SFL PARTY SCOOP
VYBZ KARTEL SHARES HOW HE COLLABORTED WITH ISHAWNA
What appeared almost certain to be a career-ending setback, it turns out, has only reaffirmed Kartel's hold on dancehall. He's as popular and influential as ever, and even more prolific. New music from Kartel turns up weekly; more than 50 tracks this year alone have been released to iTunes, including the 14 on King of the Dancehall, his third LP in four years. A tally of songs issued during his incarceration would total well into the hundreds.
How, exactly, Kartel has maintained such productivity while behind bars remains something of a mystery. Many dancehall fans presume he must be recording in prison, covertly cutting vocals through a cellphone app. Others have even suggested certain songs were voiced by an impersonator. Musicians usually become engimas by disappearing or holding back, but Vybz Kartel has become one by being impossibly present through his incarceration. He's released a book, The Voice of the Jamaican Ghetto, elaborating his views on topics ranging from parenting and abortion to third-world debt. He launched a clothing line, the Official VK Line; and created a literacy program which recently sponsored a robotics camp in his hometown of Portmore, Jamaica.
In an interview conducted through his lawyer, Tom Tavares-Finson, Kartel denied that he is recording in jail. The new releases, he insists, are the fruits of a massive deposit of unreleased vocal material left behind before his arrest, updated for the moment by a cadre of trusted producers.
"I've always been a prolific songwriter, and I record at breakneck speed as well, so I have a lot of surplus material to choose from," Kartel tells Rolling Stone.
With reports of Vybz Kartel giving Vanessa Bling the boot and replacing her with Ishawna, a close associate of the ‘Fever’ deejay is now sharing how the former Downsound records singer got the link.
According to Portmore-based deejay/producer, Sikka Rhymes, Ishawna has always been a huge fan of Vybz Kartel so he reached out to Addi for her to get the green-light to visit him in prison to talk business.
“She was always a fan of Kartel’s music, and she always wanted to be on a record with him. So I told him that she’d love to meet him and he allowed the visit, that’s how she got introduced,” Sikka said. “The songs they claim he is recording behind bars are songs that have been voiced already. So, when I link him, we just talk bout business and such. I basically link the producers and tell them what to release, and pick songs. As you can see, the song with Shenseea wasn’t originally a collaboration, but dem fix it up and make it look like that,” he added.