Vybz Kartel: Making history behind bars
Sentenced to life imprisonment in 2014 for the murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams, Vybz Kartel has now served 2 years out of 35. Yet his absence is still to be felt as he continues to dominate music charts, and news headlines. His song “Summer 16” was an international success and was added to Tad’s Records’ Dancehall kick Out, along with 3 other tracks – “I’ll Take You There”, “Ungrateful” and “Move Yuh Hand”.
As speculations erupted as to whether Kartel’s studio recordings were being carried in prison, in July 2016 the Official VK Line was launched, a clothing line authorized and endorsed by Kartel. A lifestyle brand comprising of male and female tops, shorts, footwear, amongst other clothing.
One of the most notable of Kartel’s endeavours behind bars to-date has been his charitable initiatives. Kartel’s merchandising company donated computers to schools in his hometown as a part of Kartel’s GEL (Gaza Education and Literacy) programme, which seeks to increase all forms of literacy. Kartel’s next strategic move was the introduction of a robotics camp for students in August.
“We have engaged Marvin Hall, of Halls of Learning to host a one-day robotics class to be held in Portmore. We will be approaching all the high schools in Portmore to have their students attend,” announced Shona-Lee S. Thompson, Brand Manager of Official VK Line. The objective of the robotics camp is to introduce children from all walks of life to high-quality learning experiences.
Kartel, the controversial dancehall artist who’s reputation has proceeded him is many negative and controversial ways have proven to be multi-dimensional in character. Whether his good deeds will ease his prison sentence, is yet to be seen.