News Americas, KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thurs. April 3, 2014: The man who made and named his own empire and blasted on the international scene as a dancehall star, says he’s not mourning after being sentenced to life in prison today.
“We nuh deh pon nuh mourning ting,” was tweeted on Adidja Palmer aka Vybz Kartel’s account just after a Kingston magistrate sentenced him to life for the murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams.
‘Justice, however, long it takes will prevail, a so Haile Selassie sey. so we a move fwd,” the tweet added. It is unclear if it’s the singer himself who posted the tweets or a member of his Gaza Empire but in it the singer also warned: “It is not over. Certain details we have to hold back but this is just a obstacle on the road to freedom.”
It is unclear what details the dancehall star was referring to but the 38-year-old singer will have to serve 35 years before he is eligible for parole.
A jury on March 13th found Palmer guilty after a lengthy 65-days trial in the death of Williams, an associate who was killed after being asked to his home to discuss two missing illegal hand guns. The three other men convicted are Shawn ‘Shawn Storm’ Campbell, Kahira Jones and Andre ‘Mad Suss’ St. John.
Storm will serve a life sentence while Jones will serve 25 years and St John will serve 30 years.
Prosecutors had alleged Williams was beaten to death at Kartel’s home in Havendale, St Andrew, Jamaica in August 2011 after being lured there to answer for two missing illegal guns. His body has never been found.
They also testified that a text message retrieved from Kartel’s phone saying Williams was chopped up in a “mincemeat” so fine that his remains would never be found.
Defence lawyer Tom Tavares-Finson had argued that the prosecution’s case against Kartel was “dishonest” and “incompetent” but the 11 member jury did not buy this line of defense, convicting 10-1.
Tavares-Finson said he is planning to appeal on behalf of the convicted men.
Kartel is one of Jamaica’s biggest music stars with hits including Clarks, Ramping Shop and Summer Time. His success led to him launching his lines of shoes, alcohol and condoms.
The singer also became the first dancehall artist to star in his own reality TV show, Teacha’s Pet.
The singer started his career as a teenager in 1993 with his first recording “Love Fat Woman,” as “Adi Banton”, a homage to Buju Banton, which was released on Alvin Reid’s label “One Heart.”
He was later part of the three-member group “Vybez Kartel” and kept the slightly altered name after group split. He soon became a protege of Bounty Killer, for whom he claims to have written nearly 30 songs, including “Gal Clown.”Kartel rose to prominence in 2003 after a string of hits in Jamaica. Kartel founded the Portmore Empire, a group of dancehall DJ’s and singers from his Portmore neighborhood that he signed to his newly founded Adidjahiem/Notnice Records after he split from Bounty Killer’s alliance.
In 2009 his song featuring female Jamaican deejay ‘Spice’, “Ramping Shop”, debuted on the Billboard Top 100 Singles charts, and “Dollar Sign” being in regular rotation on urban radio stations in the US.
In 2010, he released his album Pon Di Gaza 2.0 on Adidjahiem/Notnice Records in collaboration with Tads Record Inc. In Spring 2011, Kartel released an album entitled ‘Kingston Story’ with Brooklyn hip hop/electro producer Dre Skull.
His 2010 single “Clarks” was one of his biggest international successes, remaining in the top 3 Reggae Singles gaining the most radio plays in North America for 40 weeks.
“Clarks” was also featured on the TV series So You Think You Can Dance Canada, and on a CNN segment on dancehall dance. MTV’s Vice Guide to Dancehall featured Kartel at his weekly dance party, Street Vybz Thursday.
Kartel has also worked on collaborations and remixes with hip hop and R&B musicians Jay-Z, Rihanna, Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes, M.I.A, Pharrell, Kardinal Offishall, Akon, Jim Jones, Lil Wayne and Eminem. He also launched a condom line and glorified bleaching, including in song.
See Kartel’s music here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5F877s6KAUA&feature=share