Vybz Kartel remains the King of Dancehall, according to music insiders.
Based on YouTube streaming data, the Dancehall superstar continues to be the leading entertainer in Jamaica despite being locked up since September 2011.
Vybz Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, is serving a life sentence for murder but the “Worl Boss” deejay remains most streamed artist in Kingston, over the past 12 months.
The incarcerated musician leads ith 25.4 million views on the American video-sharing website.
Alkaline follows narrowly in second with 25.3 million then Popcaan in third with 19.4 million as the top artistes being streamed out of Jamaica. Notably, Masicka racked up 15.2 million in fourth and Rygin King acquired 11.1 million in fifth.
The most streamed song in Kingston goes to Rygin King’s “Tuff” followed by Ella Mai’s “Boo’d Up,” Popcaan’s “We Pray “(feat. Dre Island), “They Don’t Know” by Masicka and Popcaan’s “Inviolable.”
Vybz Kartel and Alkaline are jointly the top streamed artiste in Montego Bay with 455,000 views each while Popcaan (273,000 views) is at No 3; Rygin King (246,000) is fourth and Masicka (225,000) is fifth.
The “Colouring This Life” deejay remains on top despite being behind bars for seven years because Vybz Kartel still maintains a very strong presence in the music industry, according to music analyst Donovan Watkis.
“He is still connected to the culture by releasing new music that are hit songs, more than anyone else in dancehall,” Watkis told media reporters, adding that Kartel uses social media to his advantage.
Watkis indicated that Vybz Kartel has a “fanbase that is unmatched by any other artiste in the industry” and is “paired with the ability to create songs that go with the times.”
“He has built the brand of Kartel and Gaza to the top of the food chain. He could sing “Hmmm” on a track and they [his fans] will love it. Kartel calls his YouTube page vybezkartelradio, so hot or not it doesn’t take much to get people’s attention,” Watkis explained.
While likening Vybz Kartel’s career to that of artistes like Beenie Man and Bounty Killer, the analyst explained that during the peak of their careers, the “Girls Dem Sugar” entertainer and “Fed Up” deejay also had loyal fanbases, but as new artiste emerged on the entertainment scene, the tight hold both entertainers had on the industry was slowly loosened. This appears to be the case in other countries in the region.
The YouTube statistics reveal that Vybz Kartel falls behind Popcaan and Alkaline in Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, and Barbados.