There have been as many rumours about what Dancehall artist Vybz Kartel may be doing behind bars as there were during his time as a free man. In 2015, the incarcerated deejay dropped tons of new tracks, prompting speculations that he has been recording in prison.
This is another sure sign of the unique grasp the incarcerated deejay has on the public’s imagination.
Jamaican radio disc jock and dancehall artiste Esco (formerly of the duo Leftside and Esco) has denied allegations that he was axed from radio station Hot 102 FM for playing a Vybz Kartel Christmas greeting that was allegedly recorded while the artiste was behind bars.
He is still at the radio station and the Broadcasting Commission was misled by a mischievous individual, according to Esco.
“I am not off the air, it’s just an investigation. They are alleging that I played a Christmas message from Vybz Kartel, but while I have maximum respect for the commission, I haven’t violated any code of conduct and did not play any personalised message from any convicted individual,” Esco recently told media reporters.
“I have respect for Vybz Kartel and have produced several songs for him, but I have always stayed very professional as it relates to adhering to the rules outlined by the Broadcasting Commission,” he explained.
“I have submitted the necessary information about the show to the relevant authority, and I am sure the results will prove that I was not in breach of anything except to give my listeners value. The report was made in an attempt to stop my success or it’s somebody who has a vendetta against Vybz Kartel,” he added.
Whether or not these reports are true, there’s no disputing the fact that efforts to censor Kartel’s music or limit his impact on Jamaican society have failed.
Vybz Kartel continues to be a pivotal part of Dancehall music from behind bars, as he prepares to release a new album in 2016.