According this study from the University of the West Indies, Vybz Kartel is the most popular dancehall artist right now. And yet, even with Kartel’s single “Rompin Shop” getting heavy radio spins and grabbing Billboard Hot 100 placement in the US, for a number of reasons (including not being able to get a visa to travel to the US), he doesn’t always get in depth coverage in the magazines, so you might not be getting a good look at who he is and what’s going on in his world. Luckily, Boomshots has tracked down Kartel for an extensive two part interview in which he thoughtfully discusses the current state of dancehall and how he chooses to focus his energy. On the issue of getting a visa to travel to the US, he explains.
I know, well a lot of people is trying but as I said I’m just concentrating on music. When they send for me I will appear. Otherwise, me just focus on music. Portmore Empire is signed to us. We have a digital distribution deal for them and locally we have a physical distribution deal. We’re doing videos for them, promoting them as much as possible. Trying to do things like a real business. Y’nawmean? Yeah, and you know we have the Vybz Rum and the Daggerin’ condoms. We’re just concentrating on Jamaica right now. You done know anything that’s big in Jamaica always spread across the world. Just keep it real from the root, and then then blossom will drop inna America, it will drop inna England, drop inna Europe.