DANCEHALL STAR VYBEZ KARTEL’S MUSIC BANNED FOR BLACK HISTORY MONTH
Jamaican dancehall artiste Vybz Kartel (real name Adidja Palmer) who has in recent weeks raised eyebrows for bleaching his skin, suffered a major blow on February 1, 2011 when leading NY club dj and award winning Irie Jam radio host/program director Dubb Master Chris announced that for Black History Month 2011, he will not play any song from the artiste.
“Black history month is a big deal and we as a people should take every opportunity to celebrate our heritage. I feel if I continue to play Vybez Kartel, an artist who is now very much known for bleaching his skin, it simply sends the wrong message to my young impressionable listeners,” Chris said in a recent interview with the Star newspaper.
“Please understand that I have a lot of love and respect for Kartel’s music. I respect his enormous talent and his individuality. He is one of the great lyricists of our time however, at times I am disappointed in the direction he decides to take his audience even though that is his prerogative,” he noted.
Chris, who reiterated that he has been playing Vybez Kartel’s music on his radio show since the artiste first broke on the scene in the late 90’s with “Gal clown” said he is against bleaching.
“I strongly believe bleaching is wrong, wrong, wrong! It’s a disgrace. It’s a slap in the face of our heritage, our ancestors and our god. This definitely sends the wrong message to children, I think it leads them to believe that some how, if they are dark complexion something is wrong with that. It erodes the concept that Black is beautiful,” he observed.
Chris, whose career on radio spans 16 years, said he made the decision to ban Kartel songs because of the power and influence the deejay wheels, especially on the minds of young impressionable kids who love his music.
“Without a doubt kids are following his lead. Entertainers need to understand that the words they use are powerful. They influence their listeners, especially the younger ones. Artists have the power to start trends good or bad… remember that!” he noted.
He called on other radio jocks who program reggae songs to “take a good look at the values they are reinforcing by playing an artist such as Kartel especially in these times.” He noted that the temporary ban on Kartel’s music specifically applies to radio play. The ban he said was a personal decision but noted that he had the full support of the Irie Jam Radio management and other jocks at the station.