Vybz Kartel has seemingly clapped back at a children’s advocate for her comments that suggest that the incarcerated deejay is one of the main perpetrators of youth violence in Jamaica.
During the Caribbean Conference of Seventh-day Christians prayer breakfast at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on January 26, Diahann Gordon Harrison, who is Jamaica’s children’s advocate and national rapporteur on trafficking in persons, pointed to a study conducted by the Office of the Children’s Advocate which found that the Dancehall artist is the role model among girls and boys who were either charged or formally accused of committing an offense.
“This is the person they saw as the be-all and end-all of what you need to strive to be like. If you stop and just dissect for a moment a cross-section of the type of lyrics that are contained in Mr. Palmer’s music, certainly as a parent, that’s not the kind of music my children would be exposed to — not if I have anything to do with it,” she told media reporters.
Taking to Instagram earlier this month, Vybz Kartel shared a video explaining his position on the state of crime in Jamaica and also suggested that the country’s economy and the government should be blamed for juvenile delinquency.
The video clip, which is titled “Scapegoat Mentality,” features the “Worl Boss” deejay speaking on the topic, several years ago, before his incarceration.
“Wha we as artistes can do to reduce crime in Jamaica? We can do nothing more than just deejay yuh know. You see because crime nuh really stem from artistes, crime stems from the social and economical living condition of the people them. Crime stems from the political culture of Jamaica,” he said.
Thousands of fans including fellow entertainer Popcaan have since reacted to Kartel’s comments with many supporting the deejay’s standpoint.
“Real way,” the “Firm and Strong” deejay commented.
“Facts. They the politicians try to paint the picture to the Jamaican society like its artists that stem the crime and violence or are responsible for the crimes going on in the garrison community when it’s they themselves are the biggest criminals. Trying to manipulate and use poor people but dem cyah trick we. We have a prophet name vybz kartel!” a fan wrote.
Over the years, Vybz Kartel has repeatedly insisted that he does not regard himself as a role model. He infamously once said that parents who use him as a role model have already “failed as parents”.
Regarded as Dancehall’s greatest lyricist in 2014, Vybz Kartel, whose given name is Adidja Palmer, along with three other men, was convicted of the murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams. He was sentenced to life in prison, with the stipulation that he serve 35 years before qualifying for parole. A court ruling on his appeal is pending.
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