned, and it appears that drove a wedge between them.

In 2020, Drake and Mavado also had a little beef, spawning diss songs on both sides. On Drizzy’s song “Only You Freestyle,” he raps, “Link PopSkull in Gaza, but not that Gaza, but still it’s a mazza/ N***as want peace like Cassava/ But we let bridge dem burn like grabba,” seemingly referencing Mavado’s hometown, Cassava Piece.

Mavado quickly clapped back in his song “Enemy Line,” in which he sings, “Bout bun mi place do you best mi case bullet to yuh face and nuh bwoy cant resuscitate / Dem haffi charge me for murder or aggravate, every blood**t gun contaminate.”

Mavado also warned the 6 God that he had no power in Dancehall and stated that he was the one who introduced the rapper to the Jamaican music scene. “Suh yuh wa be like wi, and try style the thing,” Vado said. “Remember this Dancehall a mi play ground, Dancehall is my job. I’ve been a superstar over 15yrs and created countless hit songs in my genre while developing my unique singjay style of which The new generation is all about today solidifying the craft.”

Drake never responds to Mavado’s diss song and instead continues to show love to Vybz Kartel, Vado’s musical enemy.